Honestly speaking, I didn’t think I would be able to go to last Sunday’s concert because of everything life was throwing at me at the time (lmao thanks COVID-19). But, surprisingly thanks to my strong immune system and “manifesting negativity” energy, this girl was able to see the Neos!
So, let’s start this whole experience storytelling with the ticket-selling announcement. When PULP Live World and “Inang” Happee Sy-Go announced that they will be handling the “NCT 127 2nd Tour NEO CITY – THE LINK” concert in Manila and the list of ticket prices, every NCTzen in the Philippines went through several emotions all at once.
Excitement, intense anticipation, grief, denial, and all other emotion possible could be seen on NCTzen stan Twitter and Facebook as days pass before D-Day a.k.a Ticket selling date, which happened last August 21, 2022. Even 2 days before the official ticket selling date, NCTzens were lining up at respective SM Ticket branches in order to surely secure their tickets.
My cousin, younger sister, and I formulated a plan hours before lining up at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Coral Way ticket booth, which included us not having decent sleep and suffering from fatigue, and running on ¾ caffeine and ¼ adrenaline. By 5:30 A.M. on August 21, 2022, we were already lined up at the SM MOA Arena with the unofficial queuing numbers 72, 73, and 74. After 3 hours of waiting, we decided to change spots to the nearest SM Department Store, and we had “better chances” of grabbing tickets thanks to the fewer people that were there.
By 12 P.M. that day, everything went by fast. All the NCTzens in front of us were able to get the tickets they desired, and we kept on checking Twitter for updates. By the time we got to the counter, the website kept refreshing and we kept losing the seats we wanted, but we were lucky enough to get seats in the areas we were considering – VIP Seated 221, 219, and 206.
Fast forward to the day every NCTzen was looking forward to: September 4, 2022. My cousin, younger sister, and I have been hyping ourselves up by listening to the songs included in the concert’s set list like most fans, and have been waiting for this day with such anticipation.
I was on Twitter for most of the morning because I wanted to see the situation at the MOA Arena. Fans have already gathered at the venue and the surrounding areas due to all the fan-held events organized by fan clubs and organizations. There even were some food stands (dirty ice cream and iskrambol) that were sponsored by fan clubs of some of the members.
Even though I wasn’t able to get freebies and experience some of the fan-organized events, it was still heartwarming to see fans band together in support and love for their ult group.
By the time we were all finally able to enter the MOA Arena, I couldn’t hold in my excitement any longer. Just seeing the stage up close (I was at VIP Seated 221) already got me thrilled and I was more than ready to just vibe with everyone there.
Hearing all of the fans’ screams even before the beginning of the concert made me realize how loved NCT 127 is overseas, and it was such a proud moment as an NCTzen to finally hear and see them live and in the flesh. (Opo, real po talaga sila). Considering that this was their first-ever concert in Manila, every Filipino NCTzen really did want to be a part of their history as a group.
Before the concert began, I was a Jaehyun/Mark/Haechan stan. I came out of that concert with almost everyone as my bias. That’s how good they all were, SERIOUSLY.
Just 3 songs in, I already lost my voice just screaming and singing along to the Neos. It was an absolute joy to finally see my ult group and to hear my favorite songs live.
Like seriously, hearing “Back 2 U (AM 01:27)” live? With Doyoung, Taeil, and Haechan just belting out all those high notes like they recently just experienced multiple divorces and breakups? Heaven. Seeing Taeyong, Jungwoo, and Johnny turning the whole arena into a nightclub with their solo performances? Bet. Hearing Jaehyun’s solo song, “Lost”, and seeing him remove his in-ear and smile at the sound of fans singing along to him? Pure bliss.
And most especially, hearing NCTzens “PUKU PUKU PAW PAW” to “Kick It”, “ROLL UP TO THE PARTY” with “Sticker” and scream to “Cherry Bomb”? Obviously the highlight of my night.
If things really did go downhill for me last week, then maybe I wouldn’t have this irreplaceable and unforgettable experience blowing up my phone storage right now. Nor would I be writing this article, listening to the entire setlist again, and experiencing post-concert depression all at the same time.
Seeing NCT 127 live after years of listening to them and eventually stanning them was definitely so worth it. I wouldn’t exchange it for anything else at that moment, even when it means losing my voice, phone storage, some funds (lol), and experiencing body pains in the process.
Seeing all of them sing and shine under the love of Filipino NCTzens is too endearing of an experience to be exchanged away for something else. I think other fans would say the same.
Other POP! stories you might like: