SE SO NEON – First Concert Ever

“If I go back
Where should I go back, go back, go back?” [from Go Back (2019)]

That was part of the lyrics sung by the SE SO NEON during their ‘Hello, World! 2023’ Tour. And I would definitely go back to the time when they first stepped onto the stage at Rickshaw Theatre on Wednesday, September 13.

In 2016, SE SO NEON began as a Korean indie rock band created by the charismatic lead singer and guitarist So Yoon. Joined with her is the bassist Hyunjin Park, and while there were others, they all left due to mandatory military service in South Korea. In 2018, the band received Rookie of the Year and Best Rock Song at the Korean Music Awards. They are basically the face of K-indie at the moment.

My sister introduced me to SE SO NEON’s music two years ago, and their unique music style fascinated me. The genre of the music was labelled as “psychedelic rock.” Not only did the style intrigue me, but also the vocal. The singer sounded masculine when singing low and feminine when she had to hit higher notes, almost like a whisper.

I nervously attended my first-ever concert with my sister as her birthday gift, hearing stories from friends about the weird atmosphere filled with the scent of weed, flashing lights, and creepy men. Fortunately, the concert venue had a strict no-smoking policy and no flashy lights, aligning with the band’s preferences (and no creeps!) We managed to stand only two rows away from So Yoon.

How can I describe the show? It was absolute BANGERS. So Yoon’s amazing vocals were expected, but her performance was crazy. She was playing her guitar with rockstar energy, and she even threw her glasses on the floor and bent backwards while shredding her electric guitar. The bassist and hired drummer were passionate, but the leader foreshadowed them. But when they had to talk after songs, they would get all shy, which was cute and funny (especially the drummer.) They all had exceptional showmanship.

One of the biggest highlights for me was when So Yoon threw the merch bandana she had on her mic stand, and I CAUGHT IT.

The concert by SE SO NEON was phenomenal, delivering an electrifying performance that left me anticipating their return to the Vancouver stage (just as they had promised). The vibes, the music, and the showmanship were all on point, making it an unforgettable experience that I hope to go back to.

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