Red Velvet have told Rolling Stone UK about hitting the road for their recent UK tour, and why they’re hoping for even bigger things.
Since debuting in 2014, the group – Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri – have won acclaim for being one of K-Pop’s most consistently versatile groups.
They’ve shown their energetic side on tracks like ‘Dumb Dumb’, ‘Rookie’ and ‘Huff n Puff’, while a more mature and sophisticated side has been displayed on tracks like ‘Psycho’, ‘Time to Love’ and ‘Kingdom Come’.
It means that recent tour – ‘Red Velvet 4th Concert : R to V’ – offers a career-spanning taste of their celebrated career across 25 celebrated songs. Fans have experienced the sugar rush of their latest title track ‘Birthday’, but have also been able to unwind with the endearing ‘My Dear’ or the dreamy harmonies of ‘Eyes Locked, Hands Locked’.
Prior to concluding their tour in London, they performed in Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam (minus Joy, who’s on hiatus). Their European experience also headed to Barcelona for Primavera Sound on June 1st. As the only K-pop act invited this year, they performed a variety of songs from their elegant Bach-sampled ‘Feel My Rhythm’, along with their lively tracks ‘Zimzalabim’ and ‘Red Flavor’. Unfortunately, adverse weather alerts in Madrid led to the cancellation of their second performance at Primavera Sound.
“Paris was our first stop on the Europe tour and we were really happy and thankful to see all our fans”, said Seulgi. However, she admits that initially, “we were worried that we wouldn’t have many fans at our concerts”. Despite this, they found that this was the complete opposite, with fans showing out in numbers with their lightsticks favoured by the group’s fans, all ready for Red Velvet to take them on a journey of their discography at the R to V concerts.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the touring experience is being able to create an enchanting moment for fans, no matter their location. “The tour is almost the same as the Korean concert, except for the set. It’s a bit different as we had to change our performances according to the set. In order to show our European ReVeluvs (their fanbase) a great performance, we had to practise over and over again”, said Wendy. Although their European stages were different, the members kept up the same momentum, providing ReVeluvs with a memorable experience.
“For me, every stop is memorable. Every stop was a bit different and the vibes were always different. I was so overwhelmed and can’t forget anything”, she added.
But with such a stacked discography, how does the group decide on a setlist? “It’s been 3 years since our last tour, so we try to show new stages and songs we haven’t performed before,” Irene chimes in.
The group’s name is also representative of their two sides. The Velvet represents the more serious side, while Red represents their fun, energetic side. But which do the group prefer?
“In the past, it used to be Velvet but now it’s Red because it’s more energetic and hits differently”, Seulgi mentions with a smile. Meanwhile Yeri prefers the Velvet side because it’s more mature.
What about favourite songs? For Seulgi, her love for ‘Zimzalabim’ grew during the tour and Wendy mentions that ‘Ice Cream Cake’ and ‘Dumb Dumb’ are her favourites. Irene echoes Wendy’s sentiments, confirming that older songs like ‘Dumb Dumb’ are her favourites. Whilst her members seem to love the older songs, Yeri switches it up highlighting that ‘Feel My Rhythm’ is currently her favourite as its regal visuals are similar to shows she’s been watching recently like Bridgerton and The Crown.
They were nervous for Primavera Sound. “It felt like an impromptu concert and we didn’t know if our fans were going to attend”, Irene mentions. However, the nerves stopped once they hit the stage. “We are so honoured to be able to perform at a huge festival like Primavera Sound”, Yeri says with a gleeful look.
During the tour, they did a lot of sightseeing and tried new foods but they were astonished that their fans were able to recognise them. “It was surprising but I was happy to know that we have fans here”, says Seulgi.
Now, they’re just hoping for even bigger things. Asked about the biggest highlight of their career, Wendy mentions that “I don’t think it has come yet. It will come soon.”