Why LE SSERAFIM's Concert Lacked the 'High-Budget Feel' of HYBE Events
When one thinks of 'HYBE concerts,' the immediate imagery is often of grandeur and massive scales. This is colloquially referred to as the 'taste of capital'-in simpler terms, a visual experience that implies a significant amount of money was spent.
However, the solo tour 'FLAME RISES' by group LE SSERAFIM, consisting of Kim Chaewon, Sakura, Heo Yunjin, Kazuha, and Hong Eun Chae, held on August 13 at the Jamsil Indoor Gymnasium in Seoul, felt different.
Upon entering, there were no overpowering props or stage setups typical of girl group concerts. There weren't any charming decorative figurines or ornaments either. HYBE described this as a "clean and bold stage design," visualizing the 'pure and unadulterated attitude' of LE SSERAFIM.
It was minimalism in its truest form. One could rationally speculate that there was a purpose to showcase their title as a 'performance girl group'. The intention seemed to focus purely on the essence of LE SSERAFIM's performance.
The opening act was indeed overwhelming in scale. The massive sliding LED media art was unparalleled in any concert device seen before-it was both dazzling and enormous. A cube-shaped space adorned with LEDs on the left, right, and top was set up behind the main LED screen. This provided a dramatic display where media art and performance organically interconnected. The space between the LEDs heightened the volume of the stage, further intensifying the immersive experience.
But even this had its limits. While the initial opening provided a powerful impact, it's important to remember that a concert is a place to witness 'performance'. If it were solely a media art-led concert, the likelihood of audiences paying nearly 200,000 won for tickets to see LE SSERAFIM might have decreased. Given the massive LED media wall setup, the concert showcased a total of four VCR footages, consuming a notable portion of the event.
Moreover, since the overall view focused on the media screen, it was hard to find individual-focused screens, which was disappointing. For comparison, at a TOMORROW X TOGETHER concert in March, individual member screens were displayed on the side, increasing audience satisfaction. This kind of stage tech, typically seen in online concerts, was being utilized in offline events, generating buzz. However, even the split-screen effect for stage performances was difficult to find in this concert.
One of the noteworthy stage devices HYBE employed was the fog frame machine. This gave the illusion of heat waves shimmering across the entire stage, facilitating a more dreamlike and mysterious atmosphere. Basic effects like fireworks and lasers were also added.
In terms of visualizing LE SSERAFIM's pure attitude through minimalistic stage devices, it was indeed a success. Moreover, with no distractions, it was easier to focus solely on LE SSERAFIM's performance. Yet, the absence of that anticipated 'taste of capital' in a HYBE concert was undeniably a lingering disappointment.