After four years, HONNE came back to Manila for the fifth time for the Philippine leg of their May 2023 Asia Tour. Thousands of the English synthpop duo’s fans filled the Araneta Coliseum on May 10. The duo, Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher, also performed in Davao on May 12 and in Cebu on May 14.
BEKA opened the Manila show with “More Than Friends” and “Don’t Call Me A Friend.” The English singer-songwriter, who has frequently collaborated with HONNE, also told the story behind her song “I’ll Be There” before performing it.
HONNE started their set with “IDGAF About Pain” from “Let’s Just Say the World Ended a Week from Now, What Would You Do?” — their third and latest album. They followed it up with the upbeat “Me & You” and “Free Love,” which got the crowd singing along.
“I can already tell that this is going to be the best night,” Andy told their fans. Providing backing vocals for HONNE’s set, BEKA stole the spotlight with her clear and cool voice when she joined the duo for “Location Unknown.” They followed it up with “Coming Home,” encouraging the crowd to sing along.
In between songs, James said, “I think this is my most favorite gig I have ever played. You guys are the best.”
HONNE continued their set with “306” and “Good Together,” and BEKA shared the stage with them for “Crying Over You.”
A fan named Micah had a sign that said it was their 25th birthday yesterday, so Andy and James asked the crowd to sing the birthday song for them.
The show continued with “Shrink,” and the crowd turned their phones’ lights on for “Heartsong.” BEKA joined HONNE again for “Someone That Loves You” before the duo performed “By My Side,” with Andy dedicating the song to his wife. HONNE also sang “What Would You Do?” and “La La La That’s How It Goes.” Some crowd favorites “Back on Top” and “Warm on a Cold Night” finished the set before their encore.
For the encore, HONNE went back on stage with “No Song Without You.”
“I’m someone who suffers with impostor syndrome. You kind of believe, like, you’re not worthy and you shouldn’t have achieved all these things,” Andy said. “Tonight, for the first time, I feel like we are a proper band.” He also thanked the fans for giving him confidence. James added, “I 100% agree.”
The most requested HONNE song “Day 1” wrapped their Manila set.
While the crowd made their way out of the coliseum, “smile more smile more smile more” played and it ended with the screen showing a message from HONNE to their fans: “Thanks so much for being here today. Take care of each other and get home safely.”
With adorable visuals and colorful lights in the background and fun stories in between dreamy songs, going home from a HONNE show just gives you a warm and happy feeling. It’s no surprise that HONNE has their fans’ support and love since day one.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OVATION PRODUCTIONS, AEG PRESENTS ASIA, KARPOS MULTIMEDIA
Words by Ava Sharra Sumortin
Photos by Seth Valenzuela