Shinhwa, the longest-running boy band in South Korea, on Sunday returned to the stage with a show at the Olympic Gymnastics Hall, where they held their first-ever concert in 2001.
Entitled “Here,” the show celebrated their 16 years as a band with the fans who have stood by them through the ups and downs.
In the dimly lit concert hall, thousands of orange glowsticks welcomed five of the six members of Shinhwa ― Eric, Hye-sung, Min-woo, Dong-wan and Jun-jin. Andy did not show up, in accordance with his promise to refrain from performing or appearing in public as part of his self-reflection after he was fined for illegal sports gambling in November last year.
|Shinhwa performs at Olympic Gymnastics Hall on Sunday. (Ha Ji-won/The Korea Herald)|
The Shinhwa members greeted their fans by belting out impassioned versions of “Scarface,” “Venus” and “Brand New,” heating up the atmosphere with florid dance moves. Between songs, the five singers radiated charm with witty interviews about their recent activities. Their talk was sometimes humorous and other times a serious confession.
They then dedicated a trio of songs, “Desire,” “Isn’t It Beautiful” and “Time Machine,” to those fans who have grown with them. They also got closer to the fans, pacing on the stage swiftly and playfully while reaching out to as many fans as possible.
The hottest part of the concert, which made the crowd scream wildly, was marked by “Move With Me” and “U,” two songs that showcase Shinhwa’s maturity and sexiness. “Mannequin,” one of the tracks on their 11th album, was performed for the first time, sparking a fervent response from the audience.
After performing the last encore song, “YO!” the five members gathered on stage and announced, “Today is Shinhwa’s 16th birthday and a birthday needs a present. We prepared a surprise for you, so close your eyes please.” Only then did Andy come out on stage in a black suit and a grim look. He apologized for his actions and thanked the fans for standing by his side. Some emotional fans shed tears seeing the complete lineup of Shinhwa. They chanted “We are Shinhwa” over and over.
Shinhwa have constantly reminded their fans that they will come back as a complete group with a new album in the fall in a show of solidarity. Their management company, Shinhwa Co., said the group will go on a world tour at the end of the year after releasing the new album in October.
By Ha Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)