Louis Tomlinson throws back the years in Manila return

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Louis Tomlinson throws back the years in Manila return
Louis Tomlinson performs at the Araneta Coliseum
Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — British singer Louis Tomlinson turned back the clock as he performed songs from his 2020 album "Walls" and several tracks by One Direction during his concert at the Araneta Coliseum last July 16, 2022.

It was Tomlinson's first time in the Philippines since One Direction visited in 2015, having held their concert at the MOA Grounds in March that year — and seven years on, it appears the love remains strong for Tomlinson and his former bandmates.

Tomlinson started the night with "We Made It" and "Don't Let It Break Your Heart," both singles from "Walls." He sang One Direction's hit "Drag Me Down" from their last album, "Made in the A.M." in between. 

From there, the singer tuned things down by performing "Two of Us," the tender lead single from his debut album. The audience were even lucky to hear live his unreleased tracks "Changes" and "Copy of a Copy of a Copy."

Numerous times in between songs, Tomlinson hyped up the crowd with words like "I f****ng love the Philippines" and "Manila, one more time I f****ng love you." At other times, he let the audience sing portions of his songs like "Habit" and "Defenceless."

There were also moments where the guitarist of Tomlinson's band took over to perform some electrifying solos—Tomlinson himself played the guitar during his song "Fearless."

Another One Direction song Tomlinson performed was "Little Black Dress" from the group's third album, "Midnight Memories," which the singer considers one of his favorite songs, hence why he performs it at his own concerts.

After seemingly ending his set with the titular single of his album, Tomlinson exclaimed, "You can have your cheeseburger back. I'm not hungry" and tossed a burger that had been prepared for him to the crowd.

This led the people in the audience to chant "cheeseburger," and they eventually called for an encore by repeatedly chanting the chorus of the One Direction song "No Control."

Tomlinson headed back on stage to say, "I've been waiting to come back. You've been unbelievable. Thank you, thank you, thank you" and sang a different One Direction song, "Through the Dark."

Before capping off the night, Tomlinson asked for a photo with his band and the Araneta Coliseum crowd, snapping a few shots before having a teasing rumble on stage with his bandmates.

The British singer's final song was his single "Kill My Mind," which turned out to be the most energetic piece of the night as Tomlinson headed down to the mosh pit attempting to crowd surf, and fans raised and lowered their light sticks with exceptional harmony. 

"I f****ng love you all, good night!" Tomlinson shouted before exiting the stage for good, and the audience began singing Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag" as the lights turned back on in the Coliseum.

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