If there’s one thing that One Direction fans ought to know about their second concert in Manila, it is this: 1D has promised to return to the Philippines!
It was Niall Horan who told their Filipino fans: "We really appreciate your support. The crowds in Manila have been really amazing.
"I feel sorry for the rest of the countries since they have a lot to live up to. You guys were great."
He continued with his vow that gave hope to One Directioners everywhere: "We'll see you all very soon! We love you very much. We'll see you soon!"
RAINY NIGHT WITH 1D. Hours under a steady rain, waiting for a group with one member less, all of these characterized the One Direction On The Road Again Tour held at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds on March 22, 2015.
Whereas the previous night reportedly had a very humid environment, on this Sunday night, the rain began pouring as early as 6 pm and did not let up until hours later, about halfway through the show.
Thousands of people were drenched long before Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Louis Tomlinson walked onto the stage for their much-awaited concert. If the continuous rain was a challenge to the performers, they did not let on. They were having so much fun performing for their Filipino fans.
Early in the show, Harry said: “During last night’s show, we fell in love with Manila because you're absolutely incredible!”
Without mincing words, Louis said: “Tonight has definitely been better than last night.”
“Tonight has been amazing,” Liam agreed.
Harry said that the Philippine crowd had captured the band’s heart. “We have absolutely fallen in love with you.”
Niall, at the end of the show, said candidly: The crowds in Manila have been amazing. And I feel sorry for the rest of the countries because they’ve got a lot to live up to.”
CALM BEFORE THE SHOW. At 7 pm, front act DJ KC started spinning, leading many of the fans to dance under the rain—whether in a raincoat or not. About 18 minutes in, a 2-minute fireworks display lit up the night sky, even as the rains continued. The DJ ended his set at 7:35 pm, then various music videos were played on the LED screens, with songs by One Direction and the band 5 Seconds of Summer--with whom 1D has toured in the past—eliciting loud shrieks from the crowd.
A few times, members of the crowd chanted: “We want Zayn!” referring to Zayn Malik, the fifth member of the band, who was absent because he had to return to the UK because of stress, according to their management.
At around 8 pm, the screens went dark and a succession of songs from different eras was played. Despite the rain coming down, people continued to sing and dance to the music, although many had become antsy. Then, around 8:45 pm, some lights were turned off and screams were heard from the crowd. A few seconds later, more lights were turned off, and louder screams came from the audience. Only the LED screen onstage was lit up with a black-and-white graffiti design.
Then, an introduction video with different samples of the band’s songs and a combination of video and graphics takes up the screens, welcomed by shrieks from the audience.
Harry hops onstage and starts the song “Clouds” wearing a black shirt and chewing gum. Louis is dressed in a gray shirt with a black pullover. Liam, wearing a black shirt, gray pullover, and black cap. Niall is wearing a black shirt too.
Liam shouts: “Manila!” And the crowd goes wild.
The crowd screams throughout the entire performance, as the boys sing under the rain.
“Manila! Make some noise!” Niall, playing his guitar, shouts.
Liam addresses the audience first: “Manila, how are you feeling?” He receives loud screams in answer. As the opening chords for “Steal My Girl” begin, loud screams are heard, and the audience sings along.
All just holding their microphones and dancing, the band interacts with different sections of the crowd. “Let me hear you singing, Manila,” Liam prods the predominantly female audience. Hands are in the air and the audience pulsates even as the rain continues to pour. On the screen, graphics of parts of the lyrics come alive in various colors. The rain does not let up.
Harry addresses the crowd: “Manila, make some noise!” The crowd obliges with even more shrill shrieks.
“We're One Direction, nice to meet you,” Harry continues. “Are you ok over here? You ok down here? Ok at the front? At the back?” The crowds reply with screams. “During last night’s show, we fell in love with Manila because you're absolutely incredible!”
(View photos: One Direction brings On The Road Again concert to the Philippines)
Niall is playing the guitar again, as they begin performing “Little Black Dress”. Liam and Louis have taken off their pullovers, revealing their tattooed arms. All the guys are working the stage, and the screaming continues. It does not let up throughout each performance.
The big screens onstage and those strategically placed all over the audience area display larger-than-life videos of the boys onstage.
Niall, strumming his guitar, starts on “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” The live video on the screens switch to black and white.
Liam interjects: “Sing it, Manila!”
Onscreen are the words: where do broken hearts go.
The rain comes down in a steady drizzle.
MANILA, MANILA. As the band performs “Midnight Memories,” people sing along, jumping, and dancing.
Niall sings without a guitar on “Kiss You.”
Liam says: “Thank you, Manila!” He also keeps asking everyone to “Sing it!” And they do indeed.
“Manila, we wanna kiss every little sweet lot of you!” This elicits wild shrieks, of course.
“Manila!” Liam seems to love saying the name of our city A LOT. “As Harry said, last night we fell in love, I love you! Are you louder?” He is met with more screaming and shouting, the audience, trying to prove that they are ready to beat their countrymen from the previous night, at least in decibels.
“Thank you so much for standing out in the rain but we don't care about the rain, screw the rain!” Liam laughs off the rain that still has not let up.
“So you're gonna sing along to this next one for me, right? This is 'Stockholm Syndrome.'”
As the song progresses, Liam continues to say: “Let me hear you sing, Manila!” All the boys are at the height of their energy level.
Harry drinks water. “Manila!!!”
Louis talks to the crowd: “Guys you've been incredible so far. We have to say a big ‘thank you’. It's incredible. Last night, I said was the hottest show we've ever done. Today is the hottest show I've ever done so far without a doubt. How are you feeling, Liam? Are you hot?”
Liam says: “I am feeling sweaty.”
As they start to sing “Ready to Run,” the rain finally stops.
Niall plays his acoustic guitar. Onscreen, large, gold things sparkle on the big screen.
An animated video onstage accompanies their performance of “Strong.” Niall says: “You sound beautiful, Manila!”
“Sing it!” Liam says!
“Manila, everybody wave your hands in the air!” Liam shouts.
The crowds sing along to every lyric of “Better Than Words.”
“Sing it, Manila!” Liam says. Niall, sans guitar, starts air-drumming.
“Manila, it is hot! I'm steaming!” Liam says, describing the whole atmosphere.
He then goes into a rap sample” “It's getting hot in here…” The crowd goes wild.
“I wanna try something. People in the back, give me a wave. A Mexican-slash-Manila from back to front. Are you ready? Don't let me down. People in the back, are you ready? It's coming, it's coming!”
“Manila! Manila! You guys have been amazing so far.
Niall Horan, how's it goin’, Mexican guitar?” Niall plays a bit of guitar.
They sing “Manila!” over and over.
“How's everybody feeling tonight? I feel good!” Liam’s attention is captured by a girl from the audience. “She wants Niall. Niall's right here.”
“Are you all ready to have some fun here tonight?” The audience screams. “At the back, how are you? Everybody good?” People answer with more screams.
“This is a song I wrote with a band called McFly from the UK,” Niall says.
“We all come from small places in England and Ireland. And now we've got the chance to come to cool places all over the world like the Philippines.
So when I was writing this tune, I was thinking of you guys and what you've let us achieve.”
As "Don't Forget Where You Belong" is performed, all the screens display a video composed of clips of the members from their earlier years.
“Sing it!” Liam says. And sing their hearts out, they do.
“Manila, you having a good time so far?” Harry asks the crowd.
“I wanna say a massive, massive ‘thank you’ for being here with us. You’re all very nice.”
“This one’s gonna take a little bit of your participation. So if you have a phone or a camera or anything with a flash on it, please get it up in the air and please sing every word if you know it. This is ‘Little Things’.” As Niall plays the guitar, the rest of the band sit onstage, singing, teasing each other, and enjoying the crowd singing with them.
“You look beautiful, Manila,” Liam comments.
The crowd sings the rest of the chorus, even as Liam prods: “Louder! Louder!” And at the end: “Thanks, Manila!”
MORE THAN SONGS. Harry asks:“Oh! Manila! Are you okay over on this side?” Crowds scream back at the 1D member.
“Are you okay over on this side?” More screaming.
“Are you okay at the back? We still see you. We love you! Hello!
“This would not happen if it wasn’t for the lovely and very, very hardworking crew that is behind the scenes of the stage. Can we please give the crew a round of applause. Now, each one of the crew members has a birthday. When it is their birthday, we like to give them a little birthday “happy birthday”. A slow clap please,” The crowd follows. “Keep it going. It’s a lovely man named Toby’s birthday today.” Harry goes into a rap: “So… hey Toby, it’s your birthday, can we bring you out here today.”
“Happy birthday to Toby!”
One of the boys says: “Are we doing the chair?” Harry gets on his hands and knees and has Toby sit on his back. “Toby, please… the birthday chair.”
“Let’s sing happy birthday to Toby!” Enthusiastically, the members of the audience and the band sing “Happy Birthday.” Much clapping and cheering follows.
Harry continues: “We wanna say a massive, massive ‘Thank you’ for always supporting us since the start. You guys have been absolutely incredible.
We wouldn’t be at this stage if it wasn’t for you. If we weren’t on this stage, we couldn’t do our ‘happy birthday’ chair for Toby. So that is all down to you.”
A graphic of the full moon lights up the LED backdrop as the haunting “Night Changes” begins. The audience sings along to every single word.
Louis asks: “Is everybody enjoying the show so far?” Cheers in reply.
“That is what we want to hear. Now, this is the part when we say ‘thank you’ to the band.” He walks over to a musician. “Hi, Jon. These guys have been working on this routine now for the last maybe three, four months, so you better be very, very impressed. Let’s give it up for the band!”
The band starts to play the intro of iconic disco hit “I Will Survive.” Liam’s voice becomes high-pitched as he leads the rest of the band joins, though missing out on some lines.
Harry stretched out his hands as he belted out the karaoke hit, putting fans in a frenzy.
Niall plays the guitar for “Alive”. The boys are on full rock-band mode and the girls are screaming. The audience jumps and dances along. Liam shines when he goes falsetto, then says: “Go crazy, Manila!” Niall shows off during the guitar bridge. People clap throughout the song.
For “Diana,” they rely on the audience’s participation to sing along. And really, Liam just wants everyone to “Sing it!”
The crowd continues to dance and sing to it.
They continue to sing to another big hit, “One Thing,” even all jumping in unison.
“How we doin’ over here? Start making some noise!”
“Let me hear you clap!”
And of course, classic Liam: “Sing it!”
Everyone in the audience sings to “What Makes You Beautiful,” screaming at the top of their lungs. Harry blows kiss to the crowd.
At some point, Liam’s hat falls and Niall picks it up and wears it. He then gives it back to Liam. They continue kidding around.
They end with their backs to each other, facing four directions of the crowd.
“Manila!” Liam sings.
“Through The Dark” begins and the boys each have a mic stand in front of him. Harry ties his hair back.
Liam has taken off his cap.
“Where the hell are we? What did we just sing? ‘Through the Dark’,” Liam says, obviously pumped. “ Manila!” Crowds cheer.
“Manila, are you having a good time so far?” Crowds cheer louder.
“I’ve got to say, the last two days in Manila have been phenomenal! I said they’ve been phenomenal!” Addressing someone in the crowd, he jokes: “Happy, are you enjoying the Cheetos down there? You lazy, lazy man!”
“People in the back, are you sticking with us? We can see you still,” Liam continues.
“I’ve got to say, I am so thankful for the turnout here tonight with the rain. Are you all feeling good?” The crowds answer with cheers.
“Hands up if you are wet from the rain.” People cheer and raise their hands.
“Good stuff, that could have ended badly,” Liam laughs.
“Okay, let’s have a look at a couple of signs.” The video shifts to a different view. “That’s a good view of the back of my head, everybody. IF you want to see the back of my head, there it is.”
“LONG” HAIR AND THAT KISS. The video screens are filled with shots of signs that people near the front of the stage are holding up. Liam reads the first one: “I bet your hair isn’t the only thing that’s long.” The audience laughs and so does Liam. “I should not have read that one. I should not have read that one… Your parents will kill us!”
He reads another: “Can I please have a selfie?”
Liam talks to the cameraman: “OK, can you please point the camera on me and Niall? OK, enjoy the selfie. Let’s get it from this view, the front view. We don’t want a backwards selfie. There we go, there it is! Oh, my hair’s looking good.” He cozies up to Niall and says: “Now, I’m gonna kiss you on the cheek, if that’s okay.” He kisses Niall, who is also game. The decibel levels multiply.
“That wasn’t a selfie…it’s a scream-selfie. It’s a new thing. It’s a new way to sweep the audience in 2016.”
Liam looks out at the other signs carried by audience members.
“Let’s have another sign, go for it! Louis--hold it still, love, I can’t read it--Louis, my mom says you can adopt me.”
He turns to Louis and says: “Louis, you have a daughter, I think. Are you a daughter?”
And then another sign that says ‘Please say: Nakakapagpabagabag.’ Well, for Liam, it came out “Nakakapapa …Nakakapabagabagabaga…”
“Moving swiftly, ah?” He points to another one. “Harry, you’ve got a fan over here, please wave.” And to the fan, Liam says: “He’s waving for you personally.”
Talking to the blonde boy, he says: “Niall, there’s a girl there who loves you.”
He reads another sign: “Tell Zayn I said ‘hi!’… Hi, Zayn.” Until this point in the programme, there has been no mention of the absent member.
He reads yet another sign: “Liam, I’m your long lost daughter.” The crowd laughs. “That scares me a little bit. I’ll see you when you’re 18 maybe.”
Another sign Liam reads, says: “’Louis, you put the ass in potassium.’ Oh!”
Then, it is time to move on to the next song. “I’m gonna get rid of this mic stand.
Ok, can everybody clap your hands really quick? Like you mean it, come on!
This song involves you clapping your hands really quick, yes, you. Are you ready, Manila?” The crowds cheer.
“Manila, are you ready for ‘Girl Almighty’?” The audience screams. The boys jump and dance around on stage.
SECOND NIGHT “LOUDER” THAN THE FIRST. Louis tells Liam: “Tell me if I'm wrong, you’re sweaty.”
Liam smiles. “Tonight has definitely been better than last night.”
Pinoys go wild. “Tonight has been amazing,” Liam agrees.
They start singing “Story Of My Life,” and the audience knows every word. Liam says: “Sing it!” and after completing a few lines, “Beautiful!”
Liam and Niall continue kidding around.
As the song ends, the band says their goodbyes to the audience. “Thank you, Manila!
Take care and God bless!”
They walk off the stage and the lights go dark.
GOODBYES, BUT ONLY FOR A WHILE. Even though it seems to be the end, no one moves. There are chants heard: “We want more!”
After a few minutes, lights focus on Niall who is now dressed in gray. The rest of the guys walk out onstage. Liam is in a white tank top and checkered long-sleeved shirt.
Harry is in black. Louis is dressed in a white shirt.
They sing “You & I” as the crowd cheers. Someone with a backpack sprayer goes around spraying water…as if the audience had not already been soaked to the bone by the hours of rain.
“Manila!” Harry says. “We spent two days doing shows here for you lovely people.
And we want you to know that we have absolutely fallen in love with you. You are incredible. Thank you so much! For the past two nights, you’ve been amazing to us.
Did you have a good time?” The crowd screams their reply.
“We hope you did. Because that is what matters. We had a great time.”
At this point, 1D members make a comment about a fastfood stall located in the venue.
Harry, apparently trying to influence their young fans, stressed: “Healthy eating! Vegetables!”
The three other members--Liam, Niall and Louis—cry out “Nuggets!”
Liam finally decides that they should have a food-off. Harry cheers for vegetables and broccoli, in particular, while Louis cheers for “nuggets.” The crowd cheers and chants for both sides.
An audience member immediately throws a burger at Louis that he catches and eats onstage.
Louis ends their debate by saying, “Sorry, Harry, man, carry on.”
Harry told their Pinoy fans, “We want to say thank you to all of you guys for coming. A massive, massive ‘thank you’ to your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, boyfriends, girlfriends, anyone who brought anyone to the show tonight: thank you very, very much! I hope you had a good time too.
“We are One Direction, we’ve got a couple songs left.
“This is ‘Little White Lies’.”
“Manila, Manila!” Liam croons once more.
“Guys, thank you so much for an incredible night and incredible two nights. Thank you, Manila, for having us. It’s been incredible. Did everybody have a good time?” Cheers become deafening.
Niall says: “We really appreciate your support. The crowds in Manila have been amazing. And I feel sorry for the rest of the countries because they’ve got a lot to live up to. You guys were great.”
“Hope you had a good night. We’ll see you very soon! Have a safe trip home. We love you very much. And we’ll see you soon. This is ‘Best. Song. Ever.’”
During their performance of the last song, the boys are pumped. They jump and dance around the stage. Liam plays around with a big pink umbrella. Niall plays air piano. Harry lets his hair down again.
As they wave and air-kiss their goodbyes, the band members can’t thank the crowd enough. “Thank you so much, Manila! God bless!” Liam
“Manila, thank you so much. Good night and see you soon!
Good night, God bless, we love you!”
Fireworks light up the sky from 10:30 pm until 10:34 pm, some of them forming red hearts, and many of them, very big, strong ones.
Even before people leave the venue, chants of “We love you!” and “1D! 1D!” reverberate.
A sea of people flow from the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds, with most of them probably thinking: Best. Night. Ever.