Rant and Rave: Hana, dul, set—”Ready To Be” TWICE!

After the successful launch of their mini-album Ready To Be, TWICE reunites with the Filipino ONCE in an unforgettable two-night concert—full of life under the moonlight sunrise.

Four years after their last concert in the Philippines, third-generation K-pop girl group TWICE made a triumphant return for their two-night, sold-out Ready To Be concert at the Philippine Arena last September 30 and October 1. Lead rapper Kim Dahyun explained the reason behind the tour’s name during the concert: “It means we are ready to show you who we are, just as we are.” After spending eight long years as a unit, the group chose to highlight each member’s unique personality to create a deeper connection with their devoted fans, who cleverly call themselves ONCE. 

However, a day before their concert in the country, TWICE announced that Son Chaeyoung wouldn’t be joining them onstage due to health concerns. Despite this, the girl group still gave their finest performance in front of ONCE, who were nonetheless ecstatic for the group’s return.

All eyes on TWICE

As concertgoers began to fill the arena’s seats, the Ready To Be VCR loop intro that featured all nine members of TWICE was aired on the enormous screen. Chaeyoung may have been absent from the concert, but her Filipino fans still cheered loudly and waved their candy bong light sticks animatedly whenever she came on screen. 

The intro pumped up Filipino ONCE with a thrilling anticipation when finally, TWICE stepped on stage with their latest album opener, Set Me Free. The fierce performance showed TWICE  shed their sweet and bubbly personas in their earlier songs to show a new and matured version of the group. The fans hardly recovered from this strong start as the group followed with an enthusing rendition of I Can’t Stop Me. The crowd didn’t fail to show their love for the missing Chaeyoung as they loudly sang her rap part of the song. 

TWICE pulled out all the stops with Go Hard, as they showcased a captivating shadow dance using red lights that highlighted the members’ physique moving in sync with the song’s beat. The audience continued to watch in awe as the group gave a next-level performance with More & More. The members moved extravagantly while perched atop three moving pyramid staircase props during the first half of the song. 

But the powerhouse performances had only begun. TWICE concluded the first act of the concert with Moonlight Sunrise and Brave, hit songs from their 12th and 11th mini albums Ready to Be and Between 1&2. The crowd was greeted with ultimate fan service as the girls executed their slick original choreography for these songs

There’s always a first in everything

For the first time in TWICE’s tour history, they included a solo number for each of the members, putting their individual talents on display for ONCE. Dahyun’s performance was the perfect starter for the solo stage. Wearing a stunning green gown, she played the piano to her own mesmerizing rendition of Colbie Caillat’s Try. The group’s Maknae, or its youngest member, Chou Tzuyu, surprised fans with a dazzling cover of Charlie Puth’s Done for Me. The arena came alive with a light show that synchronized with the beat and dance routine of the song.

The group’s Japanese line came up next; Minatozaki Sana, Hirai Momo, and Myoi Mina undoubtedly won over the audience with their renditions of Dua Lipa’s New Rules, Beyoncé’s Move, and Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings, respectively. The women revealed their fearsome and confident sides through stunning dance moves that ONCE had never witnessed before, attesting to their new group dynamic as artists of their own caliber. Sana exhibited elegant floorwork choreography, while Momo followed with a skillful demonstration of pole dancing. Mina rounded out the trio’s performances with her stunning vocal prowess in her dance number, which included her infamous twerking. 

A live rock band joined the group onstage, providing a refreshing accompaniment to their iconic hit Feel Special, elevating the song’s musical atmosphere. Park Jihyo, the group’s main vocalist, was supposed to belt out a line of the song solo but faced a technical issue due to her microphone failing to function. Because of this unfortunate experience, her sweet fellow members granted her the chance to redo the solo during the concert’s encore.

The group went on with Cry For Me, Fancy, and The Feels. Fans stood mesmerized with the stage props brought out and moving platforms that elevated the girls in white flowy dresses, as the audience danced and sang along to each song.

Jihyo continued the lineup of solo performances by giving a taste of her debut album’s title track, Killin’ Me Good, backed with a spirited dance routine. Keeping the energy level high, Yoo Jeongyeon performed a cute and jolly cover of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling that easily melted the hearts of the crowd. Im Nayeon rounded up the roster of individual acts with chart-topping hit POP! from her solo album I’m Nayeon. Filipino ONCE excitedly got up on their feet as Nayeon broke out into a euphoric dance number. 

Tagalog words unlocked

After the solo performances, TWICE shone bright like diamonds and pearls as they sang Queen of Hearts from their mini-album Between 1&2. The audience was then treated to an unexpected concert twist: a one-act medley featuring the songs What is Love, Yes or Yes, Cheer Up, Likey, Knock Knock, Scientist, and Heart Shaker.

TWICE also learned a lot of Filipino slang during their concert which made the fans cry out of laughter. On the first day of the concert, before performing their song Alcohol-Free, the crowd repeatedly chanted “shot puno”, a Filipino phrase uttered before drinking from a shot glass filled to the brim with liquor. Jihyo amusingly echoed the words back to the crowd while Nayeon pretended to drink from a shot glass. Then TWICE segued to Alcohol-Free as wild cheers erupted from the Filipino ONCE.

The group enlivened fans with the perfect way to encapsulate the whole night with Dance the Night Away. The arena was easily filled with so much energy, as the crowd stood up to sing and dance to welcome the next song, Talk that Talk, the group’s comeback song after their hiatus last year. 

Then, it was time for a throwback; the group’s childhood photos beside a live feed of each of the members were flashed on the big screen as they performed When We Were Kids. As the final leg of the concert approached, TWICE performed their Ready To Be mini-album closer Crazy Stupid Love

Another W for the Filipino ONCE

The exhaustion felt by Filipino ONCE from lining up to buy tickets, to waiting to get inside the arena, was paid off by the group’s breathtaking concert. TWICE made sure every fan inside the arena was having the time of their lives. The concert felt like a love letter to ONCE, more than the experience with other K-Pop artists’ performances. Each segment of the concert had a unique, personal touch dedicated to Filipino fans, which exemplified how much the fans mean for TWICE. The excitement and love the crowd felt from their idols will last long in their hearts even after the concert has ended.

During the two-day concert at the Philippine Arena, Filipino ONCE proved yet again that they are one of the best—if not the best—fans. As TWICE formed a straight line and said goodbye to the crowd, they thanked the fans for their unwavering support since the beginning. Nayeon hints to the crowd that this will not be the final time they meet their Filipino fans. “Babalik kami,” she promised. When that day finally comes, Filipino ONCE will welcome them back with tenfold their heartwarming love, hopefully with the group finally complete.

(We will return.)

Rating: 3.5/4.0

Orrel Bandilla

By Orrel Bandilla

Nelcze Zulueta

By Nelcze Zulueta

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