All this crap is his fault.
He said so himself–at one point in the set, in full regalia as his stage persona Fiesto Bandido, trying to catch his breath because all that crap was pretty tiring. Rico Blanco took a break from his set to spit out some self-deprecating statements about the whole ordeal he put us through. It was just that: self-deprecation. He was smiling and maintaining a level of excitement since mic check. But clearly, what he said wasn’t an apology.
It was one of the best kind of crap I’ve ever seen, particularly from homegrown talent. Every piece of that crap was majestic. It’s nothing to say sorry for.
I have been wanting to see Rico Blanco perform live ever since I bought and listened to his debut solo album, but I never got around catching a show. So I felt very fortunate that Glenn Tan of PhilippineConcerts.com dragged me down to Greenhills to cover the launch of Rico Blanco’s (really, is it just me or does everybody else have that compulsion to mention his name in full everytime?) sophomore effort Galactik Fiestamatik (Available in iTunes). I was actually expecting your usual rock n’ roll gig, which is actually not a bad thing really. But when I chanced upon Rico Blanco and company doing their mic checks (I was pleasantly early) to see three marching band drummers, two glockenspiels on stands, two electronic keyboard set ups, and noticing an absence of a drumset and guitar amps, flags immediately went up–this show will be different from what I am used to see and be in. The good kind of different.
And indeed it was. In a video presentation before the show started and true to his ‘confession’, Blanco dipped his finger in every pot he used to prepare for this audiovisual feast he served. The fiesta concept, the songwriting process, the recording methods, the costumes, the choreography, everything were stewed in his brain soup. It was a show, a term that doesn’t always fit in every gig I go to. Still, the term is a criminal understatement.
It was pageantry. Suffice to say that I’m buying the album, and I want to see another Rico Blanco show.
Anyway, as always, let me tell you about taking photos of that show:
What did me in was the lighting. It was sumptuous. It was a joy to shoot, to say the least. Moreso, the lighting played well with Blanco’s costume, creating dramatic effects and complementing the Fiesto persona. I don’t think anyone in the near future would again see a performance of “Your Universe” the same way he did that night. Or any of the songs he performed that night for that matter.
This is how awestruck everyone was: After “Your Universe” ended (Note: I can’t believe nobody posted a video of that song yet!), I found Radio Republic‘s Aids Arcega in the crowd. I saw him with saucer-sized eyes like mine, and as dumbfounded as I was.
We almost spoke to each other in unison: “Did you just see that?!”. “What the fuck did we just see?”. “That. Was. Awesome.” “Did you get a picture of that?” It was the exact opposite of eloquence.
And here is a video from that night, courtesy of Mr. Arcega:
Thanks again to Glenn for the opportunity and Kel Fausto for letting me borrow the lens!