After dealing with online shows and concerts for a few years, the majority of artists are going around the globe to showcase their talent through a live audience. This has become very evident in the KPop scene, where artists can now meet their fans around the globe. One of the most-awaited concerts here in the Philippines is Twice, as they return to the country after 4 years with their Ready to Be World Tour.
Twice’s second concert in the country is grander than ever with Philippine Arena being more than double the size of Mall of Asia Aren–and with Ready to Be being a 2-day show from September 30 to October 1. I was able to watch the second day of the concert, and I can confidently say that it’s probably one of the best KPop shows in the Philippines to date.
Very well-planned this time
To kick things off, Live Nation came well prepared this time, as the whole logistics for both concert days–from finding parking, buying merch, lining up to get inside to the venue, down to getting out of the venue–was significantly better than I expected. Gone are the horror stories of being stuck at Philippine Arena post-concert until the wee hours of the morning just because parking logistics are a nightmare–it took me around 30 minutes to get out of the parking and enter NLEX to get back home, which is rather impressive already given the sheer size of Philippine Arena.
While the concert started at 7pm, we were able to get inside at around 4:30pm, giving everyone ample time to find their seats, grab food, and settle down for a two-and-a-half hour-long show. There’s a good selection of food and drinks inside the venue, and the pricing is relatively fair compared to similar venues in Manila.
A bombastic intro
After waiting inside the venue for a few hours, the girls (minus Chaeyoung, who had to sit out due to health issues) started out strong with Set Me Free. It was a a full house inside Philippine Arena, and what I think was the best part was that everyone who had their light stick (it is called Candybong for those not familiar) was in sync during the whole concert. Being seated at Lower Box B (decent at Philippine Arena considering its size), it’s a definite visual treat to see a sea of Candybongs changing colors in unison based on the songs being performed and the member’s interaction with the audience.
Getting a Candybong was a last-minute purchase on my part, and the pricing at the event grounds is just okay at Php 3,000 since Live Nation factored in other costs like shipping and taxes. You’ll pay roughly the same amount when you order directly from Korea, so that’s a good job on Live Nation’s part.
A diverse setlist
Given that Twice has already hundreds of songs under their belt, they performed a diverse setlist that encompassed both their current hits and old tracks. They played hits like More and More, Alcohol-Free, Fancy, Feel Special, and Dance the Night Away, and everyone was having a blast singing and dancing through all of these songs. It’s nice that they squeezed in a few tracks that are less common like Go Hard, Queen of Hearts, and When We Were Kids, but one of my personal favorites was the medley part where they sang their older songs like Cheer Up, Knock Knock, Likey, and Yes or Yes–ît’s a definite treat, especially for older fans who are familiar with their early hits.
Of course, all of their solo performances are really good. While I have a personal bias for Sana’s performance (no need to explain why), every member showcased their talents very well. If I were to do a highlight reel, I’d personally pick Momo’s pole dance performance, Dahyun’s piano skills, and the sheer power of Jihyo’s voice and stage presence when she performed her single Killin’ Me Good.
You have to love the interactions
Even though they are not native English speakers (big props to Dahyun for both her English and Tagalog speaking skills), the interaction of the members with the 55,000-strong audience was heartfelt. I loved all the antics they were doing in between songs, along with being happy with the overall reception of the crowd–especially since the majority waited for 4 years for this follow-up concert to happen.
There were fun bloopers during day 2 of the concert that included Jihyo, Nayeon, and Sana splashing everyone in the VIP section with water, Sana stealing a kiss from Tzuyu, and the countless funny antics Dahyun had for the entire Filipino crowd.
It will be hard to top this concert
I’ve watched several concerts throughout the years, along with a few KPop ones, and I honestly think that it will be hard to top what Twice did for Ready to Be. It’s essentially what a true KPop concert should be, and it has honestly set my benchmark on what I should expect in a concert to be memorable and one for the books. Ready to Be for me is peak KPop live performance, and I still wonder if there’s any group that will perform in the Philippines that can match what Twice did for two days in Philippine Arena.