MANILA, SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 (INQUIRER) By Julliane Love de Jesus - She emerged on the stage, donned in plain white basketball jersey, and never mind if she was a little over two hours late, she was Rihanna.

As the lights dimmed at the Mall of Asia Arena at 10:15 p.m., the fans, mostly clad in grunge but glitzy outfits, started to scream and then:

“Manila, how ya’ll feeling tonight? Now this is my second time here. But of course that was a really long time ago but I did not forget. I could not wait to come back. Ya’ll ready to get crazy with me tonight?” were Rihanna’s first words as she finally appeared on the stage with Egyptian and Aztec-themed digital background and to even louder and wilder screams from the audience.

The last time the Barbados-born singer was in Manila was in 2008 with then lover and fellow R&B singer Chris Brown.

Rihanna began Thursday’s concert by singing her recently released hits and ending her first set with “You Da One’, an electropop-Reggae from 2011.

Following the guitar solo provided by Portuguese guitarist Nuno Bettencourt of the 80s rock band “Extreme”, Rihanna got her audience all hyped again with “Man Down” and another upbeat hit “Rude Boy”.

“Ya’ll having a good time? I’m having so much fun with you, Manila!” Rihanna said as she did a medley of her all-time hits – “What’s my name,” “Umbrella,” “All of the Lights,”“Rockstar 101”.

Then the mood turned somber as Rihanna asked: “Have you ever been in love? Because this next song is all about that complicated sh*t.”

Romance filled the air as Rihanna sang “What Now” from her latest album “Unapologetic”, “Take a Bow,” “Hate that I Love You,” and “Photographs.”

The concert would not be complete without Rihanna singing her multi-awarded single “We Found Love”, followed by “S&M”, “Only Girl (In The World)” and “Don’t Stop The Music.”

Rihanna’s final song “Where Have You Been” was followed by an encore, her 2013 hit “Stay” as the crowd refused to let the singer go, repeatedly chanting her name.

“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,” she told her Filipino fans.

GTA, a house and electronic music duo, kept the crowd entertained with a mash-up from 90s rock classics (“Smells Like Teen Spirit” of Nirvana) and modern hiphop (“Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi).

They performed from 8:30 p.m. until past 9 p.m. as the audience patiently waited for the star of the evening.
Rihanna’s concert in Manila is part of her Diamond World Tour that will also take her to Macau and Singapore.



Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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