Ecstatic, is an understatement for the DARRENatics who once again gathered to show their support to the young Total Performer, Darren Espanto, who had showcased his vocal adeptness and splendid dance moves in his astounding performances!
Due to popular demand, Darren once again filled the Music Museum with elated people who were there for one reason, to witness the magnificent repeat of his Total Performance Concert on December 19, 2014. It was truly a night worth-remembering and cherished.
As early as 4PM, the excited crowd eagerly queued outside the venue. People didn’t mind if they came from different places and the efforts they have put through. The threat of Christmas rush traffic jam was nothing compared to the excitement they were feeling. DARRENatics would do anything for Darren! Some were gorgeously in their formal attire as the event’s theme was “Red Carpet”. There was literally a red carpet that led to the doorway of the concert hall. When the clock ticked 6, fans started getting inside the venue. Darren’s outfits from his first Total Performance Concert last October 4, 2014 and life-sized standees of Darren were displayed outside the Music Museum. It was worth capturing for everyone!
The hall was oozing with fun and excitement as the crowd waited for the concert to start. Two stand-up comedians, Juvie and Crissy, spiced up the night as they entertained the audience with their good sense of humor. They asked questions about Darren to random people in the audience and gave special prizes to the ones who answered correctly. There was also a raffle draw facilitated by one of the sponsors, Mary Kay. The fun continued as one of the comedians on stage sang Regine Velasquez’ Dadalhin and mimicked some famous singers’ voices such as Regine Velasquez, Oggie Alcasid, Jaya, Lani Misalucha, Sharon Cuneta, Mariah Carey, the band Metallica and many more.
The audience went wild when a voice was heard thanking the sponsors who made the event possible, an indication that the show was about to start. Then shown was a video clip of some of the unforgettable comments of The Voice Kids coaches beginning with Lea Salonga’s “Sa lahat ng iniidolo ni Darren, ilalampaso kayo ng batang ‘to balang araw.”; followed by Bamboo Manalac’s “I’m gonna keep it short and sweet, you’re ready”; and lastly, Sarah Geronimo’s “Ngayon pinatunayan mo na ikaw talaga ang karapat dapat na tanghaling grand champion ng The Voice Kids”. The crowd kept on screaming and got louder when Darren’s voice was heard asking if they were ready. The blasting uproars of the audience were enough to say that they were more than ready.
Darren set foot on stage, all styled up with the eminent Alex Pigao. The creation was a metallic silver patterned pants, black hooded zipped-jacket embellished with silver patterns and a letter D at the back. His shoes was a white-soled black sneakers, which definitely completed the look. The beat of the song Domino by Jessie J, which was Darren’s audition piece on The Voice Kids, made the audience more hyped up. Together with back-up dancers, he danced and sang the full version of the song filled with energy. It was followed by another excellent song and dance performance of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” a performance where he stood up during the battle rounds of The Voice Kids. He was sweating and catching his breath but still greeted the audience with his energetic and lively aura. He felt very thrilled and blessed when he saw legion of fans who came to support him.
The first part was a narration of his journey in The Voice Kids. It was a nerve-wracking experience when he, JM, JC and Sam competed for the Battle rounds and even cried when Coach Sarah chose him over the other great young singers, he admitted. It seemed like he was just effortlessly hitting the high notes of the song “Listen” by Beyonce, resulting to ear-splitting cheers from the audience. It was one of his many best renditions ever heard on The Voice Kids. The young star is just naturally excellent!
He then humorously said “Magpapapogi lang po ako ah.” And went to the backstage still talking to the audience asking if they are fine and blurting words that left the crowd chuckling. He came out wearing another set of glamorous outfit, still created by Pigao. The elegant black pants, black round neck shirt, and a black vest designed with strips of sparkling black embellishments made him shine even brighter on stage as he powerfully belted out the song that made him the Pinoy Singing Sensation champion in Canada, “One Moment in Time.”
All of a sudden, loud screams echoed all over the place when the four back-up dancers came out, dressed up in white and danced to the beat of Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love.” The crowd was uncontrollably shouting, “I love you Darren!” When Darren replied with “I love you too,” the crowd became dissonant.
As he continued narrating his TVK journey, he shared how the excellent composer, Vehnee Saturno, helped him search for songs. At first, he found it very hard to internalize the tagalog song Ngayon but it turned out to be a very good performance after all. He soulfully belted out the hit Ngayon by Basil Valdez which was a jaw-dropping rendition for the audience as he executed his high notes flawlessly and perfectly.
A short clip featuring the concert king, Martin Nievera, was shown saying that if there is anyone who can sing the song well, it would be Darren. Consequently, the audience became euphoric hearing him evocatively sang from his heart, Martin Nievera’s “You Are My Song,” while he was seated on a high stool in the middle of the stage.
Afterwards, he was joined by his special guests from The Voice Kids, Edray Teodoro from team Bamboo and Giedie Laroco from team Lea. He thanked them for being his guests for the night. The two young ladies shared their memories during The Voice Kids with their blind audition song pieces. Giedie wowed the crowd with her powerful rendition of Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love”. On the other hand, Edray pleased the crowd with her soothing voice and serenaded them with the song “Killing Me Softly”.
Darren then came back on stage giddily glammed up with a neon green neoprene hooded black-zippered jacket. It was paired with black pants and black leather shoes. The crowd cheered as the three young artists frisked with Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”. This completed the first part of the show where Darren enthusiastically asked if the audience are enjoying the night, which was responded with bright cheers.
The cheerful night continued as Darren once again charmed the audience in a white button down shirt and black pants. The coat he was wearing was made by a textured fabric that made it look shiny with sparkly black vest, black bow tie, and black leather shoes that matched his overall look. The intricate creation was made by the Filipino couture designer, Edwin Tan. It was a sleek and elegant outfit that matched his very good looks. The next part of the concert was a tribute to one of the country’s greatest composer, Vehnee Saturno. He belted out Sarah G’s “Forever’s Not Enough” and shared that he had a complete collection of her albums in Canada.
Since the Yuletide season is fast approaching, he was asked what Christmas song he wanted to sing and he specifically chose Jackson 5’s “Give Love on Christmas Day”. He belted it out with full of emotions and touched the hearts of the audience. It was followed by the ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID, Thank You, Ang Babait Ninyo.
With his recently launched self-titled album, Darren serenaded the crowd with his carrier single In Love Ako Sa’yo and the fans sang with him. It was the moment when he gave out Toblerone chocolates and green roses to the lucky audience. The fans were thrilled hoping that they will receive one. The ear-splitting shrieks and screams resonated all over the concert hall.
Darren took the chance to thank everyone who became part of another successful concert—The DARRENatics for their endless support, his kuya Jed Madela who was present to show his support, his Star Magic and MCA family, sponsors, family and everyone who made the show possible including the music production and producers. He made the audience laugh again when he did a funny exit and bid a temporary goodbye.
Moving on with the show, Darren went back on stage, his white button down shirt untucked, and a black leather jacket. He introduced his next guest, the king of RnB, Jay R Sillona, who subsequently expressed his happiness and gratitude for being a part of the concert. Together with Darren, they owned the stage with the heart-breaking song “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars. The crowd was very pleased as the two great artists’ melodic harmony gave justice to the song.
After their duet, Darren exited the stage and paved way for Jay R to entertain the audience. He sang Bakit Pa Ba? which is one of his favourite pieces in the world that Vehnee Saturno wrote. His wonderful voice definitely awed the audience. He said that he was very inspired to sing with the kind of crowd during the concert because of the warm responses that the audience is giving. The DARRENatics’ cheers were once again heard. He teasingly invited Jed Madela on stage but ended up informing everyone that Jed couldn’t sing yet because he is still sick. Jay R then continued with his performance as he serenaded the fans with his lively and latest single “Parachute”.
The lights dimmed. The excitement of the DARRENatics did not cease as the show went on. There were evident smiles on their faces patiently waiting for whatever is next in line.
Pictures of Darren while performing were shown on the screen. People were screaming with glee. Darren appeared on the right side of the stage gussied up with Michael Jackson inspired outfit and pose. He magnificently look like MJ in a white v-neck shirt paired with kinky black pants topped with a black sequined blazer. The left sleeve’s elbow part of his blazer was a white sprakling band and his pants was embellished with silver strips on both outer sides. The look was finished with a pair of shiny black leather shoes showing off his white socks, a black fedora hat rested sideways on his head, and a silver glove on his left hand. It was yet another concept of the great designer Alex Pigao. Then he executed Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. His movements and foot works were all organized and perfect that triggered the fans to shout at the top of their lungs.
It was followed by MJ’s “Beat It.” Still a creation of Pigao, he was in a red leather jacket with silver zippers that are creatively designed on the jacket. He performed with all the MJ inspired masterpieces that were appropriately designed for his character.
Last in line of the MJ medley was the song “Black or White.” Darren was wearing a white unbuttoned polo shirt with sleeves folded up to his elbow, showing his white v-neck shirt. The dance choreography was indeed great and the crowd roared in astonishment as Darren pulled it through the entire medley. Before he exited the stage, he thanked the audience for the warm cheers and comically admitted that it’s hard to be Michael Jackson.
As the show came nearer to the end, Darren hit the stage in his neon green jacket with gold abstract linings. The noise heightened when Darren asked if the crowd wanted a party. It was another dance production where Darren gave an all-out performance. He danced to the songs “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj, and “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift. Some time during this song, the lapel malfunctioned and he tried to fix it in place. He had trouble with the microphone and his voice was barely heard. He displayed his professionalism as an artist when he continued performing not minding the problem. He made his way to the backup singers to use one of the available microphones. But the production staff was very well prepared and handed Darren with another mic. He continued with Pharrel Williams’ “Happy”. Definitely, for the Total Performer, the show must go on.
The party-like atmosphere continued and Darren kept the ball rolling as he sang and danced to the rhythm of “Neon Lights.” Then later joined by his special guests Jay R, Giedi, and Edray. The crowd couldn’t get any wilder as they danced and screamed the whole time. Darren and his guests showed their gratitude by ending the performance with a bow.
The night didn’t end there. Right after the show, there was a CD signing activity for those who bought Darren’s first solo album and Jay R’s newest hit. There was a long line across the concert hall but DARRENatics didn’t mind. They grabbed the opportunity to greet one another. Some faces were familiar to most while others were completely strangers, but the place suddenly became a friendly rendezvous for everyone who came and were united with one purpose.
The seats at the Music Museum were not enough to cater all the DARRENatics who were sizzled up to watch Darren perform live. No doubt that Darren is dominating the concert scene, which sold out the tickets in just one day. An amazing and impressive record breaking ticket sales for a beginner. As a gratitude to his supporters, especially in the provinces, Darren will be having another show in Bicol region on January 23, 2015 entitled The Total Performance Concert 3. This is your chance Bicolanos! Be prepared to be blown away by the Total Performer!
The night was another milestone in Darren’s rising career. His magnificent and all-out performance wowed the audience and left them in awe. The cheers were unexplainable as well as the gladness on their faces. Fans felt blissful as they witnessed this one of a kind night, especially those who didn’t make it to the first concert. To the supporters who came all the way to the Music Museum who overpowered the traffic jam and spent their hard-earned money, it was a priceless experience. Everyone’s effort, from the production staff, to the producers, sponsors, guests, and to the die-hard fans, were all worth it.
He did not only dazed the audience with his powerful vocals but also by how versatile he is as a performer showing superb and exquisite dance moves. This talented young man has a long way to go especially with the support that the fans are offering him. The night was truly delightful. Darren once again lived his dreams and proved that he is living up to the title that everyone named him, the one and only, the mighty and strong, Darren Espanto, The Total Performer!