RE-ENERGIZED GARY V at his UCLA Royce Hall Concert!

By Oliver Carnay

The biggest highlight of “Re-Energized” concert at UCLA Royce Hall was when Coco Martin showed up onstage just in time two of theme songs of ABS-CBN’s longest-running teleserye “Ang Probinsyano” — “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak” and “Ililigtas Ka Niya” Gary was singing was about to end.  Gary was surprised to see Coco waiting for him onstage as he was coming back from the audience.  After Coco left the stage, Gary revealed the story behind the “Ililigtas Ka Niya”.  He said that after he had his bypass and kidney cancer and was still recuperating, Coco approached him to write a theme song for his teleserye.  But his idea is like to have an inspirational song, because Coco’s tv series is about giving inspiration and hope to his audience. Gary wrote the song with Jonathan Manalo, hence “Ililigtas Ka Niya” (He will be saved by Him) was created.

Another highlight for me and a revelation to the crowd was when Gary called his nephew and niece (Gio and Liana, son and daughter of her sister Gina Valenciano-Martinez) to join him dance on stage.  The bumpy tunes of “Look In Her Eyes” and the charisma of the brother-sister duo with their technical dance skills sends the crowd enjoying, dancing on their feet.  (Pramis, ang galing at napakagandang tingnan nila sa stage!  Ayaw nyong maniwala? Panoorin nyo sa youtube vlog ko below, “Hollywoodflip by Oliver Carnay,” then please subscribe na rin kayo!  Thanks!

His repertoire started with an opening of HETO NA NAMAN followed by his 80’s hits with signature moves strutting on stage only Gary V can do, then rebuilding the crowd’s energy up with GROWING UP where the audience started to sing with him.   His fans never stopped glowing with HOW DID YOU KNOW, DI NA NATUTO, PAANO, NARITO, EACH PASSING NIGHT, elevating the momentum one after another.  He went down the memory lane singing the theme song of his first movie “Hotshots” – the Cecile Azarcon composition hit, REACHING OUT sending shrieks from his loyal fans.  There’s one seated on our row, in her 50’s who can’t stop screaming from the start of the show until the end, jumping, standing up, dancing and stomping on her feet during upbeat songs and continues to apologize to me the whole night.  She admitted there are moments she wanted to cry but shy to do so (sabay kain ng mani!).
Gary recalled how he met, and got discovered by his manager and wife, Angeli Pangilinan, before singing an Al Jarreau (his personal favorite singer) song/ Chick Correa hit, SPAIN.  He said it was the piece he performed after Angeli invited him to perform in a big event.  This performance and own version set the audience in awe and last night received a standing ovation from the crowd, chanting his name “Gary! Gary! Gary! …
Kiana V sang, wowed the audience with her smooth vocal prowess, grooving onstage while Gary stepped on the side accompanying her on drums and other instruments.  Gary did a duet with Kiana with SANA MAULIT MULI, a song originally written in English but was translated into Tagalog by his wife, Angeli (a trivia Gary revealed).
Yeng Constantino sang one of her hits “Ikaw,” followed by a duet with Gary with “Hawak Kamay,” which Yeng commended her gratitude to musical director of the show, Mon Faustino for his great arrangement.  Yeng sang “Babalik Ka Rin” accompanied by Gary with a certain kind of drum-guitar instrument he called “zen-drum” (or something like that).
More hits like HATAW NA wouldn’t be complete in a Gary V concert.  The momentum kept going higher and the spectators kept clamoring for more.  Gary accepted a few requests singing bits of chorus.  You’d have to check out what’s his finale and encore song so i encourage you to watch the show in person.
We all know that when it comes to Gary V’s concerts, it’s actually a party, packed with energy and loaded with emotions.  He is one amazing performer and an international artist we are proud of.  At last night’s concert, Gary V delivered a super-charged, intimate reaction with the crowd, proving that he is “THE TOTAL PERFORMER.”  He is a humble, very generous, appreciative person we all know.  An all-around performer and after a long hiatus because of the pandemic, he is RE-ENERGIZED, ready to mount the seven-city U.S. Tour in cooperation with Starmedia Entertainment and Manila Genesis.  Last night’s show was in collaboration with producer Music Arts International.
So far, all four first legs have been sold out!  You can catch the rest of the Re-Energized U.S. Tour in Dallas Texas (Texas Hall) on October 15 (Saturday).  It will continue in Anchorage, Alaska (Alaska Center for the Performing Arts) on October 21st, and lastly in New York at The Town Hall on October 23.