The date: September 19, 2013. For one night only Robyn Rihanna Fenty aka Rihanna brought the house down again In Manila (figuratively of course!) this time at the Mall of Asia Arena as part of the 3-city Asian Leg of her ongoing Diamonds World Tour to promote her 7th studio album, UnApologetic. In between Manila, RiRi also performed in Macau and is scheduled in Singapore on September 22nd.
Inspite its steep P27K SVIP front row ticket price down to P1,900 for Gen.Admission (similar to JLo) thousands of fans and RiRi die-hards were able to secure their hard-earned golden tickets (5mos in the making) just to see their pop, reggae and hip-hop “badgirlRiRi” in the flesh.
Arrival Photo by Raoul Esperas
Rihanna’s private plane touched down 6:15PM at NAIA Terminal 1 Thursday evening just a few hours before its 8PM slated schedule. Florida, USA based DJ Tandem of We Are GTA opened the act with their danceable house mixes which just set the perfect mood for RiRi’s kinda show!
Around 9:20PM en route to the venue, she tweeted:
More than fashionably 2 hours late at her own concert, some got restless and impatient it was already past 10PM and main show has not started but the rest of RiRi fanatics did not mind. They waited for 5 years for her Manila comeback and what is TWO hours? Sign of “diva” symptoms? I don’t think so. The concert’s very late start enabled lots of late comers to catch Rihanna’s “Phresh Out the Runaway” opening number which clocked in around 10:20PM.
Check out these dazzling laser lights and roaring crowd:
When RiRi finally emerged amidst her stage and LED effects, a multitude of gadgetries for video recording and photo ops started to document what is perhaps the Best Arena Partey ever! In between deafening screams, Manila welcomed the 25 year old songstress who was clad in relaxed white gym-like mesh attire and filled the arena with her magnetic presence.
And Rihanna belted out, “Wassuupp MAAAANNILAAAAAA?!!”
She made sure she sang all her greatest hits that catapulted her to fame since 2008’s hit song “Umbrella” that same year RiRi marked her first time concert in open field Taguig City with on & off boyfriend Chris Brown.
Photo by: Aileen Buela
Even local celebrities took time out from busy scheds just to watch Rihanna. Of course, It’s her or nothing! Glammed & ready to par-tey, paparazzi’s were able to spot Kim Chiu, Kathryn Bernardo, Julia Barreto, Vina Morales, Richard Gomez, Daniel Matsunaga, Tessa Prieto-Valdez, Sam Milby, Erick Santos, Rachelle Ann Go, BFF’s Isabelle Daza, Liz Uy, Ruffa Gutierrez, with brothers Richard & Raymond, Anne Curtis Smith and Vice Ganda among a string of others. Vice could not contain his emotions when he later tweeted Rihanna also got a hold of his hand and even handed the microphone to him twice when she went down to get closer and briefly mingle with fans. Uber FAN MODE!
IG by @lizzzuy
This was a cool part when Rihanna goes downstage and upclose with her fans (lucky those front row SVIPs) is done in all her #DiamondWorldTour concert shows. I watched a clip of her #DWT London show at the 02 Arena, where she took a fan’s phone near the stage and performed a “selfie” not only once but twice! For sure that phone owner could not sleep for days after RiRi left a rare souvenir to cherish. Woot! Winner!
IG by @officialtimyap
It’s all about the hit songs. Rihanna made sure her set list included “Talk That Talk”, “You Da One”, “What’s My Name” in between sexy teases with several and almost habitual ala-Michael Jackson crotch grabbing in her dance moves! Her big break song “Umbrella” was one of the most screamed out number as expected. Slowed it down to “What Now” and “Hate That I Love You”. RiRi picked up momentum again via “We Found Love”, “S&M”, “Only Girl (In the World), “Please Don’t Stop the Music” and one of my personal favorites “Where Have You Been”. Perfect! The audience could not ask for more…RiRi’s #DiamondsWorldTour is worth every peso paid!
Photo by Randz Manucom
IG by @dinolazaro
IG by @lizzzuy
Fashion is always a rad statement in every RiRi concert which her critiques are always on the look-out for. For this tour, her earlier North American to European concert legs dressed her up quite elaborate yet classical creations from top designers of Christian Dior and Givenchy. Completing her wardrobes are elegant and spunky world class Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik boots among other accessories and personal creations by her personal costume designer Adam Selman.
I noticed that her Asian Leg is more of the white and kinda sporty laid back look.Costumes she’s more relaxed to sing and dance with.In coming days and weeks RiRi and her crew are yet to conquer Australia, New Zealand, Africa, MIddle East, South America and as her #DWT winds down in few more states of the US till the 15th of November.
IG by @CarLvXclusive
It was pretty much expected that RiRi would bear more skin, something she’s very known yet popular for and she did not disappoint her Manila audience when she ended up with only a white tanga-like swimsuit for all cameras to capture with her equally white cloth headband still very in place! Well done, gurL!!! Fitting were encore songs “Stay” and her tour’s signature ditty, “Diamonds”.
Lots of fans already got teary-eyed towards this part of the show, I guess for 3 reasons:
1) Diamonds is the final,final song (encore) number in RiRi’s concert set list ;
2) Fans are sad the greatest “mass partey” was about to end & are wondering when is RiRi going to come back ;
3) That thousands, if not millions are also touched by the poignant significance of the song’s uplifting message to “…shine bright like a diamond, we’re beautiful like diamonds in the sky…”
Rihanna’s #DiamondsWorldTour in Manila was locally presented by Smart and Fibr; and by tour promoters Music Management International in association with Live Nation Global Touring and Roc Nation. Congrats!