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MANILA, Philippines - A packed SM Mall of Asia Arena sang, screamed, clapped and danced with Jennifer Lopez on November 26.
It didn't matter that the Latina superstar came onstage an hour after the concert was scheduled to start and the front acts didn't exactly entertain the crowd ("Na-traffic siguro si JLo" and "Ginagaya lang nya si JLo" were just some of the comments I overheard during the front act performances at the Patron Standing area where I was).
What mattered was that JLo stayed true to the fact that the concert was part of her Dance Again World Tour: she definitely got the Pinoy crowd dancing again and again and again with her from start to finish.
From the opening song "Love Don't Cost a Thing" to the encore "Dance Again," the momentum never went down, never mind that there were some slow moments when JLo had to change outfits or when she performed a slow song or two. The Latin heat was alive and well that night — and it helped that JLo treated the crowd to her gyrating hips.
The dancer in JLo definitely came out; her expertise in jazz, hip-hop and Latin perfectly complemented her music. She is definitely not mahinhin; she dances like she's larger than life — and maybe she is.
I coudln't help but be reminded of Kylie Minogue's July 2011 concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while watching JLo last night. True, the tickets were not cheap (the most expensive were P25,840 and the cheapest were P2,590). But, man, the production value and effort that she and her posse put into it were defintely "bigay na bigay" (I say this with the experience of watching concerts where the artist just used a minus one tape and the stage was all in black. Seeing that painfully felt like I had gotten robbed of my money.).
The night was also a testament to the fact that, in music, all people are equal. I saw politicians (Sen. Pia and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetao), celebrities (Ruffa, Richard and Raymond Gutierrez, Boy Abunda, Rajo Laurel) and beauty queens (all the Miss Earth winners were there) dancing and screaming side by side with regular people like me.
And when the show ended after the "Dance Again" encore, people streamed out of the venue with big smiles on their faces, like someone who just had a satisfying meal. Lines for the merchandise were long. People were happy with how much JLo they had for the night and, judging from all the social media posts, the hangover is likely to last for quite a while.
Check out my photos and video from last night:
JLo's opening was 'Get Right.' Check out her smooth intro:
JLo went back to her roots and performed a medley of her earlier songs:
JLo's encore — and last performance — was 'Dance Again':
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