EXO performs at Seoul Olympic Park’s Gymnastics Stadium on Sunday. (Yonhap)
The idols of EXO, one of the nation’s most popular K-pop groups, set aside all the media drama surrounding member Kris’ lawsuit and current absence and showed fans that they are just as strong as a group of 11.
Amid the heated controversy surrounding EXO-M leader Kris filing a lawsuit against SM Entertainment last week to nullify his contract, the remaining 11 members quickly regrouped and held their first solo concert series at Seoul Olympic Park over the weekend.
On Sunday, EXO wrapped up its final performance. The two-hour, 31-song show was filled to the brim with solo performances and, of course, was attended by thousands of electrified fans who had been waiting anxiously for hours for the group to take to the stage.
“The basic concept of this particular show is about us as beings from another planet, EXO planet,” said Suho during a press conference held prior to the concert on Sunday. “(We) wanted to create this atmosphere of something that you would not be able to experience on this planet.”
A total of 42,000 EXO fans attended the three-day concert series; and with the group’s undeniably eager and dedicated fan base, it came as no surprise that tickets to all the shows sold out in a matter of minutes. The concert series, which began on Friday, was originally meant to be a set of concerts. However, the increasing demand by fans prompted SM Entertainment to add an additional show.
During the press conference, the members were asked whether they were aware that some of their dedicated fans even went so far as to make a game out of “practice clicking,” honing their quick-clicking skills to ensure they would be able to snag tickets when the online sales opened.
“A game? Really? Wow …” some of the EXO members responded after learning about the lengths some of their fans had gone to to purchase tickets.
The members admitted that the past week was filled with overwhelming mixed emotions ― regarding not only Kris’ departure but also the experience of holding their first solo concert in front of their hometown fans. During the group’s first performance on Friday, Suho actually teared up on stage.
“This concert series fell around my birthday, so to be able to spend this time with the fans and the rest of the members of EXO, it did bring some tears (to my eyes),” Suho explained. “But it wasn’t just that. Lately, I have been thinking about what happiness is, and I thought to myself, isn’t true happiness being able to be here with my fellow EXO members and our fans?”
The 11 EXO stars also expressed their disbelief about the whole legal situation with Kris, but wanted to ensure the public that regardless of what other situations may arise in the future, EXO is here to stay.
“We were all very shocked by the news,” Lay said, referring to Kris’ legal suit. “It happened so suddenly and one week before our show, so we were all very flustered and heartbroken, but we will overcome this together. … I was very sad that the fans were subjected to all these rumors and misunderstandings. I hope in the future we don’t have to encounter another ordeal like this.”
“Personally I just wanted to say how proud I am of our members,” Baekhyun added. “Despite all that has happened, we worked really hard to make sure that we would not have to compromise these concerts.”
The members of EXO will soon head to Hong Kong, where they will perform two solo concerts on June 1 and 2.