brief thoughts on EXO’luxion in Newark, NJ

Surprise! Michelle isn’t dead as a kpop fan. To the contrary, she spent $80 on a ticket to see EXO on February 21, 2016 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Worth it? Yes. Bone-tired? Yes. Going to make a random bulleted list because I can’t be bothered to write a coherent article? Yes.

(May be updated as I think of more things. Feel free to ask questions.)


  1. Michelle-Patricia shippers alert: I did go with Patricia. I feel sorry for the teenagers around us having to listen to our sarcastic sniping and a lot of my ironic laughter.
  2. Never have I felt so strongly that Chen is my husbando.
  3. The songs were all sung in Korean, which was irritating, because especially in their earlier songs, Baekhyun gets all the (high) parts that Chen would normally sing in Chinese. So while Chen did feature quite prominently in the concert, would frequently be at the front of the dance formations, he actually didn’t sing as much as I’m accustomed to hearing.
  4. The production quality of the video interludes was pretty fantastic. There was this one interlude that showed them dancing to dubstep which accented their “abstract” dance moves with geometric shapes. As someone who loves that sort of geometric nonsense, it was quite cool.
  5. Chanyeol talks a lot and tends to go on (and on). He was also obsessed with throwing the confetti around and you could tell some of the members weren’t having it. Suho and Chanyeol seem to know the most English (they spoke the most in English), but it wasn’t really much beyond the standard “What’s up New York?” We’re in New Jersey. “Are you ready?” Rabid fangirl screams all around. There was a translator, and from what Patricia told me, was not that good, more like a random person on the SM team who spoke English the best.
  6. Chen had this really terrible compliment at the end, “You are all beautiful like skyscrapers.” Yeah, totally my husbando- someone who mangles praise but smiles and then you know the world is somewhat not evil.
  7. Upon reflection, I realize that the EXO show isn’t actually that fancy. There’s the lights, standard confetti, some props (piano, a stage on top of the stage, a few chairs, “changing room”), but it’s quite minimal of a production. It’s more about the band members, really, rather the whole set taken together.
  8. It was really hard to hear the singing- even when they were lip-synching, the voices were hard to make out. It quieted down some during the last few ballads but the crowd was extremely noisy.
  9. Girls screaming at the crotch grabs during Call Me Baby. #always
  10. FYI. EXO’lution doesn’t allow backpacks- even small ones. I think it’s safe to assume this for all SM concerts in the future.
  11. Chen had the best high note. Not that he’s my bias, or anything.
  12. Kai is ridiculous at dancing. Even from so far up, you could still tell how sharp his movements were. Sorry, Sehun. There’s a reason why you’re in the back. It was actually sort of funny to see the comparatively more sloppy choreography for things like Playboy which they don’t do as often as contrasted with things like Growl which they know so well.
  13. I would actually pay good money to hear EXO in a smaller, more intimate space. DO and Chen are some of my favorite singers in the kpop industry right now, and it’s a shame to hear fans screaming over their lines (I love Chen too, all right? But think of him seriously as a singer first).
  14. One of the video interludes ambiguously/tangentially mentioned the leaving of the three EXO members. Surprisingly, despite my salty self, I found it touching and was ready to wave money at EXO’s souvenir stands. The video said cheesy things like, “We are grateful to receive your love- we won’t rest until we’ve returned all your love to you.” Then the end of the concert dragged on for another 45 minutes, and I wasn’t ready to wave my money away so much after that.

3 thoughts on “brief thoughts on EXO’luxion in Newark, NJ

  1. (Sorry if this posts twice. It didn’t seem like it showed up the first time and I didn’t save my text. OTL)

    Yes, same after attending LA’s show. Too much Baekhyun. The number of trio songs performed was more than I expected, but Chen only got to feature in one. Then again, Suho is my other bias, so they kind of swapped out for me, and I was glad because Suho doesn’t get anywhere near enough recognition, but still! And yes, I had considered how Lay not being there might affect the song listing, not to mention that it’s not like they might feel the need to cater to a Mandarin-speaking audience. But Sehun rapping Kris’s line during The Star. XD

    Chen’s compliment, though! LOL. At least Xiumin was all, “you are my lovely angels” in reference to Los Angeles.

    Very, very true about the minimal stage production. That is exactly one of the main differences I felt between going to SWC3 and ExoLu’Xion. Plus, for me, it was difficult to focus because so many things were happening all at once and with so many members, not to mention that their stage costumes are either the same or similar. With SHINee you could tell exactly who was who. Also, I felt like the member time was not enough that was not singing and dancing. Or maybe it’s perhaps because them speaking English was not as entertaining as SHINee attempting to speak Mandarin.

    I couldn’t hear the singing, either… Chen does have the best high note. He is my bias too, but he really does. And I don’t know about over there, but Chanyeol, Baekhyun, and D.O were easily the most popular members. And yes, yes, yes for Kai. The Baby Don’t Cry dance break, like oh my god. Pretty as fuck.

    I was salty that they didn’t sing Promise.

    **By the way, if you didn’t see or hear, I cosplayed as Suho lol**

  2. Yay! Pachelle (or whatever ship name is called) lives! (Did she change her website/blog?)
    Actually, although Exo/SM concerts may seem minimalist, Infinite’s 2013 int’l concert was the lackluster kind of minimalist (there was no pizazz or props or backgrounds… at all). Same with many Cantonpop/old-school Chinese concerts. (I’d pay to see a Dongwoo solo concert though.)
    And now I want to see what Chanyeol, Dongwoo, and Chen would act like together xD And what Dongwoo and Kai would dance like together.

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