Red Velvet Wembley Arena review

Red Velvet at OVO Wembley Arena review | R to V takes us to their Queendom

Red Velvet bring their iconic Queendom to London, taking fans on a journey through their musical performance. Armed with the best discography in K-pop and excellent vocals, they remind us it’s more than a concert, but an experience – even with group member Joy’s absence.


“When we were rehearsing earlier and the arena was empty, I was worried there would be lots of empty seats’”, said Wendy, the main vocalist. All I can say is that London ReVeluvs showed out with their lightsticks in force and proved her wrong. This was made all the more remarkable by the fact the ticketing for the concert began less than just three weeks before it took place.

For many international K-pop fans, we wait for years until our favourite groups are able to visit our cities. Nights like this become more extraordinary when you’re seeing your favourite group live rather than through social media. So, unsurprisingly, fans persisted. Ultimately, it’s impossible to deny Red Velvet’s talent and global popularity, so it’s not exactly a surprise they are one of the hottest K-pop groups out right now and were dubbed the ‘best idol group alive’ by Billboard.

Red Velvet concluded their R to V Asia and Europe tour in London, performing at the OVO Wembley Arena on 6 June. This performance was their second time in London, following their highly-anticipated appearance at the MIK Festival last summer.

Red Velvet

Photo: SM Entertainment

If there’s one thing you need to know about Red Velvet, it’s that they are extremely versatile, with this show giving you a sense of their past-paced transitions, ‘from Ice Cream Cake’ to ‘Psycho’. If you know these songs, you know that they don’t sound similar and that’s the beauty of Red Velvet. They can do any genre, any sound with aplomb. Following their debut in 2014, the members – Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri – built their concept around two contrasting themes: the Red and the Velvet.

Whether you’re into their bold and energetic Red side, or their more mature and sophisticated Velvet, there’s something for everyone. Building on this, the concert was divided into both sides and let’s just say, the members didn’t disappoint and brought all their energy. In addition to her colourful vocals and vibrant choreography, Yeri was the hype woman for the night, ensuring fans were reciprocating the same energy with her funny moments during the break.

After all, there’s a running joke between both Yeri and ReVeluvs that London is her second hometown. Despite Joy’s absence, her presence was never forgotten with her pre-recorded vocals displaying on the screen. It was a surprise at first because when she showed up on the screen, it felt like she was there.

With six outfit changes and a concert spanning over two hours, we went on a journey with Red Velvet. We sang, we danced, we laughed, we cried. Perhaps the best thing about their varying concepts is how they bring them to life. Before they took the stage, all you could hear were the shrieks and screams from their ReVeluvs, which only intensified as they started their performance. Emerging like ballerinas, they wore their custom made Dénicheur pink tulle dresses and long black boots, and opened with their award winning title track ‘Feel My Rhythm’. It felt like we were looped into a fairytale.

Red Velvet gig review

Photo: SM Entertainment

The first segment of the concert was dedicated to their Red side as they reeled off some of their most iconic tracks. These highly intensive songs were full of energy and Wendy’s high note in ‘Bing Bing’ was mind-blowing. Immediately after, they performed their quirky and latest track ‘Birthday’, which in some ways is a throwback to their rookie years. Before you heard the women, though, it’s pounding bassline hit. As Irene, the leader, began singing “1, 2, 3”, coupled with the beat, it got everyone moving.

With Red Velvet, flexing their vocals comes natural to them. And the perfect songs examples of this were ‘Eyes Locked Hands Locked’ and their B-sides from their latest EP, ‘ZOOM’ and ‘BYE BYE’. I was stunned at their seamless harmonies, silky voices and dreamy voices. Covering Joy’s bridge in ‘ZOOM’, Seulgi, vocalist and main dancer, definitely did her justice.

The second part of the performance, dedicated to their Velvet side, provided us the likes of ‘Beg For Me’, ‘Psycho’, ‘Pose’ and ‘Bad Boy (English Version)’. It was an all-black affair with their coordinated outfits and seamless choreography. Despite being known for their vocals, Red Velvet showed out with their dancing. My favourite dances were the ‘Psycho’ dance break and Irene and Seulgi during ‘Beg For Me’ where we see them switch things up. That’s the heart to this endearing group: when the concept changes, you see another side to them.

Red Velvet affirm their appreciation for their ReVeluvs during the encore with ‘My Dear’, in which Wendy’s scatting and Seulgi’s ad-libs captivate the crowd. The encore’s emotional, long-time fans cry in this segment as the members talk about how they truly wished Joy could have been with us that night and hoped they did her justice. They needn’t have worried about whether they did or not. Signing-off, the concert finished with a blast with ‘Zimzalabim’ and ‘You Better Know’, with everyone on their feet, living in the moment.

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