Why I Didn’t Kill Myself After Spending 5 Hours at an EXO Kpop Concert

Kpop group EXO Perform at The Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday Night.

EXO Perform at The Forum in Los Angeles on Friday Night.

There wasn’t an earplug that could save me from the hours of relentless, high-pitched screaming.  I saw a girl crying in the presence of an EXO ‘idol’.  The threat of trampling hovered at any moment.  Here’s why I decided not to commit suicide and soldier through my first Kpop performance.

“Do you like Kpop?”

I turned around.  It was a great-looking, twenty-something Korean woman, laughing with her friend.  They were fascinated that some white guy might actually like their music.  I told them it was my first Kpop show, while totally mis-pronouncing the name of the group that I was about to see (note to self: it’s pronounced like ‘XO,’ not ‘E-X-O’).

So yeah, they weren’t that far off.

We were all members of the press, waiting to get directed into the Forum in Los Angeles.  The two girls worked for Hello Asia.  The other people covering the event were from KCON and ‘Koogle TV’, both Korean-focused sites.

In other words, no one outside of Asian-American media outlets have caught on to what’s happening.  Not Pitchfork, not Rolling Stone, not Billboard.  And nobody from the mainstream media, at least not at this show.

Which is funny, because it looks like there’s a massive market developing here in the US.  Not just for Kpop, but for ‘all pop’.  And the ‘first movers’ here are spending a crap-ton on tickets, merchandise, and other ‘fandom’ disposables.  Not to mention all of their free time.  They’re obsessed.

How obsessed?

The Forum staff told me that fans, known as EXO-Ls, were camping out for hours ahead of the show.  That is, even though they had tickets.  Three hours before the 7:30 start time, a giant line of fans circled the massive Forum parking lot.

Here’s a shot of fans winding around the venue (yeah, it’s broad daylight).

The staff had to meter access into the event, otherwise people would get trampled.

And each group that was admitted started racing towards the stage, while staff members struggled to stop them from running (and trampling each other).

At one point, fans were cramming around a flight of stairs descending into the general admission floor.  I thought someone was going to fall, get trampled, or otherwise fall from the rafters.  Staff members were screaming, ‘stand back!’

They even had to pause the show in the middle because of trampling fears.  A member of EXO demanded that people move back, or he wouldn’t start singing.

Fans rushing in (in batches to prevent trampling)

But here’s the craziest part: this wasn’t only Korean girls.  Maybe 60% were Asian overall, with the other 40% coming from every other race.  That said, there were only about 5% males, and approximately 0% males above the age of about 20 (unless you count me and the people who were working there).

This is ‘niche marketing’ perfected.  But this level of fan connection was scary.

These guys hail from a country thousands of miles away.  Their fans are largely Chinese or Korean.  A majority of the members can’t speak English (there was even a translator for when the guys spoke to the crowd).

Yet somehow, EXO absolutely understood their newfound American audience, to a tee.  And the 8 members of EXO (sans Lay, due to a scheduling conflict) delivered a performance that deftly blended cinematic scenery, video vignettes, and a string of perfectly choreographed performances.  It was all masterfully choreographed, right down to the dancing.

And the fans were screaming at every scene, every vignette, every nuanced look.  At the top of their lungs.


The show was called ‘EXO Planet #3: The Exo’rdium’.

Sounds contorted, but it worked.  After a mini-movie that plotted the members in a high-action, Hollywood style film sequence, the guys got on stage.  They blasted out with ‘Monster,’ one of their biggest hits.

And the fans were obsessively eating up every moment of it.  For hours on end, without a break.

Actually, ‘Monster’ is a great piece of songwriting.  And damn those guys can dance!  But listen to a few more songs, and you start to realize that the Kpop industry just might be one of the smartest sectors of the music business.

Sure, Kpop gets criticized for ‘appropriation’ and treating their members like indentured servants.  But EXO — and other groups like BTS and Big Bang — know how to write and perform great songs.  They’re using 90s rap and r&b because those formats work.  Strip out the darkly urban part, mix in some upbeat, early 00s pop, and you’ve got some really addictive music.

Say what you will.  But this is a formula that’s obviously working for groups like EXO.  And yes, American girls from Los Angeles are singing every word, while waving $55 EXO light sticks in the air (the case costs another $20)!

It’s the modern-day answer to boy bands from the US, like NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, not to mention newer sensations like One Direction.  They’re filling a demand, and this is only growing.

All of which makes me wonder: where are the American boy bands?

 

 

125 Responses

  1. ExoFanboyno.1

    Well, I’m a EXO fanboy and I may not have committed suicide or lost my consciousness but my soul left my body on my first EXO concert. My brain also stopped working and my heart raced throughout the concert. Mind you, I’m also screaming at the top of my lungs as my tears continuously fall down because the 8 individuals in front of me appears to be Gods who descended from heaven and are here to bestow us their holy presence to save us from salvation through music. Your reaction is truly an understatement? You haven’t seen the other AERIS yet. EXO-Ls love EXO so much that they have bought land just to give Sehun a ‘Lord’ Title. Thousands of dollars are given to charity in the name of EXO and thousands are likewise spent for birthday/anniversary ads. Truly, no words can describe how much we love EXO.

    • Crista-Sista

      True!!!! You’re the best exo fanboy! Can we meet? Lol. I want to have a mutual like u

    • SehunbutnotOh

      You are an EXO-L by heart..You are fanboy and i am ommafan, me and my daighter are official EXO-L. We may not understand the music but it is a universal language, we feel it not only try to understand it. Their music is magic, it makes me feel good. EXO-L fighting!!!

    • azlela

      wow.. an EXO -L fanboy! I loikkkkeeeee ??
      I was at their Exordium in Kuala Lumpur and I enjoyed all 3 hours of their great performance! 2 hours on standing before the concert didn’t seem tiring at all haha

    • Neferti

      I’m a EXO-K fan girl
      I wish I’d be there
      When will EXO come to my country?????

    • james

      >EXO-Ls love EXO so much that they have bought land just to give Sehun a ‘Lord’ Title

      that “””””title””””” (more like a useless scam) costed like 30-50$ lmao idg why ppl hype that crap up lmao

  2. A

    Interesting you say 0% males above age 20. My husband is 26, white, and enjoyed the concert very much. I will be honest, he didn’t enjoy it as much as I, but it was his decision to go and we just saw his favourite group, SHINEE a month before that he enjoyed more than I. :p

  3. Nor

    Thanks for the nice review. But I would like to make a correction. EXO fans are called EXO-L not EXOtics, and EXO are actually 9 members group but Lay, the other member couldn’t make it to NA your due to some schedule conflict. ^^

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Thanks Nor, someone on the team already corrected that part. For some reason I thought it was EXOtics, but guess the official name is EXO-L. OK!

      • Resnikoff,

        It’s quite a shame that you couldn’t bring yourself to commit suicide, I’m sure we would’ve all enjoyed that news 😉

      • Your mom is whoreable

        aw, darn. If you killed yourself it would’ve done the world a favor.
        Without you, the amount of hate in this world would decrease.
        Oh well, maybe next time.

      • Totally judging

        Oh wow Paul, you can actually write a decent article about a kpop artist, shame you threw the fans under the bus. After all the bashing about other kpop groups, you seemed to realised picking fights with another fandom might be a bad idea, though try to tone down the condescending tone in the review. All groups have their own talents and flaws, I am a massive BB fan, so I might be prejudice, but they do not rely on dancing as their main attraction. Instead, their strengths are singing live and producing their own songs. For EXO, they have good dance moves, I use to listen to them a lot and was part of the fandom for a while. Exo have said a few of them compose songs, but unfortunately they do not make it on the album, as far as I know. They also don’t tend to sing live, due to dancing.

        • Not exo biased, just correcting

          Wrong. And misinformed. EXO sings over a prerecord just like every single group in KPop (except for a few). And EXO has composed and written many songs on their albums recently. And Lay’s solo album was completely written and composed by him. And there have been many occasions where they sing fully live with even a prerecord, like their acoustic section in every concert.

          • Actually, I have to correct you

            Well, I do think you have also been misinformed. A prerecord can be adjusted, with EXO, the prerecord is often much louder than the artist singing. Therefore, on numerous occasions where EXO has to perform continuously, the prerecord is often set to be louder than the singer, hence even if they sing or lipsync, what the audience hear is the record and not them. SM is a massive organisation, hence reputation is importance, artists need to be perfect in the performance. Therefore the focus is emphasised on the dancing rather the singing. And yes, I have heard EXO live, mostly it’s without the dancing when they do it acoustic, backing my argument. I congulate them on producing solo work, but as I said above, some do not make it on to the actual album, and those that do is overshadowed by other hits. The most successful songs EXO has won awards for and have the highest views on YouTube is produced by SM. I’m just saying GD has talent in producing as BB hits are often produced by him.

  4. Tinkerbell

    Lay wasn’t with them bc if the tension btw china and morea since he’s chinese

  5. Emm

    Your writing is at a teenage level, you’re not educated on the topic, and you’re condescending towards fans without attempting any deeper analysis of fan culture. Your inflammatory headlines and misrepresentations lead me to conclude this is just click bait. Hope you weren’t serious.

  6. Mochi Jimin

    Honestly Paul has me mindfucked. One minute he is deriding BTS and another he actually manages to write something that appears pleasing to the K-pop audience. My only guess is that he’s a new psychologically damaged Koreaboo, lol.

    • notaloserlikeyou

      Of course he can write something nice. He’s a professional, afterall. Not all kpop group are like BTS who has a very bad and shady reputation, y’know. At least he’s a pro unlike you. That’s why you have no right to say that someone is ‘psychologically damaged’ when you’re not even a psychiatrist. Watch your words, will you?

      • Mona

        Well said…I agree. BTS highly overrated and I sincerely doubt their originality

      • panda

        bad and shady reputation… small company? yes. ties to the underground rapping scene? yes. but i don’t see any creditable scandals about dui or the mistreatment of members by the company. scandal about another group under the same company? questionable choices members of a different group make doesn’t equal to BTS having a “bad and shady reputation”. I was hesitant to defend because “psychologically damaged” was taking it too far. you are right, people should watch their words, no one seems to do it these days.

      • You need a reality check

        Who has a shady reputation you stupe? I’m not even a fan of them but I’ve heard enough. Can’t there be any peace for once? Some of you ruined their reputation with plagiarism accusations, Melon being corrupt, sajaegi, MAMA was rigged, they don’t desrve this they don’t deserve that, they’re overrated, their fans are horrible, they’re arrogant, and what not? Are you done yet? Why do you have to drag the other group? What does BTS have anything to do with EXO?

        • Ex-Army who left kpop

          I used to be an army until I saw how toxic the fandom and the group themselves are. You probably haven’t heard of their scandals because the fans bury all of them so that BTS doesn’t look bad. They’ve had a lot that I know of only because I used to be an army and used to follow everything the group does.

          • The idiot above

            And we have another troll, because a true army can see the group has not changed at all and team dynamic is still stronger than ever! It’s another EXO-L or internet troll bashing. You can hate the fandom but if you were a true supporter you don’t bring the group into the argument. You kind of exposed yourself there idiot!

  7. Jinyounghoe

    Warning: Bitter ARMYs ahead. Since nothing can good can be said for BTS they are being salty when a good article is written for another kpop group. Talk about being salty. You, ARMYs really deserve a billboard award for being ‘social’ coz you are really active on social medias. Begging international brands to support them, spamming billboard to invite their faves, and the likes. Good luck to you. I wish Gordon Ramsey has the patience to fix your bitterness and saltiness and hopefully not throw you directly into a trashcan.

    • Meg

      The article is not about them. They must have too much free time reading articles about other groups.

      • panda

        i hope people realise that many fans (especially international fans) support and love multiple groups. please don’t assume things about ARMYs. some ARMYs may be annoying and disruptive, most tend to sit back and sigh, others try to stop their own fandom from posting and apologise for them as well. it’s honestly painful, and I can’t even ask you to stop being salty because if I didn’t love BTS, i would be salty about ARMYs being salty too, or just salty in general.

        • Meg

          Is this article about BTS? But I’ve seen BTS fans being bitter about this author. If you don’t agree his opinions about BTS, feel free to comment those articles. This one has nothing to do with you, take your beef somewhere else.

          • panda

            what a joke. i just wanted to read an article about exo and went to the comments because i wasn’t sure if the author was praising them or being sarcastic. did i make an original comment on bts? no another fan (who hates bts fans) did. i was just defending myself and other wrongly accused fans because i was offended by what i saw. if you don’t want to bring in more comments about bts, i suggest you stop being aggressively rude and immature regarding people interested enough to read exo articles, and just happen to love bts as well. and i can assure you, there’s no beef between me and anyone. i don’t care enough to hold many people in such high regard.

          • BTS & EXO love eachother you immature bitches and both groups are kings

            You are dumb if you think the dude actually liked exo. Honey he hates kpop to death and is just using it to make money and the name of this article is enough prove of it. That dude is a hypocrite and y’all exols are blind for defending.And another thing him coming from a fellow exol who is also an army, don’t play innocent cause both exol and army have toxic fans.

    • Mona

      Lol???. I agree. BTS has an army of social media to promote the boys. Just imagine they are flattered about how V sneezes… seriously??????. Not their fault though…they don’t have much to write about their musical talents.

      • Not salty only saying the truth.

        They don’t have to make articles about they talents. They showing them off by been a nominee for the billboard something that exo hasn’t archive. BTS is pretty much like bigbang. They start it as underdogs and surpass super junior lol. MS and they cheap bonds groups.

        • EXO THE KING EXOL THE ROYALS

          i tell you something about billboard lol (bts do worked hard though they do desrve all they have right now) but, u guys hate this author for hating bts or something lol but only reason bts was nominated for billboard it’s because billboard author hate exo and do that so socialy obvi so it isnt even news now …. he write about bts from the start on every his article about kpop and bashes all exol’s on social media and shady exo in general. SO SHUT THE FUCK UP BITCH REALLY. IT’S UNFAIR FROM BOTH SIDES. Exo is the first and only king group. others maybe as talented or even now more popular and stuff. but being original and first and royals thats what matter about EXO. they break the real wall between kpop and the world. they deserve at least fucking respect from other younger groups and their fandoms. mofos. so everyone who not agree can go and fucking die and keep their opinions to themselves. EXOL’S FIGHT !!!!!!! LETS MAKE EXO THIS COMEBACK GET A #1 ON A BILLBOARD SO WE CAN SHUT ALL THE HATERS DOWN FOR GOOD !!!!!!!

          • Really?

            “Exo broke the wall between kpop and the world”…wow…
            Your level of ignorance is top-notch..
            Have you already forgotten the group called BigBang who won MTV EMA worldwide act of the year in 2011???
            And then you say exo are the kings……

          • You need a reality check

            original? How so? I don’t recall them writing their own music? FYi I’m not a fan of either group, I just read these things because I read about American artists on here. Ofc EXO is less relevant in the West because they don’t rank as high on billboard. Ofc they’re not as relevant because what appeals to the West is subjective but Western artist fans prefer those who write their own music. BTS wasn’t nominated for billboard because the author hates exo, he’s only a mere columnist. Columnists don’t even have a hand in picking nominees are you stupid? EXO’s on a roll with 18 daesangs and counting. What more do you want? Didn’t you guys say billboard doesn’t matter if you don’t do well in your home country, why does it matter now? Why are you trying to get a guy fired for writing articles about the group with a greater influence in the West over the other groups that are from the same nation as them? People are pissed because the articles he writes on BTs have groundless claims and statements that are not backed up such as Rap Monster planning to go solo. Releasing a mixtape or doing a collab does not mean solo but ofc the guy still insists the leader will be leaving them when they are not. Next he says they are responsible for plagiarizing. No it was Gaon’s fault they even apologized. He even thinks trainees are insurance and trainees are substitutes for people who withdraw from a group? Would you be pissed?

          • Piss Offs

            Exo-Ls refuse to see fault with Exo because they put them on a pedestal, people can appreciate and also find flaws with groups, no ones perfect. I use to follow Exo and their music, variety shows and live performances. They were my favourite kpop group along with BB, some of my fav music videos include call me baby, growl, overdose. But I felt something was lacking, and that was group dynamic, I felt 12 members were too large, I couldn’t follow everyone and felt at times some members were left out during interviews. In music videos, not everyone had time to shine, Kris, Tao, Lay often jad only one line. SM do not appreciate creative input, members have to get with the programme, they were over worked, injured and tired the majority of the time. I eventually stopped supporting the group after Kris, Tao and Luhan left, because SM just didn’t care. Though they did cared about the company’s image, so the best solution to throw the Chinese members under the bus. Exo is a perfect example of a poorly manufactured kpop group, where members do not spend enough time together. Where individual schedules splits up group dynamic, SM has them focus on other committtements because of either profits or individual goals. For example, DO has said on numerous occasions that he enjoys acting more. It’s just a matter of time before the group splits, because there is no loyalty.

          • liza

            Well then youre delusional. For the sake of humanity and world peace go hang yourself

    • ahjumma

      you obviously are not a real kpop fan. get outta here.

    • Couldyounot

      Yes, people are mad. The reason being that this uncultured so called “publisher” is being extremely rude. This is unprofessional on so many levels. I understand that you’re one of the haters that immediately jumps onto the bandwagon when a malicious article is written about BTS. I honestly feel really sorry for you. Yes, there are a few ARMYs out there who do extreme things like bash other fandoms for no reason and compare them. But what are you doing right now? If you are a kpop fan, do you really think your favourite kpop group would be proud to have a fan like you? If someone bashed your favourite groups, no doubt you would tell them to back off.

    • Jingyounghoestupid

      Lol, at least bts is famous enough to not care about an insignificant internet troll like you, unfortunately it’s our job!

  8. exol4ever

    But Sehun, Suho, and Chanyeol almost killed me w their sexiness on LA con?? I need 2 stay alive because I wanna see their comeback this July. ?

  9. Akshi

    I wish I could attend just one of their concerts. A huge and true EXO-L!!!
    AND it feels so good to hear that our EXO has fanboys too.

  10. KyungSooCafe

    Ahh, the lining up/camping out actually began Thursday morning!
    I wish something more could be done to address safety and organization between the promoter and the venue. There’s too many people getting hurt because of the promoter’s (MMT) lack of communication (on Friday and the past few months).

    And yes, merchandise is extremely expensive. Many people had to search far and wide before finding out lightsticks would be sold here (MMT issue again) some paid in the $60-$100 range for one (including me). A “brochure” for $40…$100 jersey…

    ALSO, many, many people flew in from around the US and other countries just for this (like me). At least 40% were not local. I would even bet it’s far higher than that. But hey, it’s EXO.

    WE ARE ONE.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      That’s really amazing! I cannot believe the camping out started so early. And yeah, I forgot to mention the $100 jerseys.

      • ahjumma

        just like the $80 popcorn and soda at the movies. what is the difference?

      • Cindy

        That’s crazy. Last year they only charged $40 for the jersey and $15 for the light stick.

      • Google gid

        News alert-check Google. Exo, entered billboard boxscore chart. Biggest concert, approx 6000 sits out of 7000 sold, made 1.4 million, taking no.8 spot. BTS, entered billboard boxscore chart, 11,042 of 11,400 sits sold, made over 2 million, taking no.4 spot, overtaking ed sheraan.

  11. Makhfua

    I’m a little confused and I kinda had to skin through is he hating or praising my boys cuz I’m not that good with high level writing so for a girl likes someone explain to me in simpler terms such as he liked and enjoyed the concert or he’s saying they suck.

  12. Makhfuza

    I’m a little confused and I kinda had to skim through is he hating or praising my boys cuz I’m not that good with high level writing so for a girl likes someone explain to me in simpler terms such as he liked and enjoyed the concert or he’s saying they suck.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I had a great time! I’m just being satirical, as it was such a shocking and new experience for me.

      • Anne

        I took my daughter to a TVXQ concert in Seoul for her 25th birthday 6/13/2015, we were front left of stage in the “red ocean” I think I one upped you on shock and awe ^^ TVXQ is also SMEntertainment group. We will not have this type of entertainment from western pop because we don’t train like they do. The concert I went to was awesome, best time I ever had at a concert ( that includes Jefferson Airplane, yes I am oldish ^^ amongst others) btw we were the only 2 westerners in our section and the fans were better behaved than your concert my plan is to see TVXQ at their come back later this year and spent 2 weeks in Seoul last fall so kpop brings in tourist $, discovered BTS and Yoon do hyun a Korean rock group from the 90’s on that trip. https://youtu.be/pjGknXoOrIA

  13. *inhales* BOIIIIIII........

    “But here’s the craziest part: this wasn’t only Korean girls. Maybe 60% were Asian overall, with the other 40% coming from every other race. That said, there were only about 5% males, and approximately 0% males above the age of about 20 (unless you count me and the people who were working there).”

    cool stats bro, where did you get them from? bc it seems to me that you are largely overgeneralizing and frankly need to broaden that cultural lens of yours. not only are you hella sketch with your interpretation of “asian” (what do you even mean, man? asia is fucking HUGE with so many different countries! how can you just lump us up based on, what, what we look like? or did you do a census? hope its the latter and that you are not THAT type of white guy)

    also “every other race”. love the homogeny. love it. you are either this, or that. binaries are great, thank you, especially coming from a dude so far removed from the actual fandom and culture. doing good work, m’guy. (nah jk that really sucks, you should not do that lmfao)

    and wow, we really wanna tackle gender and kpop? dude, listen, stop with all these weird ass notions. there were hella fanboys of various ages and ethnicities. idk how you could’ve missed that….

    is it really that wild to think that the concert would consist of more than just “only korean girls”? i ask this honestly, as we do live in a world where knowledge and international media is at our fingertips. not to mention, how culturally diverse southern california and the rest of the united states is. like, did you really think kpop existed in a vacuum? or are you assuming that kpop was so “niche” that it couldn’t cross those (literal and figurative) borders? i get it, your eyes see what they want to see. so if you have these preconceived ideas about a group of people, that’s what you unintentionally interpret when you are put out into the world to interact with those people. but, this type of closed mindedness is just going to burden you in the long run. you can’t enter into these culturally involved spaces and view everything in generalities. the world doesn’t work that way, and as a white dude, i am expecting you to step the fuck up and realize how fucking weird and condescending this article is to young fans and especially people of color.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’m really not sure that I’m being close minded. I’m expressing surprise that my pre-conceived ideas weren’t true. Yeah, access to media is global, and this eye-opening event really proved it to me.

      As for the ‘stats,’ yeah it’s just based on what I could see. Not data from the Forum, promoter, or group.

  14. Cathi

    Thank you for this article and thank you for including a picture of me in it. I am not one of the typical EXO-Ls, but I am definitely one. I am a late 40s mother of 2 young kids and an elementary school teacher. I flew in from another state, spent money on merchandise, hotel, car rental, parking just to see them in concert. Why? Their music got me off the couch, got me through physical therapy for my bum knee and got me dancing again. Yes, I was that crazy, older, large woman dancing like a crazed person at the back of the pit for the entire concert. It is because of their music that I could physically do it. Thank you for the photo. Love to all my fellow EXO-Ls out there. We are one.

    • Grumpy70

      I’m with you late 40’s as well love thier music and got me off the couch too. He really didn’t any kind of research on EXO or kpop in my opinion.

    • Writeitright

      Wow the lack of research on the facts presented in this article is glaringly obvious. “Fans generally being Korean & Chinese”..yeah NOPE

  15. He Really Tried It

    This “review” is poorly researched click bait trash. I’m not going to take the time to correct all the fallacies and racist sexist sh*t this turd burglar wrote, other responders have done a good job already. I will say trivializing Korean girls like this is not only incorrect but incredibly​harmful. Its a kpop show, so yeah there were Koreans but lots of Chinese and Japanese fans, Pinoy and Vietnamese… Mexican Girls and Black Girls. This article makes it seem like EXO fans are some silly east Asian preteens and if you don’t see how harmful that is you need a history lesson.

    Get that male privilege in check BRUH.

  16. Eph

    “In other words, no one outside of teenage girls (of all races, by the way) and Asian-American media outlets have caught on to what’s happening. Not Pitchfork, not Rolling Stone, not Billboard.” because EXO turned down an interview with Billboard and did one with iHeartRadio​ instead, but you tried

    • Paul Resnikoff

      For the record, DMN got rejected for an interview as well. But we still showed up.

      And if Billboard really thought this was a seriously big trend (like we do), they would have shown up too!

      • Mona

        It depends on the money the companies are ready to invest I guess. Billboard goes out n out to promote BTS as if it’s their own…so how come they won’t know about EXO.

        • EXO THE KING EXOL THE ROYALS

          the billboard just hate exo lol that’s all explanation. not cause exo less popular or less talented than the others lol they have no rivals. its stupid cause EXO IS KPOP in general . or billboard was paid by someone to ignore exo so it wouldnt be surprise anyways….. but who cares it doesnt put exo in the conor anyway.

      • Saamya

        Billboard attended their concert in NEWARK On April 25 and even had article about them . Why would they attend same concert again in LA ? Do media attend each and every city concert by the same artist .. you may be knowing better . Infact they wanted to do live interview with Exo but EXO had no time .

        • Saamya

          Infact billboard wrote such a detailed article about EXORDIUM performances and termed it as most captivating act as expected from EXO

          • Cindy

            He meant Billboard the main page, not Billboard Kpop section.

  17. Peach

    Just wanna let ya know that just because larger media outlets didn’t send official representatives to the concert doesn’t mean they’re not aware. You should look this stuff up before you write it as supposed fact.

  18. Anonymous

    thank you so much for appreciating their performance. It’s true that their dance skills and songs are all lit, and everyone goes to the concert will definitely be amazed by them. If you dig into EXO, I’m sure you will love them even much more.

  19. Phixo

    Well, I literally cried when I watched them live at their concert here in the Philippines. When the concert starts, I said to myself, “This is one of tge best day in my life*while holding the banner*”. I LOVE EXO?

  20. Mona

    In very simple words EXO is 70percent musical talents and 30percent other factors. Whereas the other group is 40percent musical talents and 60 Percent other factors. Now it’s up to the media who they want to promote and how much.

  21. Saamya

    This is your first Kpop exposure and that happened to be EXO .. so lucky . You started with the best .
    I have mixed response to this article . I am not sure what are you trying to convey exactly ??? you survived the concert because of great music and dance I believe ?? Well this wasn’t well expressed in the article .. looks like you were truly shocked by the fan craze but Kpop fan culture is totally different from western and yes it’s something new for western media but that does not make it bad.

    I am a 35 year old Indian, and I flew from Canada just to see EXO .. I won’t do it for any other group. I am so addicted to their music and dancing. my day is not complete without listening to EXO and let me tell you I don’t understand the language either but I try to sing along and learn the lyrics . Exo is happiness for me . Their music and dancing is A class . It’s just not a simple boy band .. it’s a whole package.
    You mentioned there were 60% Asians .. as far as I could see it was 60% non Asians .

    You also mentioned about billboard not covering the act .. but they already went to their NJ concert on April 25 and had article about them . Why would they attend two same concerts ??? Moreover , EXO unlike other grps like BTS etc is not that much invested in western market . Their main focus is Asia only . And rightfully so.there were hardly any promotions for their NA tour. If media like rolling stone etc did not attend its their loss …

    Lastly you mentioned about American boy bands but I don’t think any of the American boy band can fill in for groups like EXO mainly because the whole concept is different . Do you think American boy band will Invest so much in dance , choreography etc . I don’t think so .

    • Mona

      You are a lucky Indian who could attend an EXO concert, we are unlucky Indians staying in India. We cannot attend a KPOP concert. BUT very well analysed. EXO does not invest too much in western market. Their popularity outside Asia is sheer word of mouth for their awesome music. They don’t need to buy and invest on western media to sell their music like BTS does. BTS is trying toooo hard to get popular and leaving no stone unturned,,,so much money spent will definitely show results. Whereas EXO concentrates on Asian market,,that too until China and still managed to remain popular worldwide without heavy investments and overload of publicity. I am proud of EXO. And this is definitely niot the end.

      • Euing

        True said… An Indian EXO-L here…. I really wish someday EXO comes to India… But, that will happen only in my dreams

      • Army x EXOL

        Okk so if u wanna call giving out international tour and fans promoting them….as investment then okk….I’m an army from India…I do love Exo….but I still think bts got international success due to ingenious music talent….their style is diverse….compared to that of exo….

    • Saamya

      wow good to see an Indian EXOL..I know I got lucky to see them LIVE..I just could not afford to miss this golden chance. You dont get to see EXO that easily being an Intl EXOL..

      As you said, EXO’s popularity is purely WOM no media play like BTS. If they really cared about western publicity they would have given interviews to all the leading portals and would have done huge promotions. They are well aware of their priorities and western market does not fall under it. TBH I am happy about that. EXO does not need any western validation to show how popular they are. Why should they care about ? West does not care about KPOP and they know it. Do we see any american pubs or FM channel playing KPop ? NO …Asia itself is a huge market for them and if at all they come to this part of the world its purely coz of fans and for fans..

      btw i happened to visit EXO fan cafe in LA and all the admins were Americans or Mexicans..No Asians..

  22. saamya

    Thanks for that EXO monster video and for fully capturing it.

  23. Kassie

    I am Nigerian and EXO is the best group i can think of or i have heard so far. especially i have heard their so called best songs and am still left like…??? i dont know why they are so over hyped/rated. Exo’s random songs are even better than some groups best songs like they slay like that. EXO is going higher because of their talent and also i pray for their success. i love exo so much and i dont regret ever finding out about them.

  24. Kassie

    the group i meant is overrated is BTS sorry for that

    • Saamya

      overrated is the correct word. I don’t understand why are they even put under the same bracket as EXO or Big Bang. Do they have anything besides billboard articles to brag about ? First gain some fame in your own country and Asia and then take about the western world who do not care a damn about kpop . KPOP is simply a means of click bait for them.

      • Smh.

        I’m guessing you’re not familiar with the Korean awards. Google it for a bit, okay? Educate yourself.

  25. Anonymous

    this article is playing safe they saying good things about exo but the other part is obviously sarcastic…?

    • Euing

      Correct! I wonder what he wanted to say…

  26. shypark

    i never try to waste my time to listen in any kpop group before and i feel annoying also to kpop fans but since the day that I’ve heard miracle in december by exo i realize and proves that I’m wrong on my judgement to them and since that day the miracle comes to me i get addicted to every exo songs…every album they released i never hesitate to buy it because i know it’s all worth it…now I’m one of that crazy fan of exo officially…since 2013 I’m not kpop fan but I’m only exo fan???

  27. kaylee

    i think it depends on where you go for concerts to see a mixed group of people. i usually go to chicago and there are more white people there than asian all the times that i have gone.

  28. unnnie/ahjumma

    all you guys HATING on bts, and other kpop groups, how can you call yourself a kpop fan? i am not bias towards any group, well i am, but i am into all kpop groups. i dont hate on other groups because of how the fans react to things. you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. you are not real kpop fans if you hate.

    • Mona

      There is one thing to observe here. There are Sooooo many KPOP bands and if you watch closely​ …you won’t find hate or negative messages about any group except for BTS. There is something about them that draws fans and equal number of non-fans too. I love EXO…but I would never ever mind if groups like GOT7, MonstaX, NCT exceed them and become more popular. I am a general KPOP fan. and that’s exactly why I never dare to claim that EXO has exceeded BigBang popularity. As true KPOP fans we understand where each one stands. But there’s something always fishy about BTS… please don’t get offended but they just appear so overrated. I have never seen negative comments about any group irrespective they make good or average music. BTS has a huge army of fans but they have equal amount of antis. Wonder why? And please don’t say that people are jealous of them..duh.

      • wtf

        Really? just because bts has so many antis it doesn’t mean other groups don’t get hate either. Mona, wtf? The reason why you see more hate on Bts is because not only are BTS’s main rivals popular Korean groups such as EXO, GOT7, BB etc, but also popular Western artists since they’ve broken into the western music market as well. with more rivals comes more antis which leads to more haters.

        just because a group has so many haters you can’t go “OH theres something really bad that they have done!” oh really? why don’t to research that then assume so? fucking hell..

    • honestly

      it’s called “fandom wars”
      exo-ls and army hate each other.
      this is why we have countries and wars.. ..cus of fangirls.

  29. Rboy

    Honestly EXO is my first kpop group.. they are my gate way to kpop and I love these guys…

    I am an EXO-L fanboy and I’m proud of it… maybe one day us fanboys should get together… it’s hard to find others like us…

  30. Euing

    Then why you didn’t kill yourself??
    Your headlines is way misleading..

  31. bret.

    Strip away the dark urban park? No wonder the sh*t has no soul. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg did not have to strip away the urban part 25 years ago and sold 5 million copies of one album. Sad.

  32. Adriana bautista

    I’m somehow a little bit irritated of how you put it together, you needed​to make a more deeper research about kpop before posting any article related to it. Kpop bands in South Korea go through a training process before debuting unlike here in America where anybody untalented can be a star and yes I’m saying UNTALENTED!!! Kpop fans we support Talented young people who are passionate about theirs dreams and have the most disciplined life to achieve perfection so that they can actually show it on stage. Please do a research before posting anything next time.

  33. Lena

    You are so lucky! I seriously wish I could have gone! I also want to apologize for all of these nasty comments and blinded EXO-L stans are saying.

  34. Fuck EXO

    Lol boy bands are so fucking stupid and gay, especially Lu Han. TWICE IS THE BEST.

    • FUCK BACK TO YOU, FAN OF TWICE

      And TWICE is over girly thing… Even tried to copy supernatural and other singers concept in their MV.. BLACKPINK is much much better

  35. Anonymous

    I honestly see more comments about BTS than EXO here… For this article, lets please just comment about positive things about EXO, and please don’t bring down BTS! Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I personally don’t think that BTS is overrated, and that they are talented boys that deserve the fame they have now. Just because they are less popular than EXO or other groups in Korea does not mean they are not popular there at all. Please don’t hate on BTS while calling yourself a “KPOP fan”, because they are still kpop too! 🙂 Let’s not make any new fanwars, ok?

  36. anonymous

    so this basically explains why he is hating us ARMY and BTS…like i am not taking this against EXO and their fans but seriously?

    he could have just wrote articles about and EXO instead of bashing a kpop group who is also doing their best…

  37. paul asshole

    Paul Loves EXO and hate BTS… ITS A FACT! oh! be fair and wise. dont drag a kpop group because you dont like them. if you love EXO, love them. there is no need for you to drag BTS down paul asshole. Anyways, no matter how you drag BTS, they will not notice you as much as you noticed them Paul asshole. PAUL ASSHOLE, sounds good. it fits you.

  38. paul asshole

    Digital Music News is the leading authority for music industry professionals worldwide. We are based in Santa Monica, CA. More about us here.—- Paul Asshole

  39. paul asshole

    Digital Music News is the leading authority for music industry professionals worldwide. We are based in Santa Monica, CA. More about us here.—- Paul Asshole

    So you decided to write this? I cannot believe you believe this.

    I won’t believe you anymore. I’ll make something really fun to lessen the number of your view clicks, asshole.

  40. james

    exo are one of the most mediocre k-pop groups out there. no chen and they’re f*cked. one of their lead dancers (sehun) is one of the most awkward dancers i’ve ever seen in kpop. one of the most talantless idols overall.

    they’d be struggling somehwere in the middle of the charts if it wasn’t for sm. i realised this all way too late though… spent too much time on this crappy boyband. their fanbase is even crappier.

    • anon

      well i can’t say that you are totally wrong.

  41. A Real Kpop Fan

    Man, what a shame. I’m sure both EXO-Ls and ARMY would’ve appreciated you being gone.

  42. Surrina

    EXO is really talented. So handsome and excellent. I can’t believe that there are some people hating them. Maybe they’re just jealous. EXO are true hero. my hero

  43. baekhyunee

    I was one of those campers. Don’t know how long others were there but I was the 11th in line and we were there for over 12 hours. When it comes to Kpop people really have absolutely no idea what Kpop fans especially EXO-Ls are capable of.

  44. MARA

    actually exo dont write their own songs. on the other hand BTS and BigBang do!

  45. Hate immature people

    You guys are not serious and some even sound immature,this article is about EXO but the comments are mostly about bts(bashing) like saying they are overrated, one person was saying “EXO is better than this group some of their songs are overhyped EXO is better than them” making it seem as if she didnt want to call names or talking about some group but later said “by the way am talking about BTS” like you need to compare them that was stupid and immature another one bashing bts and saying “dont say it is jealousy duh” like that changes anything the thing is you are jealous but trying to deny it,i dont like all the artist in the world but i dont talk bad about them why because what mr A likes mr B will not like and that is okay because they are not your taste does not people dont like it,BTS made me like kpop i like EXO but i love BTS and i dont see anything wrong with their vocals(am tired of “they dont have good vocals” i mean who cares) they still have fans even with their poor “vocals” BTS has achieved many things and they will keep achieving and they is nothing you can do…….p.s BTS vocals are great

  46. Hate immature people

    I dont know bts personally but i hate when someone works hard for what they have and someone will say they are overhyped(meaning they dont deserve what they have)that is so wrong,just like how you will feel if someone says you dont deserve what you have after working hard to get to the top so before you say someone is overhyped because you dont like them think of how you will feel if you were the one.if your fav is as good as you say why are they not at the position BTS is,the people that like them sees something special in them something you will never understand because you are blinded by your hate for them

  47. Person

    I find it amazing how this Paul guy can praise EXO and flat out insult other K-Pop bands.

  48. I am a multi

    I don’t understand if this article was about EXO then why the hell are those toxic exo-l dragging BTS into this scenario!! Like really ? and just start another fanwar. I am a multi and pretty much appreciate every group but i dont know why exo-l’s bring up and bash bts whenever something is mentioned about exo