By Kittipong Thavevong
Dancing queen Christina Aguilar rocks fans as she celebrated 25 years in showbiz
CHRISTINA “TINA” Aguilar marked an illustrious 25-year career last weekend, putting on two stunning back-to-back performances at Royal Paragon Hall in her usual inimitable style.
Lovingly referred to by her fans as the “Dancing Queen”, Tina showed she could still walk the walk, singing and dancing throughout the full three hours of the show, albeit in a less vigorous way than in her younger days.
Tina kicked off Sunday’s “Christina Kingdom” with “Zoom!”, a number from her 2001 album “Dancing Queen”. Attired in a majestic body-clinging black-and-gold dress with long feathers behind her back and head, she was joined on stage by a 20-strong troupe of dancers.
The 49-year-old veteran singer segued into a three-number set of her hits from the 1990s, namely “Mai Yak Rok”, “Ya Mong Trong Nan” and “Pai Duay Kan Na”, drawing fans to their feet to sing and dance along and ending the segment to loud cheers and long applause.
In all, Tina performed 30 of her hits including “Ninja”, “Prawatsat”, “Plik Lock”, “Pood Eek Thi” and “Lerk Her”, each time getting fans up and dancing as if the years had miraculously fallen away.
She also covered Chatri “Ohm” Kongsuwan’s “Pieng Krueng Jai”, mesmerising the audience with her beautiful voice accompanied by simple piano.
Kudos must go too to her set designers, who not only treated fans to a colourful half-circle screen on stage but also put in place a large revolving raised platform in the middle of the hall and a structure with screens on four sides showing three-dimensional hologram images. The only blip came from the sound system, with the backing band, Extra Band coming across much too loud at times and all but drowning out Tina’s vocals.
The revolving platform, a rarity in Thai concerts, was large enough to hold Tina, her guest Burin Boonvisut, as well as six chorus singers as they performed Burin’s hit “Superstar”.
Christina’s debut album “Ninja” was released in 1990 and she became the first female artist in Thailand to sell over a million copies. A number of her subsequent albums also enjoyed million-plus sales.
Long a gay icon, and especially popular with Thailand’s transvestite community, she is often affectionately referred to as “Mommy Tina”.
Popular singers Chalatit “Ben” Tantiwut and Wichayanee “Gam” Pearklin also joined Christina on stage for a set that kicked off with “Toxic” then segued into the upbeat “Prawatsat”.
Tina gave into her emotions during a medley of seven songs that included “Rak Ther Thi Sud” (“Loving You the Most”), “Wela Mai Chuay Arai” (“Time Does Not Help”), and “Ya Pai Sia Namta” (“Don’t Waste Your Tears”), the tears visible in her eyes and a wobble in her voice.
The concert reached its climax when Tina performed an 11-song medley of her dance music numbers non-stop. With minutes of the set, there was no one left in the seats as fans of all ages danced happily along, many of them attempting to follow the moves on the dancers on stage.
Tina closed out with “Oun Jai” (“At Ease”), walking to centre stage and taking selfies with her fans in the background holding sheets of paper with the message “Always (Heart) Tina”. Again, she became so moved that she wept. And again the audience came to the rescue with supportive applause.
“I hope you will continue walking on my side for a long time to come,” she told them, before leaving the stage briefly to return with an encore of “Natee Thi Yingyai” (“A Great Moment”).