The colors of CNBLUE (CNBLUE in Manila, Part 2).

Blue Moon – CNBLUE 2013 World Tour in Manila
15 June 2013 – Smart Araneta Coliseum

Opening note: I’ve just realized that I’ve been writing CNBLUE’s name wrong all this time. :boinkself: And I call myself a once-upon-a-time fan?? Geez.

There are two things I realized while watching the Manila leg of CNBLUE’s Blue Moon Tour:

1. I miss band photography.
2. I actually know more than four songs in their Blue Moon repertoire. :razz: I just didn’t know the titles of the songs, but I do know them.

So many things have been said on the internet about the concert and there have been numerous, much better fancams roaming around, so I think there’s not much point in repeating what everyone else has said about it. Like, how it’s one of the best K-pop concerts ever staged in Manila. Of course it’s all subjective, but for me, among all those that I’ve seen the only show that beats it by a hairline is Big Bang’s Alive Tour.

Production-wise, I was in awe at the stage design. When we entered the Araneta, I personally was a bit iffy about the bareness of the stage. There was a big screen on each side of the stage, but based on the clips that they ran before the show, it wasn’t crisp and clear. The screens looked too small, as well. For someone who ended up at the topmost tier of the venue (oh hello, Mt. Everest! Nice to see you again!) who will watch a band concert where you won’t be expecting big production numbers with dancers and all the trimmings, having two not-so-big screens will be such a bummer. I’ve seen a few concert videos of CNBLUE and they’re not really the type of rock band whose members (aside from the drummer, of course) will run all over the place with their wireless rigs.

The show started, and right off the bat I was proven wrong.


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There is only one word that best describes what I felt about that opening montage. The word is ETHEREAL. I never saw any fancam from the Blue Moon tour so I have no expectations whatsoever, so I was really happy that my initial worries that the stage was too bare was totally wrong. The big LED screens in the middle and on both sides of the stage were so crisp and clear that even us up there at Mt. Everest never felt left out. Everything that came out of those screens were also perfectly directed. There were no unwanted shots that made me go ‘WTF’. The four-part split screens in the middle was also a nice touch, as it allowed us to see what each member was doing. This is especially beneficial for Minhyuk fans because, as most of us probably know, drummers always get the least amount of exposure in any band. (The bass player comes in second with the least amount of exposure, unless said bass player is named Sting.)

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You might wonder why I gave this entry the title ‘The colors of CNBLUE’. Since I was seated at General Admission, it would be next to impossible for me to get good shots of the band. And by ‘good shots’, I meant ‘super-close up photos that show the members’ pores’ which is what the fans want. But as a photographer – well, ‘photographer’ in the loosest sense – I had a field day taking wide-angle photos of the stage because of the lovely mix of colors coming from the laser lights. :thumbup: The lights played a big part in this show, as it set the mood in every song that the band played. Here we see CNBLUE in white…

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…of course, blue…

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…red…

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…yellow…

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…green…

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…Shinhwa shade of orange…

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…purple (!!!)…

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…pink!!! And this was on Yonghwa’s surprise birthday celebration, too! :hihihi:

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…something Christmas-sy…

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…the national colors of the Philippines (aided by the blue lightsticks)…

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…and lastly, Rainbow Brite! #DatedReference #MyAgeIsShowing

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Another plus point for this concert is the sound quality. :thumbup: I’m never confident about concerts held at the Araneta because the sound quality usually sucks. Most of the time, the sound was muffled that you won’t understand the artist’s spiels. For CNBLUE, I didn’t understand most of their spiels not because the audio was muffled, but because the Boices were so LOUD. :aargh: I think, after last Friday at the presscon/fan party and then at the Araneta the following day, I can safely say that BoicePH is officially the Loudest Fanbase Among K-pop Fans in the Philippines. I distinctly remember that FT Island fans are loud, too. Is possession of lungs of steel a requirement before anyone can be a fan of any FNC artist?

Anyway, back to the sound quality. For starters, I am happy to discover that CNBLUE really are prolific musicians. These boys are not just pretty faces. Those guys CAN play, and they play very well. :clap: Everything is perfectly tuned and they never missed a single note nor beat. I’m sorry to say that this observation is the exact opposite of my review of their fellow FNC artist who had a showcase here three years ago. I just don’t know if it’s because CNBLUE’s concert is produced by PULP Live and this company is known for staging huge rock concerts so these guys know what they’re doing, or because CNBLUE are the better musicians. Or they have better roadies and tech guys. Anyway, I think no matter how good CNBLUE is, if the hardware sucks, it won’t work. Everything was crisp and clear. We heard every bass note that Jungshin played and every beat that Minhyuk stroke even from way up Mt. Everest. I think PULP’s vast experience in staging huge arena rock concerts played a huge factor in this.

As for the show and the band itself…

As I’ve said in the opening paragraph, I realized as I was watching the concert that I do know more than four songs on the Blue Moon setlist. But I enjoyed the show despite not knowing most of the songs. CNBLUE still has that distinct sound that made me a fan back in 2010. Maybe I should expose myself to their music again.

This is the part where I will cower in fear at rabid Yonghwa fans: I’m sorry, but in my opinion, Jonghyun is the better musician and singer between the two. :shutup: Jonghyun’s voice is just so velvety-smooth and always perfectly on-key. Yonghwa’s voice cracked at least twice in the entire show, and he missed quite a number of notes that even Jungshin hit perfectly (Jungshin actually has a nice voice). (By the way: Dear Yonghwa, better be careful with all the shrieking you’re doing. It’s not helping your throat at all. You might want to carefully consider that, since your career highly depends on it. Sincerely, Agent P.) And don’t get me started on the guitar playing. HOWEVER… Jonghyun does not have the massive charisma that Yonghwa has. I’ve always raved about Yonghwa’s “I OWN YOU ALL” staredowns during performances. He still has it. Jonghyun is more of the typical rock musician type: quiet, timid, has his own world, doesn’t care about what the rest of the band is doing outside of playing their respective instruments. He’s just there to play. Yonghwa is the Rock Star, the front man, the guy who can single-handedly capture the audience just by staring at them alone.

Additional side note for Jonghyun: I’ve mentioned on my presscon report that Jonghyun was the stiffest of the four. Personally, I also didn’t find him good-looking in person (to the consternation of my friends who had Jonghyun as their No. 1 Most Handsome in CNBLUE). But once he strapped on his guitar(s) and started playing… forget about it. That’s 1,000,000,000 Pogi Points right there. :drool: His muscles still remind me of Kim Jong Kook, though.

Do you guys still want me to talk about Jungshin? :hihihi: Lou and I were at Gen Ad, and we were practically passing out from swooning over his dorkiness. :hihihi: Rizza, Charity and Mommy Chie were at VVIP 2nd row, right in front of Jungshin. I am trying my very best not to be jealous. Charity said Jungshin is very nice, and very good at fan service. I am getting thisclose to switching camps.

Actually, I think if I’m officially going to switch camps, it’s going to be at Camp CNBLUE. I’ve mentioned before that I truly appreciate any foreign artist who takes the effort to at least learn a Filipino word or phrase and sincerely get to know the country and its people better. CNBLUE did not just learn a couple of Filipino phrases; they learned PARAGRAPHS of it. :arrow: And they spoke almost entirely in English during the concert, as well. And, I think, without the aid of idiot boards except for Yonghwa’s birthday surprise where they had to read their Tagalog spiels from strips of paper? Call it good fan service, but I personally think that good fan service is just taking a step or two further than expected. CNBLUE did not just take a step or two, they traveled miles on wheels to please their Filipino fans. What’s not to love about these guys?

I just hope that when they come back – IF they come back – it’s going to be at a time when I’m not having limited funds. I hate not taking that VVIP seat at the concert. I’m not regretting watching this concert from Gen Ad, but I think I would want much closer seats next time.

For more of my photos from CNBLUE’s Blue Moon Tour in Manila concert, please proceed to the Photo Gallery.

For more of my recaps and reviews of K-pop events, please visit the K-pop Events Aftermath page.

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25 Comments

  1. beautiful pictures.. confession time: while other kids are the disney princesses or fairies, i was rainbow brite so pictures in different colors really make me smile :oops:

    i was not able to watch because i thought i would be in SG this week because of work (which btw, was moved to next week :chair: ) so by the time my trip was moved, my hubby just made plans for his father’s day celebration.. for sure, i’m gonna be there if they come back… and if that day falls again on a special day, husband will just celebrate wherever the next concert will be :phew:

  2. Pau, lovely shots as usual. And I love the color concept of the blog entry. It’s a totally different idea than other reviews out there. And because you didn’t see any fancam of previous CNBLUE concerts, you definitely came with fresh eyes. And because I came knowing what to expect, I sort of took everything for granted. Once I saw a rehearsal picture the previous night, I knew everything from their world tour would be there.

    Remember when we used to say that the production design for Rain’s concerts might be too elaborate, therefore expensive, to be staged here? From what we saw of last Saturday’s concert, that’s no longer the case. It just all depends on the concert organizer. And I think PULP Live did alright monetary wise.

    From my perspective (being seated at the 2nd row from the stage):
    When watching musical plays, it’s normally not a good thing if you are seated at the very front because you miss a lot of details when your attention are captured by a scene. That’s what happened to me, but I won’t say it’s a bad thing because that’s what I always want when I watch a concert anyway. However, because this is the first band that I really like, I am completely stumped on how to deal with watching them live again in the future. How can I put this….let me see.

    Yonghwa is my favorite among the four, right? So it was only natural that during the concert, my attention was focused on him 85-90% of the entire 2hours. Junghyun got part of my attention whenever he did his solo guitar riffs (amazing, really) and Jungshin when he came really close to us and did his fan service. But whenever my attention was diverted from Yonghwa, he would do something and got my attention back again. And Minhyuk, I’m sorry to say that he only got my attention during the spiels and during Yonghwa’s keyboard numbers. And those huge screens were wasted on me because I didn’t even look at them once so I didn’t get the chance to see the dynamic visuals they were flashing or the close up shots of the boys. And because I didn’t get the chance to see the whole picture, something inside me is not satisfied. This is a band after all, so you’re supposed to look at them as a whole. But during a live show like this, and with me having a favorite and he was just right there in front of me…I don’t know. Am I just too used to being a fan of a solo artist therefore I have to train myself another way now that I’ve become a fan of a band?

    Or maybe what I need to do is watch them a number of times until I get used to looking at them as a whole. I’m pretty sure majority of fans (who have their own favorites and even their cameras completely stay focused solely on them) won’t understand the fact that there’s a part of me that regrets giving Yonghwa majority of my attention when he is my favorite after all. But I really have that feeling now. During the concert, that was really my inclination and he was like a magnet to my eyes. I had a super-great time, really. There’s just this hindsight that keeps poking me. hahahah Sometimes, it’s hard to be too logical.

    Anyway, I think the only solution for me is to watch them live more until I get myself trained properly. Thank you for writing the blog. I’m sure your regular visitors would enjoy reading it. Should I post the link on BoicePh?

  3. Oh, I found out last night that the mic stand Yonghwa used that night was a gift from a fangroup here. Not from BoicePh, but from Yeong-soo fans. It’s a custom-made mic stand. At one point during the concert, I saw him fiddling something on it and he smiled at himself for doing it because he was distracted. He really had a lot of distraction last Saturday. I thought to myself maybe there was something wrong with the stand, but I think there’s something special there that he saw for the first time.

    I saw a picture last night but forgot to save it. And because the forum is now full of posts from fans arguing about their favorites (I really, really hate the word “bias” because it’s wrong), I can’t find it anymore. They really are super sensitive over small things. One fan just posted an observation that Jonghyun didn’t wave much or that he looked lost in his own world most of the time and it started a rampage of rants.

    I can already imagine what will happen if I post your blog link over there so I decided not to. We are totally in a different world than what they’re living in.

  4. Your comments about Yonghwa and Jonghyun’s muscles will probably create a storm trooper swarm…are you sure you want that? :hihihi:

  5. Jonghyun not waving and looking lost in his own world is not necessarily a bad thing. As I’ve said in this entry, it’s what Rock Musicians do, and it’s what gives him gazillion Pogi Points. I think those fans need to expose themselves to rock bands some more.

    Rizza, I am so used to haters by now. Bring ’em on! :rakenrol:

  6. BTW, those YongSeo fans are RICH! :whoa: I think they also gave him a guitar hard case? Or did that come with a guitar, as well?

  7. Honestly i agree with what you said that JH is a much better singer because i really loved his voice i find CNBLUE attractive because of him at first buut Yonghwa is a great singer by the way I’m a CNBLUE bias especially Yonghwa bias but I love all of them they have different charm of their own that made them unique from other bands but i think Yonghwa is still the better singer he maybe cracked twice but please do remember its hard to sing on stage YH is always singing majority of it I hope you wont take it as bad I believe he did his best the reason to why he became the leader and main vocalist is because he is a good stage player sorry for being a bias but honestly i enjoyed the show so much that i dont want to find fault in it i know that it is hard to sing in an unknown country with language barrier YH did a good job to give the fans a good show but anyway he knows what you said that JH is the most handsome among them but pls. dont say that he is not that good coz it really is hard the two have time to rest their voice he doesnt have that… but thank you for saying that their concert is almost as good as big bang’s i really thought they dont have a lot of fans here but i was in awe to see many people supporting them because i’m a hardcore boice I’m happy with your comment hope to hear more of your comments in other concerts….;) thank you for being true…. :whee!:

  8. Uhm… I might have written this at the unholy hour of past 1:00am and my head was fuzzy but I believe I never said that Yonghwa is not a good singer. I just said that IMO, Jonghyun is the better singer. :neutral:

  9. Rizza i get what your feeling it doesnt feel enough we have the same bias but i love them as a while i believe if one of them is not there it would fall honestly if ever they would have another concert i wont take any pix or videos anymore anyway i loved the whole show and it felt like it wasnt enough how i wish i could watch them again but this time in the vvip part :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

  10. Wow. I love your review about the BlueMoon Manila concert. I just became their fan 6 mos ago because of their music, plus we can’t deny that they are all awesomely handsome. I’m into rock music but either from Western band or local band. I never thought of loving a Korean group or band. Watching their videos especially their tv guestings made me love them more because they are passionate about music. It’s my first time watching a concert by a Korean artist and it was such a great experience. The concert just sealed my admiration with CNBLUE.. :whee!: :dream: :rakenrol: :thumbup: :cheer: now im a :cheer: certified Boice and a fangirl.. :cheer:

  11. Wow, thank you so much for the concert review! I went to their Sydney concert and while the actual performance itself was AMAZING because of the band’s talent, it was such a crap experience mainly because the entertainment agency and the concert venue made us wait outside in the rain 2.5 hours after they were supposed to let us in the venue…….

    I wish I’d gone to the Filipino concert instead hahaha it sounded so much more fun than the Sydney concert. It’s nice to see how the boys really made an effort to speak Tagalog even though they could have just spoken English since most Filipinos can speak and understand English pretty well anyway. Lol and yes, I also agree with you that Jonghyun isn’t AS good looking in personal.. my friends and I were standing right in front of him in the Sydney concert haha. Pretty much all your observations about the individual members are pretty accurate to how we saw them :) when they come back to the Philippines I am SO going too!

  12. Love the split screen concept!!! Wished I was there. Love CNBlue as a group and of course love Yonghwa since YRB but gotta admit, that JH has the better voice for sure. Much smoother. Overall, they are great as a group and like them as a whole! :whee!:

    Love the different light photos! It’s so pretty!!!!!

  13. I might forget everything else about the concert later on but I’ll definitely remember one thing — left and right. lol! :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

  14. Just woke up and had a sudden thought of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora and realized they’re kinda like YH and JH too. Jon is the showman and life of the concert while Richie is the quiet and serious musician. The two were inducted to Songwriters Hall of Fame because of their work together. Both YH and JH write music and they also work together on many of CNBLUE’s songs.

    A couple of months ago, I saw TMZ report saying that Richie will not be touring with the band this year because the two is having some kind of problem. Richie said he feels that Jon is not giving him enough credit and respect for his work on their songs (people are translating this to mean he’s not getting a 50/50 share of the royalties).

    So far, the songwriting credits between YH and JH is not a problem. For their Re:Blue release in Korea, YH is the prominent writer of the contents while in their Blind Love release in Japan JH dominated the writing. I think FNC is doing fine in trying to make MH and JS not be left too far behind although in their last interview with the FNC Magazine MH actually said he is sorry to YH that they are not learning fast enough to catch Yonghwa’s growth as a musician.

    Oh, and you are going to love this trivia, being a former bandstalker :) Do you know that YH and JH now has their own studio in the FNC’s new building? How cool is that? They work there every day to create their music (except when on tour of course). I wonder though…is the royalty law the same in South Korea?

  15. I envy you for being able to go to their concert last saturday! but i do love your shots! even though you were at the top most of araneta you still snag the most decent shots I’ve seen. ever!

  16. Eunhee: Thank you! :oops: I had a great time taking photos because of the excellent lighting, but things became a bit difficult once the fireworks were set off. The smoke affected the lighting, which explains why most of the photos from the last 30 mins. or so of the show looked dark and fuzzy. :ayaw:

  17. whoah! nice pictures :thumbup:

    i remember reading a news before about Yonghwa’s vocal chords problem so i agree that he should really take care of his voice…

    love jonghyun’s muscles also and i find him cute :hihihi: but it was actually yonghwa who first caught my attention because of his charisma

  18. I think Yonghwa and Hongki (FTI) have the same problem. And it’s because the way they sing is the same. They should get proper vocal training before they completely ruin their throats.

  19. Hi Agent P! Thanks for your review. I agree with what you said about Jonghyun having his own world during concerts (lol) is not a bad thing. He’s on top of my list when it comes to singing and playing the guitar. (There’s something in his voice that makes me feel safe.lol.whaaaat). Btw, my seat was on area 103, just 6 rows away from Jonghyun and I must say, even if he had his own world, that world was right in front of us. He did not speak much, but he has his own way of “fan service”. For me, his greatest fan service is just by playing the guitar, JONGASM, GUITARGASM. lol. But throughout the concert, he kept on posing and smiling to the fans in his area. He even sat down and arranged those little stuffed toys that the fans threw at him.

    Lastly, amazing photos! I hope they’d come back next year :))

  20. Actually, being a fan of CNBLUE for 3 years, and not to mention a hardcore one, I find this fan account very reliable, or should I say, it does speak of the truth.
    When I first entered Araneta (it was literally my first time entering Araneta, Blue Moon was my first concert that I’ve attended), I was a bit disappointed with the stage because the ramps were not that really considered as ramps, (in my opinion) and they looked more like just a ladder or something. But well… like what you’ve said. My jaw literally dropped when it started, with the stage magnificently being so magnificent, and well, the boys walking to the stage, oozing with confidence and excitement from their faces.

    PULP really did an awesome stage plus the ramps. I loved the fireworks, the lights, everything. It was so magnificent, the time and money was worth it.
    But the thing I actually loved was that even though I was seated at Upper Box A, quite far from the stage, yet I still saw them, very clearly. ;;

    With the members, favorites aside (cough Jonghyun cough), Jungshin really stood out the most. I caught him giving several fan services, he kept on talking in Filipino. He sounded like a little kid who is eager to know the language, or maybe it’s just me who’s assuming.
    Well, with Yonghwa, I can pretty say he really have this charisma on the stage. Although I was looking at Jonghyun for the whole two hours, Yonghwa seems to know how to remind of his presence. He’s very loud and bubbly like Jungshin, they were always bickering and laughing, but damn, Yonghwa’s voice really sounds good live.
    Minhyuk, he was being a cutie pie. He received the loudest screams when they spoke in Filipino, maybe because he liked lechon and jeepneys. I can’t really say anything about him because I didn’t look at him that much, but he looked very eager and happy to see all the Filipino Boices, the same with the three. Although I felt like he was the most eager of them all. Lol.
    Jonghyun, well…wow. I guess I’m being biased, but he was the apple of my eye that night. Those fingers jumping back and forth on the guitar’s fret, and his soulful, soothing voice, it got me very well. His solos were purely heaven. And as a fan of guitar solos and violin solos, it’s very euphoric for me. He made his guitar sing. But what got me the most was that his passion for music was clearly seen, and felt. And yes, yes. Jonghyun’s the better singer. Can’t deny it. I guess FNC made Yonghwa the main vocalist because Koreans have this taste of music wherein they like the powerful ones, more than the soulful ones.
    EX. Taeyeon; IU (?); Changmin, Baekhyun.

    But oh god, why didn’t you see Jonghyun as handsome as that?

  21. I can’t prevent myself posting a comment here. I am happy I was able to read your blog since I wasn’t able to witness their concert and press con. I have been waiting for them for a very long time to my dismay they arrived in our country when I was already working here in land of no freedom. kidding. Thank you for the Blog it felt like I have been there in the event. I agree with what you’ve said about “they are not just handsome or good looking but they got skills.” i guess their popularity is not because of their pretty faces but because of their talents. :smile:

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