MANILA, Philippines — The moment Celine Dion vocally let go of the first three words to begin her song Because You Loved Me, it felt like the packed rainy Friday crowd at SM Mall of Asia Arena was reminded they’re dealing with a live act extraordinaire. Her voice did not come from the track’s master version streamed via an iPhone and passing through an earphone. She was singing it pretty live and surround-sound, sans the instrumentation. In Pinoy colloquial term, plakado.
The 50-year-old belter may not be the hottest-looking globally popular diva to ever reach the Philippine shores, neither was she on stage dancing graceful enough to tickle imagination. Yet her emphatic, convincingly resonating skill at singing earned her concert among the best that Filipino fans have witnessed — all-time. If that was her way of telling us how Titanic of a singer she is, she succeeded with flying colors.
It was a couple of nights to remember as Celine made sure everyone who braved the stormy weather and bought high-priced tickets to see her perform get their time and money’s worth back, with bonuses.
After the encore of her signature song, My Heart Will Go On, and people weren’t leaving the venue yet, she spoke amidst cheers and applauses, “I want to tell you that even it’s the first time we meet, I feel like we know each other. We do have something in common: Music.”
Obviously, the kind of singer who expresses a lot even through spiels, she stressed, “We have love in common and pretty sure we both dream of a world without barriers. Let me tell you how much I love you in my own way.”
On that cue, she sang parts of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love a cappella. The immense power of her voice will make you spare her of any criticism that she didn’t sing a number of her most well-loved songs.
Besides, her performances of the hits she did sing were enough for fans to take home and savor the rest of the weekend and beyond. Case in point is her breath-taking delivery of Eric Carmen’s All By Myself, highlighted by the climactic vocal release punctuated with her shoot-the-pianist move as if she was saying she nailed it. Nail it she did.
PLDT Home and Smart Music Live are the main presenters of Celine Dion Live 2018 last July 19 and 20. The two-night event was produced by AEG Presents and Ovation Productions.
“We finally made it. Thank you for the patience. It’s my first time in the Philippines and it feels amazing. I’m very happy I’m here with all of you. Maraming salamat! (Thank you!),” she exclaimed, then said in jest, “I took the chance (to say that). I hope you understand.”
Celine, backed by a superb and formally dressed back-up musicians and singers, was extra appreciative of the crowd, and that sure delighted her Filipino fans.
She expressed, “You are supporting my music for nearly three decades now. It’s either you are extraordinary or a little crazy. We are extremely privileged to perform in front of you. You are the best!”
Some of the other Filipino favorite numbers she performed were It’s All Coming Back To Me, That’s The Way It Is and her version of Laura Branigan’s Power Of Love. She also sang a track she recorded for the latest Deadpool movie and narrated a lengthy anecdote about Ryan Reynolds. Some may have thought it quite long but the Pinoy crowd would rather have an icon talking a lot than a lesser act quickly going through the motions of singing songs without pausing.
The interaction between Celine and her Pinoy fans in a way mirrored the love story between Jack and Rose, the fictional couple My Heart Will Go On helped immortalized. It’s between the two who met “far across the distance and spaces” and “it will go on.” The only difference — there wasn’t a sinking feeling. We were all safe on the lifeboat and Celine was keeping the night afloat with bright lights.
Source: Philippine Star