Words by Kelly Punzalan
Photos by Jezreel Colangoy
Rita Ora brought the house down last March 10th at the New Frontier Theater with her power vocals and killer dance moves. Filipino fans were overwhelmed with excitement over the British singer’s first concert in Manila, resulting to exclamations of “Oh my god!” heard from all corners of the theater as the lights went out to signal the beginning of the show.
Filipino girl group 4th Impact opened the show with their own renditions of “Never Enough” from the movie The Greatest Showman and Queen’s iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The girl group rose to popularity on The X Factor UK, the same season that Rita Ora was a judge on the show. Rita praised Filipino talent later on in the show and said, “I had the best time [in the Philippines]. I’ve seen so many talented people. Some of the best vocalists in the world really do come from the Philippines.”
The energy was high during the entire show as the singer performed some of her past hits such as “Black Widow,” “I Will Never Let You Down,” “Girls,” and “Doing It.” Rita continuously encouraged fans to get on their feet and dance along with her. “I’ve always loved dancing since I was young,” she said. “No matter what you do, it’s always good to just dance.”
New Frontier Theater, as it is a more intimate venue, also made it feel as if we were partying with her and not just watching her. Every time Rita sat on the edge of the stage, the crowd would go wild and run up to the front. A young fan even had a sweet moment with Rita where the two held hands and sang together.
Phoenix, her second studio album, was released just last November 2018. But her fans, ever so loyal and passionate, still knew all the lyrics to Rita’s new songs. She performed several tracks including “Let You Love Me,” “Your Song,” “Only Want You,” and “For You,” which was featured in the movie Fifty Shades Freed.
Of course, no concert is complete without an encore. The crowd chanted her name while Rita’s band and back-up singers urged everybody to cheer even louder. From backstage, Rita yelled, “I’m not coming back out until everybody is on their feet!” The entire theater turned into a dance floor as everyone danced the night away and sang their hearts out to her closing numbers, “Lonely Together” and “Anywhere.”
Rita expressed eagerness to return to Manila and promised fans that they’ll see each other again.