NCT DREAM's Got That Boom: Setting Off Thunder In London

One of the most fun and interesting boygroups in Korean pop, NCT DREAM, finally put on their long-awaited first concert in the UK's capital.
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NCT DREAM's Got That Boom: Setting Off Thunder In London

“IN DREAM” glowed in disordered letters on screen. There was a constant hum in the air as attendees in the large venue rushed to find their seats, while others chatted amongst themselves excitedly. Green strobes swayed steadily from left to right, and with the odd fan’s lightstick already switched on, the arena was gleaming the colour of exit signs and highlighters. A certain pearl neo champagne known as the official fandom colour of NCTzens, NCT’s global fanbase, is the identifiable colour of all things NCT. 

London, which had already been blessed with older NCT unit NCT 127’s appearance four years prior, finally felt when NCT DREAM touched down in the city for the first time. British NCTzens’ agonising wait was finally over, seven years since the unit’s 2016 debut.

When giving their proper introductions, a thunder of stamping feet accompanied each cheer from the crowd, startling some members. By this point, oldest member Mark was already well-acquainted with the buzz of UK fans. His third concert appearance in the UK (as a member of multiple NCT subunits) as well as being a notoriously kooky Canadian has earned him special appeal to the Brits, and many Western fans in general. Member Haechan had also performed alongside Mark in London once before, as part of NCT 127’s NEO CITY - The Origin tour. This seemed to earn him an extra boost of love from the fans, as the only other returning member. The audience feedback was clear: NCT Dream are loved in this city.

The packed setlist boasted 29 songs, which was aided by the fact that a number of these were shorter versions of the original tracks. Amongst these songs was the debut performance of “Beatbox”’s English version, popular tracks like “Dreaming” and “Hello Future”, as well as beloved older hits “We Go Up” and “Chewing Gum”. The live vocals were steady and projected decently, something many have learned to expect from SM Entertainment’s idols. The dances they performed weren’t always simple linear choreography; “Quiet Down” had some of the members dancing in glass boxes on the floor, and while running between the stages during “BOOM” Jeno did a flip in the air, making the wild crowd go even wilder. 

British singer HRVY could be spotted in the audience cheering along, as this was his first reunion with the group since their collaboration track “Don’t Need Your Love” released in 2020. Many fans on Twitter expressed joy over the wholesome exchange. 

Despite being seven years old already, NCT Dream always feels fresh, thanks to their consistent pop sound and youthful vibe, and this was clear as the concert took viewers through both their biggest hits and deepest cuts. The group originally was meant to have a nonpermanent lineup, wherein members would ‘graduate’ after reaching a certain age. But thanks to their unpredicted success and fans’ unshakable attachment to the original members, this project was abolished in 2020 and the lineup was made permanent.

Photo courtesy of NCT Dream's Twitter.

After the anticipated, yet expected encore at the end of the show, the crowd was genuinely surprised when NCT DREAM jumped back on stage for a second post-main show reappearance. Fans who had already left their seats came dashing through the doors once again, to see the beloved septet for one last time. Even after they’d made their final exit (for real this time), fans were even hesitant to leave so quickly, in case they were fooled again. 

Throughout the show, the London fans paid their respects to NCT DREAM in the only way they knew how; screams of joy, loud chants, foot-stamping and even barking, filling Wembley and granting all in attendance a spectacular, highly-energised night that could be recommended to anyone simply wanting to catch a great show. It was as if seven years of wishing and hoping to see the group in the flesh manifested in an explosion of gratitude: a joyful energy shared by both the group and NCTzens.

One thing’s for sure... London will wait just as eagerly once more for NCT DREAM's swift return. 

The Dream Show 2: In A Dream, the group’s second ever tour, kicked off in September last year, and is due to run until mid-May. Tickets can be found here. NCT DREAM can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
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