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IU surrenders to her MA-AENAs on her very first concert in Manila | #ShowRewind

“You guys are the best.” – IU to her MA-AENAs!

Let me tell you a ‘long’ story about one of the best concerts I have attended so far.

Being a proud UAENA (or should I say MA-AENA?) myself and a working Hallyu journalist at the same time, I was blessed to cover one of the big shows 2019 has to offer – IU’s ‘Love, Poem’ concert tour in Manila for this publication. Since I can’t still move on from that wonderful show, I’ll share the stories from Araneta Coliseum to all of you, who’ll read this article.

Knowing how good as a performer IU (Lee Ji-eun) is, I already know to myself that the rest of this show would be history.

A little bit of warning: This article might take longer to read than usual.

As the show starts, loud cheers and screams could be heard all over Araneta, which seemed to overwhelm IU herself. The 26-year-old singer, songwriter & actress goes on then to perform her opening number with the song ‘unlucky’ off her latest EP ‘Love, Poem’, and as you can see from the photo below, the singer-actress is all-smiles as she entered the stage, drawing a look of surrender upon her MA-AENAs loud voices, and by hearing the best cheer she had since her debut [according to herself].

IU is all-smiles when she heard the very loud cheers as she enters her stage for almost four hours. HALLYULIFE PHOTO

IU then followed her opening number with a performance of her 2017 hit ‘Palette’, in a sweet acoustic-band version. Her lovely vocal prowess continues to resonate all over Araneta and of course, I also sang along with the song very loud!

Korean star IU dances to her opening number with her dancers. HALLYULIFE PHOTO

Taking a break from the legendary opening performance, IU talks about how sorry she was that her team wasn’t able to grant MA-AENAs request for Day 2 of her concert in Manila. IU’s first show in Manila went sold-out just within an hour after the ticketing opened last November 17.

She then invited us into her magical garden by singing her folk-themed song ‘Autumn Morning’. By then, the Araneta crowd takes a moment to appreciate IU’s vocals live by going silent all-over. The only thing you can hear by that time was IU’s lovely voice and the instruments from the band. That time, it feels so surreal that we’re listening to her singing LIVE.

Followed by her songs ‘Friday’, ‘Secret Garden’, ‘The Visitor’ and ‘Jam Jam’, the audience then sang loudly until the end of the song, and IU goes by to talk about how passionate her MA-AENAs were, going to the extent of praising them in Filipino by saying:

You guys are the best. Ang galing nyo! Seriously, ANG GALING NYO!”

She even said next that it was the first time ever [since her debut] that she wasn’t able to hear her voice on the in-ear monitor that well because of how loud the cheers and the voices of MA-AENAs are. She said ‘I lost to you guys.

IU then continued her setlist after changing clothes to a more chic and sassy-looking style as she performs another hit called ‘Twenty-three’.

As her MA-AENAs doesn’t seem getting tired, IU then asked in jest (but in a slightly worried tone) if her MA-AENAs throats are okay, since it doesn’t seem that the loud cheers would stop anytime after Araneta crowd sang loudly to her songs. The fans said [in response] “Gwaenchanha 괜찮아” (It’s okay).

She even expressed how she felt by saying “Masaya ang pakiramdam ko!” (I’m feeling happy!), and continued by saying that she’s proud that many MA-AENAs were able to recognize and sing to her songs that she’s proud about of writing. To note, she said most of these remarks in English.

Continuing her setlist, IU then sang her 2018 hit digital single ‘BBIBBI’, and of course, the whole Araneta is once again in chorus as they sang to the song’s catchy lyrics ‘Yellow C-A-R-D’.

After the BBIBBI chorale, IU said “Salamat dahil gusto ninyo ako(Thank you because you guys love me), then continues with “Iinom lang ako ng tubig” (I’ll have to drink water).

She said that every single time she’s singing here, she can really feel the love and longing of MA-AENAs for her.

She then added that she thought that Singapore (she had a show there before Manila) was the country of BBIBBI, perhaps due to the amazing crowd response Singaenas had shown, but she then continued saying that Philippines is perhaps ‘the mother of it’.

IU then continued her almost four-hour setlist by performing the songs ‘Hold My Hand’ and ‘Last Night Story’. She even declared the latter as Philippines’ National Anthem as it seems that all MA-AENAs do know the song. IU said to her Manila fans:

“Thank you, thank you. Everytime I sing here, I’m forgetting that I am in Manila. It feels like Korea. I THOUGHT THIS IS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF THE PHILIPPINES! [Last Night Story]”

– IU

As the next track on her setlist, IU then performed her latest single ‘Blueming’, drawing louder cheers from the fans as they forgot that ‘fanchants exist’ and instead sang the whole song in jest and excitement.

IU then continued singing happily by singing ‘Meaning of You’ meaningfully, followed by a lullaby which she said that was ‘intended to let her MA-AENAs doze off’. Her voice during this part is just soothing to the ears of everyone!

But no one dozed off (of course, no one wants to waste this opportunity after years of waiting, right?), and instead, waited for IU to re-appear on stage to sing her special song for her MA-AENAs.

She then self-confessed that she’s a long-time fan of the Filipino acoustic band MYMP. She even sang the band’s version of ‘Say You Love Me’, a song that IU sang around ten years ago to her fans.

“It feels so surreal to sing it here in the Philippines,” she said, after asking if MA-AENAs liked her special song for them. She also extended her greetings and gratitude to MYMP, hoping that they would be able to meet at some time. MYMP had a show on that day, unfortunately.

She also saw the reaction video MYMP made recently about IU’s singing.

Continuing the spree of relaxing songs, IU then went on to sing another ‘Lullaby’, as well as one of my favorites, ‘Through The Night’ and ‘dlwlrma’. Of course, the Araneta chorale is once again in chorus.

After that series of songs, IU addressed her MA-AENAs by saying that it’s the first time that she heard the fanchant for the song ‘Through The Night’ that loud.

Filipinos just proved once again that they are the best crowd, ever, as IU was extremely impressed with the Manila crowd, saying that it was the best in her lifetime. Questioning herself about why didn’t she visited Manila earlier, she continues to regret her life decisions about not having a concert in the Philippines early, and not knowing that she has a LOT of fans in the country.

She even encouraged Filipino fans to take part in her next concerts in Indonesia and Bangkok, with IU notably saying:

“If the crowd on my concerts are like this, I will be the happiest.”

To express her gratitude and continue her setlist, IU then sang another song from her latest extended play, called ‘Above The Time’, with vocals that makes everyone mesmerized and relaxed.

Of course, IU haven’t showed signs of being tired, as she finally unleashed an extremely resonating performance of ‘You & I’, a song with lots of high range vocals. The stage then glowed up with fireworks as the initial set-list of 21 songs, came to an end.

Being famous for an encore after an encore, we already know that the show will last for more than three hours – that’s why no one went out of their seats, and instead, waited for IU to return on stage.

She then returned with a white dress, and performed her track ‘Good Day’, another song with super-high notes. Did I said that she hit those notes effortlessly?

As MA-AENAs continued singing and cheering loudly for IU, the singer then said that she really thought that no one can beat the people of Busan, Korea when it comes to being passionate. However, she thinks that the ranking have changed, and that MA-AENAs could be the lost brothers of BU-AENAs (Busan + UAENA?).

She then declared it with her own words:

“No one can beat Manila”.

– IU

I’m truly in shock right now. You guys are the best,” she said in English. IU then continued her remarks by saying that she will never forget this day, professing her love for MA-AENAs and how it makes her happy that they even cheer for her dancers and band.

IU also said that in fact, it is her 11th show for the Love, Poem tour and she usually don’t feel nervous already. However, it feels like she is in her very first concert again.

She also thinks that the whole concert may be set-up as a prank for her, as it seems like the people who all love her are there and everybody knows each other.

And as IU said “Mahal kita, and thank you so much“, MA-AENAs responded with a loud cheer: “We love you!”. The singer then replied “Salamat po!“, followed by a promise that MA-AENAs are very eager to hear the most: “Babalik ako para makita kayo ulit” (I’ll return to see you again).

IU then went on to the stage to sing her final song for the first encore, the title track of her EP and the tour itself, ‘Love, Poem’.

As they appreciate the live vocals of the Korean superstar, the whole Araneta is once again in silence. Fans responded by waving their lightsticks and penlights, in harmony to IU’s soulful song. I briefly paused for a while from updating our Twitter live update feed in order to appreciate this performance which I think would take some time before seeing again.

The lights went off and IU exits the stage. Audience have shouted “Walang uuwi” (as with every concerts I’ve gone to), and I felt that. I know there’s something left, and I guessed it correctly – another encore.

This time, IU dressed comfortably and casually to talk more with her MA-AENAs. Sitting for a while to talk with her *cute* MA-AENAs, she shared that even on her concerts with 360-degree stages, she didn’t feel lost to the audience loud voices and cheers. That day, she acknowledged her defeat to the Manila crowd.

She’s more worried about her fans being tired, however, she expressed once again how happy she was by saying “Masaya? Masaya ba kayo?” (Happy? Are you guys happy?).

As she took song requests from fans, she first sang ‘Leon’ for her re-encore stage, then followed by performing ‘Raindrop’, a song which she herself said is not that easy to sing.

IU shared that she really likes places that are frequently experiencing rains, like Manila. She also said that she wants to make a comfortable atmosphere that makes everyone there enjoy the particular moment. I guess she succeeded.

She then continued on taking requests, resulting to her singing her Dream High OST song ‘Someday’, which literally led everyone who knows the drama sing.

The interaction between fans and IU continued, with the singer spotting some fans who exerted further effort to cosplay characters from her recent drama ‘Hotel Del Luna’.

As Christmas is approaching, IU also sang ‘Merry Christmas in Advance’, as well as another one of my all-time IU favorite – ‘Ending Scene’.

Fans then responded very well by turning all their phone lights and lightsticks, resulting in this beautiful light ocean that MA-AENAs brilliantly planned to surprise IU and everyone else.

After singing Ending Scene, IU then saw the lights that never went off, and said “So beautiful”. The ironic exchange of love words between fans and IU comes next, with fans saying it in Korean by saying “Saranghae”, and with IU responding to it with “Mahal kita.”

IU then finally took one last request and sang the song “Heart” with the entire Araneta crowd.

Officially ending the show, IU and her team exits the stage with a warm heart and a standing ovation from the audience while waving goodbyes to MA-AENAs. The show lasted for almost 4 hours, starting at 7PM and ending officially at around 10:50PM, local time.

No amount of words (despite this reaching 2,500+) can express how happy I am with this experience, and for the unforgettable memories the #TeamConcert have created, I’m sure that it will be cherished and saved forever. Such a night to remember, this Friday the 13th is perhaps not scary, and is definitely one of the best nights of my 2019, after attending a lot of concerts and fan meetings this year as part of my job. If you’ve reached this part without skipping, thank you for reading.

IU’s “Love Poem” concert tour in Manila was presented by PULP Live World and produced by Kakao M. Special thanks to all of you guys for letting us be a part of history, and giving us a wonderful memory to cherish forever.

Our photos from IU’s Love, Poem tour in Manila are now out! You can view them here.



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