Joji comes in swinging for his Manila fans for his ‘Pandemonium’ concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
On November 28th, 2023, Joji finally visited Manila, and his fans were absolutely ecstatic. This marked his third stop for his ‘Pandemonium’ Asian leg after previously performing in Taipei and Bangkok. Hundreds of fans started lining up for the Japanese singer-songwriter and former YouTube star, with lines forming as early as 6 PM, two hours before the concert began.
@inqpop Get a glimpse of Joji’s Pandemonium Tour in Manila as he headlined his first solo concert at the Big Dome last November! Can’t get over him? Bring back the feels and witness how the Japanese singer-songwriter gave an epic night of fun that his Filipino fans will surely remember. #BrandRoom #JOJIinManila #PandemoniumTour2023 ♬ original sound – InqPOP!
The flashing performance under the darkened Araneta dome was dominated by heart-pumping bass and Joji’s baritone and melancholy tones. All the while, fans flocked in their comfiest cold-resistant shirts or their Filthy Frank cosplay (also known as ‘The Pink Guy’ suit) and screamed as they sang along with him and his crew.
The performance kicked off with his opening song, one of his greatest hits in 2020, “Sanctuary,” where audiences passionately sing along. This is followed by “Yeah right,” “Night Rider,” and “Will He,” while he distributed drinks to various audience members in the VIP and Patron areas. He then engaged in his characteristic antics—a very familiar sight for those who have followed his career from his start on YouTube: a prank call by Former President Barack Obama (or as stated by the screen, “Barry O”).
He proceeded to sing his tracks “Daylight,” “Yukon,” “Pretty boy,” where he quipped “I know a pretty Boy when I see one.” “Worldstar money” and “Waste your time” finished off the portion, and the fans were greeted with another meme on the screen: an image of one of his crew, edited to look like he was Raphael from the franchise “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which got a chuckle from the crowd.
After performing “Ew,” Joji and his band needed to take a break and decided to bring out ‘YEBI Labs’ to take over for a minute and bring in house and club party vibes. The DJ group, consisting of Joji and his friends, took the stage, and the rumbling bass was accompanied by pool noodles and beach balls being handed out for the party. All the while, audiences jumped and screamed as a remix of “Glimpse of Us” and other tracks played, shaking the coliseum, and official merch for Pandemonium rained down.
While they finished their transition from YEBI Labs beats back to Joji’s “Die For You,” Joji and his crew brought in another meme, this time much more cursed than the last: a parody image of Big Bird from Sesame Street fame laying a gigantic egg. The egg hatched, revealing a large and unconscious bearded man covered in goo. It seemed he was either dead or just sleeping, but the image continued to show people found in the first few pictures licking the goo and slime off of the man.
After unsettling and making his fans laugh once again, he performed “Nobody loves me like you do,” “Can’t get over you,” “Give me love,” and then finished his set with his 2018 hit, “Slow Dancing in the Dark.”
As the stage lights dimmed, the fans called out one final time for an encore, shouting “Isa Pa! Isa Pa [One more! One more!]” And Joji was happy to oblige, truly capping off the performance with “Glimpse of Us.”
All through the night Joji marveled and awed at the immense energy from his Filipino Fans and kept saying that Manila was the “greatest city in the world.” After Manila, Joji is set to wrap up his ‘Pandemonium’ tour with his last two concerts, in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.