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BamBam’s setlist is one-of-a-kind in Manila

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It was the first stop of BamBam’s first world tour but it would be more accurate to describe it as the night he tried to win over an entire nation. BamBam’s setlist in Manila for “Area 52” was something he can do only in the country and nowhere else. This is why Ahgases (GOT7 fandom name) respectfully claim that he is Pinoy.

That he used a lot of Filipino words onstage in the correct context is just the start. After all, he regularly includes “shot puno” in his tweets. BamBam is known to like our food.

He declared last year that he craves bangus, sisig and lechon. This year, he’s willing to eat balut with his Ate Dara (Sandara Park). This is huge. It means that Dara realized that BamBam could be challenged to try a more exotic delicacy and not just fast food.

And yes, BamBam calls Dara his ate.

Sandara Park was his special guest for “Area 52” in Manila. She sang the 2NE1 hit “I am the Best” before performing her latest single “Festival.”  BamBam joined her at the end of the song.  At the urging of the audience, Park gamely sang “In or Out”. She said that she has updated the song for 2020.

Sandara Park
Sandara Park took the the audience down the memory lane. Photo by Ruth L. Navarra

DreamNote opened the show with the song, “Lemonade.”


‘Raining in Manila’

These little pieces of information are cute and endearing. But it was really how he included some songs and segments to cater to his Manila fans that made the night one of a kind. He already hinted that he will sing “Raining in Manila” by Lola Amour days prior to his flight. It was one of the hints from BamBam’s setlist.

“Do you like the BamBam version?” he asked the crowd inside the Araneta Coliseum. “Area 52” was held on Sept. 23 and promoted by IME Philippines.

His fans loved it. They chanted “Isa pa!,” asking him to sing it one more time. He did. The LED screen behind him projected a city skyline under the pouring rain.

The tour had BamBam’s creative signature all over it. It’s in the production, the costumes and the concept.

“There’s a place in the US called Area 51. They believe that there are UFOs and aliens. It’s a topic that I really love. I made it my concept. I was also born on May 2; that’s why it’s Area 52,” he said. “Area 52 is a place for everyone to enjoy, sing and dance and do whatever you want.”


BamBam setlist Manila
BamBam’s production is topnotch! – Photo by Eugene Araneta


BamBam Manila setlist
BamBam shows the all-rounder that he is. – Photo by Eugene Araneta
BamBam Manila setlist
He was able to keep the out of space theme throughout the show – Eugene Araneta
It was an amazing live experience. – Photo by Eugene Araneta

Off to space

The concert felt like a universe created by a 26-year-old artist fulfilling his boyhood dream. The cohesive astronaut/outer space theme was exciting and a feast for the senses. He opened the event with the background showing the sun hiding behind the Earth.

It’s a scene astronauts witness as they fly off to space. Smoke was released and BamBam’s silhouette was seen. It was takeoff and he kept the energy up until the very end.

The costume he wore for the opening stage when he performed the songs “Wheels Up,” “Pandora,” “Sour & Sweet” and “Ride or Die” was designed by a fan. There are a few changes from the initial sketch that the fan uploaded, but the essential details are there.

There’s the color blocking of red and black. The DoubleB logo ran across his torso. This logo came out with his full album “Sweet & Sour.” The fit was meant to look like innerwear for space suits.

Ahgases could proudly claim that “Area 52” is a collaboration between them and BamBam. It was personalized for them. He asked for suggestions, he listened and used them. “Raining in Manila” was also suggested by his fans.

It shows how he includes them in his journey as a solo artist. There’s not a lot of fandoms out there who could claim the same.

BamBam Style

BamBam’s aesthetic and sense of fashion have always been his own. He brought it with him to this show. He came out in glittery black elephant pants, a loose red shirt and a red jacket with long flaps on the front panel. These are the kind of clothes he likes to wear onstage. But it’s also a subtle homage to his Thai roots.

This would be the core of his costume for the rest of the evening. He would remove and replace the jacket depending on the song. BamBam performed “Let’s Dance,” “Take It Easy” and “Ghost” in it. He changed into a black jacket covered in colorful patches when he performed “Tippy Toe,” “Air,” “Subliminal” and “RiBBon.” This is the first time he sang the first three songs in Manila.

His makeup style of choice is byojaku, which means “unwell” in Japanese. It’s the makeup trend where red eyeshadow is used on the lids and under eye to appear fragile. On BamBam, it makes you want to put him inside your pocket and keep him safe.

The interaction for the concert is top-notch. At one point, BamBam teased a fan for looking at his dancers and not at him. He told the fan to only look at him and not the others. The jealous boyfriend trope made plenty of hearts flutter. BamBam even sang the birthday song with the rest of the crowd for one fan who said it was her birthday.

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He also went down the stage to be closer to his fans during the performance of “Look so Fine.”

BamBam is a beloved GOT7 member. He introduces himself as one, too. The artist cheerfully led the member fanchant at the end of “RiBBon” twice. The GOT7 songs he performed for the encore were “Look” and “Hard Carry.”


Sweet things

There are a lot of sweet things that BamBam did at the concert. He would recall specific moments spent with Filipino fans, like when Ahgases stomped their feet when they liked a performance. It delighted him to hear the stomping during his solo concert.

He created a montage of events for those who watched him that night—one that will not be replicated in other cities that he will go to. But there are constant elements that can be expected from him in the other legs. BamBam’s setlist is always unique in every city he goes to.

His smooth and fluid vocals when he sings are on the top of the list and so is his rap flow in songs such as “Pandora.” BamBam is an all-rounder. It’s always fun to watch him dance to songs that he enjoys performing to. The most mesmerizing number from “Area 52” was “Who Are You?” (featuring Seulgi of Red Velvet). The lights were turned off except for the spotlight. He had a female dance partner and they danced artfully together. It was beautiful.

BamBam’s setlist

He was sincere, funny and comfortable with his fans. He joked with them, laughed at them and laughed with them. “My Ahgases are crazy,” he said, obviously pleased with their energy.

BamBam gifted his fans with another Filipino song before ending the show. He performed “Ngiti” by Robert Liang. BamBam’s setlist was meant to please.

Fans describe him as “tropa” or “barkada.” Super K calls him bestie. That’s how it felt at his concert, too. The vibe was very chill and relaxed. It felt like going out with a friend, except that the friend was onstage singing, dancing, rapping and being effortlessly cute for you.


BamBam had a fansign before the event to meet his Ahgases up close.
BamBam looks gorgeous in this all-black ensemble.

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