By Nickie Wang
American singer Dionne Warwick’s concert at the Araneta Coliseum pushed through last Friday, Oct. 2, despite inclement weather, but only 17 percent of the tickets were sold.
The concert, dubbed A Memorable Evening with Dionne, which was fronted by local R&B singer Jay-R and a band called Flow, was delayed for an hour because of poor attendance. It was scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
The concert came in the wake of storm Ondoy’s wrath, which left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. President Gloria Arroyo had already declared the entire country in a state of calamity, in anticipation of yet another typhoon, Peping, which was expected to hit landfall during the weekend.
According to the organizers, text messages circulating before the concert claimed that Peping had been upgraded to Category 5 and that power would be cut by 9 p.m. (later refuted by Pagasa) had already affected the ticket sales.
Around 400 people showed up to watch the 68-year-old songstress perform in a venue with a maximum seating capacity of 15,000. And just like her previous concerts, Warwick did not do an encore. She opened the concert with her classic hit “Walk On By.”
According to some members of entertainment press who attended the concert, people were asked to move forward and occupy the empty seats in the VIP and patron areas.
“The concert was okay, she’s Dionne Warwick and we already know how she performs. The only thing that we didn’t like was when the time she spoke with the crowd, her voice was very soft. We could hardly hear her,” said one of the concert attendees.
Warwick, who is the aunt of Whitney Houston, is popular for hits like “I Say A Little Prayer,” “A House Is Not A Home,” “Always Something There To Remind Me,” to name a few.
When Warwick arrived on Oct. 1, she said that the proceeds of the event will be donated to the victims of storm Ondoy.
Meanwhile, sales from Air Supply’s Now & Forever concert the following day were respectable enough to consider the show a success. According to Oscar San Pedro, the concert’s publicist, more than 4,000 people attended the event, which was also held at the Araneta Coliseum a day after Dionne Warwick’s concert.
“For this type of event, the number of people who attended [the concert] is enough for us to say that it’s very successful. Despite the bad weather condition, people still went out to watch the band’s sixth concert here in the Philippines. And the concert started right on time,” San Pedro said.
The publicist furthered that the income of the Air Supply’s concert will also be donated to the victims of floods caused by the recent storm.
Considering the weather condition in Metro Manila, also brought by the super typhoon Peping, producers of Katy Perry’s concert decided to postpone the show. The Katy Perry Live in Manila one-night concert was scheduled Oct. 3 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds.
The “Waking Up In Vegas” singer was saddened by the recent disaster that wreaked havoc in Metro Manila and to the surrounding areas and promised to make the show bigger and more relevant. The producers of the Katy Perry gig announced that they are going to transform the concert into a fund-raising event for the benefit of storm Ondoy victims.
Rumors that American Idol runner-up David Archuleta would be joining Perry at the concert, which is now tentatively scheduled on Nov. 14, also circulated around the metro. Archuleta is a recent visitor to the Philippines and performed in a sold-out concert at the MOA Concert Grounds together with AI winner David Cook. The historical concert was attended by more than a hundred thousand people.
Another concert was also postponed due to rough weather. Rising Fil-Am star Stephanie Reese, whose show was initially slated on Oct. 2 at the Music Museum, moved her pre-Carnegie Hall concert on Oct. 12. At a press conference for the concert, Reese announced that she is raising funds to build a village for some 30 poor families in Bicol. Afetr the devastation, the Miss Saigon star has pledged to donate part of the concert’s proceeds to the victims of the calamity.