Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila A Smash Success!
(Photo credit: Jasper Lucena)
When In Manila and still wondering why Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila was so damn expensive, I guess the fitting response is because it was notches above your typical concert in the metro.
It was a full-blown production! A concert and a musical strewn into one, it was fantastic!
J.Lo‘s six wardrobe changes; the perfectly choreographed dance routines; the multi-tiered, elaborate stage; synchronized videos, lightshows, and effects; everything was seamless, made perfect for the audience that paid top moolah to see J.Lo’s first ever concert in the Philippines.
All eyes were on J.Lo, but everything else was beautifully done as well.
Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila was a gala. People from all walks of life – different nationalities, different ages, actors, socialites, fans – huddled next to each other to enjoy the show. I was fascinated to see the variety in the audience, and I wondered whether it was the pull of American Idol, the allure of Ms. Lopez in the ballroom scene, or maybe sheer star power that was responsible for the packed Arena, notwithstanding the high ticket prices. The men were in suits or truvenized shirts, the women in their glittering party dresses. Most were dressed for the occasion, and I believe everyone did their best to be. It was, after all, the greatest show on Earth that night!
Cutting up Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila into segments and individual performances wouldn’t do justice for this review. It was arguably one solid performance as C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” accompanied the band as they approached the stage; the Broadway-esque entrance of J.Lo in her glittering white dress, long train, and ermine cap; the high energy performances that transitioned smoothly with stunning video interludes; up until J.Lo closed the show with “Dance Again” and I was literally feeling the man-made quakes from the audience jumping, dancing, and having a grand time!
Nothing says Queen Bee like being carried by men for the grand entrance!
Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila: The Dance Diva Cometh!
Jumpstarting the night with “Get Right”, J.Lo wowed the audience when her flowing train was pulled to reveal her practically transparent full body tights, glitter accents covering her lady parts, and the male joke of going to the concert to see her buns was realized rather quickly. Even my mother (who insisted on coming along with me for this concert) quickly reacted to how voluptuous her twins were! The showmanship and dancing were superb, and at times I felt that the dancing took center stage in front of J.Lo‘s soulful voice.
Li’l Wayne was the first “guest” of the evening, projected in a video as he exchanged lines with J.Lo in “I’m Into You”. The second set which featured a medley of “I’m Real”, “All I Have”, and “Ain’t It Funny” followed by “Jenny from the Block” was especially entertaining to watch as it chronicled J.Lo‘s success as a R&B/Rap collaboration artist.
J.Lo came out with a light blue dress looking like a Greek goddess as she sang an acoustic version of “If You Had My Love”. After the first stanza, she stopped and picked out a fan to sing her first single with her. She was so nervous that she couldn’t sing the lines straight, which J.Lo candidly helped her with. Finishing the song, the fan hugged J.Lo with all she was worth while the crowd cheered her on. “Until It Beats No More” was perhaps J.Lo‘s strongest vocal performance of the night, and the video of her and her twins made the performance extra special.
J.Lo’s acoustic performance of “If You Had My Love”
There was no stopping the momentum of Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila as the night drew to a close. J.Lo came out in a suit and bowler hat for “Let’s Get Loud”, and in the middle of the performance she changed to a short red dance dress. Her male dancers threw their shirts to the screaming crowd as they performed “Papi”. Then J.Lo walked up to the flight of stairs, to her throne, before singing the first few lines of “On the Floor” in Spanish. The crowd was going wild at this moment, and she responded with a scorching (really, with flames shooting up from the stage as part of the effects), memorable close.
But of course, like all great concerts, Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila wasn’t done just yet. The final video interlude showed quotes regarding J.Lo‘s views on love. One particular quote, “I want the fairytale, it’s still my biggest dream,” stood out for me. It was an honest reflection of how her love life has been, always searching for that happily ever after. Coming out in glittering white tights (glitters – the fashion statement of the night), she performed “Dance Again” for the encore with everyone literally on their feet!
When In Manila, an estimated crowd of 13,000 people is proof that Manila went gaga over J.Lo! Presented by Vista Land, Zenea, and PLDT Fibr, Jennifer Lopez Live in Manila broke SM MOA Arena‘s attendance record (previously held by Lady Gaga); and even though Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago publicly stated that she was not impressed with the concert, well, based on the crowd reaction she is definitely part of the minority. J.Lo loved performing in Manila, and Manila loved her back!
“Mahal kita!” Jennifer screamed to the adoring Filipino crowd.