NCT 127 had the incredible chance to reconnect with fans in person for the first time in three years with their three-day solo concert “Neo City: Seoul – The Link” at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul from December 17 to 19. The Sunday concert (December 19) was also live-streamed worldwide through the VLive channel Beyond LIVE and CGV cinemas throughout Korea, making this day even more special for NCT 127 and NCTZens.
After making an awe-inspiring entrance on the stage, NCT 127 opened the 3 hours 14 minutes and 27 seconds final concert with “Kick It”, the lead single from their 2020 second studio album Neo Zone. “Kick It”, the title track from Neo Zone, was one of the songs that defined K-Pop in 2020, while Neo Zone gave NCT 127 their first “million seller” title.
Next up was “Lemonade”, a B-side from their third and most recent studio album Sticker, and “Earthquake”, from NCT’s third studio album Universe. This was the first time – well, third time – NCT 127 had performed the track. With this opening, NCT 127 set the energy levels very high and they were able to keep it flowing on stage, off stage, and through the screens, as Mark wished during the opening talk.
As the audience could not cheer or sing along to the group due to COVID-19 restrictions, NCT 127 often hyped fans with talks and comments inviting them to express their enthusiasm with claps – instead of the old “make some noise”.
NCT 127 and fans together go above the clouds with “Elevator (127)”, “Dreamer”, and “Love Song (우산)”. The mood is delightful, as the members perfectly perform the choreographies and playfully engage with each other while oozing energy that surely was felt even via a screen.
This miracle-like concert, as Yuta has defined them during the opening talk, was made even more special as each member had the chance to showcase their unique charms and talents through solo and unit stages, unveiling some unreleased songs that have sent fans into a frenzy on social media.
Taeil opened the solo performances with the smooth R&B “Another World” blending into Haechan’s “Love Sign”. Johnny, Taeyong, Yuta, and Jaehyun performed ”Run Back 2 U” from their first studio album Regular-Irregular and their 2015 pre-debut single “Bassbot”. As a group, NCT 127 performed “Music, Dance”, “Highway To Heaven”, and “Breakfast”.
Mark took the stage with “Vibration” – his rap sharp yet clear – having a great impact and delivering an intense and powerful performance. He mentioned wanting to perform a classy rap song that was intense at the same time. Taeyong made his stage entrance on a crescent moon for “Moonlight”, a fun, funky rock song. Mark and Taeyong performed “The Himalayas”, a hip-hop song full of energy.
Jungwoo, the member with a cute and refreshing image, took everyone’s breath away with his “Lipstick” dance performance; during the talk break, he said, “I wanted to go against such expectations [cute and refreshing image] and give a surprise. If you look at the concert setlist, you’ll see that the overall atmosphere shifts from day to night following my performance”.
“Focus” on the group and Johnny’s dance solo might be “The reason why I’m up all night, u-up all night, ayy”; for the entire song, Johnny is in a transparent shower room where we can catch him taking off his shirt to change it with a silky purple robe to then give us a one-minute (robe-less) dance performance, sensually and sinuously shifting between bars.
“Lost” is Jaehyun’s emotional solo and an English-language song. As per Jaehyun’s words, “Lost” is a self-composed song, and he wanted to convey the emotions of feeling empty and lost, with lyrics gravitating around the theme of (lost) love, “The days are emptier without you / It’s just me on my side / But when my arms are around you / There’s nothing else to crave”. He added, “I’d feel proud if people had empathized with such feeling and were consoled from it”.
Taeil, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Jungwoo, and Haechan performed “The Rainy Night” and “White Night”. Doyoung, enamored by “Favorite”, wanted to also pay homage to the song by linking his solo stage to it, so he decided to work with KENZIE (S.M.’s songwriter) on “The Reason Why It’s Favorite”. The solo stages ended with a stunning dance performance by Yuta on “Butterfly”.
At the time of writing, the unreleased tracks by Jaehyun, Taeil, and Haechan are ranking on Genius Korea’s R&B chart – Jaehyun’s “Lost (I Want You To Stay)” at No.1 and “Love Sign” by Taeil and Haechan at No.5.
#GeniusCharts | Unreleased tracks by NCT members chart on Genius Korea’s K-R&B chart! “Lost (I Want You To Stay)” by Jaehyun hits #1 and “Love Sign” by Taeil & Haechan enters at #5! Read the lyrics on Genius now!#NEOCITY_THE_LINKhttps://t.co/vSK30Mt7n4https://t.co/Bgdd3Z59fu pic.twitter.com/KihPH9zx28
— Genius Korea (@Genius_kor) December 23, 2021
The group performed “Favorite (Vampire)” – from the Favorite repackage album, “Simon Says” and the dancefloor banger “Love On The Floor”, with the members performing choreography on a makeshift floor, followed by the powerful “Bring The Noize”.
NCT 127 took a stage break while a VCR addressing NCTzens started playing with emotional letters from the members to their loyal fans. This has been their first concert since January 2019, everyone worked hard to make this happen, and they are thankful for their fans and will keep working hard.
The group is back on stage with “Paradise” and the stadium banger from “Kick It”, “Love Me Now” – NCT 127 and fans engaged in a touching moment by performing the song’s cheering guide/fan chant – ”Touch” and “Pilot”.
After over two-and-a-half hours where there was never a dull moment, it’s time to see the biggest hits performed on stage, and we are talking of course about “Cherry Bomb” and “Sticker”. During the encore, NCT 127 wrapped three incredibly successful days with “Dreams Come True” and “Promise You” – with the promise to see them again and looking forward to their activities in 2022.
In between songs, each member took the time to say goodbye to their fans, not failing to make everyone very emotional with their heartfelt words; no matter where in the world, NCTzens and NCT 127 will cherish these concerts for a very long time.
At Jaehyun’s question, “How was it?” at the end of the show, we can only answer with the loudest CLAP! 박수!