Nelly Furtado rocks Manila
MANILA, Philippines - When we entered the Smart-Araneta Coliseum at 8:45 pm, Gym Class Heroes (GCH) were already performing.
I was with two girlfriends: Kage, who was there for GCH, and Nix, who, like me, was there to sing along with Nelly Furtado.
I didn’t know any GCH song except “Billionaire,” but I was told that their songs would be familiar.
And they were. The usual formula of a GCH song is catchy chorus plus rap. The audience sang along to choruses of hits like “Stereo Hearts” and “Peace Sign/Index Down” and just danced whenever front man Travie McCoy burst into the rap parts.
During “Clothes Off!” my friends and I were hoping that hot bassist Eric Roberts would live up to the lyrics. Kage likened Roberts’ looks and appeal to Stacey Jaxx, the fictional character in Rock of Ages.
GCH ended with “Billionaire.” They asked the audience to sing the chorus with them. It was the right note to end the solid show of McCoy, Roberts, guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo and drummer Matt McGinley.
After the 20-minute break, Furtado opened the show with “Maneater.”
There were no pyrotechnics, no fancy props, not even large screens behind her to show what was happening onstage. It was just the band and Furtado, dressed in tight black pants and a black Spirit Indestructible tank top.
On her second song, “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better),” champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan shared the stage with her. The artist from Arizona appeared in the music video for the same song. Duncan started his performance with two hoops. Three songs later, he already had 8!
Duncan’s skills were certainly impressive, jumping through the hoops and creating all sorts of shapes with them. But having him do different tricks on stage for more than 3 songs became distracting, and the novelty quickly wore off.
Furtado said Duncan did more than dance with hoops, which segued into Duncan playing a wind instrument for the intro of “All Good Things.” He then exited stage right and left Furtado in the spotlight for the rest of the song and “Turn Off The Lights.”
The lights dimmed and the other band members disappeared except for the keyboardist. Furtado introduced the next song by saying a fan told her that he listened to the upcoming song on the treadmill everyday.
The background music was just the piano. It sounded like an unfamiliar ballad, leaving us to guess what the next track was.
“I can’t imagine listening to this while on the treadmill,” I said.
“Baka emo yung fan?” said Nix.
“You’re beautiful, that’s for sure…” Furtado sang.
“Eh kaya pala pinapakinggan ‘to sa treadmill eh!” Kage commented.
“You’ll never ever fade…” Furtado continued.
“Huh? What song is this?!” I asked.
“I’m Like A Bird,” Nix and Kage recited in unison.
“What? I didn’t recognize the arrangement!”
By the 5th line, the whole audience was singing along. “And though my love is rare, though my love is true…”
A young girl soon entered the stage, singing the Filipino translation of the Grammy-award winning song in counterpoint with Furtado.
“Who’s she? Charice?” we wondered. Furtado introduced her later on as “Eunice.”
The outstanding vocal performance of the evening was “Try,” where Furtado was accompanied by just the keyboards. In this number, she showed complete control of her voice. She knew exactly when to power through the high notes and when to keep them soft and light.
Furtado then launched into “Spirit indestructible,” her new single, which is the same title of her upcoming album. This led the way to the dance segment of the concert.
In the medley that included “Promiscuous Boy” (oddly changed to “Mysterious Boy” during the concert) and “Give It To Me,” she invited audience members to dance with her on stage.
Two brave souls joined her, a young man who can give Beyonce a run for her money with his booty shakin’ and a young woman who took photos of Furtado on stage.
The evening ended with “Say It Right” as the encore.
Overall, it was an entertaining concert. The Smart-Araneta Coliseum wasn’t packed; only the patron and lower box areas were full of fans.
This diffused the performers’ and audience members’ energy a bit. It got us thinking of what would have been a more appropriate venue for the music of the GCH and Nelly Furtado. Somewhere smaller and more intimate.
The performers didn’t look like they were bothered.
GCH and Furtado looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves. Furtado looked so at ease on stage that she looked like she could be singing in the shower or in a karaoke bar with her best friends.
She thanked the organizers for the puto in her dressing room, and kept saying, “Mahal ko kayo!” and “Mabuhay!”
We love you too, Nelly. - Rappler.com