Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Day in Quintology - Mah-tin and Pah-tti Concert

Saturday was a day of plenty, alright. After pigging out, we headed out to that Big Dome up north. The atmosphere was improved vastly from that of yesteryears (aherm, after 2 exes who happen to live within the area, I can tell). Its one of my goals for this year to increase my concert portfolio. An artist performing live is a rare spectacle these days and is often taken for granted. So to start the year, I bought tickets to Martin Nievera (who I'm such a big fan of) and Patti Austin's (whom I know only a few songs off an album of) one night Live in Concert at the Araneta Coliseum.

The show started by a very upbeat Do You Love Me which was performed by both artists. Martin is looking better than ever, but Patti, well, I guess she gained a 'few' pounds. Nevertheless their talents still shone thru.

The Say You Love Me and Say That You Love Me Medley blew me off my feet. Louie Ocampo is such a capable master of music that he managed to weld these two songs to form a very distinct melody.

After a witty exchange between the two hosts, Martin started the show with his rendition of Under My Skin by F. Sinatra. I'm at a crossroad on this, because, honestly, Martin's voice sounds too..."schooled" to capture El Sinatra's cool vocal styling. It was a noble effort nevertheless. This was followed by a soulful take on Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (I love this song).

La Austin of course, wouldn't let him hog the show. She made a grand (re) entrance by singing the first lines of True Love. After her rendition everyone in the audience cant help but love her. Heck even I loved her already.

Martin came back onstage where they did this skit where Patti would be "teaching" Martin to sing jazz. They were talking with Pittsburgh accents, hence the Maah-tin and Paah-ti monickers. What songs did they sing? They did an Ella Fitzgerald Medley. These two are not only singers, they are entertainers as well. They have such good chemistry together. And both of them are Funny, with a capital Fun.

It was Patti's turn again to go solo. She sang In My Life which actually had a back story. Its the song she composed when her teenage sweetheart broke up with her for another girl. Its amazing when you get to know the stories behind the songs. It gives a whole new layer to it altogether. I almost got misty eyed as she was telling it. This girl's gooood.

Rhythm Of The Street aimed to break the melancholic pace of the previous songs. Everyone was just stopping themselves from standing up and dancing.

Surprise rendition number 1, Martin did, well, a Martin and Patti did a Regine. They sang Tell Me by Joey Albert. Wow. This girl owns the song.

Can't Take My Eyes Off You was powerfully rendered by the two and they added a sad twist to the song.

Now you'd come to expect crossovers in shows like this right? That's just what Martin did when he sang If I Believe by Patti Austin. This man is just entrancing.

Time Of Your Life came from his new album. Not much to say about this though, he sang this for the older members of the audience.

He then did another medley this time in Tagalog, Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin and Ikaw. (notice the pattern here?)

Now this I didnt like one bit. (well actually, I don't like this part in ALL concerts). He is starting a trend where he thanks the sponsors in a song. He did Taking Care Of Business and substituted the names of the bigwigs in between stanzas.

Home. I'm not really sure this should have been a part of the playlist. Singing this in the States makes sense, singing it here is redundant.

This has got to be THE highlight of the night for me. Just Mr. Nievera and Mr. Ocampo's band. Martin was in his element, I believe. He did a spectacular Broadway Medley: Music Of The Night from The Phantom Of the Opera, I Dream A Dream from Les Miserable, Why God Why from Miss Saigon, Memory from Cats, Somewhere from the West Side Story, This Is The Moment from Jeckyll and Hyde. I even enjoyed having a little game of guess which play that song came from. (I was stumped with This is the Moment, though). To intensify the drama, the lighting was done to simulate the Broadway stages. To say that Martin could more than justify the songs would be an understatement. THE. BEST. MEDLEY.

Surprise rendition number 2: Forever -(OPM, once again, a Martin and Regine song. hmm...Patti are you trying to say something?) Nevertheless, Patti did enough justice to the song. Have I mentioned, Im starting to love her?

Baby Come To Me. Take it away Ms. Austin

I would have said that this was Surprise rendition nubmer 3, its just that I wasn't surprised enough. Somewhere Out There, however brought waves of nostaglia, ushering in pictures of lost mice in the American plains.

The Way You Look. Martin Nievera doing a Buble.

It Might Be You -Patti's version. I must have heard of this before, I just didn't know that it was HER version. I like. Especially the climactic part.

Our Father, You Raise Me Up, I Believe(prayer). Would the show end without any gimicks? Here we were treated to a Light display courtesy of the thousands upon thousands of celfones that lit up the Araneta Coliseum. Its almost surreal. Kinda like the planetariums of my youth, its just that its inverted (cause its on the floor, not the vaulted ceiling). Breathtaking.

We were all half-expecting this to finish the show: How Do You Keep The Music Playing. But it ended on such a sad note that it cant be the closer.

And the surprise of the night: Marting Nievera AND Patti Austin singing Umagang Kay Ganda. Thats right. Patti singing in the vernacular. She has this inherent quality in her voice that soothes the senses. She almost didn't have a drop of accent. Patti and Martin's melodic pairing in one word? Amazing.

Concerts in the Horizon:
Deciding between Ogie Alcasid's or the Queens on Fire for Valentines and
in March: NORAH JONES! See you there, people.


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