SINGAPORE - They may have had a controversy-ridden year, but popular K-pop boy band EXO did not let that affect their performance during EXO Planet #1, their first solo concert here.
Kicking off their over two-hour energetic gig at the Singapore Indoor Stadium at 7.30pm last night, the 11-member group drew deafening screams and cheers from the full-house 8,000-strong crowd.
The opening, with award-winning track MAMA, was an instant crowd pleaser, complete with catchy hooks and impressive synchronized dance moves.
Even though the members do not speak English well, they teased their mostly teenage female fans with broken English, telling them: "You are so beautiful and wonderful", and "I don't want to leave you."
The fans lapped it all up, screaming and waving their silver light sticks and singing along to every word.
In May, one of their most popular members, Kris, leader of EXO-M, had left the boy band abruptly. (EXO comprises two sub groups, EXO-M which sings in Mandarin, and EXO-K, in Korean.)
Shortly after that, there was more controversy when it was revealed EXO-K member Baekhyun was dating Girls' Generation member Taeyeon, who is also from SM Entertainment.
But the fans did not let all that affect them yesterday.
Undergraduate Nicole Lu, 21, who thoroughly enjoyed the concert, says: "Initially I was devastated by the news of Kris leaving.
"However, the remaining 11 members have worked very hard in the past few months and I want to be here to give them my support tonight."
Thai fan Napatsom, 16, who studies here, says: "I am not affected by it. I still trust EXO and believe that the members will continue to do well for the fans."
The boy band saved the best for the last, rewarding their loyal fans with their chart-topping hits Growl and Wolf during the encore.
They capped their concert by having Kai and Baekhyun join the current craze of performing the ice bucket challenge - to the crowd's delighted shrieks.
K-pop fan Celine Lim, 17, says: "I really enjoyed the concert. The boys are all so talented and cute."
The student adds: "All of us can tell that they put in so much efforts into today's concert. I am so happy."
Another fan, undergraduate Chen Shiyun, 19, adds: "They can sing and dance so well, and are so funny when they fool around on stage.
"This is definitely the best concert I have attended this year."
This article was published on Aug 24 in The New Paper.
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