Sunday, September 18, 2011

Concert Review: A Memorable Comeback Concert Featuring Color Me Badd and All-4-One

Title: A Memorable Comeback Concert Featuring Color Me Badd and All-4-One
Written by: Jamie Ortega
Pictures by Kevin Pableo

I will always and forever be a kid of the ‘90s. That era represented, for me, the best and the worst of times. It was a decade when I was finding myself and what I wanted to with my life. Music helped me make those decisions and brought me to where I am today.

            When people think of the ‘90s the groups All-4-One and Color Me Bad are right there on top. Who can ever forget “I Wanna Sex You Up” and “I Adore Mi Amor?” And when it comes to heartbreaking soulful hits you can be sure All-4-One’s
 “I Swear” and “So In Love” has got the goods to make you get all mushy and giddy. I can never forget the Beverly Hills 90210 episode when Color Me Badd guested and sung to David and Donna at the Peach Pit (oh, those were the days when Dylan Mckay and Brenda Walsh’s kilig moments would make my homework-packed evening).

            So you can imagine my joy when I found out Ovation Productions was bringing All-4-One and Color Me Badd together for a tribute concert to the late great Michael Jackson on September 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. If anyone would look up “RnB heaven” in the dictionary a picture of that concert would be right there, front and center.

            The event, which started at 9 pm, was kicked off by the concert’s front act Fil-am AJ Tabaldo. Unlike a lot of headliners that are ignored, AJ entertained the audience with hits like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.
Then it was time for Color Me Badd and All-4-One fill the Smart Araneta Coliseum with the glory days of the ‘90s. More than just make the audience feel "Twuber" nostalgic, the concert combined, for one momentous night, iconic RnB groups made up of Color Me Badd’s Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon and Kevin Thornton together with All-4-One’s Jamie Jones, Delious Kennedy, Alfred Nevarez, and Tony Borowiak- all together in one stage. Though they understandably looked older, the two groups’ voices still posessed that golden, soothing quality which delighted the audience composed of 20 somethings (like me) and 30 somethings. Adding to the ‘90s feel was the old music videos of Color Me Badd and All-4-One playing in the background bringing everyone back to the days of red, green and indigo jeans matched with Mary Jeans or Doc Martens.
            Kicking off the show was Color Me Badd who got the crowd rushing to the stage with “All 4 Love.”  Each group would perform alternately with one another.  All-4-One next belted out “I Can Love You Like That” and their version of Christina Aguilera’s “I Turn To You” as well as the Disney tune “Someday,” from the movie Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

            One of the night’s highlights was an acapella showdown between the two acts. Members from All-4-One and Color Me Badd explained that one of the reasons why they never broke up is their love for acapella. Color Me Badd delivered “Hush, Somebody’s Calling My Name” while All-4-One sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “So Much In Love.”
            Another highlight of the night was the tribute to Michael Jackson.  The groups’ sung a bevy of tunes from different eras like Gone Too Soon, Black And White, Bad, Beat It, “The Way You Make Me Feel,” “Scream” and “Billy Jeans”.

            Uttering the perfunctory Pinoy phrase in the middle of a concert has become somewhat of a tradition for foreign acts, but mixing it up was Color Me Badd’s Kevin Thornton who said, Astig! Maraming salamat Philippines! We love you!” to the delight of the audience. All-4-One’s Jamie Jones also praised Pinoys for their exceptional musical inclinations, ‘There is a lot of talent in the Philippines. You know why? Because you have soul,” he shared.

            What made this concert all the more special was how intimate it was. Members of the two bands would go down into the audience, have photo ops, and sing to people. It made me realize how different the ‘90s is to the acts we now have on the radio or on Itunes. How many artists would go down to the audience again and again, communicate with their fans and just have this genuineness emanate from their hearts? Sadly, not a lot.

            Have we reached a point where artists have stopped to REALLY communicate with their fans? Even with the emergence of Twitter and Facebook where people can virtually talk to their idols, nothing beats the live concert experience- seeing that artist live, singing to his songs, building memories that can potentially last a lifetime. Watching acts like Color Me Badd and All-4-One who, after all these years, never lost their vigor for the craft, well, they just made me miss the ‘90s all the more. Let me bring out my baby doll dresses, thigh-stockings, Trapper Keeper while I think about that for a bit. 

For more pictures from the concert, please visit our album page at:

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