Red Velvet Takes Over Chicago in First U.S. Fanmeet

Red Velvet Takes Over Chicago in First U.S. Fanmeet

Fans from all over the country ventured to Rosemont, just outside of Chicago, to see Red Velvet in their first official fanmeet in the United States. The lines to get into the venue stretched all the way down the block and around the building as fans gathered in anticipation for doors to open. Sadly, Joy was absent due to drama schedules.

A Time as Sweet as Red Velvet

 All Photos: Kelly Sipko

All Photos: Kelly Sipko

The show began with a bang as the girls came out with the big guns immediately, starting with “Red Flavor” and getting the people in the crowd screaming at the top of their lungs. The introductory talk followed as well as a special video SubKulture Entertainment prepared for the fans of the group members.

Two songs followed—the ballad “Moonlight Melody” (the only B-side performed) and high-energy title “Russian Roulette”—before the girls took their seats to start the fan engagement games. Each of the members selected a question that fans had sent in prior to the show, with Wendy switching it up and taking two (which caused the others to do so as well).

The highlight of the Q+A session was definitely when Irene drew a card asking the group to perform their legendary shark family aegyo, much to the delight of the crowd. With Irene playing the baby shark, Seulgi the mom shark, Wendy the dad shark, and Yeri the grandmother shark, it was impossible not to have a smile plastered across your face due to their cuteness.

A lot of questions also came up about hair style and hair color, for some reason, along with the standard questions of ideal type and yearly goals. Wendy also mentioned that in order to relieve stress, she watches cover videos made by the fans as well as reaction videos, which she finds quite humorous. Yeri successfully dodged the ideal type question by exclaiming all ReVeluvs were her ideal type, much to the delight of the male fans in the crowd.

The games portion of the show followed, beginning with random play dance, a fan favorite. Fans were to decide the winner who then would choose one loser to perform a punishment, which was already predetermined as a sexy dance performance. Maknae Yeri of course threw a (very cute) fit, especially when she was teased by MC Danny Lim about his premonition of her losing.

After three rounds the fans ultimately decided on Wendy being the winner, and when asked who she chose as the loser, she pretty much said “Why not all of them?” This led to a fit from the  other three members, a futile attempt that still led to each of them performing the punishment separately. Wendy didn’t get the last laugh this time, however, as she was also requested to perform the punishment in solidarity of the other members.

The second game was very fan-driven, with everyone standing and holding up either their left or right arm to vote for what they thought each member would choose between two options. While a cute idea in theory, this game resulted in a significant chunk of time being taken away from the schedule (as it’s possible that not every member of the audience would be honest about whether or not they guessed correctly). This game was probably the biggest downside of the night, as it dragged on far too long and likely interfered with performances; the show ran quite late and didn’t have an encore as most expected.

This can’t be fully blamed on SubK, though. It was likely an idea to try out this time around, and while it seems nice and fun for fan engagement, putting that much power in the hands of super fans is never really a good idea, since the chances of them following the rules as they should are very slim. I myself saw an audience member cheating in order to stay in the game.

After rushing to wrap this up, the rest of the performances finally continued. A behind-the-scenes video of the “Rookie” music video shoot was shown as the girls prepared for their performance of said track. Smash hit “Peek-A-Boo” followed before the ending talk, and the show closed out with their latest release, “Bad Boy.”

Even with the slight hiccup mid-show, Red Velvet’s visit to Chicago was still worth experiencing. SubK has a very good reputation when it comes to promoters, and it’s rare—surprising, even—for things not to run smoothly when they’re in control. Everyone makes mistakes; there’s no reason to hold it against them as promoters, especially when they have a fantastic track record.

Hopefully in the near future, Red Velvet will return to the United States for a full tour or fanmeet schedule. The members are an absolute delight, and I’m sure they only get better when all the members are present.

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