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Concert review: Manila is 'Infinitized'

On their "One Great Step" world tour, Infinite returned to Manila for their first solo concert here on Nov. 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Filipino Inspirits filled the Big Dome armed with lightsticks, from pencil-length to lightsaber-sized, to see KPop stars Infinite perform. When the overhead lights went off, signifying the start of the show, the audience turned into twinkling pearl gold stars roaring fan chants that almost shook the Coliseum with their high-decibel screams.

On a giant LCD wall, an introductory video started the tale, showing the so-called "music police" trying to stop the band, and branding Infinite as “Finite.” Then the entire LCD wall opened up and revealed the band in chains trying to break out. The show started with their recent hit "Destiny".

The members of Infinite break free from the chains.
Infinite performed their trademark synchronized power dances such as the Scorpion Dance in BTD, Paradise and Be Mine in the first half. The beginning of the concert showed their iconic and power dance songs, but gradually the members started to lighten up and interact with their fans through taking their own “selcas” (selfies), throwing stuffed toys and airplanes to the fans and just picking up anything they could and throwing it back to the audience. Some members would act cute with “heart-throws” or tease other members with masks and drawings from their fans.

People Power: Infinite disarm the music police by putting flowers in their gun barrels.
In the final set, the last piece to the story was revealed on the giant screen. This time, the members were face to face with the music police. The choice was to surrender or fight, but they chose neither. They made peace instead.

With a scene straight out of the first People Power, Dongwoo placed a white flower in the barrel of the gun held by one of the music police. The action signified that they are in the industry just to entertain and make music.The scene then shifted to a big concert party scene and the band went back to the basics by performing their debut single “Come Back Again.”

Infinite thank their Pinoy fans.
Infinite returned for an encore to say their thank you’s and to convey how much they appreciate the Filipino Inspirits. To Dongwoo’s surprise, the Inspirits raised their second fan banner and put on birthday hats, and sang “Saengil Chukha Hamnida” (Happy Birthday) to him. Dongwoo was so touched by this gesture that he broke into tears thanking the audience.

A burst of confetti and a final bow.
The concert ended not with a bang, but with a heart-warming ballad of “With” paired with showers of white confetti. Infinite's members couldn’t help their emotions and they started tearing up as it rained confetti and their fans showed their love and support. The snow effect all over the dome left a chilling effect on everyone as it looked like a scene from movies. Even many Inspirits cried. As Korean custom, Infinite bowed to everyone who came for their show. They made an effort to go to each side to thank everyone.

Relating with the locals

The biggest difficulty for KPop's global fans is the language barrier. That’s why in Korea, before an artist debuts they are trained in different languages—primarily Japanese, Chinese and English. As soon as they start to promote overseas, they can speak a different language to be able to relate with their overseas fans and possibly expand their fanbase.

Making the effort: The boys of Infinite introduced themselves in Filipino and sang 'Bahay Kubo'.
In most concert tours, KPop artists would introduce themselves in Korean and let the translator do all the work for them. But in Manila, Infinite took the effort to introduce themselves in Tagalog saying “Ako po si...” followed by their names.

The most enjoyable part was when they sang the folk song “Bahay Kubo” assisted by a prompter with the Tagalog lyrics translated into Hangul.

Production values

The concert's production values set the bar high.
Korean concerts held in the Philippines raise the bar in terms of stage design and production. One Great Step Manila once again pushed the level higher with giant LCDs filling almost the whole stage, LCD turntables coming out of nowhere and a hydraulic platform lifting all seven members onto the stage. A live band performed instead of the convenient canned music commonly used in most concerts, and so the sound was much more dramatic, especially when the bass and drums synced with Infinite’s choreography.

To Infinity and Beyond: What should every Inspirit watch out for?

Four members of the group have already starred in several dramas, ranging from cameo appearances to supporting roles. L and Hoya landed supporting roles in hit series “Shut Up Flower Boyband” and the highest rating drama on cable television of 2012, “Reply 1997.” In an exclusive interview, the members were asked of the roles they want to play this time Woohyun answered coupled with body movements “I want to play a villain, while Hoya wants to play like a ‘baby’ [or cute] in a drama.”

The “One Great Step” world tour will next take the band to the US, South America and Europe. International Inspirits can anticipate a great show from their favorite Korean idols in their own country, just like we did here. — BM, GMA News