I’ve always loved Alicia Keys because she’s my age, she plays the piano (and a pink piano too in her Karma music video), she has a big voice that sounds bluesy, and she’s got STYLE. And to top it all off, she reminds me of the time I first started going out with my boyfriend, Sidney (it’s a long story, so I won’t delve into that).
We went to see her live at the SMX Convention Center in SM Mall of Asia last 05 August 2008 (Tuesday). It was supposed to be at the open-air concert grounds, but they had to move it in because of the weather. Before I start with my rave review though, I have to get the following rants out of the way:
1. The concert started late. The front acts opened the show at around 8:30 pm, while Alicia Keys came on after 10:00 pm. I wouldn’t mind waiting for her for an hour and a half, but I wish they didn’t play some random music while we were waiting. Couldn’t they at least have played some Alicia Keys?
2. The lights were on at the “bronze” area (or General Admission) during the front acts. It felt as if the people in the “silver” area (nearer the stage) were having a concert, and we were spectators outside the venue. Plus the giant screens weren’t on, so I couldn’t see Luke Mijares and Duncan Ramos.
3. The people who bought Php900 and Php500 tickets were all lumped in one area. Thankfully, I bought the Php500 tickets so it didn’t matter to me, but I can understand why people who bought the more expensive tickets were so pissed.
Okay, so enough complaints. Really, Alicia Keys was phenomenal! Unlike some singers out there who don’t sound so good when they’re performing live, she sounded even better during the concert than she does on her albums!
Unfortunately I forgot to list down all the songs she performed in order, but here are some random memories from the concert:
1. She opened with a song I wasn’t familiar with, but it got the crowd going and we all instantly forgave her for being so late.
2. She started “Superwoman” by rapping the lines, “still when I’m a mess, I still put on a vest with an S on my chest, oh yes.” It is now officially my second favorite Alicia Keys line, but mainly because the S reminds me of my, uh, boyfriend Sidney. Plus I have a pink shirt with an S on the chest (actually, it’s the Superman logo).
3. I’m putting up a video of her performance of “Karma,” which they rearranged by giving it a salsa beat. It was so unexpected, yet so danceable. I have a video of the performance as well, but since I was further from the stage (than the person who shot this) and I wasn’t able to film the entire song, I decided to put this video clip instead which I found in YouTube (thanks to user standard123123).
4. She sung only her parts in “My Boo” so it was pretty short, but at least I got to hear her sing my favorite Alicia Keys line live, “Yes I remember boy, the moment I knew you were the one I could spend my life with.”
5. Her performance of “Teenage Love Affair” sort of reminded me of Destiny’s Child (since she was doing some choreography with her two backup singers. She looks a little weird sometimes when she’s dancing, but it’s all good. The fans appreciate the effort.
6. “Fallin” was one of the most loudly cheered performance. I think it’s still her best song because it really showcases her musicality and range. It was so great to see her play the piano and sing it to the crowd.
7. It was a treat to hear Alicia Keys and Jermaine Dupri singing “Diary.”
8. She played other favorites like “Unbreakable,” “You Don’t Know My Name” and “Like You’ll Never See Me.” I missed hearing “Girlfriend” and “Goodbye” though.
9. “No One” was one of my favorite songs, and she played it for her “encore.” It was a great way to end the night, but I knew she had another song up her sleeve since she hasn’t sung “If I Ain’t Got You” yet.
10. For her real encore, she did “If I Ain’t Got You.” Although I’d have liked it if she ended on a happier, more upbeat note (like “No One”), I understand how she said this song is appropriate because she knows she wouldn’t be here if she ain’t got us (her Filipino fans).
Photo credit: diego1234