Rico Blanco holds first solo concert at the Big Dome

FORMER  Rivermaya frontman Rico Blanco —  the singer of hits like “214,” “Balisong,” and “Liwanag sa Dilim” —  is going back to the concert scene with a bang, with a solo concert at the Araneta Coliseum on Sept. 11.

“I will be back in Araneta Coliseum for a concert,” he said during a press conference in Quezon City. “It’s been a while since I performed there,” he noted.

It turns out that he hadn’t performed at Araneta solo before. The other times he had been on the Araneta stage, it had been with his former band, Rivermaya, as well as sharing billing with rapper Gloc-9 and Kitchie Nadal. “I think I’ve never done a solo show in Araneta,” he said. “And what a time to try, no?”

Performing with him are Ebe Dancel, Zild, and Peniel.

Earlier this year, he performed at a concert with Ebe Dancel, girlfriend Maris Racal, and Never The Strangers (among others) at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan.

KDR Music House and Wish 107.5 reached out to him about the Araneta concert. Tickets are on sale on Ticketnet for between P500 to P6,000 (https://www.ticketnet.com.ph/events/detail/Rico-Blanco).

Questions were raised about the challenges of selling tickets and filling up the house during the pandemic. “Of course, meron mga protocols na kailangan [nating] sundin (of course, there are protocols that we need to follow),” he said, himself masking up several times during the press conference. “We were aware of those challenges. But someone’s gotta do it,” he said.

Asked why he’s returning to performing in big venues, he said, “I think our industry was really hit in the last two years —  like many industries. [It] had a difficult time,” he noted. “It’s not just the performers. It’s a whole industry,” he said, listing down all the people who work during a concert: from roadies to lighting directors. “I think the fact that we do it, we mount it; I think that alone would be a success already.”

He says he’s been to some shows in bars and medium-sized venues. “Ramdam mo iyong energy ng audience, pati na ng performers (You can feel the energy of the audience and the performers).”

“I’m very hopeful na magtuloy-tuloy (that it will continue).” — Joseph L. Garcia