Kim Yugyeom of K-pop superstar group GOT7 pulled all the stops in his first solo concert in Manila, turning a sea of neon lightstick-waving fans into one big party scene.
Presented by PULP Live World last August 19 at the New Frontier Theater, Yugyeom's concert was proof that GOT7's maknae (youngest member) has come a long way from being the band's dance machine and vocalist to a strong performer that can command the stage and the crowd on his own .
Yugyeom started strong with a sleek performance of his first-ever solo track "I Want U Around" from his debut EP "Point of View." The song's mix of R&B and trap beats immediately captured the audience's groove while cruising to Yugyeom's silky vocals.
Right away in the middle of the track, Yugyeom showed why he's revered as one of K-pop's strongest dancers, giving the audience a dash of his power moves.
"I was very excited and nervous, but now I'm not anymore because I'm here with you," he said.
Yugyeom hyped the fans even more with a succession of powerful performances featuring his fresh solo music, including "Running Through the Rain," "When U Fall," "Falling In Love," "All About U," "Lights," "Take You Down," and "All Your Fault."
As with AOMG artists' grand tradition, he turned the heat up with his own take on Jay Park's "Mommae" and "All I Wanna Do," even teasing the fans by lifting up his shirt and showing his impressive tattoos.
Yugyeom also performed his unreleased track "Always Ready" followed by "Love The Way."
"These days I listen to many types of music too. Retro... hip-hop... I want to try many styles in my own voice," Yugyeom said as he spoke about the type of music he's pursuing as solo artist.
It was definitely a heartwarming treat for Filipino fans to see him communicate confidently in English.
The last time Yugyeom was in Manila was during GOT7's "Keeping Spinning World Tour" in 2019.
In 2021, GOT7 parted ways with JYP Entertainment -- their home agency for 7 years. The septet has since pursued individual paths as solo artists while promising to remain together as a group. Yugyeom has since signed with AOMG while other members also joined separate agencies.
True enough, Yugyeom and his GOT7 members staged a successful comeback with a new mini album and a two-day sold-out fancon in Seoul.
GOT7 has also achieved the impressive feat of becoming a self-owned group, meaning that the group's name and all their trademarks have been transferred to them -- a rarity within the K-pop industry.
As such, Yugyeom made sure to give a nod to his GOT7 roots, firing up his encore stage with his band's classic hit songs.
The iconic snare drum intro of GOT7 anthem "Hard Carry" immediately roused the crowd to party mode as Yugyeom danced and sang around the stage, even going around the audience, shaking hands, and letting fans embrace him.
Before ending the night, Yugyeom went a bit mellow with "Two," a song co-written by him for GOT7's 2022 self-titled EP.
The theater erupted with GOT7's famous glowing green lights and a storm of confetti as Yugyeom closed the night with another of the band's hit songs "1+1."
Earlier, before Yugyeom took the stage, the fans were treated to DJ Wegun's remixes, which featured some of GOT7 and AOMG artists' songs. His set list was the perfect opener to set up the vibe of what would be a party-filled night.
With barely two years of experience as a soloist, it was impressive to see Yugyeom own the stage and carry out distinct performances using his growing repertoire of music.
What was only a glimpse before when he would release music on SoundCloud or share his preferred playlist with fans has now developed into a full-fledged view of his own artistic perspective as a performer and a musician.
"I love you guys so much. I will always remember today. I won't forget you a lot tonight," Yugyeom told fans, even turning a bit emotional at the start of his set.
"One thing is for sure, I'll be back to you and I will always think about you. I'll be rooting for you."