Written and photographed
By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista for full screen gallery of pics click on link
There were many songs that showcased the vastly improved vocals of Piolo Pascual. But perhaps the most telling was the OPM medley which had very high notes. They were made famous by some of the most unforgettable vocalists such as Joey Generoso of Side A and even Basil Valdez. Piolo breezed through and did a very emotional “Hold On” and reached the high notes of “Tell Me.” He even did a proper homage to Martin Nievera by singing “Say That You Love Me.” It was the medley that truly put the romance in the Valentines concert entitled “Piolo Meets the Maestro Ryan Cayabyab Love Songs and the Heart throb” at the sold out PICC Plenary Hall.
Piolo has evolved as a total performer from acting and now singing. Concerts have become a comfortable venue to show this multifaceted talent. It’s very easy to dismiss him as someone whose looks outweigh his skills. But this concert proves that he has become a musical force to be reckoned with. No less than Musical Director and composer Ryan Cayabyab said, “He has improved by leaps and bounds. He kept on working hard practicing, singing and singing. What you saw and heard tonight was the result of all his hard work.”
Girlfriend KC Concepcion sat beside his mom Amelia who flew in from California to watch the show. Was it mere coincidence that sponsors also had a subliminal message of marriage for the pair? Jewelmer may supply the ‘ring’ while in his Sun Life TVC he confesses to wanting to start a family as one of his goals. They are also connected via the SMART network. PJ as Piolo is known to friends and family dedicated several songs to KC calling her ‘Kristina.’
Two of his guests include Bossa Nova Queen Sitti and Pinoy Dream Academy champ Yeng Constantino. Both of them were smitten with the heart throb during his duets with them. Sitti confessed, “Ang hirap di kiligin kung ganito ka lapit ang mukha niya sayo.(It’s hard not to feel giddy when he’s so near)” She could not resist pulling him closer at least twice.
Yeng grabbed his arm and put it around her waist saying, “Dito mo ilagay ang kamay mo. (This is where you put your hand)” With a sudden pang of guilt, Yeng looks to the direction of KC and said, “Ay sorry, di ko alam nandito pala.(Didn’t know she was here)”
Even the media frenzy surrounding the new power couple was not enough to distract audiences from the impressive vocals of Piolo. The maestro put together a soliloquy of Beatles songs specifically for the concert. Ryan explained it as, “Pagmumuni-muni, kwento using Beatles hits.”
Again PJ’s vocals were actually higher than the original of Paul Mac Cartney. The medley included a spoken word portion of “I Saw Her Standing There”, “And I Love Her”, “My Michelle”. It was as much a tribute to Mr. C’s arrangement to PJ’s vocals which made the songs more touching, slower and more of a ballad.
The theme songs of his show “Noah” and “Lobo” entitled “Ikaw ang Aking Pangarap” were expected. But another medley that highlighted his skills was started with a Broadway tune, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. PJ has also had several concerts in the U.S. and may have honed his singing and stage presence while on tour. The Ryan Cayabyab singers were also guest performers. They provided the faster paced Soul classics from the Supremes and other 60’s hits.
For the guys, I understand the haters. How can one man have it all? He’s also a well exhibited photographer for God’s sake! He has a Pursuits Journal with his photos that’s sponsored by Sun Life.
I bought the pricey ticket as a dare. Here I am buying the ticket to evaluate you Piolo, let’s see how good you are as a singer. I made the mistake of buying two days before and found out that the VIP section at P 5,150.00 were long gone. I had to settle for the P4,600.00 ticket. The cheaper ones were also going fast. It would have been easier to crucify him and label him as a great actor but wana-be-singer. He proved us all wrong by preparing himself, working on his voice, the overall performance and far exceeded my expectations. The only proof is for you to go to his next show or buy his CD.
Near the end PJ thanked Mr. C, “I am blessed and honored to perform with the true Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.” He then went into a George Canseco medley, “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan”, “Kastilyong Buhangin”,“Kailangan Kita”, “Gaano Ka Dalas Ang Minsan.” The comedic part of the concert was when it only took a few seconds for the crowd to ask for an encore and PJ suddenly popped his head out the curtain smiling. He finished with an exciting, “You Know It’s You Babe” from Styx who’ll have a come back concert with Journey (who has Pinoy vocalist Arnel Pineda).
It’s almost funny, when you look at Piolo live on stage there’s absolutely no doubt that he’s enjoying himself. The joy is infectious. I can’t help but wonder how great he would be in theater or even a live musical. His passion for performing is so evident, it’s only a matter of time before he conquers the music charts…or maybe he already has.