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NIKI Only Has Love for Her Filipino Fans

James Francisco

278 days since her Manila debut at 88rising’s “Head in the Clouds,” NIKI’s awaited return to the country consisted of nothing but love from her growing Filipino fanbase. The Indonesian singer-songwriter channeled a roller-coaster-esque atmosphere—subtly toying with the emotions of her local Moonchildren through a journey tributing her discography.

Instagram: @_livemnl

Commencing the festivities with a ballad from her second studio album, “Nicole,” the SM Mall of Asia Arena erupted echoing the iconic “Before” line, “Was I just a two-year practice round?,” inviting crowd participation—a theme slated throughout her 18-song setlist. She repeatedly pointed the microphone at the crowd and gestured for their assistance, covering her songs’ timeless and heartbreaking lyrics.

Embracing a near decade’s worth of tracks, the 24-year-old juggled between her collections (nine from “Nicole,” seven from “Live at the Wiltern,” and two from “MOONCHILD”). The night welcomed NIKI’s soothing melodies and groovy choreography, mostly especially during “Vintage” and “Selene,” greeting her fans with the evergreen Mabuhay! (Welcome/Live). She continued, mentioning her delight performing in the country once more, overwhelmed by the record-breaking sale of her solo-concert debut before letting those in attendance “know that tonight is “urs” (segueing to the “wanna take this downtown?”/”Live at the Wiltern” classic).

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Instagram: @nikizefanya

The nearly two-hour event was anything but a breeze, showcased through everyone's heightened feelings. Tackling fan favorites like “Backburner,” “La La Lost You,” and “Oceans & Engines” to name a couple, NIKI briefly left the stage in preparation for her live rendition of “High School in Jakarta” where she emerged in a bedazzled uniform as her ensemble followed suit. The encore consisted of her band, exiting and entering once more, covering “lowkey” and “Every Summertime” to perfectly culminate the evening. NIKI concluded her show by introducing her band, taking a group photo with the Manila crowd, and saying her final goodbyes.

“Mahal kita,” she mentioned, departing for the final time (for now).

Twitter: NIKI Philippines

Twitter: NIKI Philippines

Twitter: POV Manila

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