Manila’s Mall of Asia Arena was on fire for two nights straight, as EXO held two concerts as part of their “EXO Planet #5 – The EXplOration” tour in front of a total of 30,000 people on Friday, August 23, and Saturday, August 24.
PHIXOs definitely came through with the energy, the fanchants, and the dedication. It shows how much they’ve been missing EXO. During Day 1, the boys noticed that the fans followed the dress code based on the colors of the Filipino flag! Baekhyun said that they were awesome for coordinating like that, Suho called everyone beautiful, and Chanyeol added a sweet unifying message: “Even in Korea we have Red, Blue, and White; we are all one.” On Day 2, we could even see a girl wearing a wedding gown and another one dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast😂
The setlist both days was the same as for their Hong Kong concerts. After the intro VCR depicting the boys racing cars into a different dimension, the first song of the night was “Tempo”. The crowd went wild as soon as EXO emerged on stage and Chen sang the first line of the first verse: “I can’t believe”. Honestly, we couldn’t believe it either😍 Update for everyone: blond Chanyeol is back and Baekhyun’s hair is pink! Check out the fiery beginning of “EXplOration in Manila” below:
EXO then performed “Transformer” at the main stage, followed by “Gravity“ – during which they moved to the stage in the middle of the arena and blessed us with this awesome choreography.
Afterwards, it was time for Baekhyun to perform “UN Village” and slay every EXO-L out there with his rolling hips. The crowd was at times singing louder than him, which made the performance extra special and further proved the power this man holds.
After another VCR, all six members returned on stage for a sequence of songs from the Love Shot Repackage, including “24/7” (a beautiful performance among hanging lights), “Love Shot” (no, we are never ready for this), and “Ooh La La La” (during which the boys dance both together on the middle stage and separately close to the audience – not jealous at all…😭). And then it was time for the opening ment; each member introduced themselves and greeted the EXO-Ls warmly. Suho said: “It’s been a long time, Manila! We missed you so much!”, and the feeling was obviously mutual!
The next few performances took place on the main stage: “Monster”, “Oasis”, and “Been Through” (featuring Suho‘s solo). Take a look at the clips and photos below… Warning: shirtless Junmyeon ahead!
Chen hit the stage next to sing “Lights Out” and demonstrate to everyone once again why he is one of Korea’s top vocalists.
EXO-SC hyped up the crowd with “What a Life” and “Closer to You” (looking as cool as ever) before all members performed “Falling For You”, and later serenaded the Aeris in the arena with “Wait”, looking classy and gorgeous in their suits.
The boys’ second ment was somewhat of a mess both days, as Chanyeol made Baekhyun do his signature move during the “Rolling rolling” part of “UN Village”, followed by him repeating it in a comedic way and making everyone else do that part, as well as Suho’s sexy “Been Through” dance! The second concert gave us scenes of Chanyeol and Sehun grinding together, no big deal… Anyway, Sehun also sang the “What a life” verse with the audience, and all the members praised the Manila audience for their high energy and incredibly loud screams – our leader even pointed out that he could hear the screams loud and clear through his earpiece during his solo stage. Congrats PHIXOs, you are no joke! During the Saturday concert, Suho’s final words before proceeding to the next stage were: “I believe the EXO-Ls are truly the power of EXO!”
With that, it was time for a fun performance of “Power”, including the members running around on stage, having fun with the audience, and in the end throwing out signed balls! Check out a piece of the atmosphere below. In addition, Kai’s spinning-around part of the choreo was (a bit less successfully) done by Suho tonight, with the rest of the members getting the crowd to cheer: “Go, Suho! Go, Suho!”😄
Then Kai made everybody’s jaws hit the floor with his “Confession” solo stage. We must say, he was especially rude during the two-day Manila concert, his expressions were absolutely deadly. Dancing king, visual king…what can this man not do???
EXO then performed another two tracks from the Don’t Mess Up My Tempo album – “Bad Dream” and “Damage“ – before going for the triple kill with “Growl”, “Overdose”, and “Call Me Baby”. Bops of a generation, no question about it!
Later, EXO came back for an encore in their black “EXplOration” T-shirts and sang “Unfair” and “On The Snow” while walking around on stage and interacting with the audience. Sehun even recorded himself with a fan’s phone on Friday! There were also a lot of toys and gifts on stage, which our ChanBaek duo particularly enjoyed. So, we could see Baekhyun wearing – among many other things – Dumbo ears (Day 1) and a cute pig on his head paired with random paws on his hands (Day 2) as well as playing with a corgi doll that looks like his dog Mongryong. On the other hand, Chanyeol tried and failed to make a Slinky come down all the members’ hands in sequence (Day 1) and got a Spider-Man plushy that has his baby pic instead of a mask on its face (Day 2). How cute is that?🥺 Oh, and let’s not forget about our dearest maknae taking off his shoes to wear ducky slippers, and our “Nini” Kai who decided to make a snow angel, except on confetti that was gathered on stage. The boys had fun, that’s for sure!
The final song of the night was “Smile On My Face”, followed by EXO bidding goodbye to the incredible audience at Mall of Asia Arena. Kai expressed his wish to hold a three-day concert in Manila next time, with all members enthusiastically agreeing. Suho wrapped up the final ment of the last day with the following words:
We had a great time for two days in Manila! It’s all thanks to you! Don’t cry~~~ EXO will always be in your hearts. We’ll be back with our new album and concert. We are really happy right now! Thank you so much, Manila fans! Manila, mahal kita [I love you]!
Make sure to check out @MOAArena and @PULPLiveWorld for more stunning pictures from “EXplOration in Manila”! We know Filipino EXO-Ls had a blast, judging from their amazing energy these past two days, as well as this sweet clip of them singing “Salamat” (“Thank you”) at the end of tonight’s concert🥰
“EXO PLANET #5 – The EXplOration” continues in Singapore on September 15, and you can check the rest of the dates here!
In case you missed the concerts in Manila or won’t be able to attend any in the future, don’t feel bad! We’ll just leave you with this old quote from Suho himself:
The fans who can’t see us personally are the most special ones.Kim Junmyeon
Good night, Aeris, may you have sweet dreams of EXO🤗