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Monday, September 8, 2014

Concert Round Up: On a Road Trip with B1A4

Words & Photos by Ava Sharra Sumortin

B1A4 named their first world tour "Road Trip" because the group wanted to meet and create memories with international BANAs — and that is exactly what Jinyoung, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, Gongchan did in Manila. September 8 is a date that Filipino BANAs will definitely never forget.

That night, the Smart Araneta Coliseum was alight with pastel apple lime glowsticks. Without a doubt, BANAs came prepared for the Road Trip.

B1A4, in white suits, opened the show with "O.K.", the group's first single that was released in 2011. The group then followed it up with "Beautiful Target," a crowd favorite. The BANAs were deafening with their fan chants during the song. They also memorized the chants for "Lonely" and "Tried to Walk." One of the countless things that make B1A4 charming is the group's choreography. Who could forget the choreography for "Lonely" where the members used scarves and "Oh My God" where they used top hats?

The group also knows how to slow things down. Jinyoung played the guitar as they captivated the crowd with an unplugged version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and "Wonderful Tonight."

An unforgettable part of the show was when they showed a recording of the group's rehearsal in Korea. It cut to Sandeul holding a phone, and he was calling someone from the audience. One lucky fan was chosen to come up on stage. B1A4 then serenaded the chosen BANA with "Chu Chu Chu." Sandeul also gave her a teddy bear. The group then dedicated the next song "Pretty" to all BANAs.

After the kilig-inducing songs, everyone was on their feet with "What's Happening?" and "A Glass of Water." For "Who Am I," Jinyoung taught the BANAs some choreography.

Before their last song, Jinyoung said that Manila was "choigo" or the best. Sanduel said that all the fans are so passionate. B1A4 ended their set with "Baby Goodnight."

While the group was backstage, BANAs filled the dome with chants of "B1A4!" Of course, B1A4 came back for their encore. "In the Air" was a time for them to fully interact with the fans. The members took "selcas" (before "selfie," Koreans coined this word that means "self camera") with BANAs. They also took instant photos of themselves and gave it away to the audience. CNU wore a cap that a fan gave to him. He also wore a B1A4 headband. "If..." was the song that capped off the concert.

Just when everyone thought that the surprises were over, a behind-the-scenes video was shown. It was a video of B1A4's first night in Manila last Thursday, which was also Baro's birthday. The video showed the members in their hotel room learning Filipino expressions, like "Hello po." It seemed that Baro was getting the hang of saying "Ikinagagalak ko po kayong makilala." Maybe his amazing rapping skills helped him pronounce the Filipino phrase really well. Baro then stopped because he saw a member of the staff bring him a birthday cake that was given to him by Filipino BANAs. Gongchan then consulted his smartphone for the Filipino translation of "happy birthday." They all greeted Baro "maligayang kaarawan!"

Even after the show, something that I fully remember is Gongchan's message for the Filipino BANAs. He asked the BANAs to "please remember B1A4." All I can say is that he does not need to worry — that was one memorable road trip for everyone.

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B1A4 Road Trip in Manila is presented by All Access Productions and TGM Events.

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