One week ago…
In my opinion, a great concert should have at least one of these qualities:
1. Exceptional singing/dancing/overall performance;
2. Jaw-dropping production values;
3. Oodles of fan service;
4. The experience is sooo good, I either blog about it in exquisite detail, or I couldn’t find the exact words to accurately describe it.
Big Bang’s MADE in Manila concert has all four.
The concert was sooo freakin’ good that it took me more than a week before I finally was able to blog about it. Up until now I still can’t find the exact words to accurately describe the experience. In fact, the introductory part of this entry was written a week ago while on the commute to Manila to watch Rak of Aegis. It just came into my head and I had to write it down on my phone before memory gap takes over.
The rest of it, I’m currently struggling to write now.
Let me begin with the production values:
That night, I’ve lost count of how many times I uttered the word, “WOW”. This is the third time that I saw Big Bang in concert, and the first of the three was in Korea. MADE in Manila is comparable to the first BB concert that I saw in terms of production values. Usually, when we ‘import’ a big production like this, it gets scaled down because we either don’t have a venue that can handle it, or it’s too costly for the promoter. Or both. I gotta give mad props to PULP Live! for insisting on bringing in the show in its exact staging. Even if it means flying the stage in via several cargo planes = more production costs. I mean, the giant angel statue didn’t fly by itself to Manila, didn’t she?
Just looking at the stage while waiting for the concert to start prompted the accountant in my brain to start calculating. I totally understood why the tickets cost that much. I know I’m just saying this because I’m lucky I was able to afford it this time, but the stage set-up alone was really worth every peso I paid for my ticket.
YG certainly didn’t scrimp on the budget for this tour. I can’t find anything to nitpick; ok, maybe the bridge kinda bothered me a little because it blocked the main stage from where I was seated, but once it moves towards the middle, or whenever a Big Bang member spends some time on our side of the bridge, it wasn’t so bad anymore. What am I saying, it was AWESOME. The moving ramps/bridgeways not only provided additional stages for the performers (and additional reason for us to gape in amusement) but also gave opportunities for adequate fan service. More on this later.
Side note: We didn’t go out of the Arena immediately after the concert (in a vain attempt to ‘gatecrash’ the send-off party ), so I saw how the crew immediately dismantled the stage in record time, pretty much like how we witnessed the same thing at KBS Music Bank a couple of years ago. I am really in awe at how they do this. If it’s here in Manila, they wouldn’t work on it until at least a few hours later.
I also have to give kudos to the production for providing several LED screens – make that REALLY CLEAR LED SCREENS – not only on both sides of the stage but also way up at the Gen Ad section for those who were seated at ‘limited view’ areas.
Lastly: I was reminded of this when I re-read my blog about Alive Tour in Manila. The sound system was excellent this time. Everything was crisp and clear, at least from where I was seated. (Wait, why do I keep saying ‘seated’? Did anyone actually sat during the concert? ) I heard them clearly even if nearly everyone around me were screaming their hearts, lungs and intestines out. This probably explains why G-Dragon was a gazillion times more energetic in this concert compared to three years ago. He was not bothered by tech problems this time.
Performances by Big Bang
I cannot stress this further: Big Bang are awesome performers. They own the stage, big time. And they seem to be getting better as they get older. (See? Age is not an issue, dammit! Sorry, )
I can mention certain instances wherein these guys floored me with their clean vocals and/or amazing dance moves. The aforementioned energy emanating from G-Dragon; Taeyang managing to impress even without taking his shirt off this time (I still think his sex appeal is flat as a pancake, though, no offense to his fans); Seungri and his ability to stand out even if he’s just standing there (I actually prefer him to just stand there and not talk hahaha); and of course, TOP, who can just stand there and we would still pay good money to see him. I’m not saying TOP wasn’t good on the singing and dancing, in fact I think he leveled up. But the one thing that really stuck in my mind is Daesung’s Wings solo stage. Right off the bat, he demonstrated his vocal prowess and so much more. I mean, that’s just a master class in singing right there. I noticed that Daesung even screams from the diaphragm (search for fancams of his “Mabuhaaaaaaaay!!!!” for the actual demo). A lot of K-pop singers *cough*FTIHongki*cough*CNBLUEYonghwa*cough* should learn a thing or two from Daesung’s vocal technique before they totally mess up their vocal chords.
(to be continued with more photos and more nonsense blabbering…)
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