Original Pilipino Music (OPM) is alive and well, thanks to the new and established artists who made significant contributions to the music industry. Among the OPM artists who remained active, especially during the pandemic, is singer-songwriter and former Rivermaya frontman, Rico Blanco.
Despite his activity on social media and encouraging other artists to pursue their careers, fans missed the OPM icon on the concert scene. Rico shares the same sentiments as he’s now preparing to hold a solo concert in September.
“It’s been a while since I performed there, and I think for everyone, it’s been a while na makanood uli tayo ng mga concert sa mga ganitong venue,” Rico said. “Unti-unti tayong bumabalik sa concert scene. We started sa bars, then medium-sized venues, so I’m happy to announce na we’re starting to do this in big venues again.”
As most of his fans know, Rico’s concerts are energetic and immersive. Since it’s been years since he last held a solo performance, he has to train his body to have the stamina and endurance to last the night. His previous concerts are an exercise for him, literally.
“I need to ramp up my cardio as I usually do kapag matagal akong hindi nakakapag-concert. Kung tuloy-tuloy kasi yung concert, like dati every week meron, kahit papaano kondisyon,” the OPM icon said.
Now, he has a month to prepare himself for his solo concert. Rico added that he has his exercise bike ready beside his bed to get in shape as much as possible.
Rico’s concert will also feature OPM artists Zild Benitez and Ebe Dancel. However, his partner, Maris Racal, might not make an appearance during his solo performance as she has prior commitments for her acting career. Still, Rico said she would try to be present even as an audience member to watch the concert and support the OPM icon.
Yet, holding a concert in a massive venue such as the Smart Araneta Coliseum is no idle talk, especially with the pandemic, recession, and another health crisis posing a threat to the public. Rico said he is aware of the challenges in ticket sales but is ready to face them.
“I’m happy to take on that risk with the support of our friends. We know this is a different environment. This is not the height of people going out, but also we know that people are [really, really] hungry to experience live music again in this way. So, we’ll try and just go for it. It’s part of my career anyway, to try things for the first time. I’ve always seen challenges as opportunities to bring about new things and a new way of doing things,” he said.
He added that going to concerts is a habit and part of the lifestyle of going out that people thoroughly enjoy and crave.
Although Rico plans to explore his music further in the future, his fans would most likely agree with a line from one of his famous songs, “Antukin,” which goes: “Okay lang, baby, ‘wag kang magbago.”
Catch Rico Blanco’s concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 11.