Monday, September 17, 2012

Concert Review: The Wanted makes Pinoys “Glad They Came,” delivers a thrilling show

The Wanted makes Pinoys “Glad They Came,” delivers a thrilling show 
Written by Jamie Ortega
Photos by John Dee Uy Photography 

“I'm 24 and I STILL love my boy bands,” was the profile statement on a certain The Wanted fan’s Twitter account. She took the words out of my mouth. Indeed, the appeal of boy bands encompasses nearly all age groups and social classes. You may be a 30 year-old yuppie (like me), or a starry-eyed teenager, but when it comes to boy bands every one, rich or poor, morphs into a giddy fan girl (guilty as charged). When I first saw the boys performing on American Idol a couple of months ago I was mesmerized.

It was the first time I saw them on TV and I loved their ferociously infections tunes. Plus, I liked how they broke the stereotypical boy band mould. They didn’t have dazzling dance moves, and their songs had a raunchy and sexy edge to them. They partied, they had fun, and they were sweet, naughty, and sometimes misunderstood. Being a showbiz reporter who is constantly exposed to artists striving to act perfect, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness, Max George and Siva Kanesweran’s laddish charms undoubtedly stole my heart.

     Last September 14, 2012 I had the distinct privilege of hearing their music and seeing them up close via MCA Music’s The Wanted Live In Manila concert held at the NBC tent. Fans, made up mostly of girls, formed lines beside the tent as early as three hours before the concert just to make sure they had a great view of the show. Some girls wore The Wanted shirts, while others were carrying LED screens and iPADs so they could type and show their favorite messages to The Wanted as the boys performed. Other girls held up colorful posters with messages like “Jay you will be my first kiss,” and “Pick me for heart vacancy.”
The concert kicked off at around 8pm with a female DJ spinning a couple of pop tunes by Jessie J, Carly Rae Jepsen and Florence and the Machines-an act which quickly put everyone in a lively mood. I also liked how she started and ended with The Wanted’s hit tunes Chasing The Sun and Glad You Came, immediately pumping up the crowd (which, truth be told, is really what the front act is supposed to do.  I could actually hear some of the guys in the crowd (who were probably there because of their sisters or girlfriends), heave a sigh of relief because the DJ was really pretty!)

            The moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived at around 9pm as ear-splitting shrieks began to fill nearly every corner of the tent as soon as Nathan, Tom, Siva, Max, and Jay burst onto the stage, singing, jumping and clapping. Appreciative eyes in the crowd quickly moved over to Siva who was wearing a Philippine-inspired top.“Like my shirt?” asked the half-Sri Lankan member, a question which was met with even more cheers and applause. With energy seemingly pouring out of their pores and nary a trace of jetlag in their veins, the boys did their best to communicate with their fans while performing, pausing to shake hands in the audience even stooping down to give some of them a kiss!

The Wanted kicked off the concert with the infectious tune Invincible followed by Lose My Mind and clear fan favorites, Rocket and Lightning. (A quick tidbit for all the MCS followers out there, during the roundtable interview earlier Jay described Lightning as a moment when a girl and a guy are about to kiss- just like in the movies. Awww!)

            The boys of The Wanted proved once more how much they love their fans with the song Heart Vacancy as they each called a person on stage to sing to. Nathan quickly made the announcement  revealing that they will sing a romantic song and that they will  pick “people who are positively mental”  to sing to! This of course, drove the crowd wild as the girls in the audience threw themselves at the boys!A cute twist was when Tom chose Siva’s “girl,”- who turned out to be a guy! This had to be undoubtedly the best moment in the entire concert for me because it showed how sweet the guys are, as they put their hands on the girls’ waists, with Nathan kneeling down in front of his girl at one point and Jay lifting up his girl and twirling her around!

            Naysayers take note of this- if you believe that the boys are capable of singing only pop and dance ditties- well, you have this concert to reconsider your thoughts because the lads surprised everyone by performing a kick-ass Coldplay medley made up of the rock band’s hit songs Viva la Vida, Every Teardrop is A Waterfall, Paradise and Fix You. Another memorable moment was when the lads debuted their latest single I Found You onstage. According to the boys, it was the very first time they sang that song live which showed how special the Pinoy fans are to them.
            The second half of the concert was made up of even more feel-good high-energy songs like Say It On The Radio, Warzone and Gold Forever. I must say it was a really good idea to have the boys sing their most popular songs like Glad You Came, All Time Low, and Chasing The Sun right near the end of the show because it provided the crowd with a sense of anticipation. All doubts about whether the show would have any dull moment quickly disappeared because the audience (made up mostly of hard-core fans) knew the lyrics to every song so there was literally no dull moment throughout the entire show. By the time the 13 songs were over The Wanted and their fans were clearly on the same page as they pointed to the crowd  while singing Glad You Came- with  the fans doing exactly the same thing! Likewise, dear boys, thank you for giving us such an entertaining show and we can’t wait till you come back!


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