Kiana Lede’s ‘Grudges’ world tour in Manila takes R&B to its most intimate

December 8, 2023 - 4:52 PM
File photo shows Kiana Lede and a photo of her during her concert at the SM Aura Samsung Hall in BGC, Taguig City. (Released; Interaksyon/Cristina Chi)

Kiana Ledé transforms a concert hall into the bedroom floor of a woman finding meaning in heartbreak — and its cathartic release.

R&B multihyphenate Kiana Ledé immediately placed concertgoers in a trance in the first few songs of her first-ever Manila show  Wednesday evening.

After singing about being a “bitter bitch,” Ledé got down on all fours and crooned to the audience to “focus on me” — sending the crowd into a wild explosion of cheers and gasps.

The “EX” singer proved her artistic prowess during her Manila debut on December 6 — the only Southeast Asian stop on the R&B powerhouse’s “Grudge” tour. Ledé brought her world tour to the Samsung Hall in SM Aura as part of the Insignia Concert Series. She treated her devoted fans to an unforgettable night of musical vulnerability and sultry storytelling.

The concert showcased what Ledé does best: blending the intimate with the angst with the svelte of a grown woman who has — fortunately and unfortunately — truly seen it all. Her show featured chart-topping hits and fan-favorite songs like “Jealous,” “Deeper,” and “EX,” and other tracks from albums KIKI and Grudges.

But arguably the highlight of the show was her performance of the ultimate chart-topper and timeless track “Wicked Games” — one of her biggest hits to date — where she and the crowd seemed to be singing to each other about the trials and tribulations of the world’s most toxic “situationship.”

At one point, Ledé seemed to be at a loss for words at the Manila crowd, who swayed and sang along to every word with the enthusiasm of an arena twice the concert halls’ size. “This,” Ledé said, “is the only show to raise their phone lights during a song.”

What makes Lede’s artistry stand out from her R&B contemporaries is reflected in the design of the stage, which had several cameras on tripods facing the audience.

Lede is known for her songs and performances that masterfully capture the feeling of being a self-aware delulu — when one ruins themselves in the name of love, and regrets it the morning after.  

Ledé’s “Grudges” tour is an overall treat for her dedicated and growing fanbase in the Philippines.

With her Manila show, Ledé proves that she is one of the few great R&B crooners who dares to ask, “Can you love me even when I’m naked?” — but with the humility of a woman still learning to peel back her own layers.