A Concert Review:
In the first weekend of Spring 2009, it ushered in a spectacular show of gigantic proportion. The Fabulous Four — Pop Diva Kuh Ledesma, Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla, Concert Queen Pops Fernandez and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez — collectively dubbed Divas4Divas, gave a captivating performance at the Boardwalk Hall of Atlantic City to a filled-to-the-rafters capacity crowd of diverse enthusiastic concert-goers.
Boisterous whistles and deafening chants wildly prevailed the air craving for the show’s start that was already delayed by half an hour from its scheduled curtain raiser… only to turn doubly wild when the Divas’ curvaceous silhouettes appeared on center stage in succession… mysteriously garbed in identical loose toga-style costume complete with coiffured do’s as they rendered their opening number, Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” And true enough, the fabulous Divas did rock the bewailing crowd.
Kuh solely owned the stage after their number as she passionately rendered her signature ditty “Dito Ba?” that segued to Pops and Regine’s dual exposure (in mesmerizingly voluptuous fully sequined, bare shouldered flaming red serpentine gown with sweeping train) as they did their own interpretation of Bryan Adam’s “To Love A Woman” in such plaintive and incredibly soulful rendition. It gave away their own personal experience as essayed by the essence of the song.
Regine’s solo number enabled her to profess her inner self when she did “And I Love You So” with such great measure of intensity from a very emotionally rearranged composition. Then an all-star-cast ensued, donned in glitzy red gowns… virtually setting the stage on fire as they exhibited their moves and grooves to a medley of Diana Ross and the Supremes’ 60’s dance hits like “Baby Love” and “Stop In The Name Of Love.”
Zsa Zsa’s “Hiram” was met with a thundering applause even with just its intro that seemed to inspire the Divine Diva to inject more passion and angst to the thematic piece. Together with Regine, the two gave the audience a bouncy number via “Point of No Return.” After which they were joined by Pops and Kuh, all garbed in an Oliver Tolentino flowing ecru and beige chiffon gowns, as they paid tribute to the most important woman in their lives— their mother… through the song, “Ugoy Ng Duyan” while an overhead screen nostalgically flashed their baby pictures with their respective moms.
One of the show’s highlights was when the Divas borrowed each other’s hit song: Regine did Kuh’s, Kuh did Zsa Zsa’s while she did Regine’s and the latter did Pop’s. One time Metro Pop award-winning song, “Sino’ng Baliw,” was justifiably refreshing to hear again from the well-blended vocals of Kuh and Regine as they gave way for Pops solo spot rendition of a medley of 70’s disco hits like Sheena Easton’s “Telefone” (Long Distance Love Affair) and Cher’s “Do You Believe In Love,” where the crowd irresistibly stood and danced with gusto in place.
Their next costume change was an oriental inspired golden silk kimono with matching rhinestone-crusted headdress and did a couple of Madonna’s hits… and later, took off their tops that revealed an arabesque-cut mini-skirt profusely embellished with layers and layers of metallic trimmings and strands and strands of gold pearl beads. Unable to contain and hold back the stimulated exhilaration building up within them, the crowd (especially those in the front rows) turned wild and danced to the Divas’ music.
The heat has already reached its peak when the Divas introduced the show’s special guest, Gabby Concepcion, who was met with thunderous applause by hysterical fans (old diehards and curious new ones) as he sung a couple of cuts from his recently released self-titled album with his personally chosen revival songs… the likes of “Iisa Pa lamang” and “Mula Sa Puso.”
The finale number was a bit anti-climactic when the Divas came out glamorously garbed in silver lame gown with wide metallic silver obi sash and flowing skirt from a generous insertions of the same fabric… as they high spiritedly gyrated, swayed and wiggled to “We Are Family,” “Souvenir,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “I Love The Nightlife,” and “Shake Your Booty.”
The usual encore number was no longer demanded by the audience for the nearly three-hour production was more than enough to suffice what they wanted. What more was there to ask for? The show was simply fabulous! The experience was sensational! Everybody went home loaded with prolific thoughts indelibly marked by that once-in-a-lifetime concert while the four individually established singers wound up performing harmoniously together in a shared vision and common interest supremely encompassed by a single dominant factor— friendship! And it was truly a delight to see the four Divas doing what they love doing best… singing… and celebrating nothing but only the best of their artistry.
MPG Global Productions producer Mely “Bing” Pechangco Gabriel had lots to smile about since her latest project came out much more successful than expected despite being plagued with voluminous problems that nearly plunged her into chaos.
“It wasn’t actually traumatic but more of the tensions that prevailed as the date drew closer…” Bing said, who looked rested after a few days. “Now, I became aware of the people I could count on during times like this. Every project becomes a learning experience.”
Now, more than ever, has there been any entertainment package of this magnitude with such ambitious concept, enormousness in production, lavishness in costume and diversity in repertoire? DIVAS 4 DIVAS was indeed one defining moment… a total celebration of music and fashion… of sights and sounds rolled congruously into one eventful evening.