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K-CONCERT RECAP: IU’s “2024 World Tour H.E.R.E.H.” Philippine Stop Powers Record-Breaking and Heavenly Music Night


One of the pillars of South Korea’s music industry, IU World Tour H.E.R.E.H. showcases her illustrious career and profound impact and breaks records that continue to solidify her reputation as one of the most talented and beloved artists of her generation, which has earned her the esteemed title of “Nation’s Little Sister.”

Philippine Arena, known as the Biggest Indoor Arena in the world has had notable and renowned artists in its event bowl, but only braved by the biggest ones as its seating capacity
ranges from 30,000 to a maximum of 55,000 audience.

Lee Ji Eun, also known famously as IU, was not only able to sell out her one-day-only show during the first few hours of ticket sales but people also demanded more seats opened to accommodate more Filipino UEANAs!

Never mind the notorious traffic that will surely unfold and the distance from the Metro, but when it comes to IU, the fans will move!

Presented by Pulp Live World, IU made history as the first South Korean solo performer to have performed in the Philippine Arena last June 1, 2024, with 37,000 fans in attendance, while also breaking Katy Perry’s record to have the most attended female solo artist on a single show in the said arena.

Being 16 years in the industry, IU has released numerous albums and singles and touched a significant era in her career with the concert. Here’s what went down with the concert that spanned over 3 hours, with about 28 songs, and IU interacted with fans endlessly, with a surprise performance of homegrown hit, “Pasilyo!”

15 Reigning Songs of IU That Celebrates Her Music Artistry

Hypnotic

The segment aptly titled ‘Hypnotic’ kicked off the concert, setting the tone for an evening of what is yet to be a captivating performance. ‘HOLSSI’ opened the night with a commanding presence followed by hits like “Jam Jam,” “Ah puh,” “BBIBBI,” and “Obliviate,” which showcased IU’s vocal prowess and stage charisma.

The segment not only served as an introduction to the concert but also showed IU’s ability to command the arena. Truly a hypnotic artist herself, the production did not fall short with the visuals and light works, with the UAENA’s Lightstick synchronization throughout the evening, bringing them closer together and encouraging active participation
enhancing the concert experience.

Energetic

After the first segment, the concert transitioned smoothly to an ‘ENERGETIC’ vibe as IU continued to dazzle the audience with a selection of dynamic tracks.

She opened this part with “Celebrity”, a song that manifests her journey as a public figure and her relationship with fame. With its upbeat tempo and infectious melody, the song served as a sure anthem of self-empowerment and resilience, resonating deep with her and her fans which IU beautifully delivered that evening.

Along this section was a fanfare of her hits like “Blueming,” “eight,” “Coin,” and “I stan U,” further energizing the crowd.

IU gave this segment justice and showed how her energy did not waver the whole evening. She also enjoyed the Manila crowd and enthusiasm. She kept chanting the words, “MANILA! MANILA! MANILA!”, saying that “it’s a challenge!”, between her and the fans who can scream the loudest!

As expected with the Filipino crowd, we were also up for the dare, determined to leave an impression on IU, as they sang her songs as we do in karaoke. Indeed, our crowd is one of a kind as IU expressed her happiness in Tagalog, saying, “Masaya ako! Ang galing, ang ganda at mahal kita!”

She was also an expressive talker, dubbed as her “Mareng IU” (mare shortcut of ‘kumare’ in Filipino slang, meaning close friend) real-time on X (formerly Twitter), as she was in “chika” mode throughout the show!

 

Romantic

Entering the enchanting realm of romance, IU continued her mesmerizing set with the ‘ROMANTIC’ slice of concert.

While ‘HAVANA’s is infused with vibrant beats, she was able to transition to heartfelt renditions of “Meaning of You,” and “Through the Night,”; effectively enveloping the audience in a cocoon of emotion.

In a touching moment, IU addressed her Filipino fans in Tagalog, saying, “Ito ay langit”, and acknowledged their heavenly voice. In a surprise twist, IU then treated the audience to “Pasilyo”, a Tagalog cover by SunKissed Lola, showcasing her dedication with evident delight.

This unexpected performance not only thrilled the audience but also highlighted IU’s deep connection with her Filipino fans, noting that her effort in practicing the song was worth it.

Ecstatic

In the ‘ECSTATIC’ section, IU curated an electrifying atmosphere with a diverse array of tracks.

The ambiance shifted dynamically as she transitioned from the upbeat rhythms of “Shopper” to the whimsical “Above the Time”, awash with grandiose strings and unabashed drama. She jumped to fan-favorite hits like “YOU&I” and “Love Wins All.”

Between songs, IU took moments to express her heartfelt appreciation to her Filo UEANAs and call the whole experience, “heavenly”, stating in Tagalog, “Kayo and langit ko” and also noting that “You are beyond my imagination, Manila.”

One notable part of this segment was the incredible graphics and production presentation, noting the dress that flew from the sky in the music video “Love Wins All.” It was a subtle yet, powerful portion of the evening, showing that IU doesn’t take her performances lightly.

Encore – Heroic

In the thrilling encore portion titled, “HEROIC”, the ethereal opening of “Shh…” to the empowering anthem “Twenty-three” and the rock-infused rendition of “Holssi”, IU showed she didn’t fall short of versatility, and even energy at that because the concert was already running 2 hours and the star hasn’t even broken a sweat.

Given that, the fans returned to this stage with vigor with the fan sing-along to “Good Day”, where IU was visibly moved by the passionate rendition, expressing her astonishment as she said, “In all the years I’ve sung this song, it has never been sung like this.”

She also urged the fans to maintain their fervor, emphasizing the importance of their well-being, stating, “Bawal magkasakit!”, so she can continue to connect with them in the
future.

En-encore

In the grand finale of the concert, IU came out with her tour tee, some comfortable jeans and donning a fan-made Tweety Bird bubble headband and took song requests from the crowd. IU performed “Someday” and “Give You My Heart” and the requested tracks “My Sea” and “LILAC”, where Ji-Eun prolonged the concert more, (not that any of us complained) by literally sitting down and talking to the UEANAs in between each song.

The usual signature chant of “Walang uuwi!” reached IU and because of this, she enchanted the crowd with “strawberry
moon”. She even bargained with the crowd into singing a song she likes and a request from the crowd and ended up with the rock infused energy of “Well…” before culminating the concert
with soulful “Palette.”

The full band ensemble is also something noteworthy, as the band were amendable to all the requests the fans asks; and also stripped down acoustic sets, where IU encompassed perfect intimacy.

IU’s performances are always a masterclass in the music industry, leaving the audiences spellbound and longing for more. It’s observable as IU has maintained an A-list
status in the industry, despite being 16 years in the game.

The Filipino fans, with their unwavering support that included numerous fan projects, (like the money banner she took a picture with, noted with amusement and later on posted on her social media,) the gifts they gave her back stage and the full on sing-along with infectious passion has obviously left an inedible mark on IU’s heart.

It was evident that the Filipino fans were more than just spectators—they were an integral part of the magic that unfolded on stage.

As IU bids farewell to the fans, we only hope that IU comes back faster as she said herself that it will not take more than 5 years to come back again, with a night filled with music, laughter, and love—a testament to the power of music to transcend language and borders, and a reminder that in the hearts of her fans in the Philippines, both music and k-drama enthusiasts, that she will always have a home.


Event covered by: Arielle Elep

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