Since concerts have been cancelled for the near future due to the coronavirus pandemic, artists are leaning into technology to entertain their fans and stay connected. Among them: K-pop groups like SuperM, who livestreamed a concert at 11 p.m. PST on April 25 via new concert streaming service ‘Beyond LIVE,’ in partnership with SM Entertainment, which was hosted on the V LIVE app. V LIVE is a popular app owned by Naver Corporation — think: the Google of South Korea — and is used by hundreds of K-pop stars, from BTS to Twice, allowing them to go live at any time and interact with an audience.
The show was beamed live from Seoul in HD (and will be available on demand at a later date) and experienced a few lags, but mostly SuperM delivered, as these five moments showed.
— Taeyong NCT ☆ SuperM (@taeyong1st) April 26, 2020
SuperM embraced the digital experience, allowing for features that cannot be experienced in person. Among them: virtual AR graphics that accompanied the performances. During one part of the show, tigers pounced around the stage while the group performed an unreleased track titled “Tiger Inside” surrounding to fun, pop-art-like graphics accompanying Lucas as he performed “Bass Go Boom.”
With the ‘Beyond LIVE’ technology, SuperM was able to communicate one-on-one with fans by answering some questions. Taemin expressed how much he missed being on stage and how hard they all worked to prepare for the event. There were some technical difficulties with the fan questions and internet connectivity, but all in all, it was sweet to see the members interact directly with fans from various backgrounds. Three members from girl group Red Velvet, who are labelmates with SuperM, even dialed in.
To engage with fans watching from different time zones, SuperM displayed hundreds of followers’ and and Red Velvet challenged them to form a heart collectively on the screen, with the reward being sneak peeks at unreleased tracks. The concept was easier said than done due to lags, but SuperM asked their fans to make individual hearts and generously rewarded them anyway.
As a reward for the interactive challenge, SuperM performed a medley of three unreleased tracks for the first time — “100,” “Drip” and “Line ‘Em Up.” It wasn’t the first time they played unreleased songs, but fan clips of unreleased tracks from their past shows don’t hold up to the audio and video quality of the live stream.
Love Beyond LIVE
A local concert can feel like a singular, individual experience, but Beyond LIVE allowed fans from some 109 countries to join and take in the show from the comfort of their own homes. With that, SuperM made sure to be as inclusive as possible. Each member introduced himself in a different language — English, Korean, and Chinese, Spanish and Indonesian among them — and towards the end of the show, Kai said “I love you” to his fans in several languages as well.
Tickets for the show ranged from $26 to $30 USD depending on the user’s device and proceeds were used to pay for the production crew and technical teams. SuperM’s show was the first to kick off a concert series for ‘Beyond LIVE’ and will be followed by other SM Entertainment groups WayV, NCT DREAM and NCT 127.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the number of countries reached.