K-pop legend IU has gone viral for performing in a hot air balloon during her 14th-anniversary celebration concert over the weekend.
IU’s “The Golden Hour: Under the Orange Sun” concert was her first in-person show in three years since 2019’s “Love Poem.” The singer sold out the Seoul Olympic Main Stadium, a venue that has a maximum capacity of more than 69,000. Sunday marked 14 years since she started her career with the EP “Lost and Found.”
IU pulled out all the stops for her fans. Wanting to ensure she could reach and interact with the audience at the upper levels of the venue, IU performed in a pink hot air balloon, evoking visuals of her song “Strawberry Moon.”
Netizens were quick to react to the aerial feat.
“IU the legend that she is singing on a hot air balloon which is designed to be strawberry moon that will shine even when its cloudy,” one Twitter user wrote.
“The fact that IU rode that hot air balloon while singing strawberry moon so that she also could see other uaenas is making me sobs she’s the best,” another user wrote.
Beyond that, drones conjuring a light show and fireworks gave the show an extra bang. IU’s mother also provided thousands of seat cushions for concertgoers.
During her performance of “Ganadara,” IU brought out a special guest, rapper Jay Park
, who complimented his fellow musician, saying, “Although she’s much younger, IU is an artist I truly respect.”
“She’s stayed at the top for 14 years, pulling off everything perfectly, from her albums to acting and even the concerts.,” he continued. “It’s more amazing for me as, as a fellow musician, I know how much hard work and effort it takes to do that.”
During the concert, IU revealed that she has been struggling with minor hearing issues, saying in a documentary shot for the concert, “It’s not something serious, but I haven’t been able to control my ear conditions for around a year now. Near the end of yesterday’s show, my ears started to worsen in condition, and from last night until the rehearsal today, the past day has been like hell for me.”
She compared it to hearing as if you were yawning, creating a loud ringing sensation.
IU also said she would retire the song “Palette,” featuring G-Dragon, from her official setlists because at 30 years old, it feels odd to sing about being 25.
However, IU assured her fans she has no plans of stopping anytime soon:
“I thought that this show might be my final destination. I had never imagined being on such a big stage. Through tonight’s memory, I will not become arrogant and, staying humble, I will keep on reminding myself about those hearts rooting for me. I’ve only come 14 years, so here’s to another 14 years.”