‘Archu’-fied: David Archuleta fills up the stage with his signature soulful singing style and that dynamic stage presence (Photos by ROWENA JOY a. SANCHEZ)
MANILA, Philippines – there must be “something ‘bout” David Archuleta that keeps his Filipino fans wanting “everything and more” from him.
Although already on his third visit—he first set foot on our shores in 2009 (with “American Idol” Season 7 champ David Cook) and then in 2010 to promote his album, “the Other side of down (TOSOD)” —Archuleta continues to amaze his Filipino fans. This was most palpable during his first major solo concert in the country, “David Archuleta… Live” held at the Araneta Coliseum last July 18 where fans screamed, sang, grooved to his songs as if they were hearing them for the first time. Archuleta didn’t even have to bother with an elaborate stage set-up, filling up the bare stage instead with his signature soulful singing style and that dynamic stage presence. He’s obviously much more confident and comfortable on stage now, harnessed by his constant touring post-AI. His Filipino fans stood on their seats when he opened his 18-song set with “Stomping the Roses,” a track from “TOSOD.” few sat down throughout the almost one-and-a-half hour show, with the 20-year-old singer-songwriter taking no breaks except to recharge his vocal cords by downing water in between songs.
Singing non-stop may have affected his voice, as there were times when he seemed to be experiencing shortness of breath. In “something ‘Bout Love,” Archuleta noticeably sang on the lower register at the latter part of the song. though quite unusual, it didn’t sound off. Amid these minor vocal issues, Archuleta was attacking every word and note in earnest, whether it’s an upbeat song like “the Other side of down,” or a slow one such as “Falling Stars.” His set, of course, included what may well be considered as “staples” in his shows, such as “Crush,” “Touch My Hand,” and “a Little Too not Over You.” However, it felt kind of redundant to hear him sing Vanessa Carlton’s “a Thousand Miles” and Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” (with a bit of Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”), as he already did this during his concert with Cook. Archuleta has a good number of songs from “TOSOD” such as “who I am,” “Complain” and “look Around,” and fans would’ve loved to hear them performed live. Archuleta paid tribute to the 80s, an era he’s a fan of, by singing Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” if “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson and ex-judge Paula Abdul were there, they would’ve probably told him, “you made that song your own and made it accessible to the younger crowd.” the young crooner also did versions of Daniel Bedingfield’s “Gotta Get Thru This” and Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.” the former, in particular, left the fans in awe as it allowed Archuleta to do some show-stopping vocal acrobatics towards the end. the concert won’t be complete without Archuleta playing the piano. some hearts probably melted when he sang “My Kind of Perfect”—a song he wrote for the special girl he’s yet to meet. It was also while performing with the piano that one of the most noteworthy parts of the show took place. At one point during his performance of “a Thousand Miles,” Archuleta missed a key on the keyboard, which distracted him. His fans cheered him on, and after a few seconds, their idol was back on his element. He made the second half of the song even better, changing a part of the lyrics: “Coz you know I’d fly a thousand miles, if I can just see you tonight.” After the performance, Archuleta, chuckling, told his fans, “You make me freeze…” “I flew a thousand miles just to see you…” he added, eliciting even more squeals especially from the girls in the audience. Having been to the country multiple times has made Archuleta quite the expert in delivering common Filipino phrases. there wasn’t much twang when Archuleta said, “Kumusta Manila? (How are you Manila?),” “Salamat (Thank you),” and “Mahal ko kayo (I love you all).” He also gave a shout-out to his front act, Julie Anne San Jose. as Archuleta himself said in his interview with GMA-7, the “Party Pilipinas” regular was his personal choice for the task. the fans didn’t let go of Archuleta easily. After he left the stage following his 16th and supposed last song, “zero Gravity,” the Big Dome was filled with loud chants of “We want more!” It didn’t take long for Archuleta to come out again for an encore. Archuleta gave his fans not only a memorable night but something to think about. At one point, he encouraged the audience to go for their dreams and do so their way.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Archuleta returns to the country a fourth time and fans would still flock to his show.
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