“Ako lang ‘to,” OPM icon Rico Blanco assured his adoring fans during his first-ever solo concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 11, Sunday. But it’s precisely him who the people wanted to see and hear, making them excited to witness his live performance after spending two years in lockdown.
Rico spent the night playing his hit songs, including “Antukin,” “Elesi,” “Umaaraw, Umuulan,” and more. The singer-songwriter, decked in a shimmery red suit, also had creative control over his performance, allowing him to take things slowly through jamming or amplifying the mood with electrifying guitar solos.
Eager fans sang along, danced, and cheered as the OPM artist gave them a show complete with production due to the lights, costumes, and choreography to amplify the experience.
Whenever he could, Rico expressed his gratitude to the fans who took the time to attend his concert through heartfelt messages and song dedications.
Rico also shared the spotlight with other Filipino artists, Ebe Dancel, Zild, and Peniel, who each brought a different take on OPM. The night became a celebration of the country’s music and how it inspires generations. His partner, Maris Racal, also gave a short but sweet performance as a surprise to the crowd.
Although many of his fans flocked from different areas of the country, with some returning overseas, Rico reminded the audience to support local artists. He added that they deserve this recognition because there will always be good OPM regardless of the generation.
It was nearly midnight before Rico drew his concert to a close with the song “Your Universe.” However, he treated the audience to the first-ever performance of an unreleased song, “Palibot-libot,” before it dropped at midnight.
“This was a last-minute decision. I told the concert director during my second to the last rehearsal,” Rico said.
Despite his efforts to satisfy the crowd, his fans wanted more.
“Nabitin din ako,” Rico shared. Rico shared the spotlight with other OPM artists before, especially when he was a member of the band Rivermaya. Yet this was the first time he held a solo concert.
He had been playing for nearly three hours, only taking breaks when the other OPM artists gave their performances. Rico shared that he used to perform in gigs, but it was more chill than a solo concert, allowing him to take all the time he needed to sing all his hits.
Still, Rico looked forward to performing at his first solo concert. Months before the show, the OPM artist isolated himself to avoid catching the COVID-19 virus. Upon seeing the crowd, he was left speechless and knew that all his sacrifices bore fruit.
Following the concert’s success, KDR Music House shared that they plan to take the show around the country and reach more fans. While it’s not yet confirmed, they promise to share details when possible.
It’s been years since Rico carved his path in the music industry. His concert just shows how relevant he is to OPM. Safe to say, the public can still expect more from him in the following years.