April 8, marks EXO’s anniversary. After a decade of hard work, the members: SUHO, XIUMIN, LAY, BAEKHYUN, CHEN, CHANYEOL, D.O, KAI and SEHUN celebrate 10 years of being together as one. From their debut with “MAMA’‘ in 2012 to their last special album Don’t Fight The Feeling in 2021, the brother-like members have experienced ups and downs, but have come out stronger in the end. In this ten year journey each of them has learned to shine and developed their own color and style. To celebrate their anniversary, EnVi compiled a list of some of EXO’s greatest performances.
“Growl (Remix)” – Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018
Originally released in 2013, “Growl” marked a turning point in EXO’s career and in the K-pop industry. It’s one of their most awarded and charted songs, and only one year after their debut, the group became the first Korean artists to sell one million albums in twelve years.
In 2018, EXO got to share this legacy at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, along with CL and other cultural icons from South Korea. This new version of the song includes a jazz-like instrumental that makes this one of the most iconic performances in EXO’s career.
“El Dorado” – EXO’luxion in Japan 2015
“El Dorado” is arguably one of EXO’s most watched concert performances. Several fan-recorded and unofficial videos of the song accumulated to more than 8 million views on YouTube. From classical musicians to vocal teachers, professionals from all around the internet have praised EXO’s vocal mastery with “El Dorado.” With light poles, golden vests, lightsticks, platforms and more, this performance about ambition and dream lands is an staple performance in EXO’s discography.
“Drop That” – EXO’luxion in Japan 2015
“Drop That” is an EXO concert classic and fan favorite. Even though it was officially released in 2018 in EXO’s first Japanese album Countdown, this song has been performed by the group on award shows and world tours since 2015. CHANYEOL’s DJ skills and guitar solo, CHEN and BAEKHYUN’s high notes and the group’s energy turn any arena into a massive party.
“Wolf (Remix)” – EXO’rDIUM in Japan 2017
“Wolf” was originally released as the lead single for EXO’s first studio album XOXO in 2013. The song became memorable during their career is being covered to this day. In 2017 in their third world tour EXO’rDIUM, the group performed an extended remix of the song where they got to show the power of both their dancers and their vocalists on a powerful performance.Their in-sync choreography and their stage presence in front of the sea of grey of EXO-L’s fanlight raised the hype from the start. In addition, they got the opportunity to perform the song as a more mature and experienced EXO and showcase their growth as artists.
The EℓyXiOn Intro
In the pitch black arena filled by an anticipating silence, EXO voices rang out in an angelic chorus to start of their fourth world tour The EℓyXiOn. The acapella intro demonstrates the group’s vocal talent and stage presence. As the song started, the stadium lit up to welcome EXO. The elegant stage supported by the violin arrangements of the song gave the opening of the concert a magical atmosphere.
“Let Out the Beast” – EXO’rDIUM[dot] in Seoul 2017
During EXO’s third world tour EXO’rDIUM, the group took the interactive dynamics of a concert to the next level with this special performance. In the middle of an upbeat segment, the arena suddenly goes silent and a huge metronome appears on the screens, marking a slow-paced rhythm that fans have to follow with their lightsticks. The tempo starts to increase along with the audience, until the beat of “Let Out The Beast” starts playing and the lights start to flicker turning the arena into a giant nightclub.
“Sabor a Mi” Cover – Music Bank in Mexico City 2014
Carrillo. Singing in Spanish and with CHANYEOL playing the guitar, this performance enchanted the public that sang the melancholic love song alongside them. Not only did they portray the sentiment of the song perfectly but they showcased their ability to master the language. This performance and tribute to Mexico’s musical culture marks an unforgettable moment for EXO as artists.
EXO Concert – KBS Gayo Daejun 2017
EXO started this 2017 end of the year special concert as suave businessmen meeting at a bar, while a jazz tune played in the background. They teased the cheering audience as they prepared what was to come. The mood changed when KAI walked forward on stage and raised the energy in the room. Kicking off the show with “Call Me Baby,” the group enchanted fans for the 22 minute long segment. In the ending speech, leader, SUHO thanked fans, named EXO-L, and asked them to “keep their chin up” as they finished up with “Power.”
“Lightsaber” – EXO’rDIUM in Japan 2017
In 2015, EXO collaborated with Disney to release the single, “Lightsaber.” This was to celebrate the seventh installment of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. For their world tour EXO’rDIUM, EXO prepared a special stage with water effects, intense choreography and even lightsabers that turned the members into true masters of the Force.
“OBSESSION” EXO & X-EXO VERSION
In 2019, EXO released the album and title track “OBSESSION” and marked one of the group’s most loved eras. The Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde concept brought back the superpowers, and evil alter egos in-line with the group’s origin lore. Each stage brought out a new side of EXO, literally. As one of the group’s last opportunities to promote together before more members left for the military. The OBSESSION era found a special place in fans’ hearts.
As EXO approaches a decade in their career, they have showcased their versatility as musicians and performers, bringing new elements into every stage. With a few of the members completing their military enlistment soon, fans can look forward to what they have in store for the future.
For more EXO content, read about Suho’s solo comeback Grey Suit here.