It was my second international act concert. But it was my first time to be seated a few rows away from the stage. And it was a blast! When I first learned that British act Jessie J would stage a concert in Manila, I knew I must buy tickets. My partner loves her. I love her as well, although not her last few songs. I decided to buy the Patron seats, because why not? Come July 14, we arrived at the Smart Araneta Coliseum around 7:30 PM. There were barely people inside. When the front act, Mike Perez started, the venue was around 50% filled.
The partner and I were quite sad that it was not as jampacked compared to other international acts but we knew that aside from “Price Tag,” Jessie J had no other phenomenal hit in Manila.
The main show started a little after 9pm. By this time, the venue was around 75% filled, with the empty seats mostly located at the higher sections. Jessie J entered sporting a tanga and a simple pushed back long hair. Which I think was extensions because it was only recent when she shaved her head.
I wouldn’t go into the details of the show. I barely remember the sequence of the songs she sang. Haha. But I enjoyed it a lot. Before the concert, I told my partner that I was kind of conscious as to how I must react during the show. I was afraid the people seated behind me would judge my dance moves. Haha. But come showtime, I just forgot everything and sang and grooved with Jessie. She admitted that she was not feeling well that night. And it was sort of evident. She was still able to hit the high notes but her voice was kind of raspy, not the usual clean voice that she has. There were also a number of times when she would give the spotlight to her back-up singers, maybe to rest her voice a little. But when she said she would try her best to entertain us, she meant business. And entertained, we were. The stage was small and simple with just lights and no LED screens. All she had was her band and her back-up singers. And boy, was it more than enough.
She sang a couple of covers and new songs, but everyone inside Araneta screamed every time she would sing any song from her two albums.
Here’s her live performance of “Nobody’s Perfect.” Before she sang the song, she gave an inspirational speech first, which she did to a couple more songs she performed that night:
I also recorded a short part of her “Laserlight” performance. The rest of the song, I danced. 😛
There were a number of highlights from the show. Not that there were dull moments. There were none. At least for my partner and I.
- She got the phones of two people nearest the stage and sang while taking a video of herself. Lucky fans.
- One member of the audience threw a cap on stage, which Jessie wore. She also signed the cap before returning it.
- Another fan threw a stuffed toy with a handwritten letter onstage. Jessie read the whole letter and was emotional when she read the she inspired the fan to continue living despite the ridicule and bullying that he’s been subjected to at school. After the concert, my friend wondered what the fan’s parents would feel that it was Jessie who inspired their son to continue living, not them. Haha
- There was a fan from Thailand who flew all the way to Manila to watch her. I think one of the caps thrown on stage belonged to her. And she made an impromptu song for her. I could feel the audience die with jealousy especially when Jessie kept on mentioning Bangkok and Thailand. You’re in Manila, girl! Sing about the Philippines. Haha
- Apparently, Morissette Amon, one of the finalists of the Voice of the Philippines Season 1, interviewed Jessie J before the concerned. During the interview, she managed to tell Jessie that she sang one of Jessie’s famous hits, ” Who you are,” during her stint in the singing competition. Jessie then asked her to sing a part of it and after hearing how awesome she was, asked her to sing with her onstage. And yup, that awesomeness of a duet happened. I mean, I would have preferred if Jessie sang the song by herself, but that duet was still great.
- The fake ending of the concert sort of flopped. While people shouted “more” right after Jessie and her band left the stage, they stopped immediately. Because at this age and time, don’t we all know that there is always, ALWAYS an encore performance. So there was a short dead air where the whole venue was silent, the place still dim with the lights off (a clear clue that it was still not over). Then the band members went on stage and started coaching the audience to start shouting again and we did. Haha
- Jessie J’s final song was “Price Tag,” my least favorite song of hers. Not because it’s an ugly song, but because it was sooooooo famous that I got tired of it. But hearing her sing it live was different. And surreal.
- After her final song, she called on stage everyone for her team for their final bow since Manila was the last stop of her tour.
The show lasted for almost two hours. Damn, that was a great two hours.