Live concerts are back: Sharon, Regine, Gigi, P-pop groups usher in return of pre-pandemic entertainment

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2022 06:55 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2022 09:02 AM

(Clockwide, from top-left) Regine Velasquez and Sharon Cuneta, SB19, Gigi de Lana, and BINI are among the music acts performing live at concert venues this year, amid eased safety measures against COVID-19. Araneta Coliseum/ ShowBT/ Star Music/ ABS-CBN Events
(Clockwide, from top-left) Regine Velasquez and Sharon Cuneta, SB19, Gigi de Lana, and BINI are among the music acts performing live at concert venues this year, amid eased safety measures against COVID-19. Araneta Coliseum/ ShowBT/ Star Music/ ABS-CBN Events

MANILA — (UPDATED) The local concert scene looks poised to return to pre-pandemic form, with successive announcements of shows to be held at major venues notably without limitation on capacity.

Leading the pack is breakout singer Gigi de Lana, whose March 5 “Domination” concert is the first to be held in Metro Manila after the capital region was deescalated to Alert Level 1 at the start of the month.

The classification allows event venues to operate at full capacity, while still observing minimum health protocols such as wearing face masks, according to the Department of Health. Adults will still be required to present proof of full vaccination before participating in mass gatherings.

The Newport Performing Arts Theater, venue of de Lana’s “Domination,” can fill its 1,710 seating capacity under the eased measures. Previously, the Resorts World Manila venue held a homecoming concert of the hit musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo” in December, but only at 50% capacity under prevailing safety measures at the time.

Aside from de Lana and her band The Gigi Vibes, Newport Performing Arts Theater will also host two other major concerts — Gloc-9 and Shanti Dope’s “Rapsody” on April 2, and Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez’s “Iconic” later this year.

More or less 10,000 seats at the Araneta Coliseum, meanwhile, are set for the P-Pop Convention on April 10, where the likes of SB19, BINI, BGYO, and MNL48 will gather for a four-hour mega-concert.

Foreign acts are also on track for live shows in the country, including “Ironic” hitmaker Alanis Morissette, who is celebrating 25 years of “Jagged Little Pill” at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on November 18 and 19. English singer Sarah Brightman is also scheduled for Big Dome show by end of year.

It remains to be seen how the transition back to pre-pandemic music events will factor in the streaming release model that became predominant in the past two years.

The likes of SB19, BGYO and BINI, Velasquez, and de Lana have staged digital concerts in the pandemic era — “Our Zone,” “One Dream,” “Freedom,” and YouTube Music Night, respectively. The P-pop groups and Velasquez’s separate shows were available for KTX ticket holders, while de Lana’s Christmas concert streamed for free on YouTube.

With “Domination,” de Lana is not forgoing of digital access completely. The concert will be available to stream on KTX on April 23, with bonus content featuring snippets of de Lana’s Middle East tour.

KTX, which emerged as the leading virtual space for concerts and other events during the pandemic, has said it intends to eliminate “barrier of venue” for fans who are unable to physically attend their idols’ concerts by providing streaming access, live.

— with a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News