03 June 2024

K Concert Review: 2024 IU HEREH World Tour Concert in Manila 5 || 5

(Continued from the first part where I talked about pre-concert stuff). 

The concert promptly started at 6:30 p.m. Bouncers were initially very strict about the no recording policy (photos, videos, audio). Fortunately, they eased up on this rule towards the end. 

Oppa was mostly silent the entire time (save for some occasional applause, which he was hesitant to do because no one seemed to be clapping). I was not sure if he was enjoying or if he was getting bored. I, on the other hand, had a lot of fun playing with the light stick and dancing and singing along with IU!!! People would think I was the actual Uaena. Haha. 

First, let me talk about the lightstick. I was amazed with how everything was controlled/centralized. Different colors/patterns/beats for every song. And they'd turn off when IU had to speak. This ahjumma found everything so cool haha. 

Second, I loved how romanized lyrics were flashed on the screen. The audience could sing along with IU and it felt as if we were all friends having a good time in the noraebang. That was truly a one of a kind experience for me. I felt like a K pop star while belting out IU's songs. 

Third, the band. I loved IU's band. They were all so talented and passionate about what they were doing. And they looked like they were having a good time. They enjoyed everything and you can't help but wish that everyone would find jobs they truly love like IU's band. 

Fourth, the dancers. They were all so good that they'd probably be eligible to debut in K pop groups. Special mention too to the local kid dancers and actress who were so lucky to be part of that show. Years later, they'd probably realize how priceless that experience was for them. 

Fifth, I was truly grateful for the translator. Whoever she was, she did a great job in bridging the language gap between IU and her audience. I enjoyed the engaging translations too. 

And finally, our main star, IU!!! I've always known that she's pretty (poreless skin!!!) and that she's a very talented singer. But seeing her live just further reinforced those things. She's way prettier in person. And she sounds so much better too. In this age of auto tune and other technology, it was really refreshing to hear her sing in a very natural and intimate manner. You can hear cracks in her voice here and there when she's been singing continuously for a long time but a sip of water would fix all that. And despite singing (and talking) a loooootttttt, she still managed to sing every song flawlessly and perfectly. Everything sounded and felt so sincere.  

You can find the set list here:    

    A. Hypnotic

        1. Holssi
        2. Jam Jam
        3. Ah Puh
        4. Bbibbi
        5. Obliviate

    B. Energetic

        6. Celebrity
        7. Blueming
        8. Eight
        9. Coin
        10. I Stan U

    C. Video Sing-along

        11. Heart

    D. Romantic

        12. Havana
        13. Meaning of You
        14. Pasilyo
        15. Through the Night

    E. Ecstatic

        16. Shopper
        17. Above the Time
        18. You & I
        19. Love Wins All

    F. Heroic

        20. Shh…
        21. Twenty-three
        22. Holssi (Rock)

    G. Sing-Along

        23. Good Day

    H. Encore

        24. Someday
        25. Give You My Heart
        26. My Sea (First Stanza)
        27. Lilac
        28. Strawberry Moon
        29. Well…
        30. Palette

She sang a total of 28 songs in roughly 3 hours and 10 minutes. And you know that she is a very good songwriter and/or she has a good taste in music because all of the songs she sang were really nice. Even I, who's not familiar with all of her songs, enjoyed every minute and I even managed to sing along with some of the songs I know. Oppa was even complaining that there were still a lot of nice songs she didn't sing. 

The great thing about IU, aside from being a total performer, is that she really takes time and effort to interact with her audience. Oppa said she talks a lot more than your average K pop star during a concert. And I loved that. The adlibs (or even if they were somewhat scripted) made me feel that she was genuinely happy to be there and that she enjoyed seeing and hearing how crazy (and wild) her fans were. Her response/reaction when people chanted "walang uuwi" (no one will go home) was too cute. 

I liked how the intermissions were short that you won't really have time to get bored or to miss IU. They'd flash something on the screen for probably less than 5 minutes then before you know it, IU's back on stage with a totally different outfit. Everything was so seamless. 

When Oppa and I got home, he kept on saying that he truly enjoyed the concert. And it's up there on his list of the best concerts he's ever watched (comparing it to Sting of The Police!). And that's when I realized that he was quiet because he was soaking it all in. He was mesmerized to be in the presence of his best girl IU. And when he was thinking about his most favorite part of the concert, he couldn't think of any because he felt that everything was so even, that all of them were good. 

I feel the same way too, although probably not as intense as Oppa. I loved everything like when she sang Pasilyo, a Filipino song, which she totally slayed. She didn't have to but she wanted us to be happy so she learned a totally new song in a different language. She is just so amazing. She was so good that Oppa even felt her version was better than the original. :D

The most fun part for me was probably the audience sing-along of Good Day, an IU hit that's been retired already. Days before the concert, fans were already informed that the audience can sing along to this song. This happened while IU was on an intermission (before the encore). The lyrics flashed on screen with a 3, 2, 1 countdown. I believe everyone was expecting some sort of accompaniment so we were all waiting/frozen in the first part. Then the lyrics changed and that's when we all probably realized that we had to do it a cappella. And that was around the chorus part already when everyone started singing their hearts out (including the instrumental part, haha). This was proof that this is a very well-loved IU song. The audience even gamely sang the 3 high notes part. And while it was fun, this part of the show became quite nostalgic when IU came out to sing the last line. At least we still got to hear her sing a part of this song! :) 

I couldn't take a lot of videos given how strict the ushers were. But here are some of the videos I managed to get. 

IU singing Well which seems like a really fun song. According to Oppa this one's really old, released even before Good Day. IU wanted this to be her final song but she gave in to her fans' request to sing Palette, which she did as her finale. 

And here's the final song, Palette, which I believe was a perfect song to end the concert. It wasn't too slow. Nor was it too fast. Just the perfect kind of chill and vibe to end the night and to send off IU. 

I admit that attending a K con can be quite exhausting and draining (your energy and your wallet, haha). But I now get why people still keep on attending these concerts, buying expensive tickets, and traveling to far places. Everything was worth it - to see that one idol/group who gave you something positive to look forward to, who helped you cheer up and survive your bad days, who inspired you to strive to be and do better. I'm sure IU meant that much (and a lot more!) to most of the people who watched her concert here in Manila. And to witness that exchange of love, respect, and admiration between IU and her fans was something truly magical for me. 

Yes, we got home at midnight (thanks to the chaotic parking and exit logistics at the Philippine Arena). Yes, our son missed us the whole day. But I know Oppa and I would gladly do this all over again if IU were to keep her promise of coming back next year or even next month. 

Over all, our first K con experience was okay. I know it was not the same for everyone as we heard news of some seats being sold to two persons. But I'm still grateful that our experience was mostly smooth and fun. IU did set such a high standard though that I'd probably think twice before going through all these trouble again. I need to get a performance/show/talent that should at least be as great as or even better than IU's. And I think not a lot of artists can really do that. :)  

Oppa says...5.

Noona says...5.