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[Herald Review] Slowdive captivates Korean fans with hypnotic performance

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : March 10, 2024 - 14:02

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Slowdive performs during the stand-alone concert held at the Myunghwa Live Hall, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Live Nation Korea) Slowdive performs during the stand-alone concert held at the Myunghwa Live Hall, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Live Nation Korea)

British shoegaze star band Slowdive presented absorbing hours to Korean fans with its first stand-alone concert in Seoul, Saturday.

About 2,000 audience members gathered at the Myunghwa Live Hall, in west Seoul, to enjoy Slowdive's sold-out concert. The performance was held in a free, festive mood, with a small snack bar next to the venue entrance which sold beer and simple snacks.

Slowdive, a representative band of the shoegaze genre, was formed by Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell in 1989. The quintet suddenly discontinued its music in 1995, and it took about 20 years for the band to return to the stage. The band resumed making music in 2014, and has once visited South Korea to attend the “Jisan Valley Rock Music & Arts Festival” in 2017.

Parannoul, a one-man band representing Korea's shoegaze scene, took the stage as a special guest opener. The musician and band session appeared on the stage in deep blue light, and kicked off the concert with "We Shine at Night." As a singer who rarely reveals his face, Parannoul continued his performance by playing a keyboard behind the music score stand.

The musician expressed gratitude, saying it was a glorious opportunity to join Slowdive's concert. He left the stage after performing five songs, including newly composed unreleased songs that he made solely for the opening performance.

Slowdive appeared on stage with an impressive green sound wave in the background. The five members, dressed in black, opened the show with "Shanty."

The concert hall was filled with deafening, sharp guitars and drum sounds with ethereal, dreamlike vocals – a hallmark of the shoegaze genre. The members continued on stage without any comments or greetings but waved and smiled to the cheering fans in between.

As the band left after 13 intense performances, including "Catch the Breeze," "Crazy for You," and "When the Sun Hits," fans shouted encores with applause. The band returned to the stage with three encore songs: "Sugar for the Pill," "Dagger," and "Golden Hair."

When singing "Dagger," the audience showed their enjoyment of the emotional melody by waving cell phone flashlights. In the final "Golden Hair" performance, photos of Syd Barrett, the original singer of the song and the iconic guitarist of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd, appeared in the background.

"It's been amazing. Thank you so much for coming," said Goswell before leaving the stage. Audiences cheered, and some shouted, "Come again!" Drummer Simon Scott threw his drumsticks into the audience, presenting them as gifts, and left the stage waving his hands.

Slowdive is currently on a world tour that kicked off after the band released its fifth album, “Everything Is Alive” last year. The band will continue their tour in Asia and Europe.

Parannoul performs during the Slowdive concert as the opening performance guest, at the Myunghwa Live Hall, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Live Nation Korea) Parannoul performs during the Slowdive concert as the opening performance guest, at the Myunghwa Live Hall, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Saturday. (Live Nation Korea)
Rachel Goswell, a vocalist and guitarist of Slowdive. (Live Nation Korea) Rachel Goswell, a vocalist and guitarist of Slowdive. (Live Nation Korea)
Neil Halstead, a vocalist and guitarist of Slowdive. (Live Nation Korea) Neil Halstead, a vocalist and guitarist of Slowdive. (Live Nation Korea)