It’s amazing how strong the power of the fan community can be. It can become the driving force for something amazing, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with their idols. Getting idols to touch base and connect with fans in an intimate gathering is slowly gaining a lot of mainstream attention both locally and internationally. And it never fails to charm and pique the interest of even the most clueless bystander. Especially in the Philippines, Asian idols, like K-pop or J-pop stars, tend to frequent the country because of its immensely supportive fans, making Manila a hub for these intimate events and concerts. And as such, even the Thai pop craze is slowly making its way to the mainstream. No sooner than can be said, one of the most popular Thai boy groups made its way to the Philippines for a night of music and bonding with the fans.
Collectively called SBFIVE, the popular idol group is composed of five dashing young men, namely Suradet “Bas” Piniwat, Varodom “Kimmon” Khemmonta, Panuwat “Copter” Kerdthongtavee, Thanapon “Tee” Jarujittranon, and Darvid “Tae” Kreepolrerk. Prior to banding together as a boy group, these five gentlemen debuted in the hit Thai drama series 2 Moons the Series. By 2017, just after the series ended, they went ahead and formed SBFIVE to unanimously positive reception.
Although SBFIVE has only been operating as a unit for a scant two years, their popularity in Thailand immediately shot up, with numerous endorsements, nationwide tours, local and international fanmeets. They have three singles released under their name, “Spark,” “Dream,” and “Superboy;” all of which have already garnered millions of views each on YouTube.
Having SBFIVE over for an event overseas is quite the rare feat for the organizer, MYNA Productions, considering the tight schedule the boys have with their numerous guestings and tours packed in-between. From what we’ve gathered, this is SBFIVE’s second visit to the Philippines, the first of which was a fanmeet for the 2 Moons The Series they were promoting a couple of years back. Their return to the Philippines could not have been timed any better, with a local channel (GMA 7) airing Thai drama “2 Brothers” starring Bas Piniwat, and the group’s latest drama also airing soon in Thailand called “Hotel Stars.” Coupled with the recent release of their single, “Superboy,” SBFIVE had much to showcase the fans gracing the event.
The event was initially mired with an unfortunate string of technical difficulties. Rehearsals and stage setups took longer than expected, which caused quite a delay and deviated from the event’s previously-advertised schedule. Because of the delays, a few segments within the program were noticeably cut short, in particular the mini-games and interview portions. But we’d give the organizers the benefit of the doubt, considering this is their first foray into events organizing.
Thankfully, the technical difficulties were eventually resolved, and the main program went smoothly. SBFIVE had a set of six song and dance performances, interspersed between fun games, challenges, and interviews that gave both the idols and the fans a chance to interact with one another. It was easy enough to forget the pre-event delays because of the strong performances, and jam-packed schedule that kept fans on their toes the whole night.
Attendees could tell that the group prepared well for their performances. SBFIVE put their best foot forward with amazing dance choreographies, dramatic teases between pairings during their songs, and impactful pop melodies that can rival other popular Asian pop groups. Suffice to say, SBFIVE has that staying power as a pop group, and deserves to have their talent showcased more. Further, their popularity across international waters is proof that Thai pop is gradually garnering more attention amongst the saturated market of K-pop and J-pop options.
Teases and Future Plans
During the event, SBFIVE promotd their upcoming Thai drama series, “Hotel Stars,” with a musical performance while donning their uniforms from the series. A couple of trailers for the series were also projected on-screen, boasting the group’s acting prowess and ability to tease BL moments between the pairs of Kimmon-Copter and Tee-Tae. No word on the series’ overseas release, though with “2 Brothers” getting its Philippine debut soon, there’s a possibility for other Thai dramas to hit our shores soon as well.
In addition to Hotel Stars, SBFIVE’s longevity and staying power is still secure, with the boys teasing a new single to be released before the year ends. Though no preview has been made, the idol group assured fans that the new song will be worth the wait, much to the excitement of the already-riled up crowd.
While the night felt unfortunately short for both the fans and SBFIVE alike, the group wished for their return to the country, to which fans reciprocated the sentiment. Feedback post-event was generally positive, with most of the commentary aimed at how charming and entertaining SBFIVE was, and how well-produced the event was overall.
MYNA Productions, the events organizer, could have started small, with a few fan gatherings or inviting solo artists for their first event. Rather, they opted to punch above their weight class and went for an immensely-popular Thai group instead. Suffice to say, the fears of having a failed event is justified if we take into consideration the blank slate the organizer has under their name. But with the success of SBFIVE’s second coming to Manila, we’re sure to expect greater things from this newcomer and upstart to the events business.
And as for SBFIVE, their charms, talent and wit admittedly made a fan out of us. And we certainly wish for more of their star power in the years to come. The Thai pop craze is a niche no more. It’s going for mainstream popularity, and this band is proof of it.
SBFIVE Asia Tour Live in Manila happened on October 20, 2019 at the RCBC Auditorium, Makati City, Philippines, and was presented by MYNA Productions, in partnership with Janeangroup Co. Ltd., and Starhunterstudio; sponsored by Alice Lycoris x TuYe (KimCop Signpost), SBFIVE Italia, Lady Aphrael, TaeDarvid.ID, Tae Darvid SGFC, Man2, and Tokyo Bubble Tea.