Feature | MusiCube: Super Junior’s Super Show 5 Review

By Adam Riley 14.11.2013 13

Older readers will be able to cast their minds back to the days of yore when variety shows were the order of the day on British TV. The likes of Bruce Forsyth, Russ Abbott, Brian Conley, and so on, were renowned for being the 'full package' - singing, dancing, providing great comedic stand-up performances, and anything else they could add to stage shows for the ultimate purpose of entertainment. This practice, though, died a death many years ago. In South Korea, though, there are two main types of TV entertainment - over-the-top dramas and highly energetic variety shows featuring performing artists eager to stay in the limelight for as long as possible. This is why anyone expecting a standard concert from Super Junior on Saturday 9th November, was set to be sorely disappointed by the Super Show 5.

Image for Feature | MusiCube: Super Junior’s Super Show 5 Review

There is no doubting the infectiousness of Super Junior's music, and although the line-up of the group has changed considerably over the years since debuting back in 2005, it is their production team and song writers behind the scenes that have helped to propel them to their current level of fame and fortune. Sure, the trained guys play their part, but management shapes them, as with any other collection of guys and gals around the world. The Korean difference is that there is an added level of polish to everything, including the over-exuberant personalities of each member.

Over the span of Super Junior's career, as backed up by the special episode of K-Pop Korner that focused on their greatest hits a few weeks ago, there have been some amazing songs that stand the test of time - Bonamana, Sorry Sorry, Mr. Simple, Sexy Free and Single, and so on. There are also some obligatory drippy ballads to appeal to the teen girl market…songs that proved to be the lowlight of an otherwise extremely active stage performance from the eight members that were able to attend (Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, Kangin, Shindong, Sungmin, and the ever popular Kyuhyun) the recent Super Show 5 in London, UK.

K-Pop Korner Ep.24 - Bringing the Best of Korean Pop to the World! Super Junior 'Best Of' Special by Adam Riley on Mixcloud

Cringe worthy introductions aside - albeit pleasing to see them attempt English, despite some of it being out of place given the age group of the audience, encouraging the young teen girls to forget their boyfriends for the night - Super Junior's World Tour was meant to be an amazing spectacle, especially given how ticket prices were astronomical. At £89 for 'standard' seats, and nearing the £200 mark at the upper end of the scale, they were even pricier than when Madonna played at Wembley a few years back! Clearly something truly wondrous was on the cards, right?


 

Sadly, though, everything was under par, despite what numerous fan sites will tell you. From a neutral standpoint, this was not the concert event of the year, by any means, and the multitude of empty seats around the arena merely went to show that SM Entertainment's arrogance backfired. Sure, there will always be loyal fans that traipse around the world, but squeezing the teenage fan base for as much money as possible is disappointing to see, especially when there has been zero promotional work in this country. Anyone other than the loyal 'ELFs' - as fans call themselves - would look at the prices and scoff. A long time ago Robbie Williams attempted a similarly cocky move in the US with 'The Ego has Landed,' expecting everyone to adore him, but was promptly ignored by people who knew nothing of his fame in Europe, nor cared. The same could very well happen with SM's artists unless a change of attitude is taken. A lot of hard work is required to win over the European market. A fanciful Variety Show is not going to cut it.

Image for Feature | MusiCube: Super Junior’s Super Show 5 Review


Driving the point of SM's attitude home was the shocking treatment of the Press on the day of the event, with management dragging one female member of the Press away from the designated media area by the arm merely because he 'changed his mind' and only wanted Korean Press to cover the event. It also left other members of the Press in a situation where the first 10-15 minutes of the event were missed because of pomposity that is simply not accepted in any form in Western media. SM may be number one in Korea, but unless something changes, the likes of YG Entertainment - with PSY, 2NE1 and BIGBANG - and even Chrome Entertainment via its Sony Music deal - with Crayon Pop's incessant hard work not going unnoticed - will win over the Western audience with ease and they will rule the roost here, riding the Korean wave to glory. No matter how often the guys of Super Junior take their tops off or thrust their hips at cameras, poor management and an outdated format for concerts will not save them.

[score=4]Dressing up as women and superheroes at various points, wasting far too much time showing lengthy video clips of the group acting in different scenarios, falling back on all manner of out of place comedic sequences between songs to 'kill time,' and even going as far as to openly reveal how some parts were merely pre-recorded and mimed over, Super Show 5 was anything but 'super.' Those wanting to enjoy Super Junior's impressive repertoire of songs from the past eight years would have been sorely disappointed by what was not a traditional concert, but more of an outdated variety show lacking any punch and vastly over-priced.

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bob (guest) 15.11.2013#1

sure it was expensive 
but you're being overly subjective about the concert
can you actually write about this stuff I mean this site is for gaming
have you not seen the other super shows ?
if it's not funny it is not part of super junior, they have always dressed up in costumes and as girls before. This is what people call fan service. It may not be traditional to you but it is to the fans. Perhaps as there are less members compared to their other super shows certain personalities were also missed out. And their personalities have always stood out the most in the kpop world. 
I mean what is wrong with ballads? It's like you can't seem to like super junior for any genre of music that they do.
Super junior did a concert in mexico like the day before but they performed 23 songs the best they could.
can you stand on stage for 3 hours and dance and sing?
I don't think you can blame super junior, you can blame SM but super junior have always been great performers. 
The concert arena itself was lacking unlike arenas in asia where technology can give a more enhanced experience. 
People like you who know little about Kpop should not write about it because all you do is highlight all the negatives and shouldn't you have a unbiased opinion

Your points make it sound like you haven't read the article properly. I do blame SM rather than SuJu. If you did some background research, you'd find I actually host/produce the UK's only K-Pop show and dedicated an entire episode to the fantastic music of the group a few weeks ago.

This article was written from the standpoint of a neutral attendee, rather than the K-Pop addict that I am. If SM really wanted to infiltrate the UK market properly, it would have made more effort. Instead, it threw out a last minute date and then over-charged to take advantage of long-term fans - such as yourself from the sound of it. Wembley Arena was not lacking - there was nothing wrong with the atmosphere, apart from the plentiful supply of empty seats.

I'm well aware of the gruelling schedule SM has for its groups, and know very well that SuJu had been to Mexico. They are trained performers, almost regimented by their management.

You mention ballads - well, some of there softer songs are great, like It's You (amazing track), but others were poor in my opinion. Other opinions will differ, and the reaction from the audience showed that the ELFs adored everything SJ played. It comes down to a matter of opinion, at the end of the day.

There are other elements to your post, but I'm not here to dissect it, merely to add a few comments in light of the fact that you level some unwarranted criticism at both the article and website (multimedia site, by the way, focusing on more than just gaming - please check out our other features).

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Evelyn Keen (guest) 15.11.2013#3

To the person who wrote this article..  You are a fucking idiot and that's you opinion....   One thing I have learned in my 55 years of life is never, ever listen to anyone's opinions on movies, music etc.....   So sorry they were not the Beatles but I will tell you this they are 100 times better then your One Direction....  i would not pay a dime to see them..    People don't listen to the person, don't let others tell you what they like and don't like..   

Evelyn, in your 55 years of life, if you choose to call people such awful names because you don't agree with their opinion, I find that to be quite sad. People thrive on opinion-based articles and they are the perfect source of debate.

If there was no debating, what would there be?

Did you attend the concert, by the way? Your opinion would be most welcomed.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

To say the truth the article sounds just like a personal opinion of a non KPOPer. Pls be more objective next time. Smilie

Noname said:
To say the truth the article sounds just like a personal opinion of a non KPOPer. Pls be more objective next time. Smilie

I appreciate the feedback Smilie You'll soon be able to read my review of 2NE1's recent performance. That is far more favourable. They were superb at the KBEE13!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
QD (guest) 16.11.2013#7

i don't think they are trying to break into the european or uk markets. their "fanciful variety shows" are what attract a lot their fans to them. it's what i and many others paid for. there is plenty of good music to enjoy. the comedic intros, stages and vcrs are bonuses that put them above many of their peers imho.

i agree that it was overpriced and the songs list was shorter than i would have liked. 

As my cubed3 name says, I'm a big fan of Super Junior.  I saw them perform in Tokyo and recently in Manila and I will never get tired of seeing them do their funny antics, dance, and hear their fans scream like they are the best.  Well for us, that's SUJU - perfect and the best.  I think that's what SM banked on for the London show.  They earned their European/American/South American fans from the internet and these fans watch the SUJU concerts online and pobably have seen SUJU in drag and hero costumes in previous concerts. The London fans (those who follow SUJU like me) would be disappointed big time if they don't see their favorites in their super hero costumes or dress up.  They've been doing that since their first concert and that's what we love about them.  SUJU don't take their popularity in their heads but in their hearts, and they do what they feel their fans would love to see.  They did just that in London.  One thing I wish SM gave focus is the wonderful voice of their main vocals.  In Tokyo, Kyuhyun sang Isn't She Lovely solo and he was an amazing, "lovely" boy.  In London, they put comedy with the solo and although I adore Shindong, I think that was too much. SS5 in London was the same as any other concerts of SUJU in Asia or South America which makes it perfect for all their fans back there.  SUJU is heart and soul, they don't perform to impress but to reach out to their fans.  And we love them for that.

May 1960 (guest) 16.11.2013#9

I went to the Super Junior concert last Saturday with my daughter, have to say it was a fantastic concert. The guys entertained the fans from start to finish. As for the seats being pricey, yeah they probably are but a lot of concerts are these days. Great atmosphere and brilliant night. 

May 1960 (guest) said:
I went to the Super Junior concert last Saturday with my daughter, have to say it was a fantastic concert. The guys entertained the fans from start to finish. As for the seats being pricey, yeah they probably are but a lot of concerts are these days. Great atmosphere and brilliant night. 

I'm glad to hear you and your daughter both enjoyed it. If that's the case, then that's wonderful Smilie

Another Korean boy band are playing in the UK soon - a group called Infinite. They're playing at the Hammersmith Apollo at the end of this month. I'm intrigued to see how that one goes!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Our member of the week

I didn't attend the concert but I would share the Adam's mostly negative impression if I had paid big bucks to see a concert and most of the time the band didn't play or sing, but showed videos of themselves instead. When you pay to see something and get fed something else, you can't help but being disappointed.

If I went to a restaurant and ordered a steak and I was served fish, I'd have it sent back to the kitchen and ask for my steak, no matter how good the fish might have been!

Noname said:
To say the truth the article sounds just like a personal opinion of a non KPOPer. Pls be more objective next time. smile

Objective reviews are a fable, they don't exist. A review is always its author's personal opinion. It may be "made" to sound more objective when the author attempts to place him or herself in the shoes of its readers and consider their expectations, but it'll always end up being a reflection of one person's opinion on the topic at hand.

Evelyn Keen (guest) said:
To the person who wrote this article.. You are a fucking idiot and that's you opinion....

...People don't listen to the person, don't let others tell you what they like and don't like..


But that's the whole point of a review Smilie. Why even read and comment on them if you really think no one should ever listen to other's opinions?

( Edited 16.11.2013 13:58 by RudyC3 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Spencer (guest) 18.11.2013#12

I just started watching SUJU clips just 5 months ago., and without watching all the concerts they had., I can clearly understand their intentions of what was presented or showcased during the concert, and you (author) as someone claiming to be familiar with with kpop artist is surprisingly dumb about it.

Whether they are in their homeland or in other Asian country, they were never the group that showcased how they are as singers or how well their group can groove their hips, they are all about being entertainers. Paramore concerts are most singing the entire 2 hours, why? because they were presented that way, purely vocal talent and how well the band play their instruments, was SUJU ever presented that way? I don't think so, so to expect them without their crazy antics and without dress ups, I think you're writing a wrong group's article. Your take on their performance should have been understandable if it were their 3rd or 4th concert in the country, but its their first. Its the first time that they are showcasing what they are as a group, what differs them from the other idol group, I'm not an ELF, i just watch SS4 tokyo, because its SHINEE that I follow, but im not dumb to compare why Shinee's concert is like that and SUJU's concert almost like a playground by grown up guys.

superelfjewel (guest) 19.11.2013#13

A super show is more than a simple concert that's sings a song then move on to the next with little to no interaction if that was the case the concert would be 2 hrs long not 3.5 hrs to 4 hrs long

a super show is a big family party the family being SJ+ELF. nothing else matters just like Donghae said forget everything for that night as its only SJ & ELF, We love to see SJ at ease on the stage messing around like kids on the playground and doing silly things like dressing up as girls and super heroes, making mistakes, Trolling us with their fan service, talking and interacting with us as we are friends not just fans its what we love about them because it SJ just being SJ

The SJ that performs for just regular Kpop fans is very different to how they perform for us and a super show is one of the rare chances for Non ELF to see the cute, lovable, dorky just love to have fun and not be serious side of SJ the SJ that ELF know and love

this is way its hard for a non ELF to truly understand the meaning of a super show and why ELF think highly of it and would pay anything to experience it, Hell they even build the stages around ELF so they can get closer to us

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