Con­cert Re­view

Business World - - Hotthisweekend - By Ce­cille San­til­lan-Visto Manila Show Cham­pion, Oct. 27, SM Mall of Asia Arena MBC Show Cham­pion in http:// www.bworl­don­line.com/con­tent. php?sec­tion=Arts&Leisure&ti­tle=a-gather­ing-of-k-pops-best&id=133171) MBC Show Cham­pion’s Busi­nessWorld http://www. b

AS THE dis­pute with Bei­jing over the de­ploy­ment of a US anti-mis­sile sys­tem in South Korea is still un­re­solved, the Korean mu­sic in­dus­try is con­stantly look­ing to ex­pand its mar­ket to coun­tries out­side China. The two-year se­cu­rity-re­lated spat has re­sulted not only in the dwin­dling of Chi­nese tourists go­ing to Seoul but also in

China ef­fec­tively ban­ning Korean artists and pro­duc­ers of Korean dra­mas and films from its ter­ri­tory. To fill the void, K-pop pro­duc­ers have trained their sights on South­east Asian coun­tries to sell their tal­ents.

And the Philip­pines is only too will­ing to wel­come these K-pop ex­ports with open arms.

This open­ness was show­cased anew dur­ing the

last month, where Filipino fans saw a good mix of K-pop new­bies and one of the big­gest Korean boy bands to­day on one stage.

which is a pop­u­lar weekly mu­sic pro­gram pro­duced by the Korea-based Mun­hwa Broad­cast­ing Corp., also cel­e­brated its 200th episode in the Philip­pines, gather­ing some of the best K-pop groups in 2016. (See re­lated story:

The suc­cess of that mile­stone cel­e­bra­tion in Manila con­vinced MBC to re­turn for a sec­ond — though less ex­trav­a­gant — serv­ing.

From the nine artists who per­formed two years ago, the lineup this time was cut down to six. Although the ros­ter was not as star-stud­ded (es­tab­lished group like BTS, VIXX, AOA, BAP, BtoB and Su­per Ju­nior’s Heechul took part for the an­niver­sary), this time the fans seized the chance to see Xeno-T, MXM, The Boyz, Hyeongseop x Eui­woong, Weki Meki, and EXO per­form live and to en­joy the perks bun­dled with their con­cert tick­ets.

Se­lect ticket buy­ers were treated to photo op­por­tu­ni­ties, a sound check party, red car­pet ac­cess, and even at­ten­dance at the press con­fer­ence. The treats, which are sel­dom pack­aged in sim­i­lar con­certs in other Asian coun­tries, pro­vided lo­cal K-pop en­thu­si­asts with a to­tal fan ex­pe­ri­ence.

But it was for the show — more than the perks — that the au­di­ence trooped to the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

reg­u­lar em­cee, Kim Shin Young, opened the pro­gram. Un­like in 2016, this time an in­ter­preter was thank­fully on hand to trans­late the come­di­enne’s spiels.

As ex­pected, the newer artists were called to the per­form first, with the main at­trac­tion, EXO, as the last act. Each group had three to four songs each dur­ing the two-hour con­cert.

Cur­tain raiser Xeno-T, formerly known as Topp Dogg, kicked off the show with “For­ever,” fol­low­ing it with “Per­fume” and “O.A.S.I.S.” Orig­i­nally com­prised of 13 mem­bers when in­ter­viewed the hip-hop group in Seoul in 2015 (Story link here

three years later, only five mem­bers were left and un­for­tu­nately, they never re­ally made it big as a group de­spite the re­brand­ing.

Duo Hyeongseop x Eui­woong, with their col­or­ful cos­tumes and over­all cutesy vibe, sang “Spring Rain” (com­plete with yel­low um­brel­las as props) and “It Will Be Good.” The singers, who are prod­ucts of Sea­son 2, also dished out “Love Tint” from their

mini al­bum.

In their seg­ment, fast-ris­ing group The Boyz per­formed “Boy,” “Right Here,” and “KeePer.” Im­pres­sively in sync in their chore­og­ra­phy, the 12-mem­ber, sopho­more group said dur­ing the press con­fer­ence that they hope to re­turn for a full con­cert.

“When we learned that we will be part of we were both ex­cited and ner­vous. It is the first time of most of our mem­bers in the Philip­pines and we are ex­cited to meet our fans,” said Eric.

Girl group Weki Meki, which is gain­ing a lo­cal fol­low­ing, showed that they can also hold their own. Their setlist in­cluded “True Valen­tine,” “La La La,” “Crush,” and “I Don’t Like Your Girl­friend.” Only in their sec­ond year, the ladies of Weki Meki still have to pol­ish their per­for­mance to be at par with es­tab­lished groups such as Twice, AOA, and APink.

MXM, an­other duo, like­wise had three songs, and most awaited was the up­beat “Ya Ya Ya.” Fans were also chant­ing to their songs “Di­a­mond Girl” and “Check­mate.” Although Young­min and Donghyun stirred up the MOA Arena with their per­for­mance, it was EXO that the au­di­ence re­ally wanted to see.

When EXO fi­nally went on stage to sing “Kokobop,” this was ob­vi­ous.

EXO, which was in Manila only six months ago for a full con­cert called

came at an awk­ward time — they were to re­turn for a con­cert called

on Nov. 2, barely a week af­ter the

The song and the al­bum of the same ti­tle proved to be in­stant hits but EXO could not even give Filipino fans a pre­view at the

con­cert.

In a V-Live broad­cast days later, EXO said it was un­for­tu­nate that they were left with­out a choice but to sing “Kokobop,” “What U Do?,” and “Power” at The tim­ing may have been poor but EXO, as usual, did not dis­ap­point. Three songs, how­ever, left the fans want­ing more. There were no en­cores as in a reg­u­lar con­cert. Fans had to be con­tent with the spe­cial free­bie prior to the con­cert — the red car­pet ap­pear­ance of Se­hun, Suho, DO, Chanyeol, Xi­u­min, Chen, Baekhyun, and Kai. It was short and sweet but EXO-Ls, as their fans are called, are al­ready look­ing for­ward to the world tour that will be an­chored on the

al­bum.

With K-pop con­certs and fan meet­ings al­ready reg­u­lar fare, it is ex­pected that pro­duc­ers will soon be en­ticed to bring in other re­lated Korean en­ter­tain­ment plat­forms such as awards shows, re­al­ity TV pro­grams, and even plays and mu­si­cales. The pos­si­bil­i­ties to pro­mote Korean en­ter­tain­ment in gen­eral, and K-mu­sic in par­tic­u­lar, are lim­it­less.

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