A1 ‘boy band’ still knows how to turn on the charm
The slightest of noise and semblances of activity onstage would, time and time again, send chunks of the crowd into a frenzy. They shrieked, jumped and flailed, only to find out, time and time again, that what they think they saw was merely the concert’s photographer or some random person from the production team making last-minute inspections.
Going by the squealing’s escalating decibels alone, one would have been led to conclude that the Kia Theatre was packed with young fans waiting for One Direction or The Vamps. But the audience was, in fact, dominated by 20- and 30-somethings.
Yes, it was a boy band they were eagerly anticipating—but one that shot to popularity when Harry Styles was just 4 years old!
After a series of false alarms, the three remaining members of the British-Norwegian band, A1, finally emerged. Side by side, Ben Adams, Mark Read and Christian Ingebrigtsen smiled as they surveyed the thousands of people in front of them, before opening the concert with the song, “Same Old Brand New You.”
While their fashion was drastically more subdued, the dance moves remained delightfully cheesy: An arm swipe here, a synchronized twirl there—classic pop music choreography and, for good measure, strategically timed winks from Ben, who was most popular among the ladies.
Suddenly, everyone was aboard the nostalgia train. A1, which reunited as a trio—without Paul Marazzi—in 2009, after disbanding in 2002, has been to the country many times in the past.
And, in every visit, the boys try to offer something new. This time, the group seemed to have settled for a greatest-hits
approach, the better to satisfy the Filipinos fans, who have been bugging them to perform all the favorites.
Though the group wasn’t as good vocally as Westlife, or danced as forcefully as N’Sync, A1 does have a good number of catchy bops and ballads that never fail to elicit sing-alongs, including “Ready or Not,” “Like a Rose,” “Caught in the Middle,” “Heaven By Your Side,” “Everytime,” “One More Try,” “Walkin’ in the Rain” and “One Last Song.”
Toward the end of the show, mounted by Wilbros Live, the fans grew so stoked that they started spilling onto the aisles and surged forward. One girl who could barely contain herself, by pure determination, managed to get close enough to the stage to hand Ben a framed photo. She lost it, needless to say—screaming, hugging and giving high fives to her friends, whose laps she dove onto later on.
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