UPDATE: FULL NE-YO/CHARICE VIDEO PERFORMANCE ADDED.
Friday night in Las Vegas, super-producer DAVID FOSTER hosts another installment of Foster & Friends, his all-star series of concerts featuring artists he’s worked with in the past. The one he did in 2008, with MICHAEL BUBLE, JOSH GROBAN, CHICAGO’s PETER CETERA and more, was filmed and became one of the most successful specials in PBS history.
Tonight’s concert at Mandalay Bay features an equally impressive lineup. Foster will be joined by MICHAEL BOLTON, SEAL, DONNA SUMMER, EARTH WIND & FIRE, KENNY LOGGINS, RUBEN STUDDARD, MARTINA MCBRIDE, NATALIE COLE, NE-YO, CHARICE and others, plus surprise guests. If you can’t make it to Vegas, the concert will once again be recorded and will air as a PBS Great Performances concert, and be released as a CD/DVD set.
This page will be updated with every new videos, stories and photos as they become available. So check back frequently.
“Charice News Network” Report– Part 1
LAFan reporting from the Las Vegas Bureau of the CM CNN.
Hey Chasters. Well, it’s 4:20AM as I begin this report, and sorry for the delay as we just got back into a hotel room with internet for me to start writing this report. I have to leave for my flight out of Vegas in about 2 hours, so I may have to write this report in 2 parts, and I will be sure to finish it once I am able to in the morning.
It was an unforgettable day, and there is so much going through my mind right now, that I hope to truly capture the events of the day as they transpired upon our arrival in Vegas earlier this afternoon. Had a wonderful car ride out to Vegas with Jazzy and Loella, and we headed straight to the Chaster Pre-Show Dinner shortly thereafter.
The initial expectations were roughly 10-15 Chasters joining the L.A. Chasters for the pre-show dinner. However, as 5:30pm hit, more and more new Chasters came into the restaurant and put faces to long-known screen-names on CM. By the end of the dinner, approximately 60 or so Chasters from all over the world had gathered for this special time of fellowship. The gathering represented a ‘who’s who’ of CM Chasters, and I won’t begin to name all the attendees as everyone familiar with CM would recognize all those who were present for the dinner.
Being a Chaster begins with our amazement of Charice’s gift. Yet, being a Chaster also means that people from all corners of life now share a common bond of being touched by Charice and her life-story. Every Chaster can tell of a special, unique way that their lives have been changed by Charice, and taking part in a Chaster get-together makes for such a huge part of the experience of being a Chaster. Needless to say, the instant camaraderie in the room among complete strangers before was a beautiful thing to witness.
Now back to the Concert, Christinedl and I had been notified earlier this week that we were one of four truly lucky Chasters who would have the privilege of attending a pre-show backstage experience with Charice. However, up to 3 hours before the start of the show, we had yet to receive word from the promoters on where to pick up our backstage passes. Finally, at around 5:30pm, got a call from Christinedl that she had just received the email confirming our participation in the backstage experience. Within a few minutes, Eve also called with the good news that the backstage pass was a ‘go’, and that she was on her way to the Chaster pre-show dinner to personally deliver the backstage passes!
Clearly, the anticipation of the evening’s festivities was enough to fill my stomach, as I had no appetite at all to dine on the fine sushi buffet. I ended up paying $40.00 for the dinner for I believe 3 pieces of sushi… yes, the most expensive sushi I have ever eaten. So now, Christinedl, her husband and myself were equipped with our backstage passes. Unfortunately, the fourth winner of the backstage passes was unable to show, which enabled our very own Eve to take part in this unforgettable experience.
We cut our dinner short to head over to the Mandalay Event Center with the hopes to spend time with Charice before she headed onstage. Eve had received some prior instructions that we would be given personally guided tours of the backstage area, and then have the opportunity to spend about 30 minutes with Charice before the concert. However, Eve was now informed that we would be given unrestricted access to roam about on our own backstage without any guide. The problem was, how would we even know how to get to where we needed to be to have a chance at seeing Charice? The answer would come in one of the most unexpected ways, which began the magical journey of this amazing evening.
As Christinedl and I were rushing over to the Event center where we planned to meet up with Eve and then somehow navigate our way to ‘find’ Charice somewhere backstage, a rather small white male literally began walking stride by stride with me to my left… I then began to notice that people in front of us were staring at us as we passed them by.
I wondered to myself whether they thought Christinedl and I were celebrities because we had the VIP backstage passes around our necks as we made our way towards the Events Center. Then, to my complete shock, walking right next to me was none other than Kenny G, the truly gifted horn player. I introduced myself and Christine, and since he was holding his instrument case in his hand, we asked him if he would be playing in the DFF concert.
Kenny G said that he was set to play one song with Kenny Loggins. We then introduced ourselves as Charice fans that were lucky enough to get backstage passes to the concert, and asked him if he was aware of Charice’s music. With a big smile on his face, Kenny G said that of course he was aware of Charice, and he was just amazed at the huge voice that came out of such a small body. Kenny G said that he was a big fan of Charice’s music, and that she was an amazingly talented singer. He then asked if we had backstage passes for the show, and we showed him our passes. Kenny G then asked if we knew where we should go to find Charice, and we both said we had no clue. Then, amazingly, he said, “Come with me,” and began to escort us personally to the VIP entrance to the backstage area!
I then began to ask myself, “Why was Kenny G walking through the public casino and through crowds of people and not coming in through some side performer-only entrance?” So I asked him that, and he said that he didn’t mind just walking through the public areas. So he took us past the lines of people now waiting to get in through the front doors, and led us down a flight of stairs to a set of doors that he said would lead us to the backstage area. He said he would take us all the way there, but we told him that we had to wait for our friend Eve who was joining us soon.
Kenny G took the time to explain to us where we would need to go once we got past the doors… now, I write all of this to make one point. Kenny G is one of the world’s most recognizable musicians and performers, and yet he came off as one of the most down to earth regular guys you would run into at your local coffee shop. Even despite all his success and fame, he remains a truly genuine humble guy… and reminds me of our own Charice who proved again tonight, what makes her who she is time and time again throughout the evening… but we’ll get to that soon.
Back to the backstage experience… just as Christine and I thanked Kenny G for escorting us all the way down to the backstage area and he disappeared through the doors, we turned our heads and there was Marc Johnston, Charice’s manager walking right towards us. Then right behind him, was Carl, Charice’s brother. Then a few people I would later learn to be Charice’s friends, then, in the middle of the group, Miss Sunshine Corazon herself. I say Sunshine and not Charice because she was sporting those ultra cool glasses she wore on Episode 1, hair pulled back in a pony-tail, Sunshine-style, and cool comfortable, casual outfit that would totally fit in at McKinley high.
We immediately caught Charice’s attention and said ‘Hi Charice! We’re here to see you! Charice said ‘Hi Po’, and smiled and continued to walk towards the magical doors to the backstage area. Charice most likely thought we were just Chasters waiting to see her perform on stage. So in that moment, as we were waiting for Eve, we told her that we would see her in a little bit, which again she must have thought meant we’ll see her perform on stage in a little bit.
The realization soon began to hit that Charice may not have had any idea that there would be four Chasters from CM coming backstage to meet with her! I frantically called Eve to tell her we had just been escorted down by Kenny G, and that we had just seen Charice enter the backstage area, and that she had to hurry on down! Eve arrived shortly later, and literally, we were like four little school kids walking into a toy store knowing we would be in for an experience of a life-time.
Even then, we still had no clue where exactly we needed to go to find Charice backstage! There were several security guards along the hallway, so we asked where the dressing rooms were, and they directed us further on down the hall. Then, as we turned the corner, we ran into Charice and her group again for the second time!
We again said “Hi Charice! We’re from charicemania, and we’re here with the backstage passes to see you!” However, a female in the group told us that Charice had to go get her hair and makeup done at that time. So we were confused as to whether we should follow Charice to spend time with her while she got her makeup done, or whether we were to wait outside until she finished. Charice told us that she had to get her hair/makeup done, so we told her that we would wait outside for her after she was done.
At this point, it became clear to me that Charice did not know that she would be having four Chasters from CM coming backstage to spend time with her before the show! There really wasn’t a dedicated space/time where we would sit down with her to chat and take pictures and autographs like we had thought earlier.
So, we said ‘bye’ to Charice a second time, and hung around outside her dressing room waiting for her to be done with her hair and makeup! We spotted Carl who was outside the door, and Christine wanted to take a picture with him, but he told her that he was ‘working as a security for Charice’ that night and could not take any pictures. So we again, patiently waited in the hallway, wondering where this whole backstage experience would lead us…
Then, as we waited in the hallway, U.S. figure-skating gold-medalist Kristi Yamaguchi walked to where we were standing. We immediately all recognized her and told her that we were big fans of hers and it was great seeing her. She appeared to be in a rush, so we said ‘goodbye’, not knowing what her role in the show would be.
Then, as we finished our brief encounter with Kristi Y., we saw Charice and her group again head out of the room and walk towards another room which was marked as the VIP room or something to that effect. They walked right in, and heck, we figured by that point, no one had stopped us at any checkpoint, so I calmly walked up to the same door that Charice and her group had gone through, and flashed my VIP badge, and the guard waved us in!
Somehow, someway, we were now inside the belly of the beast, rubbing shoulders with the actual artists who were set to perform that evening on stage! To our left, we saw members of Earth, Wind and Fire… we would see Michael Bolton walking around, and many more whom I can’t even recollect at this moment. Charice was standing in the side of the room with the same two people we had seen earlier, and Carl.
So of course, this was finally our chance to have some time with Charice! We walked up to Charice and said “Hi” now for the third time!!! and told her that we had won the backstage passes to meet her before the show. I think this was when she realized that we were there, literally to see her before she got on stage! She was still dressed in her Sunshine outfit, so I think Eve asked if she had already done her hair/makeup for the show, and Charice kind of laughed and said “No, look at me, I’m still dressed normal!”
Then, Charice turned and said “Let me introduce you to my friends,” and introduced us to a male and female I think a bit older than her in age, but still pretty young looking. I shook hands with them and they told me their names, but honestly, I can’t remember what they were.
Carl was of course still standing next to them. So we just told Charice that we were so happy to see her, that we had just had a pre-show dinner with 60 Chasters from all over the world that had come to see her, and that we were all looking forward to her performance. She was so gracious to us during that time, and then was so cordial in allowing us to get some pictures with her.
At that point, it did seem as though Charice needed to start getting ready for her performance, so we told her how awesome it was to see her and that we would see her on stage. She thanked us and then she and her group left the room. By this point, Christine, Eve and I were somewhat delirious in what we had experienced… just hanging with Charice, even for a short time, in the VIP room of the Mandalay Bay event center.
After Charice left, we finally felt free to unwind a bit, sit down, and then take part in the luscious foods and beverages they had available for the VIPs. By that time though, it was 7:50pm, and the show was set to start in 10 minutes. Eve had not had dinner yet, so she was rushing to finish her small plate of food when I realized that they had a closed-circuit T.V. in the VIP room with a live view of the stage.
At this time, we were still surrounded by the various singers who would use that room to relax before getting on stage. I commented to Eve that she might as well just stay in the VIP room instead of heading out to the arena as she had the concert on the TV, great food, and the actual singers literally sitting and standing within a few feet of us!
I actually had to get inside to the arena floor because our trusty videographer, Jazzy had asked me to ‘bring’ his flip-video recorder with me into the VIP area since we knew the security would be tight for this recorded show. So, I left the VIP room, walked right by the entrance of the stage, and navigated my way through the hallways, to find a direct elevator that took me up to the concourse level where I found my floor seat. I then called Jazzy to let him know that I and the flip-recorder were inside the arena.
As I walked to my seat on the floor, I recognized so many of my fellow Chasters from the pre-show dinner, including CLR4LFE and his awesome family, including the youngest dedicated member of the LA Chaster family, their daughter Diana who was without fail, always with them at every Charice event.
The host announced the event would be recorded for a PBS special, as well as a DVD/CD, so all phones and cameras were to be put away. Then, the lights dimmed, and the show began. Honestly, there were so many performers in the lineup, that it would be difficult for me to run all of them down.
However, the one thing that struck me off the bat was that this concert would not go as a normal concert would go, that is, the songs being played once, errors and all. From the first song on, there seemed to be technical issues with the mikes/feedback and synchronization with the stage director and the musicians.
Kenny G made a surprise appearance from the crowd during the first song of the night sung by Kenny Loggins, but David Foster had to stop the song mid-way because Kenny G’s horn wasn’t emitting any sound. So, David Foster explained that since the entire night was going to be recorded, that they would re-do songs that did not go off correctly. And honestly, this took place at least 5 or so times throughout the night, with various artists, ranging from wrong keys being played, to mike issues… David Foster did say that he had been planning the show for the past two months, but there had not been many rehearsals with the artists to go over their songs.
However, we were all truly witnesses to some of the most talented musical artists to ever grace a stage, and between David Foster and the artists, the ultimate outcome was an amazing array of huge hits from the past, and also from the present. This brings me to Ne-Yo and the anticipated duet with Charice.
David Foster introduced Ne-Yo as an artist who would stand the test of time, and Ne-Yo sang his first song which was memorable for his dancing moves alone. A lot of us had thought that since David Foster had never produced any of Ne-Yo’s songs, this would possibly be an opportunity for Charice to debut her much anticipated dance single with Ne-Yo as the collaborator. That was not to be the case tonight.
David Foster began a set of songs he produced with Michael Jackson, and Ne-Yo sang the Earth Song. As you will see in the videos, towards the tail end of the song, after a full choir had come on stage to sing with Ne-Yo, out came to our surprise, Charice, in a cool black outfit, with a FIERCE attitude singing the song with such strength that it blew everyone’s minds. After a thunderous applause, Charice exited the stage with David Foster promising us much more of Charice later.
Charice & Ne-Yo – Earth Song (a tribute to Michael Jackson)
Video upload by Lantao Island
Video upload by s2pidluv4u
This was the point where I realized that Charice was the true-life Hannah Montana. Just minutes earlier, we had witnessed her as “Sunshine Corazon”, dressed very casually, so soft-spoken, somewhat still shy, being so nice and respectful to her adoring, much older fans! Yet when she appeared on stage with Ne-Yo, she had undergone a transformation into Charice, the most beautiful girl in the world, with a FIERCE voice and attitude which exuded confidence and strength; same girl, yet two very different personas. However, after Charice finished her song, she was back to her shy, giggly self.
Focusing now on Charice’s set, after a loving introduction by D. Foster, Charice came on stage to sing Celine Dion’s “To love you more”. This is where I will somewhat defer to the videos taken of her performance. Her performance: stunning, powerful, and simply brought the entire audience to its feet.
Charice – To Love You More
Video upload by Lantao Island
D. Foster then asked Charice to sing what Celine Dion had told D. Foster as a ridiculously difficult song to sing, “All by Myself”. Charice’s execution of the song, again, was FLAWLESS. The videos will speak for themselves. However, this leads me to my final ‘editorial’ of the report: The crowd was without a doubt pumped up and excited when Charice came on stage. The applause for her and cheers for her before she began her set were much louder and pronounced than for the other artists. Yet, an unfortunate incident occurred when after D. Foster had already messed up on the wrong key for the second song with Charice, and apologized to her for doing so (and we all know that D. Foster is a perfectionist who seeks excellence always).
So we knew that D. Foster was now getting focused to ‘make things right’ with a perfect rendition the second time. However, someone in the crowd yelled out “Viva La Mexico” during the moment of silence immediately before D. Foster was getting ready to play the first notes of the song. That led to another person yelling out “Philippines, Philippines!”, which then began another series of chants in Tagalog (all my Filipino Chasters are sleeping right now so I can’t ask them what that was right now).
This led to a period of chanting which finally subsided… unfortunately, this had led to a rather frustrated mood in the crowd, particularly in my section of mostly non-Asian guests, who complained out-loud, ‘geez, let the poor girl sing her song!’. Then D. Foster said right before starting the song, ‘thank you to the person who yelled viva la Mexico for basically ruining the song and saying something which had nothing to do with the evening”.
Charice was an innocent bystander through this entire period, but you could tell seeing her that D. Foster’s frustration there impacted her a bit. Charice is a true professional, so she executed the song flawlessly on the second try, but as you will see in the videos, D. Foster forgot to play the final 4 bars of the song leading to the pivotal high note, which led to an awkward moment where Charice looked back at D. Foster as if asking him if the song was over or whether she should continue singing. D. Foster just said, ‘hit the high note’, and Charice killed the final high note and brought the audience to its feet again.
Charice – All By Myself
Video upload by Lantao Island
At this point, I think most in the audience would not have known that D. Foster had made a mistake in the song, but he confessed to us all that he had failed to tell Charice of the change in plan, and thus he apologized to Charice, who at this point, seemed a bit confused by all of this.
D. Foster then asked someone if they could re-do the song (like so many other artists before had done throughout the evening, but by now, it was almost 11:40pm, and the show had gone on for over 3.5 hours due to all the re-takes and logistical issues. So D. Foster told Charice that they could not re-do the song, and I really felt so bad for Charice because she had given nothing but her absolute best throughout all the challenging circumstances. It was a bit anti-climatic seeing Charice walk off the stage at that point, which leads me to my editorial comment:
I think different concert settings call for different types of reactions from audiences… for instance, when we went to see Charice at the Las Vegas Block Party earlier this summer, the crowd was in a frenzy, and that was what the mood of the event called for. However, this DFF concert’s setting was a different type of environment, where cheers and chants were totally great, up to a point when the artist is just about to start with the song.
There is a 2-3 second period where the crowd really needs to respect the artist and remain silent for them to focus on the upcoming song… unfortunately, the chanting going on right before Charice’s songs may have been the reason why D. Foster got sidetracked those two times during Charice’s set, and he was clearly ‘ticked off’ during that one chanting incident.
Again, we Chasters love our Charice, and support her unconditionally. But particularly for the upcoming DFF shows in Asia, it would be great if we could all represent Charice in the best possible way as her fans, and respect the artists by remaining silent just before they begin to sing their songs. Just my humble opinion, from what I observed tonight.
I have much more to report about how the show closed off, as well as all the details of the frenzied meet and greet time that followed after the show. However, I am already late in heading to the airport, so I will post this Part 1 of my CNN report.
by LAfan, Charicemania.com
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