NCT 127 in NYC at Build Studios
NCT 127 returned to “Neo” York City with their visit to Build Studios on June 22. The global group stopped by the studio for a quick interview along with a couple lucky fans to discuss their growing popularity in America and build anticipation for their KCON NY performance. While tickets for the live taping were already sold out in advance, this did not stop NCTzens from waiting hours in line just to catch a glimpse of the boys. Fans claimed to have waited for six hours straight, while others claimed to have waited since 3 p.m. the day prior for the standby line in hopes of getting audience seats for the 30-minute taping. A substantial line formed as early as 7 a.m. and continued to grow as the day progressed, in which many bystanders and even tour groups questioned which celebrity was in the area to gather such a crowd.
Before the Show
Building security did not expect such a large turnout solely for a standby line for a sold-out show and continuously stressed that no seats were guaranteed for the audience—which fans had already expected. However, security still expressed courtesy to fans in line and managed to meet both the needs of the studio and NCTzens. Many fans will remember Marcus, the generous security guard acting positively to fans. He decided to hand fans numbered tickets that gave them the chance to get up close and personal with the group inside the studio, in addition to letting all the fans in line move to the barricades in front of the entrance to witness their arrival. As a sign of gratitude, many fans bonded with security to convert them into NCTzens and compliment them on their hard work on keeping the place safe for the group.
As time passed, many NCTzens bonded with each other by talking about their biases, showing off their merch, and sharing their favorite moments from the NCT members, which eventually formed friendships that made the experience even more enjoyable. Even NCTzens had their fair share of the spotlight with Build Up, the studio’s pre-show with the hosts interacting with fans who expressed their love and passion for the global group. The atmosphere was very reminiscent of TRL, as described by Billboard, with the same passionate crowds waiting outside for interviews of their favorite music artist. The same fanatic energy occurred when NCT 127 arrived to the studio, still seated inside their charter bus, that had screams loud enough to turn heads everywhere.
Inside the Studio
Despite tickets being sold out, the studio surprisingly still had room for fans to join the general audience and balcony, as well as extra space to watch inside the studio hallway. Before the live filming, the members took the time to notice each fan in these spaces, which enhanced the fan experience and showcased the group’s genuine appreciation for their overseas fans. The cozy studio bridged the gap between artist and fan (both in the audience and through a screen) with the intimate interview session about the group’s overseas popularity, their music, and their dynamic along with answering fan questions sent via video and Tumblr. The members captured not only the fans’ hearts but the staff’s as well, as security guards mimicked Taeyong’s mannerisms and listened intently to Taeil’s fashion advice. Many can witness their engagement with the audience on-screen during the interview, but the group still managed to exude positive energy until the end of the taping by bidding their farewell to fans inside the studio and sending their warmest gratitude to the energetic crowds outside as they exited. While the love from NCTzens clearly flooded the streets of NYC—and caused minor traffic—NCT 127 kept their cool as they departed from the studio and left fans still in disbelief from their appearance.
This marks the group’s second event held in NYC since last year’s Today at Apple event, where they had a small performance accompanied by a Q&A session and organized for free. Both events generated a large turnout that emphasizes NCT 127’s popularity in the United States and, from the look of the sea of NCT lightsticks at KCON, their potential for a North American tour.