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MANILA, Philippines – “It’s you and me in this world,” K-pop boy group ENHYPEN sang in their song “Bite Me.” And on Saturday, February 3, Filipino fans of the septet indeed felt like they were transported to a special place during the act’s FATE stop at the New Clark City Stadium in Tarlac, Philippines.
“It’s been a year since we saw one another since the Manifesto tour. Bumalik kami para sa inyo (We came back for you),” member Jay told the 25,000 fans that trooped to the venue. This huge turnout of attendees is commendable for a group that’s only three years into the career, and with a location that’s almost a three-hour ride away from the metro.
But Filipino ENGENEs, fans of the group, always go all out in their support for ENHYPEN. To commemorate the group’s being the first musical act to hold a show at the NCC Stadium, fans went above and beyond to make a festive occasion out of it. There were free bus shuttle services, with the vehicles sporting designs of the individual members, numerous booths where concertgoers could get a lot of freebies, and even a mini-carnival area where one could enjoy free rides!
The excitement reached a new peak, though, when ENHYPEN — clad in white suits with gold embellishments — finally kicked off the one-night show with “Drunk-Dazed” and a dance break segment before moving on to their next song “Blockbuster.”
Even in the opening set, attendees were already treated to a visual spectacle – there were huge LED screens, striking VCRs, pyrotechnics, confetti, and more stage gimmicks that accentuated each performance.
Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo, and Ni-ki then upped the ante with an edgy, rock version of their song “Attention, please!” Said performance earned one of the loudest screams of the night from the fans as Jay strummed an electric guitar before flinging it across the stage.
The group’s high energy continued with hard-hitting performances of “Fever,” “Flicker,” “Future Perfect,” “Blessed-Cursed,” “Paradoxxx Invasion,” and “Tamed-Dashed.”
Switching up the atmosphere, the vibe mellowed a bit with their unit stages. Members Jake, Jay, Sunghoon, and Sunoo serenaded the crowd with an acoustic version of “TFW (That Feeling When),” with Jay even playing the guitar. Meanwhile, Heeseung wowed the crowd with his piano skills in the “Just a Little Bit” performance with members Jungwon and Ni-ki.
‘This is the Philippines I’ll remember’
During the group’s previous visit to the country for their MANIFESTO concert tour, ENHYPEN praised the Filipino crowd for their being the “most passionate.”
“This may not be the biggest arena we’ve been to, but this is the loudest,” Jake said then.
Exactly a year later and now with a much bigger venue, the Filipino ENGENEs’ energy throughout the three-hour show still didn’t falter. Every performance was met with thunderous cheering — with the “Go Big or Go Home” stage, in particular, receiving the loudest fan chant from the attendees.
“Actually, coming back to the Philippines was really, really something I was really looking forward to,” Heeseung said as the rest of the members showcased the Filipino phrases they’ve learned such as “Mahal kita” and “Salamat po.”
Aside from their usual group performances, the members also had several surprises for their fans: Sunoo performed his rendition of “Moving Closer” by the Filipino band Never the Strangers, Sunghoon did a dance cover of P-pop group SB19’s hit track “Gento,” Heeseung shared his own take of OPM singer Zack Tabudlo’s “Give Me Your Forever,” and Jake serenaded the crowd with a snippet of Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”
During their “One and Only” performance, the group’s collaborative single with Pokémon, several Pikachu mascots also emerged onstage and danced with ENHYPEN.
But it wasn’t only the group who had several surprises under their belt. The Filipino fans prepared numerous fan projects for ENHYPEN — orange flowers for all attendees, blue roses to commemorate Jungwon’s birthday, and even an aerial banner.
The septet were visibly surprised by these initiatives, with Sunghoon noting that the ENGENEs “prepared a lot of events for us.” Meanwhile, Jay added that the support they’ve been receiving from their Filipino fans has made an impact on him.
“This is the Philippines I’ll remember,” he said.
‘Save the best for last’
The mood got more playful when the group performed a string of upbeat numbers, featuring “10 Months,” “One and Only,” and “Shout Out.” During their “Polaroid Love” stage, the members rode carts to roam across the stadium and sing for their fans up close and personal.
Even when they were nearing the end of the show, the septet showed no signs of winding down. Their back-to-back intense performances of “Chaconne,” “Bills,” “Criminal Love,” “Bite Me,” and “Sweet Venom” built up the atmosphere for the finale.
For their encore set, they didn’t give fans any time to breathe with their powerful performances of “One in A Billion,” “Karma,” and “Future Perfect” — with the latter songs being capped off by a five-minute firework display.
It was also apparent that ENHYPEN and the Filipino ENGENEs were just volleying energy off each other — the members kept prompting the crowd to scream their lungs out, to be up on their feet, jump more, and dance along.
Before the members rode the cart once again to say goodbye to their fans, ENHYPEN spent a good amount of time thanking the Filipino crowd.
“I’m just so happy that we saved the best for last. Ending the FATE tour with such an amazing audience and amazing people. From the bottom of my heart, I truly cherish you guys,” Jake said.
Sunoo echoed the sentiment, saying: “Thank you so much and I’m happy that we are able to end this way. Next time that we meet, we’ll come back with better selves.”
As the Philippines was the group’s last stop before their FATE PLUS encore shows began, the K-pop act also reflected on their sophomore tour.
“I can truly say that we have grown more this year than last year. We’ll continue to grow next year so please be with us. There’s nothing more we could wish for but ENGENEs to be by our side all the time,” Jungwon said. Ni-ki added: “As we do more tours, I find myself feeling more and more grateful and love for our ENGENEs.… To show back my love for ENGENEs, I really gave my best and my heart on each performance.”
The septet also promised their Filipino fans that they would return soon.
“We will try our best to give our all and be back to perform in more stadiums,” Sunghoon said. – Rappler.com