The intensity of Erik Santos’ inTENse: “A Decade with the Prince of Pop” still shakes me up. Once again, he never fails us, of course not on this very momentous day of his career as he marked his 10th thriving years in the business. I have expectations from this concert but after what I have witnessed, it was more than what I expected. I was experiencing aftershocks in every performance that I never felt before with his previous concerts. Three hours of once in a lifetime experience with my favorite singer of all time, that is worthy of the title. So here’s a pat on the back to the team behind inTENse and to Erik for your tireless efforts of putting up an incomparable concert ever.
I had a massive outburst of excitement not only for the concert but knowing that we (ESFO) are somehow involved in this grandest celebration..The inTENse Exhibit. Ever since, it has been my wildest dream for him. Few months ago, when we had our meetings upon meetings for Erik’s birthday, one of our plans was to surprise him with an Erik Santos gallery. Since we were running out of time to do such big surprises and his tight schedules would not permit us, none of our plans pushed through and we decided to focus on promoting the concert and do a simple surprise greeting after celebrating his birthday on ASAP. Anyway, I think we are the ones who got surprised when we were asked to do the exhibit for his inTENse concert. See how ironic life is? It’s like yesterday we were just day-dreaming about this and woke up to the reality that we were going to do it on his 10th anniversary concert at THE PICC Plenary hall, oh God! It was our pleasure. So let me take this chance to say thank you to Erik and Cornerstone for trusting us to do this project and most especially to sis Queenz for storming your brain with your creative juices and to all ESFO who helped us in all possible ways.
Finally, crossing out this one in our ESFO bucketlist.
To reaffirm that Erik has a wonderful personality they showed the audience the heartfelt messages from his showbiz and non-showbiz friends which came after the behind-the-scenes video, unveiling all the hard work exerted by the whole team. It was an impeccable opening scene by El Gamma Penumbra evincing Erik’s life with their shadow stint which left the audience in awe with Erik’s unexpected entrance at the latter part of the act. Followed by an awe-inspiring mash up of Fly/I believe I can fly, songs that I listen to every time I want to be uplifted, imagine how my heart was thumping when Erik gave life to these songs.
Erik made sure that this is not just about us loving him even more but giving all his heart out to the audience by wording ”Let me love you 10 times more..” then effortlessly performed Ne-yo’s Rnb song Let me love you which surprisingly unfurling a bit of his dancing. As a fan, who patiently waited for this concert to happen for 10 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if my eyes would shed a few tears but it seems everyone is intensely emotional most especially when Erik dedicated the song Magpahanggang Wakas to his Parents which brought all the audience to tears and had me crying a river of tears. One of the highlights for me because he wasn’t just able to meet the technical demands of this song, but was also able to meld with it emotionally.
After the heart-wrenching spot here comes Erik playing with our emotions when he pulled off a broadway-like experience with his breathtaking Les Miserables medley exchanging songs after songs with himself on video screens which makes this prod extraordinary. I must confess, I had goose bumps. Kudos to Pixel Probe Studio for the vid.
Pagbigyang Muli and Kung Akin Ang Mundo are just few of my personal favorite original songs of Erik that topped the charts. I was completely entranced when he passionately sang Pagbigyang Muli that added even more depth to the song. One of my favorite parts and the most refreshing and equally entrancing part of this show was his Kung Akin Ang Mundo with celeb friends on video entertaining the audience with Showtime’s Jambunganga style.
In line with these chart-topper original songs, Erik launched his new single that will be released soon on itunes and radio stations Pag Napagod Ang Puso with his Maalaala mo kaya episodes on vid screens. Another soon-to-be phenomenal song that everyone should take the time out to listen and surely many can relate to it.
The concert also shows how well-loved Erik is with the appearance of some of his celeb friends. Starting off with his surprise guests who gave us some interesting trivia about Erik, Frenchie Dy who acted as Mommy Lita (Erik’s Mom) and Piolo Pascual act as Noy (Erik’s driver). The audience couldn’t help but laugh all the way when Erik impersonated Piolo’s singing and when Erik’s ex-girlfriend Ruffa Mae Quinto herself came up on stage and cracked her jokes. I’ve seen him doing these impersonations a million times but I guess I wouldn’t get used to it, still funny. Also gracing the show were Erik’s co-champions Yeng Constantino and Angeline Quinto flawlessly belting out Meatloaf medley which showcased their powerhouse vocals while it was a heartwarming and amusing duet with Pops Fernandez of the song A Thousand Years which I got kilig and then there’s the exceptionally fascinating mashed up of Kulang Ako Kung Wala Ka/Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigan Ka with Regine Velasquez. To think that they only had the rehearsal on the day of the concert itself, goosebumps! Ai Ai Delas Alas and Erik’s Blurred Lines/Where Have You Been was a bombardment number yet it shows how comfortable they are to each other .
Another highlight and one of the most applauded parts of the concert was when Erik brought us back to his remarkable teleserye theme songs that made me halfway cried on the last part – inspirational songs. Erik also did numerous movie theme songs especially to Bea-John Lloyd movies from Now That I Have You to Miss You Like Crazy to One More Chance surprising the audience with video clips of Erik acting as JLC and crowd went wild when he came out as Popoy. Undoubtedly, he deserves the title King of Theme Songs and never thought, Bea and Erik have this chemistry on screen so I am crossing my fingers to see them on MMK episode someday.
Erik is a proof of a great performer who always pushed himself outside his comfort zone like when he perfectly turned Oops! I Did It Again into a vigorously ballad that no one could ever imagine. Unrolling his intense dance moves which my personal fave was on the song I’m Sexy And I Know It. He was so effing hot on that part. I was drooling. I must say, on that 3-minute dance prod his dancing skills really improved a lot. Way to go!
Concert was almost at an end when he totally nailed the medley of fave winning piece songs by many – I believe, A Moment Like This, and Climb Every Mountain because Erik Santos is not Erik Santos if there are no hair-raising and heart-stirring performances. Erik thanked the audience, sponsors, the team behind inTENse and his friends, but failed to mention the supporters and fans that was with him throughout the years. That moment, I felt that there’s something else that Erik is up to coz I remember I asked him before if This is The Moment is going to be his finale and he answered No, but I wasn’t expecting too much. He then sang his finale song This Is The Moment, thrilled to hear again on what could possibly out-of-this-world version Erik can do, and there you go I was stunned. It was a superb acapella version backed up with a choir. Another hair-raising that is well-deserved of crowd’s standing O!
I was expecting that Erik would still have something to say but all he said was his last thank you to everyone, I was starting to feel heartaches until…My most favorite part of the concert happened, the encore. Erik’s ingenuity of making us feel so extra special that night is beyond my imagination from his honest and genuine thank-you message to a beautiful song dedicated to all of us. What really makes this number noteworthy is when he sang A Song For You with photos of his friends and fans on video screens. Indeed, a touching and proud moment for a fan who supported him throughout his journey. It’s just not a song. I was emotionally attached to it, it is so much more than a song to me now and if there’s one word that will describe how Erik Santos speaks directly to my heart…INTENSE.