The 2015 Gangnam K-Pop Festival just held its free, annual concert, overflowing Seoul's COEX Park to capacity with fans packed inside and cramming to get a view from the outskirts. From Super Junior-D&E's final performance for the foreseeable future to some cute stage mishaps from EXO, check out the best moments.
Headliners and final act of the night, EXO may have been down a member with Lay missing in action, but the guys didn't miss a beat as they moved through addictive singles like "Call Me Baby" and "Love Me Right" along with fan-favorite album cuts like "Exodus." Spectators clearly weren't too upset either as the fan pit blasted toward the stage to get closer to the boys the minute the opening notes of "Growl" started.
A violin is probably one of the last instruments you'd expect to see at a K-pop concert (it's pretty rare to see any live bands at these kinds of shows, in fact), but the young star opened his set with a rocking solo. Henry started with a dramatic, classic-leaning performance with his instrument before hard-hitting beats came in to accompany a cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." The dude even started moonwalking midway through the cover.
You've never seen violin played like that before and, perhaps, the violin hadn't either. One of the strings broke off towards the end of the set, dangling as the 25-year-old did his best to maneuver through the last notes.
EXO member Baekhyun was doing his best to give the crowd an extra pump-up...until the music started a tiny bit earlier than he wanted. The singer started a call-and-response chant with the crowd, but before it got too underway, the music to the next tune started. The 23-year-old started cracking up, making him unprepared for the fireworks that went off shortly after the song's start; he looked clearly freaked out in the midst of his laughing fit.
And yet, he didn't miss his lines. Impressive.
Adorable girl group Red Velvet knocked out hits like "Ice Cream Cake" and "Dumb Dumb," but probably their most remarkable moment came during a chat with the night's MC, Leetuk. The girls did an impression of what a running ostrich looks like for fans, cracking up not only themselves but concertgoers too. Why whip out the bizarre animal impression? Not totally clear, but the girls (and Leetuk!) certainly rocked it.
Zhoumi is one of the newest K-pop acts to go solo after spending seven years as a member of Super Junior-M (an offshoot unit of Super Junior which focuses on China), but he sufficiently filled out his duties as the fest's opening act. Particularly when brought out his labelmate D.O, of EXO, who laid down his verse for the rendition of Zhou Mi's single "Rewind."
It was a bittersweet moment for fans who came out to see Super Junior-D&E, a.k.a. the splinter duo of veteran K-pop boy band Super Junior. Made up of members Donghae and Eunhyuk, both singers had announced they were planning to enlist in South Korea's mandatory two-year military service in October and the Gangnam K-Pop Festival would be their last performance together for the foreseeable future. Regardless of what they may have been feeling, their showcase was slick and fun as the guys seamlessly moved through their singles like "Growing Pains" and "Oppa, Oppa," but also got goofy with their semi-viral silly hit "Can You Feel It."
With loads of energy given from the guys and the audience, it certainly felt like a proper sendoff for the duo as they spent a ton of time walking up and down the catwalk waving to supporters.
Since he wasn't on singing duties that night, Leetuk shined as the night's official MC. A member of beloved boy band Super Junior, the star had a ton of fun stage banter while talking to the artists in between their sets, paying special attention to each individual. He took a moment to let Henry get some water after his intense violin performance, participated in Red Velvet's "ostrich dance" and had an especially long chat with Super Junior-D&E to give fans a little more time during the guys' last performance.
A free music fest might not seem like it'd be the place for huge stage setups, but the 2015 Gangnam K-Pop Festival was just as visually incredible as its stars were entertaining. It's an indication of the high value South Korea places on performance technology; just look at all the colors popping during this Red Velvet performance—never mind the pyrotechnics and fireworks that went off multiple times during every act's performance.