Just when the music world didn’t think TVXQ! — one of the most celebrated and accomplished K-pop artists of all time — can possibly do or achieve any more than they already have, the boy band broke their own record.
Closing out their latest Begin Again tour with three sold-out dates at Nissan Stadium, with its seating capacity of 75,000, the Yokohama, Japan concerts were added as the grand finale shows to the initial, 17-date trek that ran from November 2017 to January 2018. The multiple day spectacle (from June 8-11) led them to become the first international artist in Japan to bring one million people to a single tour in the country, as well as the only K-pop act to have played three consecutive days at the massive stadium. This smashed their previous record set during its 2013 Time tour, which saw a total attendance of 840,000 people, of having the most-attended and highest-grossing K-pop concert in Japan.
Since their rise in the early ’00s, TVXQ! have been breaking records in K-pop for nearly 15 years and aren’t showing signs of slowing down with the group’s determination on full display at the shows. In the presence of thousands of diehard fans who came from all across Asia despite the rainy forecast, TVXQ! reminded everyone why they are considered the best live performers of K-pop and have kept such loyal fans across the world. From the flawless opening notes of 2017 single “Reboot,” all the way to the encore track “Somebody To Love,” the 24-song set lasted for nearly for four soaking hours but kept the audience rapt in attention.
The retrospective of their near-15-year career included highlights like Yunho’s intoxicating performance of his solo single “Drop,” Changmin’s pitch-perfect rendition of X Japan’s famous rock ballad “Forever Love,” with the standout moment coming via the duo performing a string of the band’s breakout hits, including “Purple Line” “Rising Sun,” and “Begin- Again Version,” which made it hard to believe TVXQ! was once a five-member group.
Over the sea of red, T-shaped glow sticks, what the duo managed to pull off during the three-day event was not just impressive — it was a power play to further show K-pop as a cultural tour-de-force. Yet still, this particularly imperial moment likely will not be able to be topped by any K-pop artist for a long time coming to confirm TVXQ’s truly legendary status.
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