Performing to a sold-out one-night only show in Malaysia last Saturday was popular South Korean idol group, EXO.
Local EXO-Ls as well as from other countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Korea flocked Bukit Jalil’s Axiata Arena since morning for the K-pop band’s concert, “EXO PLANET #4 The EℓyXiOn in Kuala Lumpur”.
The 10,000-strong crowd brandished their lightsticks once they’d entered the indoor stadium and started chanting the band’s name as they waited for the concert to begin.
EXO did not keep their fans waiting long, at just a little after 5, lights flooded the stage and they opened the show with “The Eve”, followed by songs from their 2017 album (“The War: The Power of Music”), “Forever” and “Ko Ko Bop”.
“Growl” and a dance battle between Xiumin and Baekhyun were performed next. For the latter, the remaining members disappeared off stage to prepare for their next stage.
|EXO performing one of their biggest hits, “Growl”.
Complicated is probably one of the words that could be used for their stage setting that followed Kai’s solo performance (“I See You”). Impressive is another.
While the VCR continued playing on the big screens, showing EXO as they searched for their ‘paradise’ (the name of the concert, EℓyXiOn, is derived from Elysium, which carries the meaning ‘an ideal space habitat of perfect happiness where only the chosen ones are granted entry’), the setup onstage slowly started taking form.
Once the stage was brightly lit again, EXO was now performing in a bar.
From “Call Me Baby” to Suho’s solo “Playboy” performance, the band sang and danced to a total of 10 songs in the beautiful bar setting. The tables, chairs and even countertop were seamlessly incorporated into their choreography, each serving as an extra elevated stage for the band to dance on.
Aside from providing a multi-tier stage, the setting also allowed the members to sit down at the tables or counter and take a breather in some of the performances they were not part of. When EXO-CBX performed “Ka-Ching!”, only Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin took center stage while the others rested behind them. It was also the prefect background for D.O. and Chanyeol’s “For Life” performance, as it looked as though the members were enjoying a relaxing night out at a swanky bar as they listened to Chanyeol play the piano and D.O. smoothly serenade the crowd with the English version of the song.
|There were also movable platforms that acted as lifts. When raised, even the fans
seated at the topmost level could get a clearer view of the group on stage.
After leader Suho performed his seductive solo number atop a table, surrounded by the backup dancers, the stage was cleared for Chanyeol’s solo rap stage, “Nine Hands”, which EXO-Ls would know is a reference to the tight brotherhood shared by the nine members (though only eight were present for the tour as Lay is currently still busy with his activities in China).
EXO returned on stage again, this time donning white suits, to perform four more songs before Chen showcased his power vocals during his solo stage “Heaven” and Sehun danced his way into fans’ heart as he performed “GO”.
The band then turned the volume up for the last five songs, which included non-stop remixes of “Drop That” and “Power”. Chanyeol, being the mood-maker of the group, even got the seated fans to stand up and dance along to them.
The instrumental version of “For Life” played during the encore and encouraged by their fans’ passionate shouts for them, EXO sang two more songs, “Don’t Go” and “Angel”, before calling it a night after about two and a half hours of strong performances.
Expressing their sadness that they could only hold a one-night show, the band promised to return for a better concert in future. Lead dancer Kai, who could be seen rubbing his right knee throughout the concert, also took a moment to apologise for not being in his best condition and said that he would give a more powerful performance the next time they visit Malaysia again.
|EXO-Ls waving their lightsticks as the show ended.