TIMELESS: THE USA TOUR 2016
Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez was not her perfect self when she performed in New Jersey on Saturday, May 14 but with a professional artist like her, that didn’t even seem to matter. Not to her fans, anyway.
For her multitude of followers – some trooped to the venue at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood as early as 5:00 pm – seeing her onstage again was more than enough and they are thankful.
Regine herself was also thankful.
As she closed her two-hour concert, she exclaimed, “Medyo weird ang boses ko, pasensiya na. I had a great time performing for you, maraming salamat po!”
Unbeknownst to many in the auditorium, Regine arrived in Los Angeles on Friday, then flew to Chicago to do the first show of her US concert tour. New Jersey was the second leg, scheduled for the following day. Needless to say, jetlag, lack of sleep and the weirdly cold spring weather brought a toll to her body and her voice.
The show started around 8:20 pm after about four front acts – all local stars in the tri-state area. Some people behind us were getting antsy and couldn’t wait any longer to see their idol onstage.
Wearing a red dress with gold butterflies, Regine emerged onstage and started the show with her effortless rendition of ‘You Are My Song’. She followed it up with ‘Ako ‘y Iyong Iyo,’ a hit made famous by her husband, Ogiel Alcasid and the Rivermaya classic ‘Hinahanap Hanap Kita’.
With the audience already grooving, the songbird paused and shifted to sing a couple of what she called “beautiful songs” composed by Ryan Cayabyab. The first one was ‘Araw Gabi’ and the other was her certified hit ‘Tuwing Umuulan’.
In between – and only someone who has Regine’s caliber can pull it off without sounding like a diva – she complained about her shoes saying it was tight.
“Masakit sa paa. Mahal nga pero masakit naman sa paa. Hugot pa more,” she remarked and the audience lapped it up.
She then proceeded to sing ‘Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin’ whose original singer was Ariel Rivera. “I haven’t sung this for a while,” she said, and as she noticed the audience singing with her, she quipped, “May pinagdadaanan din pala kayo?”
Regine also sang ‘You Made Me Stronger,’ one of her earlier hits, also a “hugot song” as she said.
Then came one of the most poignant moments of the evening: Regine’s performance of her 2002 monster hit ‘Dadalhin’. Accompanied on guitar by Cesar Aguas, her silent yearning and the song’s message cut through. And it further proved that she didn’t need her trademark ‘birit-style’ of singing for her audience to appreciate her.
And they did, as they clapped their hearts out after the song.
Which made the songbird quip, “Pumapalakpak din pala kayo sa simpleng kanta. Sadista kayo, buwis buhay ako pag kumakanta, duguan ako lagi eh, atay at balun-balunan pati,” she said laughing.
Then she did her follow-up for the knock-out with ‘Sana Maulit Muli’ and like some in the audience, she was a little teary-eyed after the song.
And instead of building into a crescendo, the concert abruptly ended as the voice over announced a 15-minute intermission. Some took the cue to go for a restroom or a cigarette break while others went out to grab some snacks. The remainder of the audience was treated to a couple of song numbers from guests Christopher Corro and Vince Gesmundo.
The second act began with the songbird emerging onstage in a black dress, belting the Aegis classic ‘Halik’. She followed it up with movie themes – ‘Ikaw’, ‘Pangako’ and ‘Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw’.
Her reimagined and reinvented version of the Yoyoy Villame hit ‘Butsikik’ was a whiff of fresh air. It was jazzy and loungey, a couple of words I never thought would be used to describe the song. More people should get to listen this version.
2016 can very well be considered as Regine’s comeback year, after taking time off to concentrate on her new life as a mother to Nate. She thanked her home network GMA for giving her an opportunity star in a new project, a teleserye called ‘Poor Senorita’, currently airing on the network’s flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV. She also hosts her own lifestyle show, Sarap Diva, which is seen on GMA Life TV.
“It’s certainly been a blessed year so far and I am so happy to share a night full of music, fun and love with all of you,” she said. “I’m happy to be able to travel and entertain Filipinos around the world. Nami miss ko ang Pilipinas when I travel. There’s no place like home.”
And with that, she segued to singing ‘Babalik Ka Rin,’ an homage to overseas Filipinos across the diaspora.
She obliged for an encore number, singing ‘For Good’ and ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked and stayed on to sign CDs for the fans.
This weekend, Regine will continue her concert tour in San Diego and Los Angeles. Timeless: The USA Concert Tour 2016 is produced by Starmedia Entertainment with GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International as the exclusive media sponsor.