Aftermath Report: Alden Richards “Upsurge”
Kia Theater – 27 May 2017
It took me a while to gather my thoughts before I was able to write this blog entry. I was contemplating on how I should write this: should I give a blow-by-blow account? Should I nitpick on the technical aspects? Should I be lazy and post my comments in bullets? Should I just post a photo gallery to be safe?
As I was choosing the material that I will post on this entry – a task that involves sorting through 2,370 photos – I realized that a blow-by-blow account nor a concert review will not do justice to the entire experience.
The concert that I went to on May 27, 2017 was not a concert. It was a testimonial. A testimonial to the life, so far, of one Richard Reyes Faulkerson, Jr., known to majority of the public as Alden Richards.
It’s amazing how you come to a concert expecting to be entertained, and you end up getting not just entertainment but inspiration, and you won’t realize it until you recall the events that happened. It was a religious experience that didn’t feel forced, probably because of the sincerity of it all. Every little detail of the show has a meaning, and the meaning has a connection with Alden. The entire production was well-thought out. To be honest, I didn’t expect that. Which is why I went out of the venue feeling super-satisfied, and super-thankful that I made the conscious decision not to miss this show even if there were lots of challenges involved.
There were a lot of highlights, but for me, the best part of the show was witnessing how everyone, from the guests to the band, dancers, production people and even the audience, was radiating with happiness. Everyone was visibly proud of, and very happy for Alden. It tugged my heartstrings when Alden shared the stage with his real-life buddies; when he gave that long speech acknowledging the many people who shaped him to be what he is now; when he gave tribute to his mother and dedicated the entire concert to her; when he devoted an entire segment to give praise to God; when towards the end of the concert he shared hugs and pats on the back with his dancers, a fleeting moment that showed teamwork and sincere camaraderie among the people in this production. I have seen so many concerts in my lifetime but I think this was the first time that I witnessed something like this onstage. It is a testimony to how Alden is well-loved by everyone he has worked with, how he develops relationships that will last a lifetime.
Having seen all that, I couldn’t be prouder of this guy. And despite everything that I’ve been through, I will never regret that I became his fan.
Of course, an Aftermath Report will not be complete without the mini-recap and review. If we could call it that, because SPOILER WARNING: I won’t be bitching. I won’t exactly be recapping, neither. And because I’m writing this at the ungodly hour of 3:00am and I have to go to work in a few hours, I’ll be doing this in my usual lazy-bulleted form.
1. As I have already mentioned in a previous paragraph, I did not raise any high expectations on this show. I mean, let’s face it, Alden is not a singer. You don’t go to an Alden Richards concert and expect to see Martin Nievera or Gary Valenciano, if you get what I mean. And then when we entered the venue, there were parlor games. So admittedly, I lowered my expectations even more.
But once the actual show started, all expectations were dropped. Including my jaw. Wow. This is not a mall show. THIS IS A CONCERT, FOLKS.
2. Trivia about me: the one clear sign that I am impressed by what is happening onstage is when I stop taking pictures and take down my camera to focus on the performance. It happened many times here. It started with the the OPM medley, when Alden sang Makita Kang Muli. For one thing, he was doing an Ebe Dancel song and I was like, “grabe ang tapang mo, dude, Ebe Dancel yan!” And then he followed it up with Hale’s The Day You Said Goodnight and he sang it with so much emotion and hit all high notes precisely. And I was like… Sure, the key was lowered to fit his range – which is simply the right thing to do – but the feelings, man. Singing isn’t just all about hitting the high notes, you know.
His singing may not be perfect. Again, he is not a singer, so I’ll be lenient on that aspect. But he’s in tune for the most part, and he can sing in tune while dancing. THAT was a tough thing to do. And most importantly, HE SANG LIVE. For that alone, he deserves a standing ovation.
3. And speaking of how gutsy this guy is, he sang It Will Rain. Shet, Bruno Mars, mehn, and it’s not Uptown Funk nor 24K Magic.
I know that Alden really worked hard for this, and it showed. It certainly paid off.
4. The show was nicely paced and well-transitioned. Everything flowed smoothly and nothing felt random. It’s nice how even the Cebuana Lhuillier ad placement in the middle of the show did not feel random at all.
The front acts – Migo Adecer and DJ Natalia Moon – were a nice touch. They provided the entertainment for the audience while waiting for the actual show to start.
5. Can just take a moment to fuse my fandoms a lil’ bit? On one of the VTRs, Alden sang a bit of Janno Gibbs’ Fallin’. Which, as we all know, is the theme song of the Philippine broadcast of Full House. So I was like, “whyyyyyy”. People who know me from my Rain days would know how I get affected with anything connected to Full House. (By the way, does anyone have a video clip of that part? I know it’s torturous for me but I love to torture myself. Thanks!)
And since Janno is a guest, naturally, he will sing Fallin‘. Why, Janno, why?
But one of my favorite parts of the show was Alden and Janno’s duet of Pinakamagandang Lalaki (incidentally, the theme song of the Philippine broadcast of Sangdoo, Let’s Go To School; yes, Rain was very much a part of this show and I’m not just talking about the water theme). Alden held out on his own with Janno; hindi nagpakabog, ika nga.
6. You just know that this concert is not puchu-puchu when you have noted and highly respected musicians, singers and dancers providing back-ups for Alden.
Below are some of the images I captured from the Upsurge concert. I wish I could share more but there are 2,000+ of them. Wala nang time to watermark. In case anyone is wondering, yes, there are Alden-Maine pics in there. Feel free to share but please don’t remove the watermark and give me full credit. Or maybe not. Enjoy!