Almost three years.
That is exactly how long since K-pop group Bigbang last graced the MOA Arena Stage for their Alive Concert until they finally returned for their MADE in Manila Concert this year.
Since the Alive Concert, I gained a few more friends who love Bigbang and the music that they make the same way that I do. It is good to say that we’re pretty much updated with everything that’s been going on with the band, and mostly about the artists under YG Entertainment. So we were all hyped when Bigbang made the announcement about their upcoming album which will be released on the first of every month from May to September. I think it’s genius.
On the night of the 29th, a day before the concert, me and my friends were almost up all night just chatting in our VIP thread online. I cannot sleep and I kept on watching Bigbang music videos until around 2 in the morning. I know that it’s going to be a big, big party with Bigbang once again.
VIPs who will meet Bigbang for the first time and VIPs like us who are excited to meet them again, all flocked excitedly outside the MOA Arena. We didn’t really know where to fall in line at first but my friend quickly spoke with a person from Pulp Live (this year’s concert organizer) and showed us the way. We got in the arena with no sweat and just like that, I transformed from being a full-time mom to a fangirl. Yes, a fangirl once again.
We sat in the upper box this time. We’re seated farther compared to our lower box seats during the Alive Concert. At first, I thought that it was so frustrating. The stage is farther than I expected but this can do, since 2 from our group are now Moms and concert tickets have become a luxury.
Before the concert started, Bigbang music videos were playing on the large LED walls in the middle of the arena. These LED walls serve as the main screen on the center stage. I can hear everyone singing their songs and screaming whenever the face of their bias pops on the screen.
My friend, who is online on Twitter at that moment, showed us a picture from a fan in the lower box. It was a stolen shot of Bigbang Leader’s G-Dragon’s parents in the audience.
We got all excited and started looking below for his parents. I find it funny at that moment because when I was in Solaire with my cousin earlier that day, we were joking about all the Ahjussi (Uncle/Old Korean Man) that we see, that he might be G-dragon’s father’s friend. We heard that his Dad sometimes visits the Philippines. Anyway, my friend screamed and pointed to where his parents were seated.
We spotted Seungri’s parents with them too. I tried to take a picture of Jiyong’s Mom but my camera, which is an iphone 5, couldn’t get a clear shot of her. We also heard from other fans (I hope it’s true!) that they bought some refreshments to give away to the fans around them. They’re so cute.
Finally, the lights were dimmed, the music has changed into the intro of “Bang Bang Bang.” The large screen featured the Bigbang members while the whole arena went into a frenzy. It literally sent shivers to my spine, realizing that at that moment, they’re finally back. We’ve waited a long time for this moment, I was screaming on top of my lungs because the excitement was too much. Suddenly, the LED walls went black and the silhouette of the 5 Bigbang members were revealed. They were standing to what appears to be large posts. The large LED screen went back on and was cut in the middle, opened, and revealed the 5 Bigbang members. Taeyang first greeted the crowd saying “Manila, make some noise!”. I was hysterical, my friends were hysterical. The whole arena was hysterical. There were more VIPs this time compared from the last time. The elevated posts where the Bigbang members were standing from, slowly went down and just like that, Bigbang took over the stage singing “Bang, Bang, Bang.” Laser lights like prism were shooting everywhere, the music was blasting, the stage was literally breathing fire, and everyone went partying, VIP style. That, dear readers, is how you open a concert.
Before I go into the details of the concert, I feel the need of describing how each of the members looked like during their Manila concert. Top‘s hair was dyed once again to white, just like the color that he was wearing when the sub-unit Gd x Top was first launched. This is my most favorite hair color for Top. He looks so good in white hair. It brings out his features so much. Seungri‘s hair is back to dark brown, it’s no longer blonde. When the MADE album was first launched, he was blonde in the first music video. I personally prefer his hair dark. He is my favorite Bigbang member aside from G-dragon, and Seungri is so, so, handsome in person. Daesung‘s hair covers the half of his face. I watched some interviews and most people say that he looks better in this hairstyle. In my opinion, he looks better this time. Not because I didn’t like his eyes (I love his eyes, they disappear when he smiles. I find it really cute), but it features his nice nose and his plump lips. Taeyang‘s hair looks like an anime. It’s dyed dark brown this time. His smiling eyes never changed, though he never took off his shirt unlike before. Hehe. I’m still waiting for him to shave his head. I like his hair short, like in the music video of “Only look at Me“. G-dragon. Oh GD, where do I begin? I fell for him from the very start. His hair is now dyed red (light red, sometimes orange) and bouncy. It follows his every move. Still so handsome, as ever. Spazz.
After “Bang, bang, bang”, the next song was “Stupid Liar“. Suddenly, to our surprise, the left and right ramps that serves as a bridge from Stage 1 to Stage 2 suddenly began moving above the area where the standing room VIP section is located and merged in the middle to form another stage. It was so nice from the view above and I’m sure that it was better being in the VIP section where you can see Bigbang literally moving on top of your head.
After “Stupid Liar”, G-dragon first greeted us saying “Wassup wassup? How are you feelin’ tonight?” and later on said that we make some noise and enjoy the show. The very cheerful Seungri greeted us next, and then Top. This is when he greeted us “Good evening Singapore *shakes head* Manila!” It was so funny! haha! Then he said that he was glad to be back here. Daesung greeted us in Filipino, saying “Mabuhay!” and “Philippine, did you guys miss me? I really, really missed you guys. Thank you!” He then blew us a kiss after that. By the way, they refer to the Philippines as “Philippine” because The Philippines in Hangul is spelled that way (필리핀 – Piripin). Taeyang greeted us in Filipino as well, saying “Mabuhay Manila! How are you feelin’ out there?” and then after a while he sang a little. The show went on after their greetings. They sang “Haru-Haru“, wherein the fans all over the arena were all singing the chorus. They all had their solo stages.
Top took the stage by singing his solo “Doom Da Da“. He’s such a powerful rapper. His voice is unique, deep, and sexy. It has become his trademark. He ended his solo with all of the laser lights blasting into the middle, to where he was standing. Daesung sang his solo “Wings“, Taeyang sang “Eyes, Nose, Lips“, Seungri sang “Strong baby” and “Let’s talk about love“, which came to me as a lovely surprise because I sort of knew what the set list would be coming from reviews from other countries. Seungri’s solo stage wasn’t included in the list that I read online. Gd also performed “Crooked” and “Good boy” with Taeyang. Some time during the show, Seungri called GD “Pogi Pogi” (means handsome). Our maknae wasn’t lying. GD is perfect and flawless. I squint a lot because I cannot see him properly. It’s so frustrating. I thought to myself that I should just save up for the next concert because I really couldn’t get enough of them all.
As Bigbang sang their new song “Loser“, they were standing in a moving carousel-like group of mirrors that goes round and round in the center of the stage, reflecting the lights that were around. It was beautiful. It’s like all 5 members were inside a diamond that goes round and round. Then they greeted us once again. This is the part when Taeyang said that he feels great to be back here, and asked “Do you remember the last time we went? I’ve waited a long time to see you guys again. So I’d like to ask, did you guys miss me?” *Crowd went wild* “Because I missed you guys a lot! All I want to say is I love you from the bottom of my heart!” I read online that during the concert, he gave his MADE jacket to a fan who has a placard that says “Taeyang, you are my sunshine!”, he went out of his way to point out to the bouncer to whom the jacket must be given. What a fan service! After Taeyang, Seungri greeted the crowd. In the middle of his greetings he said “Wow this is awesome! Super, super awesome Philippine! Look at this, no empty seats! Are you guys happy to see me? I’m so excited right now because I love this place, Philippine. I love Philippine food, I love Philippine ladies!” Ahh. I had butterflies in my stomach the moment I heard this. I have a huge crush on Seungri. He added “Philippine ladies, cute nyo po! (You’re cute)” and then he began pointing out to girls everywhere while saying “cute nyo po!”.
Daesung greeted us next and while pressing his bangs that covers half of his face, he asked “Nakikita nyo ba ako? (Do you see me?) I’m sorry I really really want to see you guys but I can’t see anything. Do you want to see my eyes? Okay, I will show you my big, big, super big eyes!” the crowd screamed “Yes!” so he bowed, his hair flew to the side and his eyes were revealed. What a scene stealer. He’s so charming and funny. I think that he got the most fan chants the whole night. He has become a crowd favorite. Top thanked the fans for waiting for Bigbang and said that they really wanted to come to the Philippines to sing their songs. We all went crazy when he asked us “Gusto nyo ba? (Do you guys like?)”. Top is famous for asking this line in his instagram videos.
After that, G-dragon said that he heard that VIPs in the Philippines can sing really, really well. He then started to sing the chorus of “Bad Boy” in acapella, then Taeyang sang with the crowd and then they finally sang “Bad Boy”. All throughout the concert, Philippine VIPs never got tired of singing. It is our way of enjoying and showing love to Bigbang. Well, we are a nation known to sing well and sing a lot! I also like to commend how Bigbang’s English proficiency improved. I can now say that there is definitely no language barrier anymore. I like how they put some effort in knowing how to speak Tagalog, our language.
My favorite part of the concert was when they sang “If you“, this song gets to me so much. It brings me to tears all the time. It’s about losing your love and hoping that your love will come back to your arms. “Glorious“- that’s the word to describe how the stage and the whole arena looked like when they sang this song. Falling snow flakes were projected on the giant screen that serves as a background on stage. The laser lights were moving to the beat of the song, shooting slowly to the dimly lit arena. One of the fan missions for the night is to light our cellphone’s flashlights and sway along. It’s called the “white ocean” mission. It was indeed successful. It was an ocean of white lights, like an ocean of shining white stars. It was so, so beautiful. That moment was so special. Same mission was accomplished when Bigbang sang “Blue“, only this time it was the “Blue Ocean”. A blue “MADE” wallpaper is saved in all of our phones and just like our light sticks, phones were held high and swayed as they sang “Blue”.
Bigbang sang their songs through the years and songs from their MADE Album. “Lies, Bae Bae, Good boy, Fantastic Baby, We like 2 Party, and Hands Up” were among the songs that they sang that night.
During their final talk before the encore, Top danced like crazy and showed love to the crowd by stretching out his hand and formed a heart through his fingers. Daesung was his funny self. Seungri made fun of Daesung by asking him to show the Philippine VIPs of what is “sexy”, so Daesung took of his jacket and shook his booty. It was funny. After cheering for Daesung, the whole arena went on to cheer Seungri. We roared his name and then he said “I don’t want to go back to Korea, I wanna stay here! I will live with you guys! I wanna buy a Manila house!” (Taeyang then said to the crowd “You can keep him (Seungri) forever!”) Seungri then added “I can do “Pabebe!” (one of the latest Philippine trends of doing “aegyo“), we couldn’t help but burst into laughter after he said that. Clearly, he’s done his research and Dara of 2ne1 probably taught him of what to say. Speaking of Dara, this beauty is present during the concert. She never fails to support Bigbang! That is why VIPs in the Philippines love her.
Seungri finished off his speech by singing “Gwiyomi“. All I could do after that was to gush over his cuteness. GD then thanked the crowd and gave a teaser of their song “Zutter“, which is also a part of their album that features him and Top. I think GD never had the plan to give a teaser of the new song (which will be released a week after the Manila Concert), if only we didn’t keep on chanting “Sample! Sample!”. We’re so hyped after he gave us a teaser of their song. After this last talk, we all partied together when they sang “Fantastic Baby”.
At this time, I knew that the show is about to end. I felt this familiar sadness that I felt during the end of their Alive tour. After they’ve introduced the band, they all sang “Good boy” as their final song, lights were all shooting out, confetti bursted out of no where, all fans were chanting and screaming, Bigbang dance liked crazy until the LED walls in front of them slowly closed, the lights were dimmed and replaced by the usual white lights of the arena. By that time, all 5 members were nowhere to be seen and we knew that the show has ended. My friend beside me said “I can’t believe it’s over”. I replied “Me too, me too!”
After the concert, all of our efforts to stalk them in Solaire went to nowhere because they found their way to their hotel rooms through another entrance. We found out that Seungri and G-dragon went out to party a little with Dara at Valkyrie. Though we received a message that they were there, we were either too tired to go or too confused because we’ve been dealing with a lot of wrong information from different people throughout the night. I was so frustrated, to be honest. I badly want to see them up close.
Anyway, Bigbang Made in Manila concert was totally a wonderful and beautiful experience. It went beyond my expectations. I would also like to congratulate Bigbang’s local organizer, Pulp Live World, for a job well done. The bouncers at the concert were present, everything and everyone was in order. The whole show was awesome. The stage, the lights, the sound system! Everything was outstanding! Though we were seated at the third floor, the sound is of best quality. We can hear the boys clearly and on time. The concert missions (Blue Ocean + White Ocean, etc) were accomplished!
For now, all I could say is that I’m so glad to see them again! I’m so thankful that once again they chose Manila as part of their concert tour and once again, I will be waiting till they come back. Every time their show ends, or when they bid their goodbyes, I seem to want even more of them. I will miss them for now. It’s a start of another season of waiting but I know that when they do come back, they will come back stronger, better, and funnier.
I hope you all enjoyed reading swirlbeau‘s fan account about Bigbang’s MADE in Manila Concert. Share your thoughts too! See you all again until the next CK Exclusive! – leila
FULL CREDITS: YG BIGBANG Official Facebook page | Janet Hernandez |