Stray Kids is back in the Philippines. They brought their A-game and showed the crowd they’re the real deal, delivering jaw-dropping performances during their 2nd World Tour Maniac in Manila 2023
South Korean boyband Stray Kids members Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N. performed for two-epic nights on March 11 -12 , 2023 at the SM MOA Arena. Filo STAYs warmly welcomed the boys in the country and showed them how much they had been waiting for this concert by giving their unwavering energy and passionate cheers throughout the 3-hour show.
There is no denying that Stray Kids has become one of K-pop’s hottest boy bands. From the day they debuted, they have shown remarkable growth and achievement as a group.
Stray Kids Unleashes Manila’s Inner Maniac
Stray Kids concerts are not just performances but an experience. It’s a showcase of the versatility of their skills and personality. The boys have performed on live stages, in fan meetings and in front of millions worldwide every day since they debuted. And this time was no different from any other concert for them.
Stray Kids’ outfits are draped with web-like chains as they kicked off their concert with a performance of ‘MANIAC,’ and minutes later, during the off-kilter EDM of ‘VENOM,’ they’re joined on stage by inflatable arachnid legs, four on either side that are believed to belong to a giant spider.
As the seductive track, ‘RED LIGHTS‘ begins, the members become trapped by the beast, black leather leashes tying their necks to the circular structure of lights and screens hanging above the main stage. They deftly maneuvered through the interlocking links while moving to the flashing red stage lights in perfect dance formation. The fans highly anticipate this as it was performed by the eight-member version, originally a unit song by Chan and Hyunjin on their previous NOEASY album.
After back-to-back high-energy stages, Stray Kids caught their breaths and excitedly greeted the audience, recognizing both returning STAYS who came to their previous 2019 ‘Unveil Tour ‘I AM’ and new STAYs.
During their opening ment Leader Bang Chan said, “It has been a very long time since we last came to Manila. You guys look beautiful today. It’s great to see you again. Who here has never been to a Stray Kids concert before? We promise to give you one of the greatest nights you will ever experience. Welcome to Stray Kids Maniac Tour.”
The boys hype the crowd with their performance of popular B-side ‘EASY,‘ the Korean version of ‘ALL IN“‘ from their first Japanese EP, and their iconic debut song ‘DISTRICT 9.’
The second act began with a suspenseful VCR, followed by the members return to the stage in sleek black and white attire to sing ‘BACK DOOR‘. Followed by ‘CHARMER‘, where the boys performed their slick dance on a multi-level platform.
After finishing the energetic performance on the extended stage, they brought mic stands onstage as they performed the emotional song of ‘LONELY ST.‘. Stray Kids make sure they engage with every section of the crowd. Next was a remix of ‘SIDE EFFECTS‘ that extensively used flashing lasers and lights, leaving the audience in awe.
The group does not rely solely on backup tracks throughout their mesmerizing performance. Additional musician emerges from beneath the stage while traditional Korean instrument tunes play and visuals of traditional Korean architecture appear on the screen.
The deafening cheers grew even louder as the live band appeared, which made Stray Kids’ performances of ‘THUNDEROUS,’ ‘DOMINO,‘ and ‘GOD’S MENU‘ into raucous rock slammers. The boys continued to pump the crowd with their electrifying tracks of ‘CHEESE,’ “‘YAYAYA,’ and ‘ROCK.’
“These were songs we performed during busking. There’s still so much we have to show you, and we’re just getting started. We prepared something for our STAYS, ” said the ultra baritone-voiced rapper Felix.
The group then splits in two to share its ‘Oddordinary’ unit tracks. Bang Chan, Seungmin, Lee Know, and I.N. serenaded the Filo STAYs with their passionate, emotional song, ‘WAITING FOR US‘.
Seconds later, Felix, Changbin, Han, and Hyunjin returned to perform with their gritty hip-hop track ‘MUDDY WATER‘ where each member’s own rap style shone brightly, proving that Stray Kids has one of the most impressive rap verses in K-Pop.
The boys displayed their own charms between unit performances: Hyunjin danced to ‘PLAY WITH FIRE,’ Felix performed a cover of ‘LOVE AGAIN‘ Seungmin sang an acoustic version of ‘OMG,‘ and Lee Know performed ‘THIS CITY‘.
After completing both vocal and rap unit stages, the members all reunited on stage in white and black stage outfits as they performed fan favourite ‘CASE 143‘, followed by the nostalgic pre-debut song ‘HELLEVATOR.’
With a sentimental piano melody, the stage transitioned to a remixed version of ‘TOP‘ with a grand, dramatic image. Without missing a beat, they immediately performed their remixed version of ‘VICTORY SONG,’ which brought fans to sing and dance along with them.
Stray Kids returned to the stage to perform “FAM” and “MIROH” with confetti and special stage effects. All the members expressed their desire to return and appreciation for Filo STAYs.
Bang Chan said “I love that everyone’s jumping. It’s really nice to see. When we’re in a concert with STAYS, it’s as if we’re doing it together. We sing together… Dance together.”
As the boys announced it was time to end the concert, the fans chanted, “Walang uuwi (No one’s going home).”
Member Lee Know revealed that he’s been waiting to see Filo STAYS afte the BENCH event. He thank the crowd for the loud cheers as he said, “Thank you so much for your wonderful cheers and dances with us, and also your flashlights a while ago. After the concert tomorrow, I don’t know when we will meet again. Don’t be sad. Please keep your heart till we meet again. We will be the greatest artists in the world! And of the universe!”
The youngest member I.N. shared “I am really happy that we came back here for a concert in the Philippines. In the BENCH event before, we had some performance right. At that time we couldn’t do any live. But we were arguing with the team before that we had to do live that time. Because it has been a long time that we saw each other we really wanted to show the best for you guys. I hope that what we had today is a better stage than our stage before”
Felix told to the crowd “We will exert more effort for better stages for you guys. We have a show again tomorrow. It’s sad for the guys who can’t come tomorrow. But as I’ve said, we have to show a better stage tomorrow. I’m so glad that we’re able to meet STAYS that were not in the BENCH event. Today is a chance for STAYS to see us who haven’t seen us. Today is a great day, right? Because we were able to meet STAYS here in Manila. The last time we came here it was very beautiful. STAYs here are very cheerful. You guys really cheered us up. I felt that today. So I hope there is also tomorrow. Thank you so much for coming to see us. This will be an unforgettable memory. I love you so much.”
Leader Bang Chan said, “Mabuhay! Maraming salamat! Today was a fantastic day. Big thank you to everyone who came today. I am just relieved that we were able to meet each other again.”. He added, “For real, I am glad we have this moment together. Thank you for coming to our concert. Did you guys have fun today? You guys are nuts! The energy you’re giving me is on a different level.”
Before Hyunjin says his closing ment, Filo STAYs surprised him by singing a birthday greeting.“Thank you so much for making great memories for us..Actually, it’s not my birthday yet. I’m thankful that I could meet you guys near my birthday. Please greet my birthday again tomorrow coz it’s nearer. Anyway, we’ve been going on tour for almost a year. And I could see the audience having eye contact and dancing with me. Out of the many tours I had, today will be unforgettable. I want to come back. Will definitely come back with a better performance. Sobrang mamimiss ko kayo.“, he said.
Member Seungmin admitted that he’s been waiting for a long to come back in Manila. He stated, “Stray Kids is back! Three to four years ago, though it was smaller than this concert hall, actually I have a lot of memories with the STAYS. Although it wasn’t as big as this before, actually I came back here with a lot of expectations. And you guys never change. You gave us another great memory again today. I think today will be unforgettable. Please have a good sleep, and see you guys again tomorrow. Thank you so much for coming. And I’m so happy I can do my best today. Thank you!”
Chang Bin added, “I’m really happy I could feel your wonderful cheers once again. It’s an amazing feeling that you will never feel unless you stand on this stage. You guys enjoyed too, right?. The crowd responded ,”Yes!”. He continued, “Actually, during rehearsals, it was quite cold here, but when we went up the stage, we were sweating a lot because of the dances. Or because you guys were so cheerful, it became so hot. Thank you so much. Please expect a lot from us again tomorrow. Mahal ko kayo!”
Member Han assured the Filo STAYs that he is okay. “First of all, I’m sorry. You guys know my health conditions. But honestly, I’m feeling OK. I’m feeling great! During this show, your energy made my condition better. I feel great now! Some of you guys were crying. They dropped their tears. Please don’t cry”. He also confessed that he really felt sad since he can’t perform due to enteritis. “But because you guys were cheering for me, I was really happy”, he added. The crowd cheered him on saying “Gwenchana! (It’s Okay)”
He stated, “Okay, I can watch the performances with a view of the STAY. So this is the reason why they are falling for Stray Kids. So sitting down on the chair, the most grateful thing I felt is I am a member of Stray Kids. I belong. And I’m really thankful to all STAYs who came from far places. We will come back with great performances. Mahal ko kayo, STAY. Thank you!“
After the group photo of Stray Kids with the Filo STAYs, they finished off their encore with their fun and entertaining tracks, “STAR LOST“ and “HAVEN.“
As the concert come to end, Leader Bang Chan said, “Stray kids everywhere, all around the world.” The crowd responded, “You make stray kids, Stay!” . This a moment for which most STAYs had been patiently waiting.
PH STAYs were absolutely spoiled with a three-hour show packed with popular title tracks and unit stages as they demonstrated their ability to capture fans with their outstanding live vocals, unique concepts, and energetic performances. Their return to the Philippines proved that they will continue to grow, solidify their musical identity, and leave their own unique imprint on the K-Pop industry.
Watching them perform live was a truly fun and unforgettable experience. I leave you with a warning: bring a lot of energy to the venue if you plan on watching these guys perform live, or you’ll be left out of the fun.
Buzzsetter extends gratitude to PULP Live World for the invite to STRAY KIDS 2ND WORLD TOUR MANIAC in MANILA 2023. The event was covered by Ana Gonzales & Jacquelou Colitoy
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