In the last 12 months, VIXX has slowly risen as a K-pop boy band truly hitting their stride. Like B.A.P, Teen Top and B1A4, VIXX is looking to get a piece of American’s burgeoning market for Korean acts, as the group’s Nov. 23 stop at New York’s Terminal 5 marked its fifth stateside show since last November. And while fans (affectionately called Starlights) were eager to show love for the sextet, it was clear the feelings were mutual as the group made an excited New York City debut.
VIXX kicked off the set with 2013 singles “Voodoo Doll” and “Hyde” wearing multi-colored suits while dancing and crawling in intricate formations. A somewhat-sinister mood was set not only from the darker subjects of the singles, but also from the background LED screens displayed fiery dungeons, bats and voodoo dolls.
After the second song, the band took a break to introduce themselves — but not before needing to “shh” the audience so they could talk. “We’re excited to see the fans so excited,” member Ravi told the animated crowd via a translator. “Are we good looking?” he teased, to a big audience cheer. “Sexy? Cute?”
The dark imagery (haunted houses, skulls, graveyards) continued as the boys moved into album cuts, but one of the most remarkable points of the night came during “Only U” when dozens of fans all raised copies of the same paper banner with a message thanking VIXX for all they’ve done.
The large fan support continued even as the band became visibly perturbed with sound issues. And even though vocalist Leo ripped out his earpiece during a performance of ballad “Someday,” his voice remained strong throughout the show as he would sometimes then hold his ear throughout vocally challenging tracks.
After the “Someday” performance, VIXX answered questions fans submitted on Post-it notes when they walked into the venue — a fun, engaging idea from the production company. Leader N was a good sport about reading the questions in English and each member found a way to let their personalities through while answering questions about their favorite American songs, their ideal type of girlfriend and more.
At 16 songs, the setlist was tight with the darker performances balanced out by adorable sections for fan interaction. “I think Starlights have the best strength,” member Hongbin told the crowd. “Because of you, we didn’t tire.” While the sound quality deteriorated to an almost-grating degree by the last song, VIXX really pushed their way through tiredness and technical issues to put on a show that seemed like an appropriate “thank you” to a dedicated fanbase.
Stay tuned to Billboard’s K-Town column for an exclusive interview with VIXX on their debut NYC show, their take on the sound issues, love for American fans and more coming soon.