By Cecille Santillan-Visto
Wanna One World Tour
One: The World in Manila
SM Mall of Asia Arena
KOREAN SURVIVAL reality shows have spawned a new breed of K-pop idols — the kind that has a limited “shelf life.”
One such TV program is Produce 101, which was conceptualized by CJ Entertainment and Media and aired over Korean music channel MNet. From 101 trainees, the batch is pruned to come up with a group of ultimate survivors who will promote the show as a group for one year. Season 1 formed an all-girl group aptly named Produce 101 and following its success, the second season hunted for the best male trainees. The winners of Produce 101 Season Two formed the nucleus of Wanna One, an enormously popular group which as has been predetermined, will also soon disband.
Officially launched in August 2017, Wanna One is comprised of Kang Daniel, Park Jihoon, Lee Daehwi, Kim Jaehwan, Ong Seongwu, Park Woojin, Lai Guanlin, Yoon Kisung, Hwang Minhyun, Bae Jinyoung, and Ha Sungwoon. They will be promoting as a group only until December.
Three months prior to end of their promo period, Wanna One managed to include Manila as a stop in its Wanna One World Tour. In fact, the three-month, 14-country tour was concluded in the Philippines.
It was not the first time that this writer saw Wanna One perform. The group was one of the headliners in the two-day 2018 Korea Music Festival held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul in early August.
To say that Wanna One has a legion of fans may be an understatement. The band’s following is so huge and their followers, called the Wannables, can be so rowdy that producers have to specifically warn the fans that any form of misbehavior may result in their eviction from the concert arena.
Producer Pulp Live World likewise issued the same warning for the Manila show.
The concert, supported by Globe, was, thankfully, uneventful and no incidents marred what turned out to be a very enjoyable evening for their loyal followers.
One: The World Tour in Manila opened with “Burn It Up” and “Never,” both from the 1×1=1 (To Be One) album. Stage pyrotechnics welcome the boys on stage, which was very apt for their first song. After “Energetic,” which was performed at an extended stage nearer the audience, the members were each given the opportunity to perform solo or in groups of two or three.
Most applauded was the performance of Daniel, a sought after model and the highest ranked individual boy group member in terms of “brand power.” Jisung also showcased his deejaying skills while the piano prelude of Daehwi in “Sandglass” was a nice break from song-and-dance numbers.
For a group that has only been together for little over 12 months, it is surprising that Wanna One already boasts of two extended plays including 0+1=1 (I Promise You), a special album entitled 1÷x=1 (Undivided), and several singles.
Most of the songs were included in the nearly three-hour show. The show dragged a bit with the extended set breaks, during which members — all 11 of them — were able to address their fans. They tried to outdo each other in delivering cheesy Tagalog lines or in simply making themselves known to the audience.
Wanna One’s wild popularity may have prompted them to level up their performance and perhaps to prove that they are deserving of being the talent survival show’s champions. When they dished out their ballads such as “Forever and A Day” and “Always” or were in perfect sync in “Light,” it was partly a validation that they were worthy contestants who made it all the way to the finish line.
But it was not entirely a series of serious performances. In “Wanna Be,” the group also showed its playful side.
The stage was sparse and lightning was used to the hilt to exude vibrancy in the MOA Arena.
The Filipino fans had their one date with Wanna One. Unless the group’s contract is somehow extended, there may never be a second encounter with them in the Philippines. If this is the case, then supporters will have to be content seeing the members with their new groups or embarking on solo careers. And whether their individual shelf life can be extended will largely depend on producers, other benefactors, and the continued support of their Wannables.
By Cecille Santillan-Visto