“Charice News Network” Report from the Citadel, Part 1
Hey Chasters! It seems like each time I sit down to write a report after a show, I ask myself what was the main thing that struck me during this particular Charice performance. Although each performance is unique in its own way, one thing remains constant. Listening to Charice sing in-person is like listening to a live studio recording, because she is always flawless in pitch, tone, timing and delivery. In this day and age of autotune, other artists also sound really good live because they are either aided by auto-tune on stage, or just lip-synch on stage to a recorded track. You can usually tell the difference between an artist’s studio recording and a live performance, because there will be intonations, pitches that differ slightly between the two. However, with Charice, there is no auto-tune aid, nor does she lip-synch to a track. She is simply Charice, the consummate professional musical prodigy, who delivers a picture perfect performance time in and time out. She is a laserbeam both inside a recording studio and on a live stage. I will expound more on her set a bit later in this report, but first, let’s start with how the day started off for the L.A. Chasters as the three-week promotional effort finally reached its conclusion, kicking off her performance tonight at the Citadel.
As I’ve written earlier, I’ve been amazed and humbled by the efforts of the Chasters here in L.A. to promote this weekend’s Charice concerts for the past three weeks. Thousands of flyers were plastered all over L.A. during this period, and it was clear that regardless of the rainy forecast, we were expecting a HUGE turnout for this Citadel show to rival the amazing scene from Toronto earlier this year. We arrived at the Citadel around 12pm, and put the finishing touches on preparing for not only the pre-show activities of handing out the 100+ gifts for the Chasters under 12 who could recite the secret phrase, but also compiling the numerous gifts donated by the L.A. Chasters for the winners of the Trivia Game that would take place later in the evening at the post-show Chaster meet/greet dinner.
We finally made our way to the stage area around 2:30pm, and there was already a sizable crowd assembled in front of the stage area, 2.5 hours before showtime! From the initial looks of it, there was a large contingent of younger teen-aged girls who were big fans of Cody Simpson right at the front of the stage. However, even as we walked towards the stage area, we could see many Filipino families with their children who came of course, for Charice. One family from Vallejo had just driven 8 hours to get to the Citadel for the show, and we handed out our first two light sticks to the kids (who didn’t know the secret phrase, but we gave them a pass!). The L.A. Chasters then split up around the stage area and began distributing the light sticks to all the kids in the area. Unfortunately, not many knew the secret phrase, so we just ended up telling them the secret phrase, and they were just as excited to repeat it to us to receive their light sticks. Within an hour or so, all 100+ light sticks were handed out to the kids in the area, all who professed to be there to see Charice in person! However, one particular group of teens really stuck out to me, but I think I’ll save that story for Part 2 of this report as it touches upon another topic I’ll bring up later in the report.
We had been concerned for the past week looking at the weather reports which all pointed to a very rainy day in L.A. for the show. The weather was one thing we couldn’t control in terms of our promotional efforts, so we just hoped that the rainy forecast would not deter too many from coming. Heading down to the Citadel, we kept seeing “Sunshine” peek through the clouds, and we really began to believe that the rain would hold off for Charice’s performance. And for the most part, it did! Yes, there were periods of rain throughout the afternoon, but it was nothing compared to what the earlier weather forecasts had predicted. By 4:30pm, amid a bit of drizzle, the entire viewing area in front of the stage and to the sides of the stage were completely full. Literally, it was standing room only. At that point, the L.A. Chasters just looked to each other, and realized this night was already a HUGE success with such a large turnout despite the rain! We couldn’t have been happier seeing the massive crowd of people continuing to get larger and larger, even as umbrellas popped out from the crowd from time to time.
Prior to the start of the show, we were entertained by the Radio Disney DJ’s for about half an hour, and then the Citadel execs came out to do a bunch of speeches which only got the crowd more and more restless to get the show started! By then, we had all been standing on our feet for 3 hours straight as it was standing room only with no chairs in sight! The younger teens up front kept calling out for Cody, and then the Charice fans in the crowd would scream for Charice. The anticipation in the crowd was building to a boiling point, and finally, after the Rockettes gave a quick demonstration and promo, it was time for the first act of the night, Cody Simpson. He clearly was popular with the younger teen-aged girls in the crowd, and I recall thinking how after Charice’s next single, those same teen-aged girls would be screaming similarly for Charice. After a 5 song set by Cody which the crowd enjoyed, it was time for our Princess to make her way on stage!
Here is where I will go off on a quick tangent. For all previous Charice concerts, I had purposely not taken a camera to the show so I could focus solely on the performance and environment to write up as detailed and accurate of a report as possible. And that was the plan as well today. However, just before Charice came on stage, the L.A. Chasters discovered that there was no one livestreaming the show to the Chasters on Charicemania. So our fellow Chaster Jazzy quickly booted up his ustream account on his iPhone, and began to prepare his iPhone to try to livestream the show. He finally got it working, and since he was already going to record some stellar videos on his HD camcorder, Jazzy passed the iPhone to Christinedl to livestream the show. However, I was standing directly behind her, and realized it would make more sense for me to hold the iPhone for the livestream as I am ‘slightly’ taller than her. So I took the iPhone from her, and I think by the end of the performance, over 290 viewers were watching the show live on Jazzy’s ustream account.
The reason why I bring this up is, I can honestly say that I have gained a new profound appreciation for the efforts by all the Ninja Chaster videographers who go out of their way to take their cameras/camcorders to video these shows for all the Chasters’ benefit. Honestly, it was TREMENDOUSLY difficult trying to hold up the iPhone to video the show, and still try to stay ‘in the moment’ with Charice’s performance. Since this was my first time recording a performance, I didn’t realize how much focus was required to stay on the stage and not ‘get distracted’ by the show itself! So my apologies to all who viewed the livestream and complained about the shakiness, as well as my left finger which kept coming into the screen each time I switched the iPhone to my left hand to allow the blood to circulate back into my right arm! I didn’t realize the extents to which the Ninja Chasters have gone to provide such stellar videos of Charice’s performances for all of our benefit, and we just can’t thank them enough for their sacrifice in foregoing their own viewing experience to capture the best videos for all those around the world who wished they could be there as well. A funny note, if you all saw the end of the livestream, I gave the iPhone back to Christinedl after Charice’s performance, and it’s quite hilarious seeing Christinedl and our other famous L.A. Chaster Jay (UCLA_UST) go crazy at the end of that video giving their shout-outs to their fellow Chasters on CM. Can you tell they were both a bit excited after watching Charice live?
So let’s get back to Charice’s set-list. The crowd was in a really good mood after Cody Simpson’s performance, and was eager to have Charice come on stage. Although there were quite a few Cody fans in the audience, I believe the cheers for Charice were definitely the loudest of the night when the DJ asked who we were excited to see. Charice came out to the “I Love You Remix” intro, and as you can see in the video uploads, just ignited the crowd with her power vocals. Like I said before, I had heard her sing the “I Love You Remix” at the Las Vegas Block Party earlier this summer, and I could have sworn that we were listening to a recording of that same performance. Just another picture perfect, spot-on, flawless performance which has become her trademark: laserbeam.
Charice then asked the crowd if we wanted to hear her single “Pyramid,” and the crowd yelled loudly with approval. Again, what can I say about the performance other than it was simply flawless just like the studio recording. After Pyramid, we got to see a bit of the fun side of Charice on stage, which was REALLY great to see! Charice noted that she first got discovered on Youtube singing covers, and then went into the Dance Medley (Just dance/Party in the USA/Rock with you). Then, she kind of joked around with the crowd about singing a Justin Bieber song, and the crowd yelled out for her to sing “Baby”. Knowing that Charice had previously sung “Baby” acapella impromptu at K-fest in NY, it seemed she would use that opportunity to go into the “Baby” song again. But to my great surprise, someone in the crowd simultaneously yelled for her to sing “You Smile”, and then Charice turned to the crowd and asked us, which one do you want me to sing, “Baby” (pause) or “You Smile”? Charice was genuinely giving the crowd the option to choose which song we would prefer for her to sing for us! The screams were slightly louder for “You Smile,” so after telling the audience that she did not have an accompanying track for the song, she broke into an acapella impromptu version of “You Smile” which just again displayed her vocal prowess and musicality. How many artists would dare ask a crowd to choose what song they wanted her to sing acapella, with no accompanying track, and completely impromptu? None other than our dear Charice of course! And again, pitch-perfect, laserbeam version of the song, and she even got the crowd to sing parts of the song like a true pop star working the crowd.
Charice then told the crowd that she would sing her favorite Beyonce song, and several in the crowd thought it was “Listen”, and yelled that out. But there was no mistaking the haunting opening chords of “Halo”, and we were so excited to hear this song live for the first time for us in L.A. Don’t know if you can see it in the videos, but about halfway through the song when the power of Charice’s voice was breaking through, the skies suddenly burst open and there was a brief period of heavy rain, almost as if her voice had cracked open the heavens and allowed the rains to pour down on us once again. A truly beautiful moment. The consensus among the L.A. Chasters was that “Halo” was THE song of the night. Strong, powerful, amazing range, and again, laserbeam precision on pitch/tone. Again, I just couldn’t get over how hearing her sing live was really like listening to a perfect studio recording, just done live. She sang “Halo” beautifully, just as she had done before in Thailand and in the US Weekly offices earlier this summer. Just simply amazing how Charice never seems to have any pitch issues, and is always just so spot-on with her vocals. Of course David Foster has said this before many a times, and he simply speaks the truth about Charice’s uncanny ability to be pitch-perfect every time, whether in the studio or on the stage, without fail.
Finally, the show ended on an upbeat number, as Charice told the crowd she couldn’t leave the stage without singing a Christmas song, and she said she would sing her favorite Christmas song of all, which happened to be a really fun version of “Jingle Bell Rock”. I’m thinking she’ll probably be singing this one tomorrow night at the Grove, as well as at Rockefeller on the 30th. A really fun upbeat song that still shows off Charice’s beautiful vocals.
I’ll conclude Part 1 of the CNN report with my final observations of the show. Charice seemed more comfortable on stage than I had ever seen her before. Her fluency in English is simply amazing compared to just even a few months earlier during her summer shows. These past months of appearing on countless concerts, T.V. shows, and of course Glee has done wonders for Charice’s command of the English language, and for the girl who had to memorize what she would say on Ellen just 3 years ago, Charice was virtually fluent on stage talking with the crowd and engaging us as if in casual conversation. I’m convinced that if she dreams to practice law in the U.S. at some point, she’ll have no problem doing so. Her self-confidence level has increased tremendously, and she’s simply a STAR on the stage now. Glancing briefly at some of the comments of the show, I see there is some discussion about why Charice still chooses to give ‘shout-outs’ to her Filipino fans during her shows. Some have argued here that she does so because she doesn’t feel like a “Hollywood star” just yet. My views differ on that issue, but I’ll save my thoughts on that for Part 2 of the report.
Lastly, regarding the challenge issued by the Toronto Chasters to top their amazing 6,000 person crowd for Charice’s Toronto show this summer, all I can say is that it was truly standing-room only for tonight’s show here in L.A. There was simply no available space in the viewing areas for any additional people to squeeze any tighter. Tonight’s show was a HUGE turnout, especially considering the rain throughout the day and afternoon which usually keeps Los Angelinos holed up inside their homes. I heard a report after the show that Radio Disney was numbering the crowd to be around 6,000 or so. Without knowing what the actual numbers were, all I can report is that it was a FULL house with no room to spare (even on the sides of the stage where there virtually was no view). Therefore, if I were asked to put a number on the crowd, I would probably lean towards numbering it at around 6,001.
Playlist – I Love You, Pyramid, Pop Medley, U-Smile, Halo, Jingle Bell Rock
By LAfan, Charicemania.com
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