When the countdown timer reached zero, the screens flanking the stage flashed a montage of pertinent pop-culture moments and profession breakthroughs—“Ang TV,” “Penpen de Sarapen,” “Sarah: Ang Munting Prinsesa,” “Star for a Evening.”
Amid ambient music and sounds of dripping water, a guitarist took centerstage. He strummed his double-neck guitar, prompting the round mild fixture overhead to dither and flash the phrases “Sarah Geronimo.”
The sold-out crowd inside Araneta Coliseum erupted into deafening screams.
The wailing guitar intro melted into the opening strains and tinkles of the 2022 hit “Dati-Dati.” However simply when the followers thought Sarah was about to emerge onstage, her voice drifted throughout the venue: “Parang kailan lang tayo’y magkasama.”
There she was within the empty hall, singing softly, taking small deliberate steps—as if recreating the idea of the tune’s music video. However on the drop of beat and bass, Sarah put her swagger on. Via the expansive LED wall, the giddy followers adopted their idol’s each transfer as she danced and sauntered towards the doorway.
“Ang swerte naman nun!” a fan close to us screamed upon seeing his fellow Popsters close to the middle aisle stand up shut with Sarah. And when, finally, she reached the stage, she promptly introduced the home down with a sultry dance break punctuated by an air guitar and knee slide.
It was, arguably, the perfect opening quantity Sarah has ever accomplished in a live performance. And he or she sustained the momentum with a collection of equally commanding performances. After unleashing the ultimate excessive observe and run of “Sandata,” Sarah, seemingly misplaced within the music, regarded up with arms outstretched and soaked within the second, earlier than segueing into “Misteryo.”
One factor that stood out from the get-go was Sarah’s starvation and eagerness to carry out. The 34-year-old pop star hasn’t been as energetic as she used to earlier than the pandemic and her marriage to Matteo Guidicelli. And watching her impassioned supply of the R&B hit “Ikot-Ikot,” it was laborious to not think about simply how a lot she has missed being on the massive stage. “Kay rami nang sakit na nilimot, napabayaan,” sang Sarah, pumping her chest, her face a mixture of disappointment and anguish.
“Sa Iyo,” certainly one of her early singles, introduced some levity after the hard-hitting opening sequence. She loves the choreography, she mentioned—“malaki ang naitulong sa pamilya ko.” This time, she gave the tune a brand new spin. It had a contact of R&B and a bit of recent jack swing. The strikes had been enjoyable and slinky with echoes of Michael Jackson, certainly one of Sarah’s greatest musical influences rising up.
Whereas it was thrilling watching her bust out adrenaline-pumping routines, there was additionally rather a lot to admire when Sarah reveled in enjoyable, extra lighthearted fare that highlighted her innate really feel for the music and the way it seemingly simply flowed out of her limbs.
This want to discover and put out one thing new was a recurring sentiment all through the evening. By this level within the live performance, many followers had already seen that, whereas there have been extra dancers onstage than traditional, Sarah’s longtime back-up, G-Pressure, was nowhere to be discovered.
Sarah’s idea, in line with Matteo in a tv interview, was to create a “synergy of greatness” by bringing collectively dancers and choreographers she has but to work with. The thought, nonetheless, reportedly didn’t jibe with G-Pressure artistic director Georcelle Dapay-Sy. Citing “creative variations,” Dapay-Sy pulled out her group from the live performance simply two months away from the set date.
That left Sarah with the dance crews UPeepz and A-Crew and choreographers Jim Amen, Marc Devon, El John-Zian, MJ Arda and Angelica Arda to provide you with new steps for songs initially choreographed by G-Pressure.
The modifications had been most obvious within the viral hit, “Tala.” The revamped model, which featured a extra uptempo association, retained components or motion that evoked indigenous music, however with a palpable dance corridor aptitude. And it was all packed in a dramatic manufacturing that opened with a theatrical, nearly ceremonial intro, and ended with a festive outro dance break.
That Sarah and her group managed to place collectively new and concert-worthy routines below the circumstances they had been in was a triumph in itself.
The center portion of the live performance—coproduced by Viva Dwell and G-Productions—was kind of what you’ll count on from Sarah. On “Duyan,” she harmonized with a few of her favourite songwriters, Yumi Lacsamana, Thyro Alfaro and Nica del Rosario then debuted a brand new tune, the brooding 2000s R&B-inspired “My Thoughts,” with Billy Crawford.
She introduced out rapper John Roa for the cheeky, electro-laden monitor “Alam” and shared the stage with Sam Concepcion, Jason Dy, Kyle Echarri and Jeremy Glinoga for a clean Bruno Mars medley.
Sarah waxed nostalgic as she revisited the theme songs of a few of her blockbuster motion pictures: “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal” (from “The Breakup Playlist”); “Perhaps This Time”; “Fallin’” (“Catch Me, I’m In Love”); and “A Very Particular Love.” “All of the kilig, heartbreaks, heartaches … all of them appeared so actual!” she mentioned of her expertise doing these movies. In a transferring collection of hugot ballads—“Sweetest Mistake,” “Dahil Minahal Mo Ako,” “Sino Nga Ba Siya” and “How Might You Say You Love Me”—Sarah alternated between mild crooning and managed energy.
Headlining a solo live performance on the Large Dome 5 years after her final was nerve-wracking, Sarah admitted. But when she had been, it didn’t present—particularly not in the best way she talked and joked about her husband. “Akalain mo ‘yun, nakapangasawa ako ng Italyano? Sana ‘di mauntog,” she mentioned of Matteo whom she invited onstage for a duet on “The Present.” “Ewan ko ba kung anong nainom ko!”
She gamely bantered along with her mentor and “nag-iisang tala,” Regine Velasquez, who anointed her because the “queen of everybody, of our hearts and this trade.”
“Nakakatuwa pong maglandian ng kasal na … could blessing na ni Lord! Walang shame-shame!” Sarah jested when Regine teased her and Matteo for his or her nonstop “landian.”
And he or she had no qualms about sporting her coronary heart on her sleeve for her followers—like when she tearfully sang “Habang Might Buhay” as a tribute to her father Delfin. “He noticed my potential. He was the primary one who believed in my God-given expertise. He taught me to dream massive. He taught me to be robust … in dealing with the challenges of life,” she mentioned.
The singer then reiterated her love for her father and mom, Divine, who sadly, weren’t in attendance.
Towards the top of the three-and-a-half hour live performance, Sarah—nonetheless as energetic as she was within the opening quantity—picked up the tempo with a smattering of latest R&B covers of songs by Rihanna and SZA, which confirmed off her sassy facet.
And in what turned out to be one of many evening’s highlights, Sarah, collectively along with her indefatigable military of dancers, had the followers rising to their toes, singing alongside and waving their lightsticks aloft to a thumping suite of dance hits that included “Kilometro,” “Document Breaker” and “Completely Imperfect.”
There was an sudden burst of feelings in “Tayo.” Regardless of the tune’s infectious rhythm, Sarah, amid all of the leaping, kicking and finger-wagging, discovered herself holding again tears—as if the significance of the event was lastly dawning on her. In “Dulo,” a way of triumph crammed the air as Sarah held the ultimate observe and took a bow below a rain of confetti. Whereas undoubtedly a profession milestone, the present wasn’t with out hiccups. There have been minor technical glitches right here and there, the transitions between acts may have been extra seamless, and the setlist may have benefited from tighter modifying. What-ifs are inevitable. And there are those that nonetheless may want her songs’ previous choreography.
Simply the identical, Sarah can maintain her head excessive, understanding that—in her first stint as a live performance director—she stood her floor and stayed true to her imaginative and prescient to offer the followers the sort of present she desires.
“That is the primary time I used to be given full management of my materials in a live performance… It wasn’t simple for me as a result of I needed to pinpoint what I actually needed,” Sarah mentioned. “However with the steering of my understanding and supportive group, I used to be given the chance to convey my imaginative and prescient to life.”
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