Photos by Micah Agramon
“Did you guys miss us?”
With just these words, Filipino ahgases were sent into a frenzy, screaming at the top of their lungs (sounding like shoebills) and waving their chartreuse green lightsticks. The Mall of Asia Arena was packed and was filled beautifully with the light of little green birds.
It’s been three years, nine albums, and two world tours since GOT7 visited the Philippines. and fans have clamored for the country to be included in the list of stops. Sadly, the country continued to be left out compared to its neighbors.
But last October 26, GOT7 pulled out all the stops to show their Filipino fans that they are worth the wait.
It was evident in this tour that the boys have grown up (more handsome and can we just say – hotter) given the chosen theme for this world tour. Compared to the past two world tours, Fly and Eyes on You, Keep Spinning is an offshoot of their fifth Korean studio album, Spinning Top: Between Security and Insecurity – dark, angsty, and bordering sensual.
Since the release of the said album, the boys have been transparent in communicating with their fans their insecurities as artists in a cutthroat industry. Collectively, the boys are in their fifth year – a feat many groups are not that fortunate to achieve. JB and Jinyoung, who debuted as the duo JJ Project in 2012, are technically in their seventh year. And with the power of social media and expansion to the Western market, the pressure to stay relevant has become more burdensome than ever.
The concert opens with the members being at peace in their respective rooms until a solar eclipse happens. They are thrown into a state of confusion, distraught, and darkness. Clad in black and silver accents, GOT7 delivered explosive performances of Eclipse, Out, Never Ever, and Skyway.
While the boys shine as seven, the members over time have become their own artists. Ride, penned by leader JB who also goes by his composer alias Defsoul, sounded like a Fifty Shades track. Youngjae, who became everyone’s bias wrecker for his good looks that night, filled the arena with his high notes for Gravity. The AmeriThaiKong rap line of Mark, BamBam, and Jackson, set the roof on fire with God Has Returned and Mañana, while the Tom and Jerry unit of Jinyoung and Yugyeom delivered powerful dance performances.
The boys also performed Stop Stop It, specially remixed by BamBam.
One of the notable moments while talking about their solo stages was when Jinyoung mentioned his reason for choosing to dance for his solo stage. He said that he chose to dance as people might have forgotten that he auditioned for JYP Entertainment as dancer. And in true Filipino fashion, the crowd cheered for “Sample!” but the boys could not understand and sought the help of a fan by the barricade. It was an opportunity missed, however, as the fan thought the fans were cheering, “Sana all.” (But okay, the boys learned something new.)
After their talk, the boys switched to performances focusing more on their vocal chops. 1°, in particular, was spectacular with the lighting, stage design, and the boys’ perfect vocal performance the hesitancy of a relationship that is too good to be true. I am Me was a beautiful choice to end the dark first half, as the only way to conquer insecurity is to be assured of one’s self.
Having found their light, the boys returned on stage with more casual clothing with various accents of green. (BamBam hilariously teased JB for asking where his green was, and everyone already had a hint where it was.) The second half was lighter this time with feel-good songs Come On, Just Right, Paradise, Thank You, Teenager, and Page. Thank You, composed by Jinyoung, was a sweet choice as the boys serenaded the audience while being projected individually on screen. To everyone’s delight, the boys performed the remix version of Teenager, which was first unveiled at the 2017 MBC Music Festival. And Page, ahgases’ new anthem, was unforgettable.
The phrase “Walang uuwi!” has become a staple in every K-Pop concert in the Philippines. And the boys took it up a notch (after understanding what it meant) when they jokingly announced that their next song will be entitled, “Walang uuwi!” Clearly, the boys were having so much fun.
The boys continued to perform some of their memorable hits like Look, Lullaby and Hard Carry. Following the break was a hilarious behind-the-scenes video of GOT7 being their usual selves.
GOT7 wasn’t the only one pulling surprises for their fans, as the PH ahgases showed their love for the group with their fan projects such as word formation during Miracle and a heartwarming video message. One of the messages included this:
We may not be the first, maybe not even the second or third on your list, but we want you to know that you will always have a home with us. Even in the darkest sky, we will stay and fly with you FOREVER. Mahal namin kayo.
And towards the end of the video, the fans serenaded the group with a bit of Let Me, which was the song GOT7 left with back in their fan meeting in the Philippines in 2016.
Mark could barely stand as he wept after watching the video, BamBam and Jackson were obviously holding back their tears. The boys promised to return soon – with BamBam sharing how much he enjoyed the night and that he felt that Filipinos are his brothers (as he hails from Thailand), and how Youngjae likened the PH ahgases to his dear puppy, Coco.
With enough energy left, the boys got everybody on their feet with a Fly (remix version), Shopping Mall, and Before the Full Moon Rises.
It is without a doubt that the group enjoyed the night – Jinyoung wasn’t slashing any hearts, the boys were splashing water everywhere and on each other and their smiles were plastered on their faces. Behind the established artists that they are, they are simply boys who just want to have fun. That, their uncomparable fan service, and many more have become the reasons why GOT7 is loved by fans around the world.
Not knowing if the boys will return to the country in three years or three months as Mark and Jackson said, one thing is for sure – as long as GOT7 keeps spinning, PH ahgases will keep spinning until the last page.
We would like to thank PULP Live World for letting us cover this momentous event. GOT7 2019 Keep Spinning in Manila was brought to you by PULP Live World and JYP Entertainment.