Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boy bands A1, Blue, and Jeff Timmons hold concert tonight at the Big Dome

Boy bands A1, Blue, and Jeff Timmons hold concert tonight at the Big DomeKathleen Benavidez

Some of our favorite boy bands from the '90s are back for a one-night concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on February 25. (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press got to sit and talk with A1, Blue and Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees Friday at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong.

BLUE'S NEW ALBUM. British pop vocal group, Blue, composed of Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa will make us bounce to the beat and sing along when they perform familiar songs such as "One Love," "All Rise," and "Too Close."

At the beginning of the press conference, Ben Adams of A1 volunteered to ask the first question.

He asked Blue, "Can you describe how excited you guys are being in the Philippines and holding a concert on Saturday."

"Well, we're all very excited here. It's been a long time coming. The last time we were here was 2004," Blue's Antony Costa gamely replied.

"So we're just looking forward to going out there and entertaining the Filipino crowd," he added.

But Ben was not done. "And how excited are you to be working with A1 and Jeff Timmons?" he asked, like a seasoned interviewer.

It was also Antony who replied, "Very excited. I've always been a fan of A1 and 90 degrees. Aren't we, boys?

"So it's a pleasure to be sharing the same stage, you know, going out there and enjoying ourselves," he added.

Blue has a new album coming out but they won't be singing any of the new songs at the concert.

Duncan shared, "We haven't actually decided on the title of the album... but we're really excited about it.

"It has taken us ten months to get this album ready and we're really excited about it.

"We've spent all of our time in Miami and Los Angeles working on it.

"We've got some big collaboration in there... We can't wait," he also said.

JEFF'S COLLABORATION WITH SOUTH BORDER. Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees admits he's flattered by remarks that he looks like Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper.

"I've been hearing that a lot lately," he said.

His witty retort, "I would say that Bradley Cooper looks like me," cracking up some press people.

"No, it's really fine. He's a good-looking guy, a movie star and all that," he obliged.

A lot of people were wondering how he would perform without his group.

Well, obviously, like these guys, we're a vocal group and we have to blend.

"So I don't have the three other guys to get up there and harmonize with me."

"But fortunately for me, I'm gonna be in a band that's directed by musical director Jay Durias.

"And some of the guys of [local band] South Border are gonna be up there onstage with me," he announced.

"And last night, we rehearsed for the first time. So, really, I'm gonna [share] the responsibility... with incredibly talented artists," Jeff said.

"It is an honor to work with those guys. And it's cool to get up there and harmonize with [them] given that my group is not here."

"The challenge is giving the Filipino audience a great show."

Surely, we will not swoon any less when we hear the songs "I Do (Cherish You)," "The Hardest Thing," and "Because of You," with Jeff blending with the local substitutes.

"I don't think there's been a show in the last ten years that I've been a part of as a solo artist, that I feel less pressured, because I have such great talents around me," he said with genuine admiration for our local artists.

A1 TRIO. Paul Marazzi left the group in 2002, leaving Ben Adams, Mark Read and Christian Ingebrigtsen to continue the group's legacy.

Some of their most memorable songs include "Like A Rose," "Same Old Brand New You," and "Take On Me."

How will their performance be different from a decade ago?

"It will be more about the vocals, getting the blending right.

"We just want to give you guys a good show," Antony said.

Will the audience see their synchronized dance moves?

"We did quite a lot of dancing back in the day and we were... terrible," Christian said, implying that we wouldn't be seeing much of that in the concert.

He added: "I think all of us, we're all better singers than we were ten years ago. We're better performers, we're better with more experience.

"So I think it's definitely a benefit to be able to do this in the long run. I think we'll only get better and better," he added.