SuperM headlines Madison Square Garden in visionary first tour


Dispatch | Wikimedia CommonsSuperM’s debut EP, SuperM- The 1st Mini Album, released on Oct. 4, reached No.1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Addie Joseph

On Aug. 7, Capital Music Group announced that it partnered with South Korean entertainment company, SM Entertainment, to debut SuperM, a new and innovative K-pop group consisting of renowned SM artists. Dubbing SuperM “the Avengers of K-pop,” the two companies declared that the group would revolutionize the way the world would perceive K-pop.

SuperM released its debut single, “Jopping” — a gimmick combining the words “jumping” and “popping” —  and EP, SuperM-The 1st Mini Album on Oct. 4. 

The group hosted its debut showcase performance in Los Angeles, rather than in Seoul, Korea. Scarcely one month after, SuperM became the first K-pop act to headline Madison Square Garden, as part of its “We Are The Future Live” tour.

The group’s steep ascent to so prestigious a venue can only be explained as an act of extraordinary heroism, as is fitting for the supposed K-pop Avengers. Historically, performing at MSG is marked as a milestone in an artist’s career. 

Nearly a decade ago, Justin Bieber centered his autobiographical documentary, Never Say Never, around reaching the stage.

More recently, Harry Styles chose to tour smaller concert halls first before graduating to take on those like MSG, despite how highly-anticipated his solo debut was amongst music enthusiasts and his large fan base. 

Undoubtedly, MSG is a venue that most, if not all, performing artists hold in high esteems.

While SuperM didn’t fully sellout the venue, they did sell most seats. Fans excitedly filled the arena, adorning SuperM official and fan-made merchandise, but also bringing in those of the respective members and groups that make up the super act. 

Through signage, light sticks and apparel, fans displayed their support for Taemin of Shinee, Kai and Baekhyun of Exo, Mark and Taeyong of NCT and Ten and Lucas of NCT’s Chinese unit, WayV, who altogether form SuperM.

The concert opened with “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” a high-energy song featuring all seven members, and then delved into solo performances before the group could properly introduce itself to the audience. 

Taemin performed hits “Danger” and “Goodbye” and Taeyong followed with “GTA,” an unreleased, punchy rap song. 

It was only after the rest of the members returned to perform “Super Car” did they take a moment to speak and more officially welcome fans to the show.

Altogether, the setlist included 18 songs, which featured group, subunit and individual performances to pay homage to every facet that makes up the super group. 

SuperM maintained a fun and upbeat tone from start to finish and in between songs, members joked around with one another and sang and danced to each other’s solo stages.

 It quickly became clear that even though SuperM itself is young, the members in it all get along well and display a high level of comfort around one another.

That said, while each member of SuperM is vastly talented and charming, not all members have yet had the chance to fully prove themselves as Avengers. 

At the time of this publication, Lucas’ one solo performance song still doesn’t have a confirmed title, while the two songs Taemin’s performed were released years ago and have since received widespread praise from K-pop enthusiasts, which is a huge disparity in itself. 

Other members of SuperM, including Mark and Taeyong, also performed unreleased songs and some of the group performances, such as “Dangerous Woman” and “With You” haven’t yet graced streaming platforms.

What becomes evident instead, perhaps unintentionally, is that the entities that make up SuperM are the Avengers themselves. 

Most fans who attended seemed to have an inclination to either Shinee, Exo or NCT and hadn’t yet gotten the chance to acquaint themselves with SuperM as an unified group. 

This was especially evident in the shift in energy of the audience when Ten and Taeyong took to the stage to perform NCT U’s explosive and dance-driven tune, “Baby Don’t Stop.”

Furthermore, the experience of attending the “We Are The Future Live” tour has also bolstered the strengths of the actual Marvel universe’s writing and plot development.

When the heroes join forces in The Avengers, they do so cohesively enough that fans and casual viewers alike are able to watch them without focusing heavily on their separate origin stories. 

It’s not certain that SuperM has accomplished this yet.

Though the concert itself was enjoyable, it’s a shame that Capitol Music Group and SM Entertainment thrusted it onto fans so soon after SuperM’s debut.

It would have perhaps been smarter if they followed the precedents set by previous artists, including those of their genre and even those signed to those same companies and garnered experience performing as a group in less pronoun venues and events before they sought to tackle such ambitious feats.