If there’s a concert that you absolutely need to see in this lifetime, it’s IU’s. In Singapore for her long-awaited 10th Anniversary Tour Concert <이지금dlwlrma>, the K-pop starlet wasn’t here to just play a show – she knows how to make it one to remember.
Kicking off with a magnificent opening that looked like a scene straight out of an ’80s movie, the 25-year-old pulled out all the stops to deliver a theatric experience like no other, complete with a live band and a solid ensemble of backup dancers decked out in their retro best. But beyond the production value, it’s her voice that really holds it all together. Her emotive vocals shone through power ballads such as the fan-favourite ‘Good Day’, where she effortlessly belted out the legendary three-octave high note – alongside definitive hits from her decade-spanning discography including ‘Marshmallow’, ‘You and I’ and ‘Twenty Three’.
There were also rare moments when she opened up about her innermost thoughts, allowing fans to see the vulnerable side of her that most people don’t get to witness beneath her happy-go-lucky demeanour. And perhaps it’s this sense of honesty that makes the show seem a lot more intimate, despite all three floors of the concert venue being filled to the brim with local UAENAs (whom she affectionately dubbed as Singaenas).
“I didn’t know I have so many fans here,” the songstress exclaimed upon seeing the 5000-strong crowd. “I’m sorry it took me so long to come. I’ll make tonight’s show a very special one!” True to her words, she certainly didn’t disappoint. Read on for some of the most memorable moments during the almost three-hour set.
When she professed her love for Singapore
If you follow IU on Instagram, you’d have known that she was in town two days prior to her concert to do some sightseeing around the city – so it’s of no surprise that a huge portion of the show was really just her gushing over how she “fell in love with Singapore” (UGH, how adorable is that?). She even went on to reveal that she’s planning on returning with her family for a holiday next year, “I told my dad and he was really happy about it. I hope I can see all of you again.” We’re crossing our fingers that we get to at least bump into her on the streets!
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When she impressed with her flair for languages
Most K-pop acts usually have an interpreter onsite to help translate every word, but not for IU. The talented singer took us by surprise when she communicated with fans in fluent English throughout the show, to the point where the staff had to nudge her to speak in Korean otherwise according to them, “it won’t be interesting” (although we beg to differ – anything’s interesting with IU!).
As if we’re not already impressed by her impeccable flair for languages, she caught us off-guard with a surprise rendition of Chinese pop singer Karen Mok’s 1998 classic ‘Love’ – in perfect Mandarin pronunciation, no less. If you close your eyes and listen, you’d think that a native speaker was singing. Karen Mok would be proud!
When she paid tribute to SHINee’s Jonghyun
Just a few days after IU’s concert is the one-year anniversary of Jonghyun’s passing, which would understandably be a tough time for all Shawols. But fans sought solace in IU, as she dedicated ‘Gloomy Clock’ – a song from her third album Modern Times that was written by the late SHINee member – to “the person I really miss”. Switching her mic to a pearl aqua green one (which represents SHINee’s official fanclub colour), the songbird explained that even though it wasn’t intended to be in her setlist, she prepared it as “the song has been a great comfort to me since I made it”.
181215 || IU’s ment before her tribute for Jonghyun 🌙 Thank you for doing this, it really means the world to me.
— Chasing Rainstorms △ ○ □ (@rainstormlit) December 15, 2018
When she opened up about her past self
From her bubblegum pop roots to the mature singer-songwriter we know and love today, the ‘Palette’ singer has certainly come a long way – but her quest in finding her own voice hasn’t been all that easy. She confessed, “When I was young, even though I received so much love, I used to pay more attention to people who dislike me and write lyrics that are dark. But now, I’ve become a person who can focus more on love.”
She added, “You guys make me a better person, and I’ll continue to write songs that convey more than simple words.” It takes a lot of courage for anybody, let alone an artiste who spends every waking hour under the public scrutiny, to speak up about their inner demons. And for that alone, she deserves major respect.
When she surprised fans with not one, but two encores
Just when we thought the show was over after the credits rolled, IU emerged back on stage for a second encore, causing fans to scramble back to their seats. Dressed in a simple black T-shirt, she gamely took in song requests and apologised for not being able to perform longer as she had a flight to catch. But all was forgiven when she delighted fans with two additional songs (‘The Shower’ and ‘Heart’) and even lifted the ban on videography and photography so that we could capture the last moments. How could you not love IU when she’s such a sweetheart?
Ending the night on a heartwarming note, she expressed: “Parting is really sad, but it’s not the end. I will never forget what we shared tonight.” Neither will we, IU.
Photo credits: ONE Production
What was your favourite moment of the night? Tell us in the comments below!