MANILA — After more than two years, South Korean boy band Seventeen made its highly anticipated return to the Philippines over the weekend, an event that appeared to be just as memorable for the K-pop superstars as it was for their devoted fans.
The Manila leg of the group's "Be The Sun" world tour saw the 13-member act draw sold-out crowds for two nights at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The nearly three-hour concert had stage lights and digital backdrops complementing or matching the colors emitted by fans' light-sticks.
These added to the vibrant atmosphere in the arena as Carats, the group's fans, cheered and sang along to every song — something that kept the boys energized throughout the concert.
"Because of your energy, I think I was able to do well," member Jeonghan said via an interpreter near the end of Saturday's show.
"Every time we come here, it seems like we're getting good energies from you. I wanna come here as soon as possible again," he added.
"Thanks for giving us such an amazing experience. We're really touched that you guys knew all the lyrics to our songs," Joshua said, adding that he hoped the group's next concert in the country would be held at a stadium.
"I think I'll be so happy if it'll be sold out like this time," said leader S.Coups, who also admitted that he felt sad for being absent from the group's previous concert in early 2020.
For "Be The Sun," Seventeen prepared a 21-track setlist, kicking off the show with the powerful "Hot" and "March," both from its fourth album "Face the Sun" released in May.
The group took the energy up a notch with the rousing EDM banger "Hit," which had the audience reveling as though in a rave.
After the members' individual introductions, Seventeen performed single "Rock With You" before Joshua and Vernon shared the stage for "2 MINUS 1" — both pop-rock songs from the 2021 extended play "Attacca."
As with any Seventeen concert, the group's three sub-units had their own sets, starting with the performance team. Hoshi, Jun, The8 and Dino showed off their remarkable dance skills through "Moonwalker" and "Wave."
During the vocal team's turn, the boys asked the audience to sing a chorus from "Imperfect Love" on their own, which left Woozi, Jeonghan, Joshua, DK and Seungkwan visibly touched.
"Manila Carats can sing any song," Seungkwan said later in the concert.
Seventeen's performance unit at the 'Be The Sun' concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Photo courtesy of Pledis Entertainment
Seventeen's vocal unit at the 'Be The Sun' concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Photo courtesy of Pledis Entertainment
Seventeen's hip-hop unit at the 'Be The Sun' concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Photo courtesy of Pledis Entertainment
The hip-hop team made up of S.Coups, Wonwoo, Mingyu and Vernon hyped up the crowd with the trippy "GAM3 BO1" and "Back It Up."
The group, clad in red and white coveralls, also performed a set of fun and catchy singles, including "Mansae", "Left & Right" and the iconic "Very Nice."
Clearly, the concert was not enough for the 7-year-old act to cover its entire discography, so some members sang snippets of their solo releases in a cappella, such as Woozi's "Ruby," The8's "Side By Side" and Seungkwan's cover of Harry Styles' "As It Was."
The group wrapped up the evening with an encore set that included its first all-English single "Darl+ing," "Our Dawn is Hotter Than Day," "Snap Shoot" and another round of "Very Nice" that had nearly everyone in the arena jumping.
During the encore, the group also acknowledged the presence of member Dino's father and grandmother, who were made to dance to "Snap Shoot" from their seats in the audience, much to the delight of everyone present.
Overall, "Be The Sun" has the same structure and elements of past Seventeen concerts. But after the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to live events and gatherings for over two years, it provides a much-needed respite for both fans and artists by allowing them to reconnect.
"It's been two to three years since we came here and the hotel is the same, the restaurant was also the same and the amusement [park] was also the same so I was really happy," said Jun.
"Most importantly, our love is the same, so that's the best thing," he added.
Seventeen's "Be The Sun" concert in Manila was presented by Live Nation Philippines.