Emotional night for Saudi fans as K-pop legends Super Junior perform in Kingdom for first time

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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The Super Junior Super Show at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Fans are filled with joy as the South Korean boy band Super Junior perform at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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South Korean boy band Super Junior performing at King Abdullah Sports City on Friday as part of the Jeddah Season festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 14 July 2019

Emotional night for Saudi fans as K-pop legends Super Junior perform in Kingdom for first time

  • Super Junior is the first South Korean band to perform in Saudi Arabia
  • Fans raved about the show, some finding it hard to believe it had happened at all in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: To the delight of their fans in the Kingdom, K-pop superstars Super Junior finally took to the stage in Saudi Arabia on Friday evening and gave the crowd a night to remember.

In return, the audience of E.L.Fs (or Ever Lasting Friends as fans of the band are known) gave their heroes a welcome they are unlikely to forget.

The previous night, the group, which has become a musical phenomenon around the world since it debuted in 2005, was greeted upon arrival at King Abdulaziz Airport with cheers, gifts and an outpouring of love.

But that was just a taster for the main event, as the band brought their Super Show 7 world tour to King Abdullah Sports City, as part of the Jeddah Season festival.

 

Many in the audience brought Super Junior light sticks and other official merchandise to show their love for the band.

Some had made posters that included personal messages in the hope that their heroes would see them.

One of them expressed the feeling of disbelief, felt by many, that the band had finally come to Saudi Arabia, something that seemed so unlikely for such a long time: “Nine years ago I never thought I would see you.”

When the audience had filled the venue, the lights were dimmed, light sticks were raised and screams of excitement erupted as band appeared the stage, launching into performances of the songs “Black Suit” and “Mamacita.”

 

The language barrier did not matter, as fans knew the words to every song by heart. Many sang along and a few brave souls even attempted to copy some of the dance moves.

Between the songs the band members displayed the the fun personalities they are known for as they took turns to greet and thank their fans. They had written down some Arabic greetings and read them out as a gesture to help them connect even more with their Saudi fans, and also yelled phrases such as “yallah habibi” (let’s go my dear) and “assalamu alaikum.”

 

“We are the first South Korean band to perform here in Saudi Arabia and I am so proud to be performing here,” said band member Siwon.

The concert was a musical masterpiece, alternating between upbeat songs that made fans jump and scream to ballads that made some shed a tear. The stage included an extension that stretched the length of the venue, allowing members to run out into the crowd, so that as many people as possible had a chance to see them close up.

They performed many of their hits, some of which were given a fresh twist. Their biggest hit “Sorry Sorry,” for example, added a special drum solo performed by band member Kim Hee-chul. “Mamacita” included an extended vocal solo from Kim Ryeo-wook.

 

When the music stopped and the stars left the stage after saying goodbye to their fans, the audience remained in place, hoping their heroes would return for an encore — and they were not disappointed, as the band reappeared to perform fan-favorite song “Devil.”

Some members of Super Junior will perform at the same venue in the band’s spin-off subgroups D & E, and K.R.Y on Saturday night, alongside K-pop group Stray Kids, also as part of Jeddah Season. As a teaser for this, stars Eunhyuk and Donghae (D & E) performed their songs “Oppa Oppa” and “Can You Feel It?”

They whole band then performed a one final song, specially written for the fans, called “Shining Star,” before collecting gifts brought for them by the audience and leaving the stage for the last time.

“We promise to come back,” they said as they went.

 

After the gig, the fans departed, raving about the show, and some still found it hard to believe it had happened at all.

Saja Al-Wafi, 32, who has been a fan since 2009, said: “I felt like it was a dream. I kept hugging my friend and I wanted someone to pinch me so I could believe I was actually here."

Rawan, 23, said: “This is my first K-pop concert, despite being a fan for the longest time, and I am so happy I don’t even have words to describe it.”

Mohammed Al-Sulaimani, a 22-year-old fan who flew from Taif to Jeddah for the concert, said: “In middle school I wanted to be them; I would style my hair like them and act like them. I grew up with them and I have so many memories with them — when I heard they were coming I couldn’t believe it. The tickets were sold out, too, and I had to work so hard to get one.”

 

 


Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

Updated 13 November 2019

Wait is almost over for music fans eager to learn who will headline E-Prix concerts

  • Organizers promise this year’s line-up of international stars at Diriyah event will be bigger than ever

RIYADH: The first of the major international music acts that will perform at the Diriyah E-Prix this month will be announced on Wednesday.

There were incredible scenes at the event last year when David Guetta, One Republic, the Black Eyed Peas, Amr Diab, Enrique Iglesias and Jason Derulo rocked the UNESCO World Heritage site. About 40,000 fans flocked to the Diriyah Circuit, on the outskirts of Riyadh, for the after-race concerts, the first unsegregated music events in Saudi Arabia

The stage is set for even bigger and better things this year, with the promise of another two nights of unmissable music on Nov. 22 and 23 as the E-Prix racing returns.

“If you were one of the 40,000 who were lucky enough to be part of that watershed moment (last year) for the Kingdom, believe me, you have not seen anything yet,” said Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Faisal Al-Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority.

“Last year we told people before we announced (the acts) they should get their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Once we revealed who was coming, the tickets sold out incredibly quickly. This year will be the same but even bigger, so for music fans who want to enjoy the biggest concerts in Saudi Arabia, the smart move is to get your ticket now.”

The Diriyah E Prix kicks off the sixth season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world’s premier all-electric motorsport series, with a double header of races. It also marks the start of Diriyah Season, a month of sport, entertainment, art, cultural festivities, food and retail experiences. Tickets for the Diriyah E Prix, which include entry to the after-race concerts, are available at www.diriyahseason.sa.