Sarah G stamps her name on Tala: The Film Concert

First there was Tala, the hit song that was a track in Sarah Geronimo’s 2015 album, The Great Unknown. Then came the music video and the very popular dance craze aped by the young and old or even by foreigners, not surprisingly. Just as Tala really proved a life of its own, Sarah came out with the much-awaited Tala: The Film Concert, staged virtually last weekend.

From her opening salvo to the closing strains of her now iconic Tala hit, Sarah made sure she stamped her name on Tala: The Film Concert. The director and choreographer of the music video, Paul Alexei Basinillo and Georcelle Dapat-Sy respectively, were expectedly tapped to work on the film concert, too.

Sarah was missed by her fans. After tying the knot a year ago with Matteo Guidicelli, she was earlier speculated to be in that interesting stage, which might explain her long absence in ASAP Natin ‘To. Yet, Sarah quashed the talk and surprised everyone with the announcement of her Tala film concert.

For her upbeat opening number, Sarah resurrected her 2008 dance hit, Sa Iyo, followed by Kilometro in 2014. She rendered her original hits — Dulo, Duyan, Misteryo and Ganito — which were given re-imagined versions for the concert.

When she was younger, Sarah often threw in a few niceties for her spiels. Tala showed a more matured Sarah, who talked not from her phrase book, but rather from the heart.

“Marami po tayong challenges and trials na hinarap at patuloy pa na haharapin,” Sarah told her fans. “But for now, let us look at the brighter side and focus on the positive things in life. I hope this show will be a source of life during these dark times na tulad ng isang tala.”

Teacher Georcelle of G-Force admitted they all worked in a very challenging new normal and new set-up. They planned everything through Zoom. “All of us brought our creativity to the next level,” Georcelle said.

Musical director Louie Ocampo disclosed Sarah wanted the sound of the real band. No wonder, she was accompanied by the best session musicians — Roy Mercado on drums, Bobby Taylo on bass, Ric Mercado, Mico Rivera on second keyboards.

Sarah later charged with successive chart-toppers and delivered high-powered covers, like BTS Dynamite, followed by back-to-back recent hits of Dua Lipa with Levitating and Break My Heart, ending with The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights, all complete with infectious choreography.

“The first challenge we asked ourselves was if we could mount a concert like this,” said Louie. “Sarah is mature, relaxed and chill. On the other side, there’s still the Sarah that’s energetic and edgy.”

The concept for Rico Blanco’s Your Universe was dedicated to Sarah’s fur babies. She even quoted a line from the pop hit, “I don’t think that you even realize the joy that you made me feel that I’m inside your universe.” The song was arranged to suit Sarah’s female version.

Intense was the rendition of The Great Unknown, the title track of Sarah’s 12th studio album, released in 2015 and from where Tala was also culled. She recorded The Great Unknown originally with Hale, so seeing the band’s lead singer, Champ Lui Pio, join Sarah was indeed a treat.

She was joined by rapper J Makata, who originally recorded with her yet another one of her hits, Tagu-Taguan.

Sarah has an extensive roster of beautiful, original songs after nearly two decades in the entertainment business. Hence, hearing those tunes as staples in her concert repertoire is apparently not a tough task for her musical team.

Rendering Ikot-Ikot was a new challenge for Sarah, who worked on a moving set created by Enzo Pizzaro. The latter made the set visually effective and safe. “It was challenging because everything had to be well-rehearsed,” Sarah granted. “You cannot go against the movement. It will be dangerous, especially if not correct. It should be effortless and fluid with the movement of the set.”

Sarah admitted her heart is really happy now, after marrying Matteo Guidicelli a year ago. “I found a partner in life who’s very supportive,” she allowed. “He’s someone I can depend on. Malaki ang naging growth naming dalawa. Nag- mature na kami after one year sa marriage namin. Masarap sa pakiramdam na ‘yun taong mahal mo ay asawa mo na.”

Gone are the days when Matteo could not even be seen in the concerts of Sarah before. This time, he became part of the show. He had a spot number, Daniel Bedingfield’s If You’re Not the One. Then, they shared the stage in Ed Sheeran’s Best Part of Me.

Before the concert came to a close, Sarah belted out Isa Pang Araw, the haunting theme from Joyce Bernal’s comedy-drama, Miss Granny (2018), a South Korean film adaptation with Sarah in the title role.

For her finale, the Pop Star Royalty danced to a newly-choreographed version of Tala. Not surprisingly, the song continues to trend, getting more than 100 million views to date.

Tala even became the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) theme of 2019. Penned by Nica del Rosario and Emmanuel Sambayan, Tala has a number of popular celebrity versions to date, from Anne Curtis to Sandara Park. The song was also recorded by Ella Cruz and Julian Trono, Glaiza de Castro, former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Vivoree Esclito, AC Bonifacio and Donnalyn Bartolome.



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