RadikalChika kicked-off with a review of ICON the concert, with Rico Blanco, Gloc-9, and Yeng Constantino. :) Photos here and with the column by Martin San Diego as provided by Thea G. Pollisco.
And then there was Icon featuring Rico Blanco, Gloc-9 and Yeng Constantino. Produced by Cornerstone Concerts, this reminded of the concert productions of old: well-thought out and classy, a celebration of talent and not of pageantry, which allowed for artistic idiosyncrasy and personality at a time when everything’s fake and manufactured.
It was of course at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, which for all its fancy redesign from the outside, is still the dingy ratty old coliseum inside. What is this but pretense?
Thank heavens Icon easily made me forget the sticky floors and uncomfortable seat. Because nothing prepared me for the kind of creativity that was here. Also and more importantly, the kind of control.
Because one finds that local stage performances—be it theater or concerts—have a tendency to misuse technology, where video screens and projectors overpower or become irrelevant to performance. The same goes for badly blocked dancers and ill-imagined choreography, where the point seems to be to fill that stage with movement, like there’s an unspoken fear of the empty stage.
But Icon’s production had a sense precisely of the power of that empty stage. With well-thought out choreography, songs and performance were never overwhelmed by the idea of being production number. There was a very clear sense of how the lighting design was working with the video screen which was backdrop that refused to claim any of the limelight, save for when it actually had the three stars of the show speaking to introduce each set of the show.
And it was well written, also well-executed. There was a sense of directorial vision and musical direction that took into consideration—that understood—exactly what these artists stood for independently of each other, not sacrificing who they are for whatever trappings “a concert” demands at this point. There was respect for the artists that were here, as there was the decision to le Icon t songs speak for themselves, tell their stories, in the way these artists know how.
It was classy, which is so rare. Might be because there’s a tendency to imagine that what TV and globalized music have created is an audience that wants the pomp and pageantry. In fact all an audience demands is really good music and honest performance still.
Read the rest in The Sunday Times!