Rico Blanco’s concert on 11 September at Smart Araneta Coliseum was dazzling.
Garbed in a Woodstock-era outfit with flaming red sequins and tassels, the ’90s rock star joked: May pakpak po ako ngayon.” At certain points in between songs, he teased the crowd: “Araneta, buhay pa ba kayo?”
The people roared in approval, clapped, and flashed the light from their phones.
Blanco’s repertoire included classic hits from the Rivermaya years, as well as material from his solo albums. Everyone loved hearing “Yugto” (the grandiose opening song with political undertones), “Awit ng Kabataan,” “Umaaraw Umuulan,” “Himala,” “Liwanag sa Dilim,” “Posible,” “Panahon na Naman,” “Umaaraw Umuulan,” and “You’ll Be Safe Here,” “Antukin,” among others.
Blanco performed “Wag Aminin” with guest Ebe Dansel, and “Nagbabalik” with Zild (formerly of IV of Spades), whose offbeat moves, including body contortions, drew loud applause.
Oh, yes, Blanco’s girlfriend Maris Racal showed up and joined him in “Abot Langit.” The couple exuded warmth to each other, but they were proper in their actions. They did not engage in any showbiz public display of affection. They simply hugged and Blanco kissed Racal on the forehead.
Blanco sang passionately, but understandably less vibrantly, perhaps due to a more mature outlook. But the crowd obviously loved him that night at the Big Dome.
He generously did about half an hour of encore numbers — with the audience staying on with enthusiasm.
Hats off to KDR Music House for pulling off a remarkable production.
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