Monday, November 26, 2012

JLo Dance Again World Tour Live in Manila!

November 26, 2012

This was a most anticipated concert ever.  Jennifer Lopez, whose music career was revived when she became a judge in the last season of American Idol,  was a well-loved performer in this country, where "Let's Get Loud" is a videoke standard.  It became controversial  when the price list was released, showing probably the most expensive tickets ever sold for a local concert.  P26,000+ for Patron tickets was unprecedented.   Even the General Admission tickets were at P2500+ each.  However, despite this, those incredible P26K tickets quickly sold out, and later so did the rest of the sections.  When we decided to buy in September, there was nothing left but those at the upper and outer edges of the MOA Arena.  And they said, the Philippines was hard up financially!

When we reached our seats, there were some front acts performing, who were unknown to me.  Most of them were dance groups and singers.  I recognized Jay-R dueting with the last female singer.  This is the third time I have seen Jay-R sing front act for a foreign act at the MOA Arena (after Taylor Dayne and the NKOTBSB concerts).  Is he now the Front Act King?

The concert proper started at 9 pm.  There seemed to be a theme of Hollywood-glamour, with her dancers in white fur stoles and top hats and canes.  When she ripped off her white gown, J Lo was wearing a sparkly nude she went into her first song, "Get Right".  After that, she sang "My Love Don't Cost a Thing." (VIDEO) Her local fans were all singing along in that song.  After that was another new song, "I'm Into You," followed by another Filipino fan favorite, "Waiting for Tonight" where J Lo was performing on a moving white stage, which was being pushed around on the stage.

The second set was prefaced by a boxing ring with dancers boxing onstage.  J Lo then stepped into the ring and sang "Goin' In."  (VIDEO) At this point, the people in the P26K area dared to approach the stage already.  J Lo was very generous in reaching out to them and shaking their hands.  I am sure everyone there is getting their money's worth!  She then spoke about her origins from the Bronx, which led to a medley of her songs with rappers, such as "I'm Real" and "Ain't It Funny."  The last song of the medley sounded like "Jenny On the Block" but I could not hear it very well.

In the next section, her male dancers were all wearing glittery blue suits.  When J Lo came out, she was wearing a snazzy blue outfit herself.  The songs in this set were funky, I was not familiar with any of them, but her dancing was really amazing to watch.

The next set was introduced by slow music, so we were expecting her to sing a ballad as she entered in a glamorous flowing green gown (not the one she wore with David Duchovny in that MTV Awards Show).  She sat down beside her guitarist and started to sing a slowed-down acoustic version of her first hit song, "If You Had My Love"  (VIDEO). The audience of course was loudly singing along.  J L decided to stop and call a woman from the audience to sing along with her!  This lucky woman (I hardly though she was young) not only sang with J Lo, but also got to bear hug her for a long time.  She had certainly gotten more than her P26K worth!  After this, as video of her twins played, J Lo sang another ballad "Until It Beats No More."

The next section had J Lo playing the bongo drums at the top of the stairs.  When she stops and dances down the stairs, we hear the recognizable tune of "Let's Get Loud!" (VIDEO)  Of course, everyone was standing up, dancing and singing along!  Toward the end of this song, J Lo was covered by her dancers with big red feather fans.  After a few moments, she burst out from under the fans wearing a fiery red dress and continued her hot dance with her new hotter costume. After that number, she stayed on stage to talk to the audience, nothing of which I understood.  She was given a Philippine flag by someone, and she drapes it around her and takes pictures with it.  I do not know if a conservative nationalist would take offense at this action.

J Lo then sang "Papi" (VIDEO).  This was then followed by a dramatic introduction to the hit that signaled her rebirth into pop world superstardom, "On the Floor." (VIDEO)  At the end of this upbeat song where again everyone was on their feet dancing and jumping, J Lo bade her goodbyes and left the stage.  We knew it was not over yet of course.  The lights did not come back on yet as the audience clamored for more.   A video with quotes about love began on the screens.  Then finally, J Lo appears onscreen and utters the words, "Dance Again." (VIDEO) The audience then got up on their feet and sang and danced along to this most infectious hit song.  When a huge fountain of silver confetti exploded around the stage at the end of this song, we knew this was already truly the end of the show, and it was.


It was obvious from the start that, as expected, this show is more about the dancing and performing, rather than the singing.  J Lo is truly a fantastic performer as she really gives it her all throughout her show.  She can connect to the audience and she seemed genuinely friendly.  Watching her shake her famous bootie in the flesh (so to speak) is certainly a surreal experience.

I also made the conclusion tonight that the acoustics of the MOA Arena really leaves a lot to be desired. My companions and I could barely make out anything anyone onstage was saying.  Even the lyrics of J Lo's songs are unrecognizable and we merely relied on the tune to identify the songs.  For the MOA Arena, I had been in the Patron area for the Taylor Dayne concert, Upper Box in the NKOTBSB concert, and Lower Box in the Icons concert, and now Gen Ad for this J Lo concert, the sound was not really perfect in ANY section.  I would say so far, it was when I was at the Lower Box that I had heard the best sound quality.