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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Concert Review: Rihanna and Chris Brown's Double Blockbuster at the Fort

The traffic was really bad. There were 70,000 people inside the concert grounds, not counting maybe another 50 or so thousand outside lining the streets or inside the Bonifacio Heights mall. There was no more parking space left - and Vic and I were late.

It was a Sunday and I was physically tired from a long week so we decided to have a short nap before proceeding to the Fort. Anyhow, we arrived there, and from Bonifacio Heights, you could already hear Chris Brown singing "Run It", so we were sure we were a bit late. The traffic was not moving so we decided to be dropped off some ways from the actual concert grounds, maybe a kilometer or so. The scene outside was very festive though, and there were a lot of young people craning their necks, looking for the best place to see the stage from outside the concert grounds.

Inside, it was sweltering hot, so Vic and I avoided the melee in the middle and opted to be nearer the exit. Wearing our FABE shirts was certainly a blessing since the fabric was not so hot and made us feel very comfortable that night.

We could see Rihanna and Chris Brown but they were just about the height of my index finger. Fortunately, there was a huge screen on our left so we could see very clearly what they were doing onstage. There were three more big screens scattered everywhere, so everyone had a good view of what was happening. I think the crowd was really tired already. Chris could have started his show at 8:30, finished at 9:30, then fireworks played for 5 minutes, then we waited till ten before Rihanna came out singing "Disturbia". By then the cheers were few and far between, although "Unfaithful" and "Umbrella" received the warmest cheers. Rihanna was always saying, "Manila, stand up, clap your hands", maybe because what she could see was just this huge throng of camera lights and bobbing heads. The stage was about 2 meters high so that even if you were very far, you could still see them. Actually, there was a part in the parking lot outside the concert grounds where you could see them -ant-size of course, but still - a free show!

The sound system and the band were terrific!! Of course, since it was not an enclosed space, kalat ang dating, but otherwise, was booming enough for me. As for me, well, I was just dancing and singing through most of the two shows, one of the few daring enough in our section of the crowd. It was a "standing" concert so I guess many were already tired to do just that maybe because they came early. One thing about "standing" concerts is, never come early, so you'd still have enough energy to actually enjoy the show. Concerts start late anyway.

Chris Brown is cute and very "totoy" na "totoy" looking. He did take off his white polo shirt, which was really drenched in sweat, and threw it to the crowd. I loved "Forever", of course, and "With You" which sent the crowd shouting once again. One of the highlights of the night for me was when he sang, "No Air", incidentally a personal favorite and he sang it along a recorded Jordin Sparks section. Really, his segment was a virtual sing-along!

During the intermission, I bought two concert shirts and made sure they had the word "tour" in it, para sulit naman.

At ten PM, the percussion for "Disturbia" started, "dum-dum-dida- dum-dum-di- dum-dum", and Rihanna came out alone, wearing a Versace-like leather outfit. She was very slim, had a very nice ass, and played around with her trademark Rihanna-nesque hairdo! Her set was also filled with hits, from "Pon de Replay", "Unfaithful" , "Umbrella", "Rehab", "Shut up and Dance" and the crowd-please "Please Don't Stop the Music. The highlights for me - well, she sang "Live Your Life", currently one of my favorite songs, a song which I did not expect her to sing, but she did it very well "Just live your life, heye- heye heyo!"; then MIA's "Paper Planes", another one of my Grammy bets for 2009, love her timing on this song especiallyt the pistol part. I guess it's her favorite too since singers rarely sing other people's hits on their own concerts; and "Hate That I Love You So" - Ne-yo did not sing this in his own show, but Rihanna sang it tonight - hurrah - of course, I sang Ne-yo's section out loud. The night's biggest cheers came when Chris Brown came out in the middle of "Umbrella" and sang it with totally different lyrics, changing "Umbrella" to "Cinderella" . That was a real treat for everyone tonight, have two of today's hottest acts sing duet live, of all places, Manila.

Going home was not easy tonight and we decided to have dinner at "New Orleans" at Bonifacio Heights. The food was very good, loved it! I guess everyone headed to eat or have coffee first before going home but even after an hour or so, the traffic was still very very bad. Larry, our driver, had to park kilometers away, near that home accessories mall, to avoid being trapped inside Bonifacio High Street. Nothing was moving, and very much Pinoy - occupied all the lanes going out so nobody could come in. Hayyyy...... ....

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