Cho Seung-youn, also known by his stage name Woodz, can turn you into a believer through his brand of good music. The 26-year-old artist has proven to be one of the most talented soloists of his generation.
He showcased all of that in the Manila leg of his world tour (“Oo-Li”) on June 17 at the New Frontier Theater. The event was promoted by Pulp Live World. The former member of X1 is known for his versatility and talent in producing his own songs.
He performed a total of 20 of his own songs, including “Hijack,” “Love Me Harder.” “Waiting” and “Chaser.” For the ment (speaking parts) he chose to perform NewJeans’ viral song “Hype Boy” and for the Philippine audience, he picked Parokya ni Edgar’s “Your Song.”
In a press conference held the previous day, Woodz revealed that there are Filipino phrases that he still remembers. The all-rounder can still say “salamat po” and “para dito” whenever he has to take a taxi.
He was in the Philippines for a year to study English. His father owns a Korean restaurant in the country. He’s come full circle.
“When I lived in the Philippines, my dream was to become a singer,” he said. “I became a singer and I came back to the Philippines. I can perform with you guys so it’s a good experience for me.”
He showed his duality in the two days he met his fans and the press. Woodz was charming and relaxed at the press conference. He wore polo and denims, fully understanding the summer weather of the country. It didn’t hurt that he was good-looking, too.
Woodz enjoyed talking about his music. He answered in English, whenever he could, to share his own thoughts without always relying on an interpreter.
“The tour and the concert are the most important things in my life because in the process of doing it I was able to find myself. I was able to reflect on myself,” he said.
Shared journeyMeeting his fans allowed him to feel their love and support. It made him look forward to doing what he does as an artist.
He expressed his emotions in the album, “Oo-Li.” He said that he wanted to show honesty and inner thought through the album.
“Oo-li in Korean means ‘us.’ I wanted to be together with the fans to show myself,” he said. The minialbum is an invitation to go on a journey with him.
Charming to Charismatic
At the concert, Woodz came out in a black T-shirt, deep purple satin jacket, tight leather pants and sunglasses. He looked cool and unbothered as he performed “Busted” which is a song about betrayal. A live band performed behind him.
He changed to a colorful polo shirt with white tank top underneath and distressed jeans for the second act. He sang the banger “Who Knows” to set the tone before continuing to another rock song “Dirt on My Leather” (“Colorful Trauma”) and “Trigger” (“Woops!”).
Woodz can deliver charisma and charm in a heartbeat. Photos by Bunny Javier
The charming boy at the press conference was completely gone. In his place is a confident performer who is full of charisma, one who demands the crowd to jump with him. And demand he did. When the audience at the second floor remained seated, he called them out.
“While I was performing, I don’t think you guys gave your all,” he said. The crowd protested. They were already spent from jumping and banging their heads. But he wanted more. “I think you can give better than that!”
He repeated the final verse of “Trigger” once more before ending it by hitting the high notes of the song and screaming “Scream!”Woodz was finally satisfied. He told them, “We should play like this until the end of time.”
But if he asked Moodz (fandom name) to give him their 100 percent, he gave it back two-fold. When they asked him to play the guitar, he did. He did everything his fans asked of him.
Moodz helped him through a few of the lyrics of Parokya’s “Your Song.” He repeated his performance and thanked them for helping him out by singing with them.
“The performance was really one we made together,” he said with sincerity in his voice.
He also sang “Multiply,” “Abyss,” “Kiss of Fire,” Feel Like,” “On My Own,” “Sour Candy,” “Bump Bump” and “Journey.”
He sang “Drowning” emotionally. Woodz said that this is his favorite song from “Oo-li” because this is the favorite song of Moodz. He suggested that those who don’t know him could start their journey with him through it.
The joys of being in an intimate venue such as the New Frontier Theater is that the artist feels so close to you that you feel their emotions, too. You know that Woodz enjoyed hearing his fans sing his songs. He loved it so much that he sang “Drowning” again, just so he could listen to his fans sing it for him. The moment was so raw that you know that this is what his music means to him: it’s something meant to be shared.
For his encore, he performed “I Hate You” and “Ready to Fight.” His setlist originally had “Better and Better,” but for Manila he changed it to “Hope to Be Like You” which had the lines “We look so beautiful/ I have a lot of precious memories/ Thank you, I know you really loved me.”
It’s a heartbreak song, but we know that those precious lines were also his way of telling his Filipino fans how much he appreciates them.