Photos by Dana Policarpio
For Filipino NCTzens, it was a dream come true when NCT Dream held their first concert in Manila.
Since NCT Dream came to the country last year for the K-Pop Friendship Concert, the fans have been clamoring for their return. The crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena that day was proof that NCT Dream was well loved in the Philippines, and fans were more than willing to see the group again.
NCTzens finally got their wish when NCT Dream announced that they’ve added Manila as part of their concert tour, The Dream Show.
All the Love for DREAM
The surprise of the concert announcement was that it would be held at the New Frontier Theater, a smaller venue compared to what fans were expecting.
Still, that didn’t stop fans from selling out tickets. On the other hand, #TeamLabas and #TeamBahay may not be there, but they showed their support for the boys by holding giveaways, staying outside the venue, and trending the show hashtag on social media.
The love for NCT Dream was just as prominent at the New Frontier Theater on show day. Some fans came dressed in lime green or in an outfit inspired by Dream’s concepts. The venue was a sea of lime green as fans waved their Neo Bongs and sang along to the songs.
The energy at the theater never died down when the lights dimmed and the show started.
NCT Dream mentioned that the crowd’s energy was their source of energy, and it was clear in their performances. The boys started with a bang with intense performances of “GO,” “Drippin’,” and “119” before moving to the introductions.
Fans at the standing area were eager to see NCT Dream up close that Haechan had to remind them to step back for everyone’s safety. The boys did their best in speaking Tagalog, to the delight of fans, telling NCTzens how much they missed them.
Boys Being Boys
As the group composed of the NCT umbrella’s youngest members, NCT Dream amped up their boyish charms, whether they’re performing a fierce “Stronger” or something more youthful like “Dunk Shot.” Chenle played the piano before the group sung “Best Friend,” and we were treated to a display of their skills during a short dance performance.
In particular, “Chewing Gum” and “My First and Last” gave out a particular nostalgia, especially for me, a tita NCTzen. For someone who started following them late into their SM Rookies years, seeing them perform and looking grownup was like that proud Mom moment of seeing your kids getting an award.
Personally, I enjoyed the more youthful-sounding performances more. You could see NCT Dream being carefree, laughing and fooling around during the songs. Just boys being boys.
In 50 Years, We Wonder …
One of the most poignant moments of the concert was a VCR where NCT Dream imagines themselves in 50 years. “Our promise,” they said, “we’ll be together even time passes, can we?”
Although the clip was meant to make the audience laugh at the boys acting as grandpas, the fans can’t help but wonder—will we be seeing the boys again, still as part of NCT Dream? After all, the graduation system is still in place.
Filipino NCTzens definitely made their thoughts heard about the graduation system, chanting “Fixed unit” as the boys prepared for the encore.
The group didn’t address the chanting when they came back for the encore, but they did share their hopes of returning to the country.
Currently, the future is unknown for NCT Dream, but that has never stopped them, nor their fans, from hoping. The Dream Show in Manila was proof that the boys, as they are as a group, are deservingly well loved and that NCTzens have their back.
For now, NCT Dream and their beloved Czennies will continue to hope and dream.
NCT Dream’s The Dream Show in Manila was presented by SM Entertainment and PULP Live World. Thank you for providing us with media coverage for the concert.
Check out our photo gallery here.