NCT 127 Successfully Kicks Off Their Second World Tour “NEO CITY: THE LINK”

By: Mayra Peralta
12/17/2021
en
NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK
Thumbnail Courtesy of SM Entertainment

On December 17, NCT 127 kicked off “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK,” a three-day show that wowed the audience of Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The concert, NCT 127’s first to be held offline since 2020, checked all the boxes for a memorable show: perfect vocals, power-packed performances, elaborate sets, and of course, NCT 127’s star power. On three dates, which included an online broadcast for international fans, the group took fans through a polished excerpt of their discography. “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK” played host to never-seen-before stages and fan favorites that NCT 127 delivered without a flaw. As the concert was filled with special moments that will be etched in the minds of concert-goers for a while, EnVi rounded up the highlights of NCT 127’s return to in-person shows.

35-Song Setlist 

The last time NCT 127 stood on a stage in front of their fans was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force. Since then, the group has masterfully adapted to online events and continued to expand its discography. With many additions to their music catalog, “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK” represented a novel experience for the fans. A fresh 35-song setlist was introduced keeping NCT 127’s pre-2020 discography to a minimum. Instead, it favored their latest hits and unreleased music. 

For three consecutive days, “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK” opened on a high note with “Kick It.” Decked in white suits, the members made a grand entrance on platforms that reminded of a travel machine. Songs like “Earthquake” and “Elevator” then set the mood for solo stages that rolled up alongside group performances. Before closing up in a sentimental note with “Dreams Come True” and “Promise You,” NCT 127 performed some of the group’s quintessential tracks, including “Touch,” “Cherry Bomb,” and their smash hit, “Sticker.”

Beyond the boundaries of online concerts

Although all concert dates left heartwarming exchanges between NCT 127 and NCTzens, the last night of the show allowed the group to interact with their international fans. “I hope you guys are enjoying the show so far. I know you’re probably sad you’re not here in the stadium with us, but we hope you can feel our energy here,” Johnny said on the first ment. Meanwhile, Mark made fans anticipate the online experience. “We’ll try our best to go through the screen. That’s how hard we’ll be doing it,” he said. The promise was fulfilled till the end, when teary-eyed, the boy band took the stage to thank fans for their unconditional love and support. “We are always thankful and we love you,” Taeil stated. All in all, it was a good reminder that music transcends all sorts of boundaries, even distance.

Taeil & Haechan’s Love Sign 

While NCT 127 has proven on more than one occasion that they shine the brightest together, “NEO CITY – THE LINK” offered a space for individual performances. Solo stages scattered through the setlist served to showcase each of the members’ talents. For instance, after previously mentioning his desire to reprise the song, Taeil introduced a 2021 version of NCT 127’s “Another World.” Dressed in an all-white fit, the vocalist had fans swooning at his velvety vocals. Taeil was later joined by fellow member Haechan for the R&B-infused “Love Sign,” a self-composed track that flaunted the pair’s chemistry. The performance included a dance break where Haechan’s dancing skills and smooth movements took center stage. In Taeil’s words, “a legendary” collaboration.

 

MarkYong Hit The Stage 

While Haechan and Taeil enchanted the audience with their vocals, Mark hit the stage with “Vibrations.” The rap number displayed his confidence and the iconic lines he is known for, including a reference to “if you don’t know, now you know.” Taeyong followed up with the sensual “Moonlight,” a “funk rock” song, he explained, was written thinking about how dancing under the moonlight would feel like. Clad in a leather look, the leader of NCT proved his showmanship and “all-rounder” title. Both rapers later performed “The Himalayas,” a song they previously presented on JTBC’s Knowing Bros. “All my haters go hella hella sick/ What you think ‘bout that?/ What you think ‘bout that?” they chanted, setting the stage on fire. 

 

We Can’t Cheer, But We Can Clap

Jungwoo and Johnny’s dance performances were next. Armed with mysterious sensuality and smooth body rolls, Jungwoo presented a dance stage choreographed by Rino Nakasone. Meanwhile, Johnny sent people into a frenzy with a powerful dance performance that saw all sorts of excited reactions online. Despite cheering prohibitions, fans made sure to show their support with enthusiastic clapping.

Songwriter Jaehyun

When offered the spotlight, Jaehyun took over to perform “Lost,” an unreleased track that highlighted his sweet voice. Fully performed in English, the song was written by Jaehyun and received a great deal of attention online. “There are times when everybody feels lonely and empty. That’s why I made this song. I got a chance to comfort you at the concert, so I wanted to perform [it],” the singer explained during a ment. 

Favorites

For his solo stage, Doyoung crooned the ballad “The Reason Why It’s Favorite.” As the name suggests, the song is a rendition of NCT 127’s track “Favorite” and was described as a gift from SM Entertainment’s songwriter, Kenzie. Doyoung partook in the songwriting and explained he wanted to “maximize” the sadness of the song before singing the original with his bandmates. The arrangement accentuated Doyoung’s emotional vocals and the range he is always commended for.

When Yuta’s turn finally came, the Japanese member mesmerized the audience as he sang and danced to “Butterfly.” The song, charged with symbolism, reflects on overcoming hardships. One of the high points for fans was Yuta’s graceful dance moves that allowed everybody to have a glimpse of the star’s butterfly tattoo.

Love on the Floor & Touch 

Although it goes without saying that NCT 127 has mastered the art of show-stopping choreography, fans were still shocked with the first-ever live staging of “Love On The Floor.” Peppered with sultry moves and the kind of theatrics NCT 127 is recognized for, the song caused havoc among NCTzens. Spinning around, rolling on a rotating stage, and displaying unmatched poise, the nine-piece group surely had fans’ hearts skipping a beat.

On the other hand, the Seoul-based subunit took fans down memory lane and drastically changed the mood with the endorphin-inducing “Touch.” The fan-favorite showed the group in high spirits as the members playfully delivered the 2018 pop anthem. 

Neobongs & NCTeachers

By now, everybody knows lightsticks are a staple of the K-pop concert experience. With the cheering prohibitions to comply with sanitary guidelines, one of the highlights of each performance was the sea of green lights following along. In particular, “Love Me Now” engaged fans in a choreographed cheer that NCT 127 had previously taught in a series of videos. The members of the group performed their 2020 song, guiding the crowd and looking quite pleased with the outcome. 

Celebrity Attendants

In addition to loyal NCTzens, “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK” also counted with the attendance of NCT 127’s labelmates, family, friends, and collaborators. The three dates were packed with celebrity sightings. Stars like NCT Dream, Way V, Shotaro, Sungchan, aespa’s Giselle, Super Junior’s Eunhyuk and Kyuhyun, were spotted in the crowd. Some others, like Moon Sujin, LilBoi and Raiden even took to social media to share their excitement. Other than Korean celebrities, members of SM Entertainment team like songwriter Kenzie and choreographer Rino were present at the concert.  

 

 
 
 
 
 
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From NCT to Czennies

Despite the countless moments of joy experienced by concert-goers, one of the peaks came when NCT 127 revealed handwritten letters to Czennies. Further bridging the distance between artists and fans, the group members shared their thoughts about their first concert in nearly two years. “I’m seriously excited and nervous at the thought of us meeting you guys after so long,” Jungwoo wrote. The sentiment was echoed in the rest of the members’ messages, who didn’t fail to thank fans. The notes were accompanied by footage of dance practice, and older images of NCT 127. If you missed the chance to read them, you can check out the emotive letters below. 

 

With the three-date concert, NCT 127 completed the first leg of their second world tour. Back in November, the boy band announced “NEO CITY: THE LINK” would take them across the world to cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York. With remaining dates and locations to be announced, lucky NCTzens can look forward to watching  NCT 127 perform in flesh. In the meantime, share your favorite moments from  “NEO CITY: SEOUL – THE LINK” with us, by tagging envimediaco on Twitter.

Craving more NCT 127 content? Check out our coverage on NCT’s music video for “Beautiful” here!

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