Sunday, September 16, 2012

David Cook Back in Manila (July 14, 2012)

July 14, 2012

I was honestly not really thinking of watching this concert because I still have very good memories of the first David Cook concert back in 2009 (MY REVIEW) at the SM MOA grounds.  There are so many concerts going on nowadays that you really have to choose well which one you would spend your good money on.  Yes, even a concert junkie like myself.  Well that was until I was inofrmed just two days ago that my blog post about Ticketnet Online (LINK) won me a pair of David Cook concert tickets! Of course, who am I to refuse such a great gift?  David Cook remains to be my favorite American Idol winner to date.

So off I go with my daughter yesterday afternoon.  We first got to meet Joey Bigornia and Ginez Enriquez of Uniprom, which manages the leisure and entertainment interests of the Araneta Group. Over a snack of noodles and iced tea, Mr. Enriquez met the press and bloggers and excitedly discussed with us the success of the new TICKETNET ONLINE system. This David Cook concert is actually the first concert when they will be accepting home-printed tickets, so it will be their acid test.  He also shared some inside information about the big transformation ongoing in the Coliseum and polled us about our dream artists for future concerts at the Big Dome.  Too bad they got busy with the new ticketing system that night so we were not able to push through with the planned tour around the Coliseum. Hopefully, there will be a next time for that tour backstage.


The coliseum is slow in filling up this night.  In fact, it did not fill up at all, a far cry from the 2009 concert.  Anyway, the devoted fans are still there waiting for a good show.  The front act was a local male singing trio called V-Fort, whom we just saw at the NKOTBSB concert last month.  They did ok singing Party Rock Anthem and Perfect, but that slowed down version of Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker" was simply dreadful.  They closed their set with their first single released called "Princesa."  Fans already stood up and occupied the free space between the front row seats and the stage, and they never left already until David Cook finally came out about thirty minutes later.

As the concert proceeded, I realized that I knew very little of David Cook's newer material.  He opened with a series of rockers which I did not recognize.  Research showed they were "Circadian", "Heroes" (which morphed into a cover of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova") and "Mr. Sensitive."  The first song I recognized was "Declaration", which was followed by another familiar song "Last Goodbye."  

This would be the same patten for the rest of the show for me.  Unfamiliar songs interspersed with the few songs that I knew.  He even sang a very new song recorded for their next album called "From Here to Zero."  Then he sang "Hard to Believe" and "I Did It For You," before his latest success, the top current radio track "The Last Song I'll Write for You."  Cook is really good in songs like that.  He sang the unfamiliar "Paper Hearts" then his second single "Come Back to Me" (VIDEO) then the unfamiliar "Goodbye to the Girl" before his first post-Idol single and Top 5 hit "Light On" (VIDEO). He closed out his regular set with some heavy rocking songs a cover medley of "Rock and Roll" and "Whole Lotta Love," and finally, his own "Bar-Ba-Sol", then the band exited the stage.

The audience did not budge from their places as they clamored for more.  Of course, David and the guys came out to do their encore numbers.  First up was the Filipino audience favorite, a song he reportedly does not sing live anywhere else, his cover of Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby." There was a surprise midway in the song when local rock diva Yeng Constantino came out to sing this song as a rock duet!  Up to now I was not sure if this was a good idea, but David was very effusive in his praise of Yeng.  I wonder why he does not include his Idol best like "Hello," "Billie Jean" or my personal favorite "Music of the Night" in his concert set lists?  I am sure his audiences would like to hear them again.

The next encore song was a stripped-down version of the anthemic "Fade Into Me."  With just Dave alone onstage with his guitar, this was a great number.  I am sure I am not the only one in the audience who was hoping that David Cook will end the whole concert with his rousing AI coronation song "Time of My Life" which he did not sing in the 2009 concert, but unfortunately yet again HE DIDN'T.  Instead, he anticlimactically sang an unfamiliar song called "Rapid Eye Movement."  That ending was a little downer to me.


As a performer, David Cook, the original AI WGWG, is really a very good rock vocalist as we already knew, and he did not lose his touch with those rock ballads.  More importantly, he wore his heart out on his sleeve as he sincerely professed his love for his Filipino fans. In a memorable spiel in the middle of the concert, he told the story how fantastic he felt in his first Manila show in 2009 when he (and David Archuleta) sang before an audience of 50,000 fans.  When he got back to the States after that, the first gig they had in the States was a concert in Akron, Ohio for 800 people.  Several times in the concert, he would get a case of the giggles when he felt overwhelmed with the love coming from his Filipino audience.  This guy really seemed to be a true down-to-earth person.  I do hope his career would progress more Stateside as he really deserves more than what he has now.

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