By Cecille Santillan-Visto
Winner 2018 Everywhere Tour in
Mall of Asia Arena
TELEVISION TALENT contests may be either a boon or a bane for budding Korean artists. While many proceed to make a name for themselves after the competition, some have fallen into oblivion after their 15 minutes of fame.
Others, like K-pop group Winner, are still in the midst of proving themselves worthy of the clinching the championship.
Winner is comprised of the winning members of the reality survival program WIN: Who is Next, produced and shown by Korean broadcasting company MNet in 2013. YG Entertainment was looking to introduce a new boy band and pitted two teams of talented newbies against each other. Team A prevailed and debuted as Winner.
It was the second time that Winner performed in the Philippines. The group served as the opening act in the last concert of labelmate, 2NE1, for the Manila leg of its All or Nothing World Tour in 2014.
Mino, Jinwoo, Seungyoon, and Seunghoon (they all go by just one name) returned to perform for their Filipino Inner Circles, as their fan group is called, sans Taehyun, reportedly a “problematic” member who recently broke away from the group.
Though one member short of the original lineup, Winner proved that it was deserving of the crown. Although the SM Mall of Asia Arena stage appeared too huge for the four of them, their performance was big enough to reach even the farthest fan at the General Admission section of the venue.
During the two-hour show, Winner sang some of its biggest hits, including its chart toppers, “Really Really” and “Everyday.” They also dished out the most popular cuts in their albums 2014 S/S, Everyday, and Our Twenty For.
Winner also covered some songs of their other YG labelmate, Big Bang. They performed Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” (Seunghoon) and G-Dragon’s “Untitled 2014” (Jinwoo), and fortunately, they did not disappoint, living up to the high standards of the two established K-pop artists.
The sexy solo numbers of Mino, “Body” and “Turn Off the Light,” were accompanied by loud shrieks from the fans. However, he kept it wholesome by keeping on his red coat on but unbuttoning it enough to give the fans a glimpse of his well-toned body.
From the opening songs “Empty” and “Air,” up to the encore “Don’t Flirt,” “Luxury,” “Really Really,” and the remix of “Everyday,” Winner literally lived up to its winning persona. They were very accommodating to fans, taking selfies and were generous with hi-touches. As I was at the VIP standing area, I witnessed closehand the warmth and kindness the Winner members bestowed to their loyal followers.
The same stage was used in the concert of co-labelmate, iKON, who also had a Manila concert on Nov. 11. Pulp Live World arranged the stage, as well as the lights, sounds and LEDs in a level deserving of the K-pop stars — colorful, vibrant and spectacular.
The Mall of Asia Arena was a sea of nebula blue with fans waving their official light sticks throughout the concert.
It was one of Winner’s winning moments and their Pinoy fans can be sure it will not be their last performance here.
The way their career is tracking, Winner’s winning streak is just beginning. With the right projects and careful handling, the boys may be in it for the long haul.
By Cecille Santillan-Visto