by Nickie Wang
Two huge concerts were successfully staged last Tuesday night, one featured a bubblegum pop superstar and the other one, a prominent act among metal-edge rock aficionados. Though they are from strictly two different genres, it is still interesting to ask which music event fans supported.
A little mental calisthenics has us concluding that the more popular genre won.
Meanwhile, if you are keen enough to observe, checking the traffic situation alone would tell you which venue threw music fans into a frenzy.
The southbound lane of Edsa that ends at Mall of Asia was congested, throngs of Beliebers apparently headed to where Justin Bieber would be Tuesday night to witness the first-ever Manila concert of the world’s most popular teenager.
A few kilometers away from MOA, the Araneta Coliseum was all spruced up for Mr. Big’s second concert in the country. The band, highly popular among those who were teenagers in the ‘90s, had visited Manila in 1994.
Comparing Mr. Big and Justin Bieber’s concerts actually interests only those who work as concert promoters and producers. We have to bear in mind that music events are also all about business. So why bring musicians whose career has long been ended, if one could bring a fresh star and rake in money while making more music fans extremely thrilled? But of course, Mr. Big and its nostalgic concert is an exemption since it is still popular among Filipinos.
Reunited by passion
Seventeen-year-old Justin was not even born yet when members of the American rock quartet left their respective bands to form Mr. Big. The group’s bass player, Billy Sheehan, had backed up David Lee Roth; the band’s guitarist, Paul Gilbert, had been a member of the popular LA band Racer X; drummer, Pat Torpey, had played alongside The Knack and Robert Plant; and Eric Martin, who covered vocals, had a semi-successful solo recording career.
Band members admitted that it’s their fans that keep them inspired to record music. The band had released six studio albums and seven live albums before it disbanded in 2002.
Some of its popular selections are: “To Be With You,” which hit the charts in more than 20 countries and topped music charts in 15 territories 1992; “Wild Word,” a cover of a 1970 song originally by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens; “Take Cover,” a single released in 1996; and “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” that is also off the band first record.
In Sept. 2010, Mr. Big recorded its seventh studio album following the announcement that its members officially got back together. The new record entitled What If was first released in December in Japan, where it has a massive following.
“The album is our way of saying thank you to our fans, who we consider as our friends. We wouldn’t last long or even get back together if not because of them,” the band told Standard Today at a press conference a day before the May 10 concert.
“We are touring to promote the new album,” one member added.
Music’s wonder boy
Teen superstar Justin is relatively a baby compared to Mr. Big (the band’s existence on the music scene that is) but his achievement and popularity as musician is way better than the old folks. As a matter of fact, he’s better than any other music artists in terms of what he has achieved in two years time. His fist studio album My World 2.0, has sold over 9 million copies worldwide since its release in March 2010.
It’s interesting to note that a week before the Manila concert, Justin was diagnosed with some kind of chest infection. Throughout the 90 minute concert last Tuesday, the young performer had to go backstage to vomit, but when he was back onstage there was no trace of being ill because he maintained the same level of energy he had mastered from start till the end of the show. That’s how professional the young singer is, a clear indication how dedicated he is to his fans and to the music he promotes.