MANILA – Ear-splitting shrieks filled the halls of the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City as thousands of fans showed their fervent devotion for South Korean boy band NCT Dream during its first concert in the country on Saturday.
The band, which currently has 6 members, brought its “Dream Show” tour to the Philippines, beating fears that the show would be cancelled as a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The show marked NCT Dream’s first solo concert, although 5 of the members made their Manila stage debut last March 2019 at a music festival that celebrated the diplomatic relations between South Korea and the Philippines. Member Haechan was absent in the earlier event due to a leg injury.
“Actually, last year, we went here and we really wanted to return to Manila. Even though this (concert) was just for one day, we’re really thankful,” said the group’s rapper, Jeno, in Korean.
For 2 hours, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle and Jisung delivered powerful performances as fans let out loud cheers and waved the band’s signature light stick – a cube-shaped bulb that glowed in green.
The group put on a fierce attitude in opening the show with hyped songs, such as the rebellious anthem “Go” and the addictive hip-hop song “We Go Up,” accompanied by intricate dance routines.
The members also showed off their boyish charms through the bubblegum bop “Dunk Shot,” their debut song “Chewing Gum,” and the funky “Dream Run.”
Veering off from choreographed performances, the mood in the theater lightened as the band sang a number of mellow songs, including “Best Friend,” where Chenle showed off his piano skills.
Fans went crazy each time the members, especially Haechan, made cute gestures and did baby talk (or “aegyo” in K-pop jargon).
Near the end, fans demanded that the boys stretch the concert, even chanting “Walang uuwi (No one will go home).” The band responded by vowing to return for another concert.
“We really want the concert to last until the morning (of the following day) but I’m a teenager so I need to go home after 10 p.m.,” said Jisung, who turned 18 last Feb. 5, in jest.
“We’re sad now, but we will return,” Jisung added shortly before the sextet capped the concert with “Beautiful Time.”
NCT Dream is a sub-group of NCT (Neo Culture Technology), a boy band under K-pop juggernaut SM Entertainment. The act has an “unlimited” number of members, divided into several smaller teams.
The Dream group, which is marketed mainly toward preteens and teens, follows a graduation system where members leave the team after reaching the age of 20.
NCT Dream’s “The Dream Show” in Manila was produced by SM Entertainment and PULP Live World.