MANILA, Philippines – Don’t be fooled with all the glitter, Jennifer Lopez says she’s still the same simple girl from the Bronx, even when her recent concert in Manila seemed otherwise.
The American celebrity with Latino descent made the most out of the Manila leg of her first ever world tour, as her concert at the Mall of Asia Arena wowed a crowd of thousands Monday night.
When lights dimmed after a front act by the Philippine All Stars and Jay-R and Mica Javier, the crowd went crazy with a video interlude of Lopez’s “Never Gonna Give Up.”
The singer finally came out onstage in all her fabulous glory, covered in marabou feather skirt, which she stripped off shortly and revealed a sparkling skin-toned jumpsuit underneath, flattering her famous curves.
Lopez started out with her dance-pop hits “Get Right” and “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” with high energy and signature dance routines, thrilling the ecstatic fans.
As JLo’s fashion is anything but simple, her costume changes affirmed so during the concert. She announced before the start of the world tour that she had tapped Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad to design her costumes. The designer has dressed up Lopez in red carpet occasions in the past, and also when she was an American Idol judge.
Lopez had at least five outfit changes throughout the show, which included a jumpsuit, dress, tracksuit, and a gown, among others. All of which were covered with sequins and glitter. And of course, all of it were sexy.
The stage set up and the effects were just as lavish, and the laser lights gave a night-club vibe every now and then. There were backup singers, dancers and a full band.
The Manila leg of the Dance Again World Tour was the 42nd stop of the 55-city world tour, and was presented by Vista Land Corporation as one of major sponsors.
The arena was jam-packed, despite the expensive ticket prices that went as high as P26,000 for VIP and P2,500 for General Admission.
The much-awaited concert
JLo seemed so eager to engage and interact with her fans who have been waiting for her for years. Aside from asking the crowd to sing with her, she also gamely posed for pictures, much to the delight of the fans. At one point, she even took a camera from an audience and shot pictures.
“We’ve been waiting a long time to get to the Philippines! Energy feels good, are you ready?” Lopez asked as she continued the show with more of her upbeat tunes “I’m Into You” and “Waiting for Tonight.”
For the second act, Lopez brought the audience back to where she grew up, Bronx in New York, starting with a video interlude about boxing while “Louboutins” played in the background.
The singer emerged shortly in a tracksuit, interacting with the audience some more.
“Did you see the guy fall down and got up back again? You know where I’m from that’s what we do. I’m just a simple girl from the Bronx. Look where I am, all the way here with all of you. Life is crazy. I feel blessed to be here with you tonight,” Lopez told the audience.
The singer then threw her more well-known R&B hits in a medley, “I’m Real” (Remix), “All I Have,” “Aint it Funny” and “Jenny from the Block,” all with complex, intense choreography as if she wasn’t 43 years old and a mother twins. Unbelievable.
Before the third act, a short theatre-like video of Lopez and her current boyfriend, choreographer Casper Smart, was played with the song “Baby I Love You” in the background.
“Enough of loveydovey stuff give me some funk!” Lopez exclaimed following a performance of the fierce “Hold it, Don’t Drop It” with a lot of energy and hip-shaking before her adoring fans.
An interlude of “I’m Glad” and “Secretly” by the backup singers soon followed, signalling a slow down of the high-energy concert. Lopez came out in a long gown, and sang an acoustic performance of her first single that launched her career worldwide, “If You Had My Love.”
But without finishing the first few lines, JLo stopped and asked a lucky fan to go up on stage and sing with her.
“You know every word, don’t you? We will sing the song together from the top,” she said.
Also a movie star, entrepreneur and many other things, the Forbes’ most powerful celebrity for 2012 showed a glimpse of her cheesier side with a heartfelt performance of one of her newer songs, “Until It Beats No More,” with a slideshow of her kids in the background.
But Lopez brought the high-energy back to the arena when she played the conga with so much passion followed by a vibrant rendition of “Let’s Get Loud.” It was so lively and colorful it’s as if it was one of her fun music videos came to life.
Lopez sustained the vigor and color as the show neared its end, singing her most recent hits “Papi,” which she dedicated to the male audience, “On the Floor” and the encore, “Dance Again.”
“Thank you, Manila! Until next time!” the singer shouted to the cheerful fans, completely blown away with the show.
JLo, who may not be one of the best singers around, no doubt gave her all and made it up with her stage presence. All is forgiven with her high-energy and passionate dance moves, and for filling the stage with color, fun, love and passion that Filipinos would not forget soon.