SMTOWN Live World Tour III: 2012 Anaheim
Venue: Honda Center
The night’s MCs, SNSD’s Tiffany, Taeyeon and Super Junior’s Leeteuk opened up the concert.
Shinee were the first performers. They opened up the show with Lucifer, and incorporated a hilarious dance break into it. That was followed by Amigo, with tons of weird screaming and horrible head banging, and then Juliette with more dancing and a horrifying screech from Jonghyun.
Super Junior was up next. They started off great with Superman as an intro, that lead to a remix of Don’t Don, with more horrible head-banging.
TVXQ came out next. The duo sang Mirotic, and it was an alright performance.
Super Junior came out again with a remix of Bonamana (much to our dismay; we’re not too fond of remixes). There was lots of fanservice here – Super Junior ran around, rocking out, and shouted cute thank yous at the end.
F(x) was up next with Hot Summer. Unfortunately, we really couldn’t care less because at that exact moment, we were too busy staring at Super Junior backstage taking off their clothes. F(x) followed up with their introduction, not that it mattered to us anyways since we could only hear about 5% of it over all the incessant screaming. Nu ABO followed. It is here we noticed that a) Amber has way too many fans and b) Luna is an impressive vocalist.
SNSD came up next, and paving the way was songstress Taeyeon singing her famous Devil’s Cry as an intro to SNSD’s performance of Run Devil Run. That performance was great, we’re sure, though we can’t judge it for ourselves since we, once again, heard about 5% of it. SNSD did their introduction afterwards (Sunny has an adorable laugh), and gave a shout out to Yoona and Yuri in Korea. They then performed that-one-Genie-remix-with-Tiffany’s-awful-yet-cute-attempt-to-rap, and afterwards, Kissing You.
Shinee made another appearance with SHINee World, rallying up the poor audiences. Once again though, we failed to care in the slightest bit, because SNSD was having some sort of issue backstage (in which Taeyeon looked adorable worrying around, staff members were flighting everywhere, and our guess is that an SNSD member took a tumble down the stage). Shinee then proceeded to introduce themselves, Key spoke engrish, and we first took notice of SM’s creepy lady voice translator. Shinee finally left stage after singing Love Like Oxygen.
Super Junior’s Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, Donghae and Shindong then came out together with F(x) (minus our bestie, Luna) to perform Oops. After the performance, we were treated to more adorable thank yous by Super Junior.
MCs Tiffany and Taeyeon were joined by Leeteuk for a brief and unnecessary talk, seeing as no one probably heard half of them anyways.
Our best friend and Onew continued the show with an adorable performance of Can I have this Dance?. Onew is too adorable.
Jessica and Krystal maintained the show with California Girls. We’d like to take a moment to compliment both Jessica’s fabulous outfit and her impressive high note.
Changmin and Kyuhyun were up next singing Just the Way You Are. It was during this we noticed Kyu’s been gaining weight (as evidenced by his thick thighs). Overall though, it was cute performance, and the fan that received a hug from the both was lucky.
Oppa Oppa by Eunhae followed. As expected (for Super Junior does not fail), the performance was incredibly ridiculous. The choreography was adorable though, and did good at incorporating plenty of fanservice involving the two.
Following all the duets, Exo made the stage with History and then MAMA, the two performances separated by introductions. Without a doubt, EXO was definitely the best performance – the choreography was absolutely spot on, and the boys were fantastic.
SNSD’s TTS appeared next with their performance of Twinkle. A very sparkly performance indeed- sparkly outfits, a sparkly stage, and sparkly vocals.
After that triplet followed another- Amber, Kris and Key, performing Like a G6. Kris, we’re very sorry, but you’re dancing made us suffer second hand embarrassment. A very cute (but still awkward) attempt though!
Super Junior came up again, this time with Sorry, Sorry. Yesung had a little mishap on stage too- tying his shoes in the middle of the performance. They followed up with their introductions (and we couldn’t help but notice that Super Junior definitely had the most screaming), and A-Cha.
TVXQ made a re-appearance with Maximum (very interesting dancing), introductions and our favorite performance of the night, Keep Your Head Down. Seriously, Changmin was amazing.
BoA hit the stage afterwards in an extremely boring series of events that went in this order: Look Who’s Talking, Energetic, introduction (that was way too long by the way), I Did it for Love (Where we kind of snapped out of our snoozing after noticing adorable moments between the SNSD girls backstage), One Dream (featuring awkwarddancer!Kris and Key) and Hurricane Venus. 5 songs straight for BoA is just a little much, SM.
SNSD (which we pretty much guessed), came up next with Way to Go! and then Gee. We noticed lots of audience participation/fanchanting in Gee though (probably the most of the night).
Super Junior followed with Dancing Out.
And then Shinee with a Ring Ding Dong remix straight from Lucifer himself.
F(x) performed Danger featuring, by far, the worst outfits of the night.
And then Shinee again, this time with Sherlock.
SNSD performed The Boys.
And Super Junior sang Mr. Simple and performed a lazy dance break.
TVXQ with Rising Sun was next, and Changmin- you sir, are phenomenal.
MCs Taeyeon, Leeteuk and Tiffany reappeared to say goodbye (at which point we realized we were heavily ripped off- no Tiffany, this was not a four hour long concert as you so claim), and all of SM Town came out one last time to perform Hope, where which we reiterate: Changmin is a monster. Most of the artists proceeded to say their goodbyes to fans, all except ChangKyu, whom apparently could not wait for the concert to finish, as those two fled the stage the second the song was over (only to hilariously be pushed back by stage people for the final bow). As the artists left the stage,
we befriended Luna Luna waved at us (hey, one wave is better than nothing), and then we realized Super Junior were being camera whores and continued their fanservice on stage.
Though we could classify our experience as mostly enjoyable, there were catastrophic flaws with the concert that caused us much heartache and distress.
SM Entertainment is truly a powerhouse of EPICNESS. The concert was quite spectacular, but we felt that our seats in particular were monstrously overpriced, and we were, unfortunately, screwed over to the point that we were not even five feet from the $50 seats when we paid $150.
The performances were good, and each group managed great power on stage. Though we were appalled by the horrid turn for the worst when many classic songs were butchered by so called “remixes” (that, at least for Super Junior and Shinee, especially consisted of adding “rock”, screamo and head banging), the overall setlist was expected. On the “rock” note though: We wanted to be dazzled and charmed to death, not have our ears bleed from a screeching guitar, and a screeching Jonghyun trying to overpower the ungodly
music Devil conjuring sound.
The concert was cut quite short, in fact by an hour. If it had ended half an hour shorter than promised, we would have totally understood, what with the absence of Trax and Kangta. But at the end, Tiffany’s “thank you for joining us for the past 4 hours”, had us confused and angry. The concert was closer to 3 hours flat. This fact combined with our awful seats made us feel pretty betrayed and extremely ripped off.
Coming as somewhat of a surprise, EXO gave the most impressive performance. We did expect magic from them, but we also expected them to be obliterated by the senior groups. To our disappointment though, most of the senior groups either had sloppy choreography, or where so distant while performing, it felt no different than watching a video. We were pretty disappointed to find that EXO only had 2 songs. They were definitely the climax of the whole concert. The switching between the Korean and Chinese versions was brilliant live, and the dancing was tight and perfection (and we say this as fact- our seats allowed us to see exactly how spot on the choreography was).
Though Super Junior, who we had the highest expectations of, performed rather lusterless, we will admit they were the only group that made a connection with the audience. Super Junior are definitely the kings of fanservice- they created a friendly and warm environment and were the only group (besides SNSD) that ran around, engaging with fans. They also had the best fan reactions. Taking the overall color of the venue, Sones pretty much dominated (though this is probably due to the fact that their fanclub was handing out pink glowsticks prior to entering the place), but Super Junior definitely inspired the largest stir among fans. The audience literally exploded for them.
Sones actually remained remotely tame in comparison. However, SNSD’s performances of “The Boys” and “Gee” had the loudest fan-chants. They were uniform and loud, much to our astonishment.
Though there were a number of cross group duets to choose from, TVXQ’s Changmin and Super Junior’s Kyuhyun duet of “Just the Way You Are” was our favorite. On top of their outstanding vocals, their performance seemed sweet and sincere. The bringing-up-a-fan-on-stage act was adorable, but we couldn’t help but notice both men seemed to look straight through her and seemed more like they were singing the song to each other. Their friendship and love for each other was evident in their obvious chemistry. By the way, the hug must have been horrifying for the girl, as both men were over a head taller than her.
This concert’s MVP undoubtedly was TVXQ’s Changmin. Both the speakers were faced away from us, while the screaming and fan noise was completely directed towards us. Creating unreal noise pollution, we didn’t hear 80% of the artists singing. We could hear enough to know what was happening, but the only voice that we could clearly hear was Changmin’s. Those big screeches and belting notes were breath taking. The two of us were completely astonished by how fantastic he was, and this concert has totally upped our respect for him by so much. “Keep Your Head Down” is something that we highly looked forward to hearing and Changmin did not disappoint. None of the other vocalists compared in volume or quality, from our perspective.
We could almost say that everything was bad. From our seats, we saw nothing that was intended for the audience- the screens were perpendicular to us, and we saw maybe 1% of the video intermissions. The only thing that actually made our seats worthwhile was the fact that we could clearly see backstage at all parts of the concert. Though we were rather close to the stage, it was only so much so that we could enjoy close side views of the stars, but nothing front and center. We eventually gave up trying to watch the majority of the concert, and just watched the behind-the-scenes.
Then there was also the sound issue. We’ve already explained that no speaker was facing us, while all the screaming was. This noise pollution effectively ate any of the singing that we sadly overpayed to hear. As noted above, we love Changmin.
In addition to the short concert, people were missing from different groups: Super Junior’s Siwon and SNSD’s Yoona and Yuri were absent.
The most heartbreaking thing for us though, was the absence of ballads. Between all of the SM Groups, not one song was slow or emotional. The constant high became boring and nobody could really shine best in terms of vocals. We hoped to see at least one performance that was simple, where the whole audience would go quiet from awe and respect, but this never happened.