More music fans than icons | Inquirer Entertainment

More music fans than icons

By: - Reporter
/ 09:00 AM December 04, 2014

YENG Constantino’s dad Joselito and mom Susan watched the show.

YENG Constantino’s dad Joselito and mom Susan watched the show.

In the series of promotional activities leading up to their recent gig, “Icon: The Concert,” Yeng Constantino, Rico Blanco and Gloc-9 were often asked if they saw themselves as the title of the show suggested. They all balked at the mere thought.

Hip-hop artist Gloc-9 (Aristotle Pollisco), couldn’t stress enough that he and his fellow concert headliners are, first and foremost, simple music fans.


On concert night recently at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Rico, Yeng and Gloc-9, three of the most popular music artists today, vowed to use every ounce of their energy to give fans only what they deserve to see. And they delivered just that—superb solo sets that showcased their contrasting musical styles, as well as creative mash-ups and crackling group numbers.


Each artist was compelling in their own way. For Yeng—the 25-year-old singer-songwriter who won the reality singing contest “Pinoy Dream Academy” in 2006—it was all about great vocals and the captivating, accessible melodies that she penned herself.

Yeng has experimented with sounds in the past few years. Here, she opted to be subdued and highly personal—as though she was just jamming with friends.

RICO Blanco acted like a man possessed onstage.

RICO Blanco acted like a man possessed onstage.

The musician had the audience singing along with Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and her own slew of hits, including “Jeepney Love Story,” “Pag-Ibig” and “Chinito.” Yeng, who will tie the knot with her nonshow biz fiancé next year, jested that having a love life had brought her from angst to mush.

No shame in that. Sandwich frontman Raymund Marasigan, whom she considers one of her mentors, once told her that there’s no such thing as cheesy or corny in songwriting. “According to him, the important thing is sincerity,” she said, before belting out “Ikaw,” while her prenup video flashed on the jumbo screen behind her.

Dream come true

Gloc-9, the soft-spoken rapper known for compositions that tackle social issues, opened his set with “Takipsilim,” recorded with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid—a dream come true, he said—for his seventh album, “Liham at Lihim.”


He dug through his older material and whipped out the 2007 single “Lando” for his next number. A choir sang the chorus as Gloc-9 spat out the tragic tale of a poor man and his affluent lover, the song sounded even more haunting and larger in scale.

Gloc-9 rarely does English songs, so it came as a surprise when he took on “Heartless” by Kanye West. That was, indeed, a tad odd, but then he broke into his hit song “Upuan” midway, and everything was right again.

Homage to FrancisM

GLOC-9 paid tribute to his idol, the late master rapper.

GLOC-9 paid tribute to his idol, the late master rapper.

Since the gig was called “Icon,” Gloc-9 saw it fitting to pay tribute to his idol, the late Francis Magalona. A wave of nostalgia blanketed the audience as Gloc-9 gave stirring renditions of “Man from Manila” and “Meron Akong Ano.” And in what turned out to be one of the show’s most memorable moments, fans waved their phones about as they sang along to “Kaleidoscope World.”

Festive lineup

Rock artist Rico Blanco brought the house down when he pulled out all the stops for his festive rock repertoire. Sounds, lights and psychedelia collided in his set that brimmed with theatrics,

ferocious singing and dancing.

The former Rivermaya frontman breathed new life into fan favorites like “Awit ng Kabataan,” “Liwanag sa Dilim,” “Umaaraw, Umuulan,” “Kisapmata,” “Posible,” and “Kisapmata” by drenching them in electronic music and hurtling beats from the marching drumline.

From the get-go, he worked the stage like a man possessed, jumping, growling, flailing, popping. By the time he got to “Elesi,” Rico was spinning like a top. He was rewarded with an enthusiastically dancing crowd.

He slowed things down with a lullaby-like “Balisong,” followed by rock ballads “214,” “Your Universe” and “You’ll Be Safe Here.” Rico hopped off the stage, waded through the audience,

CONFETTI shower at the show’s finale

CONFETTI shower at the show’s finale

and serenaded fans.

Since Rico, Gloc-9 and Yeng are genuine fans of each other’s music, duets and group productions were cohesive and free from showboating.

Among the concert’s standout collaborations were Rico and Yeng’s duet of

Rihanna’s “Stay”; Rico and Gloc-9’s rendition of “Magda,” which featured a woman writhing onstage; and a fun mash-up of the The Beatles’ “Come

Together” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Best part was their delightful mash-up of Rico’s brooding “Yugto” and Gloc-9’s catchy “Sumayaw Ka”—fused so seamlessly, it sounded like a single song. To resounding cheers, they ended the show with a counterpoint duet of “Panahon na Naman ng Harana” and “Hawak Kamay,” with Gloc-9 weaving in and out with “Martilyo.”

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Photos by Alexis Corpuz

TAGS: Gloc-9, Music, Rico Blanco, Yeng Constantino

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