While most Pinoys only knew him due to his ballads, there is more to Richard Marx that most of us dismiss without even knowing. For one, the guy is a songwriter. And by songwriter, he’s not just composing tunes, he’s behind a lot of songs most of us aren’t aware of. And his music is so 80s it’s enough to know I’m rubbing on the good side of Reagan.
It was one of those days that are just unbelievably grid locked. My bf was extremely late and when we met up at Araneta my face is squished in anxiety. It’s already 8 and we are still finding our way out of the mall. So it was a huge relief when we got there and the line is still ongoing and not an act was there at all. We were able to go to and fro the dome and order 2 Baconators and still no act. And wait, guess who the does the opening act? Hahahaha.
I never thought the organizers would have even thought of Aiza Seguerra. Here we are talking about Richard Marx who is not given that much credit for his capability as a musician and then we have an opening act who is given too much credit. What’s saved her is that he is accompanied by Mike Villegas, a virtuoso who does all the guitar playing while she does the voice and the acting. Never mind that she wore a guitar. Listening carefully will just reveal how hers was just props**. So anyway after her set list we were told that Marx will come out 15 mins later--- to the misery of the seniors who were also in.
While 15 mins is already a long time, it was nothing compared to how long he was on stage. Reviewing my videos, he started at 9:41 and bowed around 11:33 pm. The stamina of that guy is just too amazing. He didn’t even have a lot of people on board, just his companion who goes on and off the stage at some songs to accompany him while he plays the guitar.
The first time I heard his voice live I swear I had goose bumps. It’s just too wonderful to listen to and it is the real deal, unlike most artists nowadays who are so fond of voice alteration equipments. It is also amazing how he was such a funny guy, that with almost every song he has his share of stories and jokes it’s not hard to imagine how he is a wonderful guy at home. One of his jokes was ‘there’s a lot of beautiful people here. and women too’.
One of the preparations I did prior to the concert was listen to his songs so that I won’t be clueless to what the rest of them were. I mean his album was released when I was still a baby so there are a lot of songs of that I’ve no idea of. He sang most of his hits, like Angelia (which he pressed the one from the back requested even though it’s not), Hazard (the song his wife was SO right with), Right Here Waiting (after startling us by singing the first lines of Pokerface: ‘Can’t read my, can’t read my…’ ), Now & Forever (awww). He also sang songs he’s written/collaborated like This I Promise You (N Sync), The Best of Me (Cliff Richard) , amongst others – and we’re so lucky to ever experience since he’d rarely sing that in public. It was really convenient for us to have chosen the lower seats than patrons’ since I was able to just place the camera on my lap and steady it towards the stage due to his almost non-stop performance.
In his concert I also observed how he’s a family oriented guy, mentioning his wife and his father (with a tribute) and his kids lovingly. He even sang along with the video of his well talented 3 boys, who he taped at their home playing different instruments. He was saying about an album they’d come up and by that sampler I could guess that if it may not be a hit (since most prefer Gaga nowadays), would surely be a good one.
I know I have disdain for artists who suddenly comes to Manila to save up for pension but his interaction with the audience is so comforting and warm it felt anything but malicious. There are a lot of foreign artists here who were just too concerned with claiming their fading career back but the quality of their music has not even upgraded, and they just kept on singing their songs over and over again. And here we are with Marx who is still active on the industry he was born in (his father was a musician), and not just recycling. I do hope he comes back. Perhaps with his entire family too. Better save up already :-D
** As much as I wanted to own the observation, it was all the observation of the bf who has an exceptional set of ears and a fan of really good music. This was strengthen later when I talked to my officemate who said that Villegas is indeed Aiza’s ghost guitarist.