Project 365: I <3 concert tickets! (Day 181)

THIS IS IT! I got my ticket to Maroon 5!!!! My friend Peaches and I are big fans and decided to watch this time in Patron! It was also pretty cheap… so waaaahhhhhh! I’m so excited to see my ultimate crush Adam Levine!

Concert Scene: Rock of Ages The Musical

06.23.2012

I make it a point to watch atleast one theater performance a year and for 2012, I didn’t want to miss out on one of more popular Broadway hits that has now made its way to Philippine shores Rock of Ages.

The musical was in town for a short run here in Manila produced by top theater group Atlatis Productions and headlined by Fil-Aussie MiG Ayesa of Rockstar INXS fame.

Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical set in the Los Angeles Sunset Strip during the 1980s were rock was at its best and featured the music of rock legends back in the day like Bon Jovi, Journey, Styx, Poison, etc.

The story revolves around a young man Drew Boley (Nyoy Volante), a struggling musician who works in a bar called the Bourbon Room owned by Dennis Dupree and the narrator Lonny Barnett (Jett Pangan). Trouble stirs with the arrival of Sherrie Christian (Vina Morales), a young girl aspiring to be an actress who Drew falls in love with, and the threat of destruction of the bar by Hertz Klinemann and his son Frantz to rebuild the city into something cleaner.

In order to save his club, Dupree invites back rockstar Stacey Jaxx (MiG Ayesa) and his band Arsenal back to the club to generate more popularity, since Stacey first became famous in this club. On opening night, as Drew opens the show for Arsenal, Stacey and Sherrie have sex in the men’s bathroom, much to the dismay of Drew.

The plot thickens as Stacey dumps Sherrie immediately after their little tryst, Drew gets discovered by a record producer and shuns Sherrie, and Sherrie joins a strip club down the street called the Venus Club. Demolition among the strip goes on despite protests led by city planner Regina (Aisa Siguerra).

The musical boasts of their star-studded cast featuring top theater and musical celebrities in the Philippines. I personally enjoyed the performances of MiG Ayesa (who is perfect as Stacey Jaxx), and Aisa Seguerra and Jett Pangan who provided comic relief for the show.

The main leads Vina Morales and Nyoy Volante delivered a stunning performance with their powerful voices. Vina got me with her rockhard abs but I felt she was a little old for the character. I was impressed with Nyoy’s vocal ability to rock it out since I was so used to his slow ballads, but I found he and Vina lacked a certain chemistry together.

Over all, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. It was funny and sentimental in all the right places and the soundtrack was just so familiar that I found myself singing through a lot of the songs.

I am so glad theatre has made its mark in the Philippines! The shows are all sold out so I was extremely lucky to have scored these seats together with my friend Sitti.

Here we are after the show with Aiza Seguerra (third from left) who stars as Regina, with Sitti (beside me, 2nd to left) and her friend Juris (2nd to right) who are in support of Aisa who is also part of their ASAP sessionistas group.

Project 365: I <3 Rock of Ages! (Day 175)

My first musical of the year! Watched it with my friend Sitti on this now sold-out show! Starring top Filipino musical celebrities such as MiG Ayesa, Vina Morales and Nyoy Volante.

Maroon 5 in Manila!

My ‘hubby’ Adam and his bandmates are coming back for the third time!!!

I soooooo can’t wait!!! I love them!!!

Project 365: I <3 NKOTBSB! (Day 155)

Best concert of the year!!! Had so much fun reminiscing with these two great boybands of the 1990s!

Concert Scene: NKOTBSB Live In Manila

06.03.12

Tweenies of the 1980s and 1990s were hit with  huge wave of nostalgia as two of the biggest American boybands of our generation joined forces to bring us the best concert of the year so far.

Held in the newly opened SM Mall of Asia Arena, fans flocked to Pasay City to witness this never before seen event.

I was a child of the 1990s and I grew up during the golden age of pop where boybands were the biggest thing to hit the music scene. Between the two bands, I was more familiar with the Backstreet Boys who ruled from the mid90s to early 2000s, as the New Kids were the precedessors who dominated the late 1980s to early 90s.

Most of the fans who watched were from my generation – ranging from their mid-20s to mid-30s.

I went with my officemates Shierlly, Mitzie and Nikki (my co-pop fan, he’s a boy btw) as this was one concert you cannot miss. I also spotted a lot of friends who were my age as well.

We were such cheapskates, only opting to watch in General Admission (The Arena had more expensive ticket costs than Araneta).

See how far we were! But it wasn’t so bad (or so I thought initially). The place was actually packed, especially at the Upper Box and General Admission area. We noticed that the lower box area wasn’t so full, so we had a plan…

The concert started, after two guest front acts, with all 9 boys – Joey McIntyre, Jordan Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Jonathan Knight and Danny Wood from NKOTB, and Brian Litrell, AJ McLean, Howie Dorough and Nick Carter from BSB – all sharing the stage.

Here’s a clip from their Canadian concert to give a better sense of how they did it. I am only posting it because their opening song is a mash-up of Single (NKOTB) and The One (BSB) with notes of Viva La Vida by Coldplay (love it!!!!)

Since we noticed that there were very few people at the lower box, we sent Nikki out to scout if we can move down. A few minutes later, he was calling and texting us to come down because we can go to lower box!!!

The three of us girls scrambled out of our seats and headed down three floors to the lower box area. The usherettes were actually encouraging us to occupy the seats. We found ourselves just in front of the stage right with a fantastic view!

The concert ran for about two and a half hours, which was more than your money’s worth! The two groups alternated performances every now and then, but BSB seemed to take up a bigger chunk of the show. But they all sang their hits from way back much to the delight of the crowd.

The show was every fans dream and I totally envied those seated in the patron area. BSB got four ladies for their I’ll Never Break Your Heart performance, while NKOTB went down and stayed for a while with the audience for one of their songs. They often came down to the audience and interacted with the fans. I guess this was one of the perks of having 9 people on stage because everyone could get a piece of the band.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show because it really brought back fond high school memories. And these guys could still rock it! I was very shocked that NKOTB still looked so good despite already being in their 40s!!!

The men of the night award belongs to:

Nick Carter (BSB)

Joey McIntyre (NKOTB)

These two were my favorites of the night because 1) Joey is just so cute, though Jordan comes in close at 2nd with his very hot looking body; and 2) Nick was just so crazy!!! I found it so amusing as he danced to Call Me Maybe when they played it while he was picking his ‘girl’.

At the encore, the two groups came out wearing Adidas Pilipinas jackets that was just so cool!

Brian and Howie actually gave their jackets with Brian tossing his our way. My crazy seatmate (a guy) lunged three rows to get it and he did!

Over all, the concert was one of my best to date! Move over Beliebers and Directioners because these guys started it all and are still the best yet!

Concert Scene: Lady Gaga Monster Ball Live in Manila

The little monsters were out!

The Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga, frontlined the newly opened SM Mall of Asia Arena, the newest concert and athletic venue in the country.

Boasting two sold out performances, Lady Gaga was indeed a force to be reckoned with. Days prior to the concert, protesters mostly from the Catholic Church have been adamantly against her coming to the country due to the said nature of her songs, especially previous hit Judas, and her raunchy sets and costumes.

Despite the controversy, the shows continued on and Lady Gaga wowed Manila audiences with her high performance levels, awesome stage production and hit songs.

I had no intention of watching her show due to its prices and I wasn’t that much of a fan to begin with. I knew her songs, but I couldn’t really sing to them. But I was surprised when my friend Cheson called me up Monday afternoon and invited me to watch as he had free tickets to the show.

Together with our other friend Sitti, we had patron seats (the Mosh Pit) to the first night of the concert!

We were very impressed with the Arena, as it was a very world class venue, very spacious. But compared to the other major Manila concert venue, The Smart Araneta Coliseum, I found it a little bit smaller.

After about a 30 minute opening act featuring DJ Zedd, the stage revealed itself to an elaborate castle. This was by far the most elaborate set design I’ve ever seen for a concert.

Lady Gaga just wowed the crowd with her elaborate set and mind-boggling costumes. Sh had us jumping up and down with her hit songs like ‘Telephone’, ‘Just Dance’, ‘Born This Way’ and ‘Pokerface’.

There were some moments in the show where Lady Gaga addressed the controversy by saying, “I am not a creature of your government!” Her advocacy on equality and change was blatantly expressed throughout the concert.

“It’s not about the music, but about being yourself!”

Over all it was a great concert. I was duly impressed with the performances and the set design, however I would have probably enjoyed it more if I knew the songs better 🙂

But hey, its free, who am I to complain?

Project 365: I <3 Lady Gaga! (Day 142)

Scored free tickets to see the Mother Monster live in Manila with some of the Angels! Reviews in separate entry.

Concert Scene: Sergio Mendes and Brazil 2012 Live in Manila

04.24.2012

The air was filled with the sound of pulsating percussion and the rhythm of samba and bossa music as Brazilian music legend Sergio Mendes serenaded the crowd in one hot summer night.

Sergio Mendes is one of my dad’s favorite artists and has seen him perform twice already in previous visits to Manila, so he was so excited to watch.

To my surprise, one of my close friends Sitti Navarro, the Philippines’ Bossa Nova Queen, informed me she had tickets for dad to watch the concert.

We sat at the lower box area where we had a great view of the stage. I didn’t mind the seats as I was just there to listen. I also grew to love Sergio Mendes as I grew up listening to his music, mostly under dad’s influence.

Sitti opened the concert, and I personally think there wasn’t anyone more suited to open for him than the Bossa Queen herself. She sang quite a number of songs, with her hits like Para Sa Akin and some of her songs from her newest album. She set the mood of the concert, and everyone excitedly waited for the show to start.

The band came out with Sergio Mendes taking his seat at the piano in the middle of the stage.

The band sang Sergio Mendes’ greatest hits like Bridges, Never Gonna Let You Go, Girl from Ipanema, Magdalhena, Waters of March.

The crowd was on their feet as the band performed their biggest and most recognizable hit “Mas Que Nada”.

I highly appreciated the concert and as someone who grew up on his music, I was glad to have recognized about 60-75% of the songs and the rest of the songs were so easy to listen to. He also did a modern take on some of his songs, like introducing guest rapper H20 to give it a more current flavor to his songs for the younger crowd (like me).

The crowd was mostly composed of the older generation (ie, my dad’s peers) and a lot of high profile politicians including his Excellency President Noynoy Aquino and his rumored girlfriend Grace Lee, ex-president Erap Estrada and his wife Loi Ejercito, Secretary Mar Roxas and other big names in politics.

And with that, I leave you with his popular song “Mas Que Nada” feat the Black Eyed Peas.

Project 365: I <3 Sergio Mendes! (Day 115)

Watched the Brazilian music legend live at the Smart Araneta concert! He was just brilliant!