Seriously, seriously one of the best Filipino artists to have graced the Australian concert stage ever. Talk about blowing the roof off a concert hall by an enormous amount of energy and brilliance, and relentless cheers and shouts from the crowd.
Dubbed as “Mr Pure Energy” Gary Valenciano has come back to Oz for a series of shows in celebration of his 30th year in show business. The tour has kicked off in Sydney, the first of his five destinations all around Straya. The concert was a sell-out!
After those three fruitful decades of superstardom, THE Gary V has proven that he still is the unbeatable and insurmountable “Mr Pure Energy”—a powerful, whirling force of nature; energy personified.
The concert royalty also revealed that he will be turning 50 this year, which I find really astonishing as he does not even look or sound like it. His moves remain fiery and electrifying. His voice still reflects his dynamic and beautiful soul. His energy is just as infectious and dumbfounding as always. All those put together, Gary V has won over the crowd, singing some of his most popular hits ever like “Di Bale Na Lang” that has set the concert hall on fire; “Di Na Natuto” (which, clearly, fired up the women in the audience, I must say); “Babalik Ka Rin” that got everybody nostalgic about the good ol’ days back home; and many more.
One of the most special parts of the concert is when Gary seamlessly and soulfully sang a medley of soap opera theme songs that he popularised (and probably made successful) or “Gary-fied” as he’s absolutely had his own way of personalising these old OPM tunes, breathing new life to these compositions, and making them sound new, majestic and glorious. The songs have got the crowds singing along to them (which was good, but really annoying); some were left in tears (and that includes my mother because she loved all those teleserye’s that Gary sang the theme songs of).
Gary proudly introduced his eldest son, Paolo Valenciano who has been making a name in the music industry by being the band vocalist of “Salamin”, and by co-directing Gary’s “Arise Gary V 3.0” anniversary concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines a few months ago. Accordingly, Paolo will also be directing Toni Gonzaga’s anniversary concert at the Mall of Asia Arena this coming October. What I am most excited about is that he is set to release his first solo album quite soon (which I already had a preview of, and dude, we all gotta watch out for this man!). All these must have really made the music icon an extremely proud dad.
The father-and-son tandem sang a medley of popular Beatles’ hits, high-powered, melding pop, rock and a bit of funk with so much intensity and authority. They also did an inspirational ballad mashup featuring Gary’s all-time popular hit, “I Will Be Here”, and Martin Nievera’s “I’ll Be There.”
The arrangements for all the songs he performed in the concert were astounding and compelling. Thanks to the genius of Mr Pure Energy himself who has redesigned and revivified these classic tunes. The audience were thrilled and mesmerised to hear his very own classics rearranged, infused with mainstream beats and dance-flavoured sounds, like his “Hataw Na”, “Look In Her Eyes” and “Eto Na Naman” (arranged by his other son, Gab Valenciano) that had the audience on their feet, jumping and dancing along while trying to capture each moment on their tech gadgets. Incredible multitasking, I must say.
When everybody realised that the show was nearing its end, the crowd clamoured for “More! More!” after every song that finished. And just like any other show, some unexpected glitch (like a major one, i.e., power failure of some sort) tried to ruin the show and stopped Gary from performing with a backing track. But the concert icon managed the predicament very professionally and proactively, and came back for more upbeat singing and grooving.
Saving the best for last, Mr Pure Energy sang his popular Christian hit, my personal favourite, “Take Me Out of the Dark” with a message about trusting and committing our lives to God while sharing his life’s experiences, miracles and important lessons.
Overall, it has been an unforgettable experience. It was very unfortunate that there wasn’t an album signing sesh, and it really frustrated me because I was really looking forward to meeting him and Paolo face to face. Nevertheless, I know and I am quite sure that that wouldn’t the last time I’d see them.
It has been a massive privilege to have watched a great Filipino icon perform live and showcase his immense gift of singing and performing, alongside his great gift of inspiring people and communicating God to them. Genuine excellence. Natural cool-ness. Incredible talent. He makes me more proud to be Pinoy.