August 31, 2022
SEOUL – K-pop giant SM Entertainment on Monday closed the curtains to its joint label concert “SMTown Live 2022 : SMCU Express @Tokyo” in a huge success, with the three-day show attracting 150,000 live fans in Tokyo.
Held as part of the K-pop label’s world concert tour, “SMTown Live 2022,” the event took place at Tokyo Dome in the Japanese capital between Saturday-Monday. This marks the return of the K-pop concert series to Tokyo in three years since it was last held in 2019, prior to the outbreak of the global virus pandemic.
SM on Tuesday said through a statement that the three days of sold-out event were attended by nearly 150,000 fans on the scene, with the first show on Saturday joined in remotely by fans around the world watching live from their homes through the video streaming platform Beyond Live.
The star-studded lineup brought together the label’s artists onto one stage, including BoA, Girls’ Generation’s Hyo-yeon (a.k.a Hyo as DJ) and Tayeon, SHINee, Exo, Red Velvet, NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV, aespa and GOT the beat, as well as DJs Raiden and Ginjo and members of the label’s pre-debut training team SM Rookies.
Artists of SM packed the four-hour runtime with an array of special stages, including performances of their biggest hits, such as Super Junior’s “Black Suit,” Red Velvet’s “Feel My Rhythm,” NCT127’s “Sticker,” NCT Dream’s “Beatbox” and aespa’s “Girls.”
The Tokyo gigs also brought together the latest solo releases from SM artists, including Chang-min’s “Devil,” Taeyeon’s “INVU,” Hyoyeon’s “Deep,” Onew’s “Dice,” Minho’s “Heartbreak,” Suho’s “Hurdle” and Chen’s “Beautiful Goodbye,” as well as unreleased songs, such as Kangta’s “Eyes On You” and Key’s “Gasoline.” Key of SHINee is slated to make his comeback with his second solo LP “Gasoline” on Tuesday, while Kangta is set to drop his fourth solo LP “Eyes On You” on Sept. 7.
Taking a step closer to the local fans, the artists showcased Japanese songs, with some opting to perform their own Japanese releases, such as “The Greatest” by BoA and “Shake” by Xiumin. Others wowed the audience with their own renditions of local hit songs, such as Ye-sung’s cover of One Ok Rock’s “C.h.a.o.s.m.y.t.h.” and the joint performance of Ado’s “Ashura-chan” by Chang-min, Kyu-hyun and Minho.
Marking the highlight of the joint event were collaborations between different acts. SM’s project girl group GOT the beat showcased its song “Baby Don’t Stop,” while SM’s rapper unit brought the hip-hop vibe with “Zoo.”
SM’s founder and executive producer Lee Soo-man was also present at the event. While Lee stayed below the stage most of the time, he was invited to the stage on the first day, following the iconic joint finale stage of “Hope,” and celebrated the night with the musicians.
Kicking off in 2008 in Seoul, “SMTown Live” has been held in major cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok and Singapore. Ahead of the Tokyo gig this year, the event took place in Suwon, a city north of Seoul, on Aug. 20, and marked the first in-person joint label gig by SM in five years in South Korea. On Jan. 1, an online edition of the show was live-streamed for free via YouTube and was watched by 51 million viewers around the world — the largest number of audience reached by a single online concert in South Korea.