The boys of NCT did not just bring home three awards last night—they also performed an incredible “Resonance” stage and released a new music video for their tearjerking track “From Home.” How are we holding up, NCTzens?
On Dec. 6, some of the biggest names in K-pop came together to attend the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2020 in Paju, South Korea. With the theme “New-topia,” the show went on without a live audience and was streamed online so fans from around the world could watch their fave artists accept their awards in a socially distant fashion.
While pandemic restrictions prevented fans from seeing idol interactions on live television, K-pop stans were still in for a treat as their faves prepared pre-recorded performances that aired during the awards ceremony.
From K-pop sensations like Shinee’s Taemin, BoA and Monsta X teaming up with newer acts like Cravity, (G)I-dle and Iz*One, to groups like Stray Kids, Ateez and The Boyz driving multi-stans crazy with powerful collaborations, K-pop fans rode a whirlwind of emotions last night.
SM Entertainment’s 23-member boy group Neo Culture Technology (NCT) won the awards for “worldwide fan’s choice,” “favorite male group” and “favorite Asian artist” (WayV), and delivered a whopping 20-minute performance that brought NCTzens to tears. Known for being a group composed of multiple sub-units, the boys showed off their versatility by performing a four-track lineup of different genres.
After the drop of NCT’s mashup of their high energy tracks “Make A Wish,” “90’s Love,” “Work It” and “Raise the Roof” from their second full-length album “Resonance,” fans just knew that the boys would not play around with their time onstage. But as an NCTzen myself, I was not ready for the emotional rollercoaster last night.
The group kicked off its performance with a rearranged version of its ballad track “From Home,” flexing their vocalists’ skills (shoutout to Doyoung’s 15-second high note). Right when NCTzens had gone speechless with all those high notes and vocal runs, the foreign members popped on the stage like toast to sing the last chorus of the track. Fans interpreted this scene as a way to show how these members left their home countries to pursue their dreams and found another home with NCT. “It all starts from here, our home.” (DO YOU SEE MY TEARS?)
“Turn Back Time”
After that crying fest, the show introduced NCT’s global concept in different languages through a video, and transitioned to the performances of their sub-units beginning with WayV. The Chinese group took home the award for “favorite Asian artist” and performed a fire performance of their single “Turn Back Time.” They literally took us on a “Step Up 3” moment and lit up the stage for this one—you have to see it for yourself.
Next up was NCT Dream’s electrifying performance of the single “Ridin’.” The maknae unit took center stage and danced to the track surrounded by motorcycles. The youngest member Jisung had to sit the dancing out and instead sang on top of one of the vehicles due to a knee injury. Still, NCTzens loved the 6-member performance, and with the recent announcement of Mark’s return to the group, fans can’t wait to see what’s next for Dream’s future comeback.
Fourth on the lineup was NCT 127’s powerful performance of their cult-favorite hit “Kick It.” As a strong contender for “best dance performance male group” and “song of the year,” NCT 127 drove fans wild with a roaring performance that got everyone chanting “new thangs.” (I know that’s not the only thing that drove us wild—Johnny, I see you.)
And last, but definitely not the least, all 23 members dominated the MAMA 2020 stage and performed “Resonance.” A few minutes before their final performance, the boys showed another video teasing SM Entertainment’s future concept “Ether,” which allows the artists to connect with each other and their fans “across dimensions.” NCT ended their number by performing the hits of their “Resonance” era with leader Taeyong descending from the sky like a god.
From starting with an emotional track to uniting for one OT23 stage, you’d think it was time for NCT to call it a day, right? Wrong. NCT had one last surprise up their sleeve. A few minutes after the performance, the group posted a music video of the rearranged version of “From Home” featuring clips of their trainee days up to the present. NCTzens went on a feels trip as they reminisced the early days of the group and trended #OurHomeNCT to celebrate their hard work.
I may have become an NCTzen only this year, but the boys’ performances and their video hit home and made me a crying mess. What more for fans who’ve been with them since their SM Rookies days? Thanks for saving our 2020, NCT.