MANILA — When K-pop boy group ATEEZ wrapped up its "The Fellowship: Break the Wall" tour in Manila, the eight-member act not only brought its renowned show-stopping performances, but also messages of comfort for local fans.
Throngs of ATINY, as the group's fans are called, recently gathered at the Araneta Colisuem to witness ATEEZ's first solo concert in the Philippines, which comes about a year since their first performance here as part of the K-pop Masterz 2 music festival.
"This is our second time coming here, I think today was much hotter than before," rapper Mingi said near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour concert, produced by Wilbros Live.
Main vocalist Jongho was unable to attend due to a knee injury, but Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi and Wooyoung rose to the occassion to make up for his absence and deliver a dazzling show.
ATEEZ brought its signature theatricality, with its mostly high-energy numbers complemented by flashing lights, pyrotechnics, and props reminiscent of their music videos and popular live performances. Most notable among these was the colossal moon that hung above the B-stage.
The boys kicked off the show with "Halazia," followed by the equally intense "Answer," "The Ring" and "Hala Hala."
A fun and playful atmosphere filled the Big Dome during the brighter "Illusion" and "Wave" as the members and crowd tossed large inflatable balls.
The septet also showcased its identity as K-pop's "pirate idols" with "Win," "Horizon" and the epic "Wonderland," which saw the stage transformed into a ship, complete with a steering wheel.
Arguably, the most unforgettable numbers of the night were "Bouncy (K-Hot Chili Peppers)," in which the members engaged in a dance-off with select audience members before asking the entire crowd to dance with them, and "Guerilla," which saw fans deliver piercing "break the wall" chants.
For the encore, ATEEZ sang "Turbulence" and "Celebrate" before capping the show with the festive "The Real."
"It's an honor that we got to end our 'Break the Wall' tour here in the Philippines," Wooyoung remarked, referring to the group's tour that ran for almost a year and saw them play across Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.
"Through this tour, I'm sure that I got to grow as an individual and I think I wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't thanks to our ATINYs," Yunho said.
For Yeosang, the Manila show was bittersweet, saying he had been "feeling sad that today is our last performance in this world tour. But seeing how wholeheartedly our ATINYs cheered for us, we are happy tonight."
Seonghwa said he was happy "thinking about how I will get to make more memories with our ATINYs in the future."
Leader Hongjoong struggled to find words to "express how much our ATINYs means to us." He vowed to return with Jongho and told Manila fans that "we will always work hard to become artists that you are proud of."
Yunho reminded fans that they can turn to ATEEZ during hard times. "ATINYs, whenever you are having a hard time, whenever you want to sit down, we'll make sure to do better for us to serve as your energy."
"We've broken countless walls, right? Whatever wall we face, let us all break through it together. I love you all," he added.
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