Walking into the packed arena, you were instantly hit by the excitement as the crowd sang along to the SuperM songs that played before the show to prepare everyone. Despite those warm-up songs, and the theatrical video that introduced each member right before they took the stage, no one could have been prepared for the sheer amount of talent and power that SuperM brought to San Diego for their We Are The Future tour.
This Viejas Arena show gave SuperM the spot of one of the only K-pop groups to perform in San Diego, with most tours hitting up larger markets like Los Angeles. Nearly every person in attendance of Thursday’s show was more or less in tune with the nuances of the K-pop genre and knew what to expect. But even someone with zero knowledge could have enjoyed the night. As fans waited to enter the arena, some were seen dancing to various K-pop hits to get hyped up, taking photos of each other adorned in headbands that showed their support for their favorite member, or trading the special cards with members’ selfies on them that come included in albums. To the normal SDSU students passing by, it could have looked like an entirely different world, but it was really a preview of how connected the fans and the group/genre are.
The SuperM members stopped at various points during their show to speak to the crowd and showed a more personal, laidback side. Mark made sure to check in on the health and safety of the crowd, and Kai expressed his excitement to finally be starting the second leg of their tour in San Diego. Fans returned that excitement through cheering, and also through their colorful lightsticks. Lightsticks are used to show a fan’s support and love for a group, and each group has their own design. They synced up during the concert, adding an extra level of connection between the audience and the artist.
SuperM aren’t called ‘The Avengers of K-pop’ for nothing.
SuperM is composed of the ‘aces’ from other groups under South Korean company SM Entertainment: EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, SHINee’s Taemin, NCT’s Mark and Taeyong, and NCT/WayV’s Lucas and Ten. These members are ones of their respective groups who have shown remarkable ability in all areas; including dancing, singing, rapping, and stage presence.
Just as superheroes of the Avengers have their standalone movies, each SuperM member had a chance throughout the night to showcase their individual talent.
After opening up with “I Can’t Stand The Rain” from SuperM’s first (and only) mini album, Taemin was the first member to have the stage to himself. He performed his solo songs “Danger” and “Goodbye”. Moving from Taemin’s alluring dance-focused performance was Taeyong with his unreleased rap-oriented song “GTA”, which he later explained stood for “grand trouble artist”.
Throughout the show the members continued to display their personal talents. Ten beautifully performed his songs “Dream In A Dream” and “New Heroes”. His songs were on the slower side of the night’s set and felt like a refreshing moment of introspection, with lyrics telling a story of working hard to achieve your dreams and become something. Ten’s graceful style of dancing made his stages even more captivating.
Lucas’s solo stage “Bass Go Boom” followed by Baekhyun’s “Betcha” and “UN Village” were noteworthy examples of the members’ individuality. As were Mark and Kai’s solos, “Talk About” and “Confession”, respectively, which were more on the hip-hop side. Each solo stage was quite representative of each member and their personal talents, giving the crowd a feel for what everyone is like outside of SuperM and their ‘Avengers’ concept.
Members Ten and Taeyong (who also form one of the NCT units NCT U) came out to wow the crowd with their duet “Baby Don’t Stop”. SuperM also performed “Super Car”, “2 Fast”, “No Manners”, and unreleased songs “Dangerous Woman” and “With You”. The group brought an insane amount of energy that would not leave the stage until long after they did.
SuperM closed out their We Are The Future show with their hit single “Jopping”. Probably the most anticipated song of the night, the group gave it their all and more as they performed, and so did the crowd. SuperM’s show in San Diego was nothing short of outstanding, the crowd’s enthusiasm alone showed that. All the members played off each other very well and seemed natural together, despite not being from the same group originally. It’s amazing how the group and its members never failed to prove that they were indeed an ‘ace’ with each movement.
Written & photos by: Emerson Redding