Jul 17, 2007

Concerts: Sarah asserts Pop Princess title

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Sarah Geronimo pulled out all possible stops during her "In Motion" concert Saturday Night right before a sold-out crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.

It has been quite a while since we last saw the Big Dome filled to the rafters by a concert of a local talent but Sarah exceeded expectations in her full solo outing which started with a claim of the Pop Princess title.

With such semblance of the major concert featured in the movie "Music & Lyrics," Sarah was a dancer first before a singer when she opened the show. In a silver metallic, body-tight outfit, the Pop Princess danced through a wild sitar-infused upbeat background while she moved her practice-perfect steps.

Thousands of Araneta fans, most of them endured traffic and parking woes en route the Big Dome, began to feel it was worth the trouble when Sarah exploded with two fast numbers "Get Ready (Coz Here I Come)" and Beyonce’s "Déjà vu."

Sarah proved she can be sexy if only her fans can dissociate her from the spotless wholesome image that she maintains. Some fans in our area looked surprised but before Sarah started looking awkward with her bombshell moves, she stopped and went back to the reason why she can fill up Araneta, which is having legions of young followers (her Popsters fan base included).

Sarah gave her candid self away when she first said, "Wow naman…" in a tone undeniably awed at how the crowd welcomed and accepted her. Right from the start, she knew the show will be a success and very few concerts are given that high start what with a very difficult to please Filipino audience.

Sarah’s only problem now is sustaining it.

She then reminded the people of her journey with "Sa Iyo" and a medley of the hits that ignited her career including her winning piece "To Love You More" and "How Could You Say You Love Me."

First on Sarah’s loaded guest list was Jericho Rosales who covered "Manila" and an original off his band’s CD before segueing to a "Pangarap Na Bituin," the classic title and theme of his and Sarah’s forthcoming soap.

Next to Jericho is Sarah’s music partner Mark Bautista who soloed with his version of "Break It To Me Gently" and dueted with Sarah the Neo Colors classic "Kasalanan Ba."

Sarah brought in the first pipe-blowing song in "Listen," Beyonce’s moment song in the movie "Dreamgirls." The result was a hyped up crowd and Sarah’s showing she can do R&B just as well as contest-type pop.

From one well-applauded listening-worthy track to one of the more entertaining part of the show: Sarah sings movie themes "One Day I’ll Fly Away" (by Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge"), "Can You Read My Mind" ("Superman"), and "Believe In You And Me" (by Whitney Houston in "The Preacher’s Wife").

Sarah’s next stop was a medley of Louie Ocampo hits ("Tell Me," "I Can" "Say That You Love Me" and "You Are My Song").

After this part, "In Motion" started lacking motion when Sarah began what would consume a big part of the concert—thanking sponsors.

It’s a good thing Ai Ai de las Alas bailed the concert out of low pace when she and Sarah performed a showdown of a well-arranged mix of old and new hits ("Beautiful Liar" and "Bebot," "Don’t Cha" and "Sayang," "Bring Me To Life" and "Isang Linggong Pag-Ibig").

To give Sarah another round of costume change, Ai Ai continued on her own with a crowd-rousing medley of "I Am What I Am" and "I’m So Excited." Hilarious as usual, the Comedy Concert Queen told the audience of mostly adolescent Sarahnians, "Hindi ako puwedeng maging bastos dito kasi ang daming bata at nandiyan pa si Gary V."

Sarah also jammed with a Michael Jackson segment ("Jam" and "Smooth Criminal") with John Pratts. At one point, Sarah’s mic fell off her hands because she was doing a song and dance routine which made us wonder how come she didn’t use a headset microphone for that particular number.

Speaking of the mic, there were a number of times it cracked especially during Jericho Rosales’s segment. But the seemingly short circuiting sound system wasn’t the biggest lag of "In Motion"—Sarah thanked too many sponsors and roll called too many people for a good 20 minutes, at least.

Can we blame her? No. Can we blame those from the crowd who decided to cut short their viewing and left when the thank you’s began to really drag? Neither (could we blame them).

The better part, like in most shows, arrives towards the end. Sarah belted more uplifting pieces and unstringing vocal restrictions (as if she has any) to fabulous renditions of "Bituing Walang Ningning" and "Forever’s Not Enough."

At the end of a long show, what remains within the heart of every viewer is the heart of the performer, her story and the unbelievable magnanimity of Sarah’s voice and talent.

It’s just too good to be true to think that she’s just starting and bound to go a long, long way.

Too good but really true.


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