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[CONCERT RECAP] IU Makes HERstory In Stunning Philippine Arena Show

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History has been made as IU became the first Korean solo artist to hold a solo concert at the Philippine Arena — the world’s largest indoor arena!

South Korea’s undisputed top female artist IU has made her stunning return to the Philippines as she holds her solo world tour HEREH at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on June 1.

With hearts filled with excitement, approximately 37,000 MAAENAs (IU’s fandom name for Filipino fans) from various cities and provinces in the country, gathered to show their love and support to their favorite “Celebrity.”

Showing her world-class talents, IU brought us on a soul-stirring musical journey like no other — performing 28 songs for 3 hours and 10 minutes. Her versatility shone the brightest last Saturday night as her concert was divided into five parts, each riveting with a different theme: Hypnotic, Energetic, Romantic, Ecstatic, and Heroic.

PART 1: HYPNOTIC

As the lights dimmed at the venue, the fans waived their light sticks and went all-out in cheering to give IU the warmest welcome back to the Philippine stage.

The award-winning singer-songwriter gracefully made her grand entrance in her immaculate white dress and started to put the crowd into an enchanting trance. She opened the concert with captivating performances of her tracks “Holssi,” “Jam Jam,” “Ah Puh,” “BBIBBI,” and “Obliviate.”

Mabuhay! Ako si IU. It’s so amazing here. Namiss ko kayong lahat. (Welcome! I’m IU. It’s so amazing here. I miss all of you),” she greeted the jam-packed arena with a beaming smile. “I did prepare my heart before coming here but somehow, your screams are still beyond my expectations.”

This marked the K-pop star’s long-awaited global tour comeback since Love, Poem in 2019. In her previous world tour, she described the Manila stop as the “perfect” show, recognizing the unrivaled enthusiasm shown by Filipino fans.

“It’s been five years since I came here in Manila. It’s my first time seeing this many MAAENAs. I’m overwhelmed by your love and support. Not only in cheering, you’re also very good at singing!”

PART 2: ENERGETIC

In the concert’s second part, IU took fans’ excitement to the next level.

Looking pretty chic in her black and gray ensemble, the well-loved singer brought fans to a lively festival, where she dished out her popular songs “Celebrity,” “Blueming,” “eight (Prod.&Feat. SUGA of BTS),” as well as tracks “Coin” and “I Stan U” from her latest EP Winning.

To match the festive atmosphere, MAAENAs raised their special banner with the touching message: “IU, who stans UAENAs, we’re stanning you too!”

Pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful fan project, IU expressed her appreciation saying, “To whoever thought of this idea, thank you so much. I was very happy.”

PART 3: ROMANTIC

This time around, IU shifted to a softer and cozier vibe. Garbed in a lovely floral dress, she attracted listeners with her sweet serenades of “Havana” and “Meaning of You.”

The vocal queen also gifted fans with a full rendition of local band SunKissed Lola’s “Pasilyo.” The crowd sang along with her and were mesmerized by her excellent pronunciation of the Filipino lyrics.

She further immersed everyone in a mellow atmosphere by performing her masterpiece ballad “Through the Night” with her soothing vocals.

PART 4: ECSTATIC

Setting a euphoric mood, the fourth part of the concert felt like watching the artist’s music videos in real life.

IU returned onstage donning her elegant long red dress to delight the audience with her “Shopper” number. Followed by heartfelt performances of “Above the Time” and “YOU&I,” she then belted out “Love wins all,” leaving fans in awe with her emotional delivery.

PART 5: HEROIC

For the last part of the show, IU flaunted a more daring side of herself. Aptly matched by her edgy black outfit, the all-rounder artist heated the venue with “Shh,” “Twenty-Three,” and a rock version of “Holssi.”

The crowd showed no signs of backing down as passionate cheers poured out even in the final set. IU, deeply impressed by MAAENAs’ dedication, shared her praises, “Among all the other tours I’ve been to, you are the best. You are perfect. You are No.1! I’m giving you 300 points.”

While waiting for the extended encore, the audience gamely took the challenge to sing IU’s “Good Day.” Although the first few lines were a little shaky, they pulled off the iconic three-octave high notes together, earning another high recognition from the singer.

Before taking her final bow, IU appeared for the last time, wearing a more casual fit — a tour merch shirt, maong pants, and an adorable fan-made headband. In her signature closing segment, she generously granted song requests such as “Someday,” “Give You My Heart,” “My Sea,” “LILAC,” “strawberry moon,” and “Well…,” before concluding with the fan-favorite track “Palette.”

This is HERstory

Like a soul-stirring musical journey, the 2024 IU HEREH World Tour Concert in Manila served as a reminder on how powerful music can be. It is indeed a universal language, capable of creating an emotional connection despite cultural and linguistic differences.

One thing’s for sure: IU continues to write HERstory as an artist. She keeps on pushing the boundaries of her craft — producing songs that not only dominated the charts but more importantly, her music that resonated deeply with her beloved fans.

Apart from the gift set (especially prepared by IU’s mom) that we received, we’re also bringing with us the sweet promise of IU that it wouldn’t take her another five years to return to the Philippines. Until the next time, IU and MAAENAs!


The 2024 IU H.E.R.E.H World Tour Concert in Manila was brought to fans by EDAM Entertainment, Kong Yeon Team, PULP Live World, and Happee Hour.

Photos from EDAM Entertainment and PULP Live World

Event covered by Khrizvyy (Khriz Virgilio)

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