“This is just the beginning of the rise of the industry that we love so much,” declared Asia’s Soul Supreme, KZ Tandingan. Along with Rico Blanco, she made history by headlining Love Street, the very first drive-in concert in the metro. This Valentine event was part of Bonifacio Global City’s #OneLoveBGC campaign, which sought to celebrate the many ways we can celebrate love, even in today’s reality.
The metro has been in lockdown for almost a year now. People have been craving for opportunities to connect with their loved ones. Work, especially for those in the event and performance industries, has taken a major hit. To stage an actual Valentine’s Day concert in the time of COVID seemed like an impossible dream. Last February 13, the impossible just became possible.
The 30th St. open parking lot filled up with cars, each with concert-goers eager to take part in the experience. It was actually quite organized: marshals made sure that health protocols were observed, ushers guided cars to their spots, the stage was disinfected between sets. There were food booths that you could order from via QR code. Food would be delivered to your vehicle and contactless payment was encouraged. Hosts Joelle and Mike Valera of Q 105.1 even managed to squeeze in an on-site game via Instagram and gave away raffle prizes.
KZ Tandingan opened the show with a rousing rendition of P.O.T’s “Yugyugan Na”. She followed it with a medley of Eraserheads tunes. Even with the light rain, the audience willingly waved lit phones in the air as they sang along. She also sang Imelda Papin’s “Isang Linggong Pag-ibig”, Up Dharma Down’s “Tadhana”, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License”, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, and a mash-up of “Ready or Not”, “Doo Wop”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, and “Killing Me Softly”. As an extra treat, she also performed “Labo”, the carrier single from her album Soul Supremacy, and asked that people honk their horns at certain parts of the song. It’s a different take on singing along, but it worked.
“Sasalubungin natin ang kinabukasan, nang walang takot at walang pangamba. Tadhana’y mayro’ng trip na makapangyarihan. Kung ayaw may dahilan, kung gusto palaging mayro’ng paraan.” How apt that Rico Blanco opened his set with “Antukin”!
“We’re trying to make do. We’re trying to do our best,” he said. Rico shared a message of hope that, despite the circumstances, we will be able to rise and cope with all the changes. He was also all praises for KZ as he recalled the first time he saw her in a concert in Dubai, where he just had to listen to her entire set. “She never fails to amaze me,” he said.
Rico sang all the crowd favorites: “Elesi”, “214”, “Balisong”, “Happy Feelin’”, “Your Universe”.
Because of the restrictions, he only had a few people on stage with him. Far from being a setback, it actually lent an air of intimacy to the event. Even from inside their vehicles, people sang along and honked their horns in appreciation. Rico closed his set with “You’ll Be Safe Here”, sending home the audience with a feeling of security and hope.
It may be a long way off for things to go back to how they used to be, if at all. That doesn’t mean that life is put on hold, though. Love Street is proof that we will manage to pull through, that there are good things to look forward to, and that love always wins.