Saturday, September 21, 2013


Rihanna went back to Manila last September 19, Thursday, at the Mall of Asia Arena as part of her Diamonds World Tour promoting her latest album "Unapologetic". This is her second time to perform in the country after her concert last 2008 at Taguig City with former partner Chris Brown.

Concert time was 8PM, people arrived at the area mostly wearing studded jeans, short shorts, sheer top, high heels and long skirts. We were welcomed with the DJ duo Great Times Ahead or GTA playing some 90's to latest electronic dance hits while waiting for Riri. 

But the party music didn't help with everyone's anxiousness as the main act shows no sign yet one and a half hour after 8pm. We learned that she just arrived past 6pm that night.

At 10:15pm, finally, Rihanna went on stage wearing an all-white ensemble of a jersey basketball shorts, head wrap, mesh one-piece swimsuit, jacket and rubber shoes. I was a bit disappointed with it but hoped that she'll surprise us with her costume changes. She started the show with some tracks from the 'Unapologetic' album: "Birthday Cake", "Talk That Talk" and "Phresh Off The Runway".

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The Barbados-born singer shared her Caribbean roots with the electropop- reggae hit "You Da One". Guitarist of the 80's rock band "Extreme" Nuno Bettencourt also had a guitar solo moment ending the first set.

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I was so excited to take a photo of her after she goes backstage, expecting for a grander outfit, but to my dismay she went back with the same ensemble. Actually she wore it the whole time, just taking some pieces off after quick exits from stage. 

Rihanna kept her audience up and shouted “Ya’ll having a good time? I’m having so much fun with you, Manila!” and did a medley of "What's My Name", "Umbrella", one of my ultimate fave "All Of The Lights", and "Rockstar 101". We were starting to get crazy by then!

Riri also sang some of her love songs starting with "What Now" with the intro “Have you ever been in love? Because this next song is all about that complicated sh*t”. This time she was just wearing her one piece mesh swimsuit and jacket. She also performed "Hate That I Love You", "Take A Bow" and "Photographs".

Everyone was dancing wild as Rihanna performed some of her biggest dance hits straight, from "We Found Love", "S&M", "Only Girl (In The World)" to "Please Don't Stop The Music"! I am still in awe thinking that I danced it with the RNB superstar herself singing it live!! Well, some were backed up by her singers though, another disappointment too. 

Some celebrities spotted in the event were Liz Uy, a huge Riri fan Vice Ganda (watch the video, Rihanna handed the microphone to him!), Ann Curtis Smith, Kim Chiu, Kathryn Bernardo, Ruffa Gutierrez, and many more!

Rihanna ended the night with "Where Have You Been", following two encore: "Stay" and her big hit "Diamonds". 

She bid goodbye saying "Manila, thank you guys so much. It was a fun night. Thank you, Manila. I can’t wait to get back here. You guys were awesome. Make some noise for yourself right now. None of this would be possible if you guys didn’t buy tickets and show up and come to rock out with RiRi”.

Ultimately it was still fun, I mean it's Rihanna live! I just felt that she didn't give her 100%, that the whole production didn't give their 100%, considering the expensive ticket prices. But then again, she ain't bad girl Riri for nothing right? 

Rihanna left the country that same night to continue her tour. See you again soon Riri, hoping for a better one next time.

About Fao Rani Yarte

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