The long wait for live concerts in the Philippines has finally come to an end! On May 29, the Begin Again: K-pop Edition brought us SHINee’s KEY, NCT DREAM, WEi, and ALICE for a one-night concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Take a trip down the memory lane with EnVi, as we recap the happenings of the joint concert.

All Eyes on ALICE

The first to take on the stage was the only girl group act of the night, ALICE. The seven-member girl group had not visited the Philippines since the 2019 K-pop World Music Festival. They warmed up the stage with their first song, “This is me.” The crowd cheered for each of the members as they introduced themselves during their first segment. ALICE greeted the audience using their knowledge of Filipino asking “Kumusta po? (How are you?).” For their second song, they performed their debut song “We, First,” followed by a song from their third mini-album “Summer Dream,” which is “a song that fits the Philippines very well” according to the members. With their adorable checkered outfits, the girls showcased their vocals in the  ballad song “POWER OF LOVE.” They continued to capture the eyes of the crowd with a fiery performance of “No Big Deal.”

Aside from performing their tracks, the members of ALICE also had fun on stage while playing a mini-game called The Pirate Game. The members took turns to pus small swords into the slots around the barrel, trying to avoid the pirate inside. As punishment for losing the game, ALICE performed a relay dance to BTS’ “Dynamite” and Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor.” Yeonje gave the crowd her cutest, sexiest, and refreshing versions of “I Love You” aegyo while members, Yukyung and DoA gave their sweetest heart signs in different versions.

For ALICE’s last segment, they gave out signed balls to their lucky fans, BLRIS, near the stage. In their last messages, the girls promised to come back to the country again with a mini-album and reminded their fans to take care of their health. For their last song, the group sang “JACKPOT” from their 2020 EP.

A Warm Welcome to WEi

Second to join in the Manila stage is the boy group, WEi. Even before the boys appeared on the stage, the crowd cheered loudly when their VCR flashed on the screen. They opened their act with the song  “TWILIGHT” from their IDENTITY: First Sight EP. Their fans, RUi, matched the Philippine heat as they welcomed WEi who were performing in the country for the very first time. The six-member boy group continued their energetic performance as they sang their title track “All or Nothing” from their second EP IDENTITY: Challenge.

The WEi members also charmed the crowd with their playful side as they play the Crocodile Dentist mini-game. They lost the game when the toy’s mouth closed after pushing down one of its teeth. As punishment for losing the game, Daehyeon made the crowd swoon with aegyo. The group also danced to BTS’ “Dynamite” and MONSTA X’s “Love Killa” for the relay dance. Before beginning their next performance, all the members enthusiastically gave the crowd their best heart signs.

The group agave a refreshing performance of their song “BYE BYE BYE” followed by the song “Super Bumpy.” WEi expressed their thanks for the “really hot response” they received from the crowd and assured them they “really had fun” performing in the country. The group also promised their Filipino fans to come back again soon. Still full of energy, WEi ended their act with their song “Too Bad” while interacting with the audience for one last time.

The Crowd Favorite NCT DREAM

One of the most anticipated acts of the night is the sub-unit of NCT, NCT DREAM.  The group was last in the Philippines for their THE DREAM SHOW tour back in February 2019.

NCT DREAM had the crowd up on their feet as they open their act with a fiery performance of the title track of their first full album “Hot Sauce.” During their talking segment, the five members showed their charms and flexed their fluency in the Filipino language. The members also teased a bit of the choreography for their upcoming repackage album Beatbox, which was set to be released the day after the concert. The group surprised their fans, NCTzens, with a special stage of “Dive Into You” which they performed overseas for the very first time. They continue to hype the crowd with their song “Hello Future” from their repackage album. Before they perform their last song of the night, “Glitch Mode,” each member gave their last messages with a promise of giving their best to the crowd.

KEY Owning the Stage

The only solo artist and the last act to perform for the night is KEY. He had the crowd grooving with his starting performance of “Saturday Night.” He opened his first talking segment by saying, “Mabuhay! Is this right?” to the crowd. His fans, Lil Freaks, proved their strong presence in the crowd as they kept chanting his name “Kim Ki-bum.” He gave gestures of appreciation for the cheers he received from his enthusiastic fans. For his second song of the night, KEY gave the audience a “reason to breathe” with the song, “Helium.” KEY proved that he owned the stage when he performed “This Life,” and encouraged the crowd to jump and clap their hands on beat. The singer praised the crowd for singing along with him “You guys are amazing!” and remarking that it was a  “Marvelous stage!”

The SHINee member also had fun reliving moments of the group. SHINee fans, Shawols, in the crowd were in for a treat when KEY sang and danced a bit of “Ring Ding Dong” which was released back in 2009. After performing the song, the soloist was surprised that the fans requested more of their old songs. He asked “You’re still into that song? How old are you?” which made the crowd burst into laughter. Upon another request from the crowd, KEY also sang a part of the group’s debut song “Replay” which has always been a popular song in the Philippines. He commented, “Good taste!” after that nostalgic song request from the crowd. KEY told the audience that he would like to come back to Manila again with his fellow SHINee members.

Before singing his last song of the night, KEY left a promise of coming back to the Philippines, “I’ll be back. I’ll be here again.” He performed the title track from his first mini-album, “Bad Love” to end his act.

After the long hiatus of live concerts in the Philippines, Begin Again: K-pop Edition gave Filipino K-pop fans a new beginning in the concert scene under the new normal guidelines. 

Enjoyed reading this recap of Begin Again: K-pop Edition? Check out our other live concert experience here.