By Nickie Wang
These days, only few local music artists can fill up the Big Dome. One of them is Sarah Geronimo who can now comfortably sit in the Concert Queen throne after staging her fourth full house concert last Nov. 7.
Everything about the concert was huge: the number of attendees; the video walls, one of them served as the backdrop of the stage; Sarah’s voice (partly); and the expectations of thousands of fans that flocked to the Araneta Coliseum to see Sarah’s concert called Record Breaker.
As early as 5 p.m., concertgoers started queuing up at the box office and gates to buy tickets and to see if there’s a chance to take their seats early. But just like any other local concerts, Sarah didn’t take the center stage exactly on time as indicated on the ticket.
Five minutes before 9 p.m., a one-minute countdown signaled the entrance of the Pop Princess. It was even made more exciting when violinist Jay Cayuca played an electrifying piece.
Sarah, flocked by ecstatic dancers, started the show with her current single “Record Breaker” and completed the first part of the program with her a la Lady Gaga sing and dance routine with “Love Game,” Kat de Luna’s “Unstoppable,” and Black Eyed Peas’s mammoth hit “I Gotta Feeling.”
After these numbers, she thanked her fans (popsters in particular) and sang “Right Here Waiting” then called up Christian Bautista to go onto the stage.
Four support acts were featured in Sarah’s concert. Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian was the first. The crooner took the chance to promote his now platinum Romance Revisited, a tribute to Jose Mari Chan. Some of Christian’s followers were obviously present at the venue as they cheered loudly while the balladeer sang “Beautiful Girl,” “Tell Me Your Name,” “Can We Just Stop And Talk Awhile,” and a duet with Sarah entitled “Please Be Careful With My Heart.”
There’s also this Wonder Girls wannabe (copycat) called Pop Girls that promoted its single entitled “Crazy Crazy.” Sarah did a little interview portion with the girl group (which is very unnecessary) after they performed “Nobody, Nobody But You” a hit song popularized by the South Korean pop sensation.
Kanto Boys, composed of Vhong Navarro, Billy Crawford and Luis Manzano (John Lloyd Cruz was out of the country), treated the audience with some good laughs with their crazy antics while doing a Backstreet Boys medley. Sarah acted as a replacement to John Lloyd, and that initially made the crowd shout at the top of their lungs.
Meanwhile, the real delight among the concert’s invited guests was Charlie Green. The young talent who was first discovered in the talent show Britain’s Got Talent charmed the crowd with his rendition of classic Pinoy ballad, “Dahil Sa ‘Yo.” He sang it without any trace of Brit accent.
Sarah is a gold mine
Sarah is currently the biggest pop star on the local music scene and she can safely secure that position in the years to come because of her ability and power to stay relevant.
When she did the rearranged version of “Sa Iyo,” a track lifted from her debut album, we instantly saw how she matured right before our eyes. The 21-year-old singer did a quite sexy version of the song, which was initially intended or dedicated to tween audience.
After performing several songs, Sarah proved that she is a talent in a complete package. Off stage she can fairly act, and on stage she is a total performer. As a testimony of her being the Box-office Queen she sang “A Very Special Love” and “You Changed My Life,” the theme songs of the movies of the same name that broke local box-office records, with the latter being the top-grossing local film of all time.
One of the peculiar parts of the Record Breaker concert was when Sarah extended her gratitude to all the concert’s sponsors and supporters. She even went down the stage and greeted them with handshakes (that alone consumed about 15 minutes of the time).
Where in the world can you see an artist singing all the jingles of her endorsements in one concert? Yes, only here in the Philippines !
More than 30 minutes of the whole concert was dedicated (or committed) to singing the recognizable television commercial jingles that Sarah has recorded for a pawnshop, a sanitary napkin, a shampoo, a fast-food chain and so on. On the other hand, it served as a reminder how big Sarah is with numerous endorsements under her belt.
To think that she has more than a dozen of endorsements, Viva Concert failed to stage a world-class concert for its most priced jewel. The stage was unadorned, it was too plain that even young kids present at the venue said: “Ang pangit ng stage! [the stage is unattractive.]” Viva Concert didn’t also invest in the sound system. You can barely hear Sarah’s words when she sang. There’s too much bass when all needed was a balanced treble. Even the lighting system was unimpressive.
Viva has found a gold mine and yet it does not share what is due to the public— the best concert that Sarah can definitely deliver.
The concert was disinclined to live up to the real sense of the phrase “Record Breaker.” There was nothing really record-breaking about it except that Sarah proved her talent as a total performer. The whole concert didn’t have a clear concept. For the first part, Sarah was a dancing Diva, and then she became like Michael Jackson, and finally went back to her old familiar image singing power ballads.
The audience expected some high-flying actions, probably see Sarah on a harness or perhaps in an explosive number complete with acrobatic dancers, but G-Force was the only backup group Viva Concert can afford, or should we say designated to be in the show.
The second to the last number that Sarah did was anticlimactic. After a VTR, featuring the young Sarah being interviewed for Star For A Night, the Pop Princess sang a medley of her hits like “Forever’s Not Enough,” “To Love You More,” and “How Could You Say You Love.” And just when everybody thought that it was the last number to end the concert, she sang Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb” while wearing a psychedelic dress that looked like a lantern. Good thing she sang a Christmas ditty, which is included in a Christmas album due in December.
The whole concert undeniably highlighted Sarah Geronimo’s enviable talent. Even Regine Velasquez probably saw Sarah as the next (only) big female artist in the industry. Regine gave her a pearl necklace (immunity necklace), which could possibly the sign that the Songbird has found the perfect artist to take her place.
As the concert emphasized what Sarah can do, it also underscored what local concert producers cannot do to be at par with concerts being staged by foreign acts.