April 12, 2015. 7:30PM. Philippine Arena. Ciudad de Victoria, Bulacan, Philippines.
Second time in the Philippines. Sixth time in this lifetime.
Best of Best in the Philippines 2015.
Of course, this was going to be my first concert appearance of Girls' Generation as eight members. From the get-go I knew it was going to be different. I just didn't know from the start that it would be special.
Girls' Generation was part of a four-idol group lineup which included Red Velvet, BTOB, and Super Junior, who closed the show. Of course, in this account, as always, I will be focusing on Girls' Generation. By the way, this was also the second time that I saw BTOB and Super Junior.
Well, I realized that I've been SoShi-deprived for more than a year. I was honestly worried because I'm actually back home in the Philippines. And that meant less chances to see Girls' Generation live compared to Taiwan. Well, being optimistic about it, that only means that I have to exert more effort to fly out of the Philippines to see them live somewhere else.
Firstly, I was relieved that Yoona was able to join them. At least they were complete as eight members for this concert. So yay.
After I daresay a very impressive performance by Red Velvet, and a very exciting stint from BTOB, I was shaking in my rubber shoes when the Arena dimmed and the big screen monitors flashed the opening video, ushering the entry of Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun onto the stage. It was reminiscent of their earlier entrances where the stage backdrop opened, revealing eight silhouettes standing in front of countless flashing lights. And obviously, all the SONEs in the audience started screaming their heads off.
So much so that I've barely heard the opening bars of their first song, Mr. Taxi.
Clad in their pink "Mr. Mr." dresses, the girls took to the stage right off the bat. My hands were literally shaking as I struggled to watch, take pictures, sing, and fanchant along. It has been so long that I quickly made my throat hoarse from all the screaming, singing, and fanchanting. All while waving my pink lightstick and my foam banner along the way.
And as always, the girls looks gorgeous. I was so thankful that they seemed so energetic and enjoying themselves, soaking up all the love that we SONEs could muster for them.
Taeyeon sure was having lots of fun that night.
Well, except for Sunny, to be honest. I was worried what was going on with her since she seemed like she wasn't well.
They proceeded immediately to their next song, "Genie".
I'm really sorry for the quality of some of the pictures, as I was still shaking at this point of the concert. More so when Tiffany did her signature exclamation, "Philippines, Put It Back On!". I honestly didn't hear the second part of that sentence because of all the screaming that was going on the moment she said, "Philippines..." So basically all I heard was:
Yeah, that's what I heard.
Seems like I still couldn't believe I was seeing them again after so long. At least I got a shot off on their ending pose for "Genie".
I really just couldn't describe it. I was feeling shaky all over my body as I continued watching the girls perform. For such a long while I felt that same old feeling again, all the excitement, all the anxiety, all the gratitude, of being able to see them live and being able to be a part of a huge throng of SONEs showing all the love and support for them. Even if I knew it was only going to be for a short time, I felt as if I was feeling so light and giddy again, so full of energy, all devoted towards the girls.
Afterwards, they paused for introductions. As always, hearing them live and alive, in the flesh, doing their introductions, going, "1, 2, 3! Anneyeonghaseyo, So Nyeo Shi Dae imnida!" sent shivers up my spine.
And oh, they were such a tease! They mentioned about their new single, "Catch Me If You Can", and even did a sample of the song. I really thought they were going to perform it afterwards. I was actually jumping up and down at the prospects of being first dibs again, like what happened with "I Got A Boy" two years ago in Manila.
But instead, they performed "Hoot" as their third song. Still a great song. Still fanchanted my throat out, along with the rest of the SONEs.
Thank God for a more decent camera. Hahaha. These close up shots honestly killed me on the spot.
And next up was "Gee". As a signature song, it was obvious that this sent me back in time. It was so great to hear everyone go "Gee, Gee, Gee, Gee, Baby, Baby, Baby! Gee, Gee, Gee, Gee, Baby, Baby, Baby!" along with the rest of the fanchant. It was always a super fun experience to fanchant to "Gee".
Tiffany made it more special by ad-libbing at the beginning, "Uh-huh! Listen Philippines! We missed you!"
For some reason, I ended up taking a lot of pictures of Taeyeon. I was glad that she was having lots of fun, smiling brightly and enjoying herself.
And just like Genie, I got a shot off at their ending pose. Well, part of it at least.
I didn't honestly expect the next one, but when it blared on, I welcomed it rather excitedly. "Kissing You". I remember at this point that my throat was really hurting a lot and I was beginning to get exhausted from all the cheering and fanchanting and singing that I remember feeling light headed a bit.
And at least during this part Sunny was trying to cheer herself up and smile more. I was honestly relieved. And this was the part where they started walking towards the extension stage to be a bit closer to the audience, who were of course still cheering their heads off.
After "Kissing You" came the biggest, most unexpected moment of Girls' Generation's performance.
They all walked back to the main stage.
The lights dimmed a bit.
They formed one straight line side by side spanning the middle part of the main stage.
And when the first bars of their next song played throughout the Arena, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I really couldn't. I was stunned for a few seconds when I realized what they were about to sing.
They were about to sing "Complete'.
I was in total shock. I totally did not expect them to sing "Complete". I totally didn't. Next thing I knew, I was crying my eyes out. I still couldn't believe it. "Complete". After three years from first hearing it, and crying my eyes out in Bangkok, here it was again. I fumbled around with my camera, trying to catch the moment unfolding right in front of my eyes.
And failed. It was just too much for me.
At this point, you can obviously see how stunned and shocked I was. I kept saying over and over again that I wasn't ready to see them sing "Complete". And with that one song, it turned this concert, which I was simply expecting to be just another KPop concert featuring the girls, into something special. Something very special. Tiffany said it herself afterwards, "It's been a long time since we sang 'Complete' for you guys." Yes, yes it was. And you girls got me right here so much that honestly until now, as of this writing, I still couldn't get over it.
And the last song was, of course, "Mr. Mr." I was admittedly, so stunned still with the previous performance that I couldn't catch any decent photos for "Mr. Mr." But suffice to say that I did my best to continue on, singing, cheering, and fanchanting like no tomorrow.
After the concert, as always, I was all drained out. That was when all the aches and pains started the befall me. And after the concert was another four hour drive through heavy traffic to get home. At the end of it all, I was exhausted and all worn out from the concert, leaving everything on the stage for the girls. Thirty minutes obviously was too short of an experience.
I also felt very thankful, as always. I honestly don't know what I did to deserve such multiple opportunities see and cheer for Girls' Generation, live and alive, in the flesh. I am forever thankful and grateful for all the chances that I got so far to be a part of the Pink Ocean.
And just like the previous concert experiences, this one would go down as yet another chapter as to how much I do love Kim Taeyeon, Jung Sooyeon (yes, she's still in the list), Lee Sunkyu, Hwang Miyoung, Kim Hyoyeon, Kwon Yuri, Choi Sooyoung, Im Yoona, and Seo Juhyun. Being there yet again, seeing Girls' Generation for the sixth time in this lifetime, for the second time in my neck of the woods, it didn't feel old. Just different. I feel that a part of me being a SONE has grown even more mature, that for sure that part of me will always love Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun, in that special corner of my mind and my heart. In my own little way, I love them.
As always, with great confidence, I can say, "I love you, Girls' Generation... and I always will... 'till the day I die."
Yep. That's me outside the venue. Didn't realize that it was that big.
And this is me inside the venue. My seat was at the Lower Box but whoops. Almost VIP.
And this was the foam banner that I was talking about, the same one in which Sooyoung was refering to in her Instagram post.