Set the World on Fire – Live in MANILA 2013

akHow do I even begin?

It was the BEST show I have ever watched! Worth all the penny! Alicia Keys, the multi-awarded Grammy winner and an awesome singer-songwriter has totally set Manila on fire. It was a night to remember, one of the best nights of my entire life!

Gotta be honest, I didn’t come without apprehensions. I am a big fan. Bought the ticket as soon as it’s available but I was quite worried she won’t deliver her best seeing some of her strained live performances on YouTube. But I am so glad she proved me wrong. She gave her all, poured her heart and soul in the hour-and-a-half, almost-non-stop-singing show! Her energy is vibrating, her spirit is uplifting us all.

She started the show with her signature line for the Empire State of Mind. Then she jumped to the upbeat Karma. This is her usual opening song and I’m never tired of listening to this!

She went back and forth to old and new songs. Highlights are Tears Always Win, Like You’ll Never See ME Again, A Woman’s Worth, Fallin’, Listen To Your Heart and the mash-up between Limitedless and Murder She Wrote. The level of musicality in all these performances is off the charts! Her two back-up singers brought the house down as they performed for an intermission a cover of You’re All I Need to Get By.

My phone was acting up that’s why the video started in the middle of the first stanza.

I remember the voice rehearsals video I have watched a few months back in her preparation to the tour. This is the song she’s learning to sing properly. Just shows that even the best should not stop learning.

One of my all-time favorite songs! No words can describe how I felt watching her sing this live!

This song is from her Unplugged album. Have my original DVD copy of the intimate concert she had at New York. The lyrics may sound cheesy but it’s a perfect choice if you wanna sing-along.

The second half of the concert is definitely heart-warming, soulful and touching. Brand New Me was sung perfectly! Alicia Keys told her story of how excited she was to come back to the Philippines. And how it even became purposeful after the devastating super typhoon Haiyan.

I was shaking when she dedicated her most popular song, If I Ain’t Got You to our fellow Filipinos who suffered from the disaster. I think I was shaking when she started singing and I was in total awe when the Asia’s Songbird, Regine Velasquez stepped into the stage.

It was my first time to see Regine perform live. She’s amazing. She did her thing without overpowering Alicia Keys. And I loved the adlib where she thanked Alicia. So sweet! Then Alicia sang back at her and the whole country. What an incredible moment!

I applaud Alicia Keys for being such a humble person. If I Ain’t Got You is her signature song and I think it’s her most popular one. Other global superstars would want to own that and not share it with the other singers unless of course if it’s a tribute to them or something. But she did share it with one of our own singers. All for her love to us, Filipinos. This, for me, signifies how she extends her helping for those who are in need, how she willingly share what she has to fully connect to the people she’s with. I was teary-eyed and there I was thinking that it was the most special part of the show.

Next song was her number one hit, No One. All cellphones are up in the sky to light the whole arena. It was magical! It feels good to be part of something that cool! What made it more special is the chant-like group singing of the crowd as Alicia belts out the chorus.

Still paying tribute to the Haiyan victims, No One was mashed up with BEP’s Where is the Love. Crowd went nuts when Alicia Keys introduced another Filipino international artist, Apl de Ap ( I just realized I know the words to his rap in the song). Everyone was on their feet. And that is THE pivotal moment of the show. The crowd’s energy is so overwhelming I feel like the show won’t end anytime soon.

But it did. Just like everything else. Few more songs were performed — New Day, Girl on Fire and of course, Empire State of Mind where Alicia Keys changed New York to Manila in the last chorus.

I’m still bummed I wasn’t able to take videos of them because my phone was acting up! I am short of memory that I had to erase all songs and most apps (thank God, there’s iCloud!)

I am happy as I leave the arena. Though I know this would subside and I cannot help but  feel the post-concert depression. She ended the show with a note through this video. I was hoping she would sing 101, but at least I got this last part 🙂


Jasmine van den Bogaerde

… most popularly known as Birdy, gave me chills because of her voice! She’s only 16 years old and a product of a singing competition in UK. Her voice resembles that of Leona Lewis’s but hers is way, way better. Skinny Love and Shelter are two covers featured in the soundtrack of The Vampire Diaries. I did not notice it in the series until my sister downloaded the tracks. You gotta listen to her! She’s a bit creepy, I think but really, really, really good. 🙂

Their Versions of Our Own

I was getting a bit nostalgic about college as I watch the UST singers, dubbed as the Choir of the World, in YouTube. But here I am, blogging about an entirely different matter as I stumble upon these unbelievable performances of foreign choir groups singing our homegrown songs. There are a lot of ’em but here are a few stand-outs.

Ikaw Lamang – Infinito Singers

Bituing Walang Ningning – Infinito Singers

Good Lord! This gave me goosebumps! Fave part was when the tenors take over the soprano in the middle part of the song.

Ikaw – University Choir of Pardubice, Czech Republic (with Ateneo College Glee Club)

Paru-Parong Bukid – Zionsville Community High School Chamber Choir

I chuckled when I heard them sing, “… ng pakendeng-kendeng! Uy!

Bayan Ko – Libera

I really have to say that I got teary eyed with Libera’s Bayan Ko. This is my favorite! They kind of fired up my Filipino pride. I agree with one of the comments in the video that Filipinos are very hard to please “musically”. I seldom witness a standing ovation from the audience. I can’t blame the audience for the applause during the performance as some may think it’s rude or unethical. This song brings everyone back to a very defining moment in our history. Seeing them on their feet as the boys end the “unofficial national anthem” (got this from the video’s description) affirmed that they were hit straight to the heart by the heartwarming performance.

Great songs sung by great singers. Music is the only language that everyone understands. Hearing them foreign tongues sing the Filipino masterpieces made me proud. 🙂 But there’s nothing else like our own.

Limang Dipang Tao – UST Singers

Pangarap Ko ang Ibigan Ka – Philippine Madrigal Singers

Partida, nakaupo pa iyan! AMAZING!

Adele (Live at the Royal Albert Hall)

Time to reward myself! I finally bought Adele’s concert at the Royal Albert f*cking Hall last night. My favorite part of the event was “Make You Feel My Love” and “Someone Like You”. The rendition of the first song was dedicated to the late Amy Winehouse. Adele asked everyone to light up the hall using their phones. It looked like a starry night sky. The next anthem was the penultimate song of the evening. For me, it was her most emotional performance of Someone Like You. I got teary-eyed when she tried to fight her own tears while singing the last chorus. She was struggling but didn’t manage to contain it at the end. The moment was priceless and the audience stood up and applauded her for THE vulnerable performance.

How I wish I could see her perform live! I’m praying to the high heavens that she’ll visit Manila soon. She’s an inspiration, indeed.

Enjoyed my Saturday night watching my favorite artist and munching on my favorite chips!