Last Concert Syndrome: #KQattheAraneta

There was a sense of longing and it was like it sneaked away leaving us wanting more. I actually didn’t even notice that the show ran for almost three hours because it’s true when they say time does indeed fly when you’re having fun. Erik Santos & Angeline Quinto at the Araneta was no doubt a huge success because it has all the magical ingredients of what a best concert should be. From well-chosen guests, to spectacular line-up of songs to absolutely brilliant pairing of great vocals of Erik and Angeline and an awesome crowd that filled the big dome.

11912871_10208014883038219_364638719_n

   Credit to Antonio Dimaguila for the photo @iamtheantonio

I must say, there wasn’t a single prod I didn’t enjoy. The concert was perfectly and meticulously divided into three parts. There were blazing solos first of KQ that prove  their staying power as singers. They respectively opened their show with fascinating performances. Angeline belted out “What I Did For Love” of Shirley Bassey, “A House Is Not A Home” of Luther Vandross and “All Of My Life” of Diana Ross, while Erik intensely opened his show with a Broadway medley, Corner Of The Sky/Defying Gravity.

           Credit to Qritiko for the vids

Many songs captured the energy and high of the crowd. It was Angeline’s 90’s hits medley songs of her idols such as Celine Dion (My Heart Will Go On), Mariah Carey (Love Takes Time), and Whitney Houston (Where Do Broken Hearts Go). She sang it with full of swelling emotions which pulled me back to my childhood memories while Erik performed the current hits of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”, and John Legend’s “All Of Me”. I was like gone gaga over it because I was really dying to hear his version. I remember, I was able to have a chitchat with Erik months before the concert and I shamelessly told him “Sana kantahin mo naman yung Thinking Out Loud or songs ni Sam Smith. Feeling ko mas maganda version mo. (Yes, dapat may kasamang pambobola.hehe)”. I know, I am not alone with this because I’ve been reading a lot of tweets asking him the same thing. And, Erik didn’t disappoint us. It was a heartfelt slower version with his own unique style.

Credit to Qritiko for the vids

In this age, it’s hard to deny the fact that International acts boost the music scene here in our country. So, I was ecstatic when I saw the vast of crowd that night who clearly still have an ear for OPM music. Their performances of OPM medley prove that beyond the shadow of a doubt, OPM is still on its game. Erik payed tribute to one of our OPM Icons, Basil Valdez. It was a mesmerizing 9-min medley. Angeline, on the other hand, beautifully sang the hits of Himig Handog; “Hanggang” of Wency Cornejo, “Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa” of Aiza Seguerra and “Hindi Na Bale” of Bugoy Drillon. They both performed with the right tinge of something sad and something sweet melodies.

Credit to Qritiko for the vid

Angeline showed off her versatility with an explosively powerful performance of Barbara Streisand’s “Somewhere and Till I Met You”. It wrenched my heart when she dedicated the song “Wish Upon A Star/Somewhere Over The Rainbow” to her deceased Father. Despite being emotional inside she still managed the velvety allure of her voice throughout.

Credit to Qritiko for the vid

It’s funny when It only takes one great singer to shift my mood for one of my most irritating songs to one of my favorites songs to listen to because there was a palpable warmth in Angeline’ s “Chandelier” version. Her sugary-sweet voice made it remarkable.

Credit to Qritiko for the vid

Erik is known for as a fastidious attention-deficient perfectionist that has always been heard at its best in his performances. Great example of this was his acapella of “Pagbigyang Muli” with Thor, Brenan, Suy and Gail Blanco joining him onstage. During his SOLO concert way back then, in the same venue, Erik sang PM with a mix of Spanish. It got me thinking about the infinity of how else could he possibly sing this classic song in ways that it’ll still sound so enchanting.

Credit to Qritiko for the vid

I was once again struck by Erik’s awe-inspiring rendition of “The Climb” while I have this anthemic  song/moment that keeps haunting me. Unquestionably, It was Erik’s flashlight moment. This was the most unexpectedly beautiful thing ever happened to him on stage while he was singing. I just want to share with you guys. Morning of that big day, I texted Erik with a good luck message and offered him a prayer which goes like this “ I pray that God’s grace for supernatural breakthrough will locate you today” and I believe, that “Flashlight” scene was God’s answer to my prayer (Well, aside from a jam-packed concert). He dedicated the song to his fans and never asked anything from the audience but when Erik started singing the crowd pleasantly surprised him by lighting up their flashlights using their cellphones, waving the lights and singing along with him. This brought packs of emotional punch out of him as he broke down and cried, but he always pulls back right at the moment, finished the song and burst out how touched he was.

Photo credit to Mike Sun & Miggy Rivera of ESFO

Photo credit to Mike Sun & Miggy Rivera of ESFO

                                              Credit to Cornerstone for the vid

Finally, Erik and Angeline reunited on stage. There was a light touch to their humor as they teased each other. It was real and easy onstage chemistry allowing the audience to be consumed by their wonderful performances. Of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without them singing their Teleserye themesongs. They can really make music that can connect to the audience without sounding unbearably bombastic making them worthy of the crown as King and Queen of themesongs.

Photo credit to Miggy of ESFO

Photo credit to Miggy of ESFO

There was an appealing romance underlying when they sang together “Can’t We Try” of Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard, “Just You and I” of Eddie Rabbit and Crystal Gale and their extraordinary rendition of “This I Promise You”. Undoubtedly, there was really a stellar blend of musicianship with these two.

Photo credit to MyxPh

     Photo credit to MyxPh

One of my fave parts of the show is when THE original King and Queen, Mr. Martin Nievera and Ms. Regine Velazquez-Alcasid joined the stage with Erik and Angeline. They brought the house down as they breathtakingly performed Barry Manilow medley. It was a feast of gently squeezing harmonies. Regine and Martin then sang “Ikaw” together. It was my first time to witness them singing together and it was an unearthing treasure feels from the OPM archives. That moment was a real prize.

Credit to Qritiko for the vid

Erik and Angeline end the show with an overwhelming climax by singing the songs that perfectly placed them in the spotlight in a major way. Erik sang Angeline’s winning piece “Patuloy Ang Pangarap” while Angeline sang Erik’s “This Is The Moment”. Bravo!!!

Photo credit to MyxPh

            Photo credit to MyxPh

For me, there was never a showdown because this concert was just a story of two different personas who thrived hard and reached their dreams in their own unique ways, sharing, their inspiring stories thru their excellent music and these voices deserve to be heard all over the world.

Congratulations to the King and Queen of themesongs and to the team behind #KQattheAraneta. Care for a repeat? Yes? Thank you.

Advertisements

All Hail To The King..

This blog post is just to update you in case you haven’t been keeping track of the life of one of our most amazing singers that ever graced this earth. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you with stats. The point of this blog is to remind you or should I say to remind myself all over again on how fascinating Erik Santos’ career evolution was. Looking back, I remember when a hopeful college student joined the singing contest called “Star In A Million”. It was before he got eliminated and then was called back for the wild card competition. It was the song “I Believe I Can Fly”  that brought him to the 10th and last spot for the semi-final round and led him to the day when he fervidly performed “This Is The Moment” and bagged the title as the first-ever “Star In A Million” grand champion. These turn of events became his life-changing moment and the beacon of his success.

.

I remember when he was first dubbed as “The Rising Star”. As he was to build a life of a champion, a winner and a star. I remember when it was hard not to adore the over 11 year old classic hit “Pagbigyang Muli” that became an anthem for anyone who had a heartache which stayed on the 1st spot of WRR’s hit chart for more than 20 weeks. And over the course of his career, he has produced several top selling and multi-platinum albums along with his sentimentally beautiful gem of songs that are more than just a pretty song. He also has a collaboration with other artists like Regine Velasquez (Bakit Ba Iniibig Ka?) and Jim Brickman (The Jim Brickman Songbook). 11756462_10207668584100962_691765710_n

To celebrate his arrival as a bonafide star, I remember when he began appearing on various sold-out concerts which he garnered rapturous applause and standing ovations. His tale of success resulted in him being crowned as the “Prince of Pop”. It was Regine and Ogie Alcasid’s “The Songbird and the Songwriter” concert that gave him his first taste of performing at the Araneta Coliseum. He then staged major concerts alongside with other great artists at the Big dome and I remember when he held his first major jam-packed solo concert entitled “Erik Santos Solo at the Coliseum”. Erik became unstoppable, doing concerts here and abroad and a demand for corporate shows gaining him a large fan base in different parts of the world who have been captured to his charismatic stage presence. 11739745_10207668583660951_945047133_n He became one of the most popular recording artists and a respected performer, having received numerous prestigious awards like Best Performance by a Male Recording Artist, Favorite Male Artist, POP Male Artist, Artist Of The Year, Best Male Performance in a Concert, Most Popular Song By A Male Performer, Pop Movie Theme song etc..etc..too much to mention. You can check his Wikipedia for the complete list of his awards. 🙂

I remember when he walked across the stage, but not to give us astounding performances, but to receive his noteworthy diploma. Indeed, plenty to be proud of with this man because in the midst of all inescapable pressure and the demands in his career, he still managed to finish his degree.


I remember when the opportunity of a lifetime knocked at his door, when he was chosen to perform and represent our country for the Beijing Olympics Cultural Closing (Asian Night). He soulfully sang two of the most meaningful songs for him, I Believe I Can Fly and This Is The Moment.

And, just recently, he was picked to sing the Responsorial Psalm at a concluded mass in Quirino Grandstand with millions of people watching. It was a performance of a lifetime because not many artists get to perform in the presence of our Pope.

Undeniably, he was blessed and I was moved by his generosity when I remember how compassionate his heart was, not just in his craft but the way he was towards other people. There was genuine kindness when he showed empathy for the less fortunate people, like doing fundraising shows, donating to those families who have been affected by calamities. He also visited different hospitals and celebrated his birthday in an orphanage. I know, some people will doubt and say this is just for publicity. But the truth is, he’s actually not fond of showing these acts of kindness in any social media platform. One thing that strikes me the most, his sincerity about having a charitable heart because even when he was surrounded by bright lights, he never forgets his simple upbringing. He might just hate me for posting this, but I’ll post it anyway. I’m sorry. Not sorry.:) (because in this crazy stir world, we need more people like him).

I also do remember when he was so determined to showcase his versatility not just in singing, but his knack for acting as well. He successfully broke the mold and did his acting skills flawlessly from the long time drama anthology (Maalaala Mo Kaya) to Broadway (The Little Mermaid as Prince Eric) to Indie film (S6parados).

11751171_10207668583940958_2046892072_n
I remember the time when he hosted singing competitions like “Search For A Star In A Million”  and “Star Power”. It was in the latter show where Erik and Angeline crossed their paths. Like Erik, Angeline has been through tough times also while joining singing contests, but her serious staying star power made her a winner. Sharing common experiences, they developed a connection and became close friends.

Then, suddenly it’s magic when things are about to get real and they started creating great music together.

                      OST from the movie “Suddenly it’s magic”

In a romance aspect, I was never sure where things were going, but their story will surely pull you along making you need to see where things are heading between them.
                        OST from the movie “Unofficially Yours”

Again, I know some people will say this is just for publicity, but whatever because we can’t take away the fact that there’s an appealing connection between them.

They both have natural gifts of constructing music that’s so powerful in its simplicity and there’s a sense of rawness that allows their soothing voice shine on their own. One of my favorite theme songs of them was the song “Forever”. it was like they gave extra meaning to the lyrics that maybe resembles on what they feel for each other.
                     OST from the teleserye “Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon”

Speaking of theme songs, both of them became the most favorite to take a more defined role of reimagining a songs to their matured and powerfully intimate pieces of their own. Maybe, because their angelic voices were so engaging and entirely relatable as to what a teleserye or movie was all about and as to what the viewers feel. It’s safe to say they earned the right to be hailed as King and Queen of Theme songs. And so, I remember when “Maging Sino Ka Man” was Erik’s first teleserye theme song. It was so intense and perfectly arranged that proves his mastery of the craft. One of his phenomenal OST was the song “I’ll Never Go” from the blockbuster movie “One More Chance”. His version was so emotionally painful which reflected the depth of the movie and felt like it was a beautiful heartbreak. His ability to transfix and blend an inspiring but often heartbreaking melodies allow him the opportunity to create more than 30 of exceptionally notable teleserye and movie theme songs, making him worthy of the title. Here is Erik’s breathtakingly performance of some of his teleserye theme songs.
                                                 Credit to Qritiko for the vid

On top of all of these, I came to an end when I remember I used to call him POP (Prince of Pop) and the letter K in his name Erik has no meaning to me at all before but now it does, King.
Now, I’m wildly excited for a spectacular night on August 15 at the Araneta Coliseum, a royal treat from the King and Queen of theme songs you won’t want to miss out. It’s about time to experience those heartfelt background songs we usually hear on a teleserye or movie live in the Big dome. 11749267_10207655508254074_345144780_n

inTENse Confession

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.

Image

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.

Image

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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 .

Image

Image

Image

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.

Image

Image

Image

Image

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!

Image

Concert was almost at an end when he totally nailed the medley of fave winning piece songs by many – I believeA 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.