For an artist whose most famous lyrics is colored with so much bitterness about failed relationships and lovelorn separations, Christina Hannah Judith Perri had no trouble filling the whole Araneta Coliseum with a lot of love last Thursday, March 5, 2015.
Christina Perri’s giggling and jumping around the stage suggested nothing but the truth when she said “I’ve been wanting to come here for 5 years! My heart is exploding now!” Five years after the debut of her hit single “Jar of Hearts”, Christina Perri finally found her way to Manila to perform for her Filipino audience.
The lights dimmed and the crowd went silent. You could see only the silhouette of the 28- year old American singer-songwriter as her voice enveloped the whole of Araneta Coliseum singing “Hatred for who you’re becomin’, I knew better than, yes…” a cappella before her band joined her.
Christina Perri shouted “Mabuhay!” and the lights lit up. In a loosely fitting sheer white top tucked into her black shorts, there was nothing apparently ostentatious about her, with only her shining shimmering splendid belt and her glittery stockings hinting that this lady must be the star of the night. And it’s this same simplicity which has got to be the secret to her easygoing magnetism.
Christina Perri led the crowd, who ranged from tweens to yuppies with some couples in the mix, with overly adorable songs like “Trust” and “Shot Me in the Heart”. After three upbeat songs, she slowed down with her pianist Emily Grace on the piano to perform the first song to get that overwhelming swell of audience emotion, “Distance”, off her debut studio album Lovestrong. From time to time, she would exhibit her instrumental versatility and would pound on a white piano and on other times rock her guitar, both on upbeat and slow songs.
Later on, Christina Perri sang her 4x platinum certified hit single “A Thousand Years”, which was featured on the soundtrack for The Twiling Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. There might have been smartphones and tablets galore, especially because she sat down the edge of the stage placing herself closer to the audience, but all the fans needed to do was to close their eyes and bask in her compelling music.
For a change, Christina Perri confessed that “Be My Forever” is the happiest song she’s ever written followed by her self-mockery as she sarcastically quipped, “It’s totally possible guys! I can be happy!” Never mind that Christina Perri’s red-headed friend Ed Sheeran wasn’t there. The duet with her guitarist Johnny Hanson was blessed with so much perfection. The two shared an an addictive chemistry that one duet certainly wasn’t enough.
The show also featured a cover of Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” the lyrical embrace of romanticism of which is a break away from Christina Perri’s trademark laslas pulso songs. Nonetheless, Christina Perri sang those songs as if they were written for her, owning the songs and leaving no trace of either Coldplay nor Ed Sheeran.
Christina Perri sang towards the end of the night her hit song “Jar of Hearts”. Every hand was in the air as she was seemingly mindless of the crowd, as if she was transported to another place where only she and the piano exist. The Head or Heart tour didn’t follow the “save the best for last” mold which artists with big hits often fall into as she closed with “I Don’t Wanna Break”.
The beauty of the Head or Heart concert lies in its utter simplicity. Stripped off any gimmickry, Christina Perri didn’t have the luxury of fancy video images or special effects to draw in the crowd at her first major concert in Manila. No gimmicks. No costume change. No overwrought stage production. No one, except Christina Perri with her faux ballerina moves, even danced. She didn’t rely on her looks and didn’t have to be half-naked the way many pop stars are in their shows. Yet, she bet on her powerful vocals and her heart-wrenching songs to draw fans close.
It would be hard to dispute that Christina Perri is a fine musician — a good singer, guitarist and pianist with plenty of stage presence to carry a 1.5 hour show. Out of all the things that she is, she is most importantly a storyteller. And I certainly hope that the Filipinos won’t have to wait for a thousand years before she comes back to Manila!
Photos taken by Janelle Almosara & Courtney Sayson
Thank you to our friends from Midas Productions for this awesome concert!
Midas Productions Website: https://www.midaspromotions.com/
Midas Productions Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/midaspromotions
So, what was your favorite part of the Christina Perri Concert????