Philippine Concert King Martin Nievera proved to Saipan his singing prowess and on-stage charisma Friday night as he brought together fans of all ages and races for a powerhouse concert sponsored by Tan Holdings in celebration of the company's 40th anniversary of doing business in Micronesia.
Nievera took center stage at the Hopwood Jr. High School Field, performing for some 6,000 screaming fans a good number of whom did not mind standing for hours and craning their necks to get a glimpse of their much loved balladeer.
“Wow, what a crowd,” said Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan as he thanked the audience, adding that the free concert was put together to show the company's appreciation for the communities in the region for their four decades of support.
He said that Tan Holdings has established businesses that have been instrumental in creating job opportunities and innovations over the years, becoming a part of these island communities while growing stronger as a business.
“Forty years have passed and we continue to remain committed to the region in terms of business and social progress,” said Tan. “We look forward to forging new friendships, taking care of existing ones, and strengthening the bond with our communities.”Friday's show, hosted by Tan Holdings corporate affairs manager Ed Arriola, Jr. and Tango Theaters marketing director Bojo Molina, opened with remarkable vocals from the Rhythm and Harmony Glee Club of Marianas High School.
Twenty members of the award-winning singing group led by conductor Paul Dujua set off the melodic mood as they performed a repertoire that included Don't Stop Believing by Journey, You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins, and It Might Be You by Stephen Bishop. The glee club also performed their own arrangements of a few Broadway hits.
Before long, Nievera along with his back-up ensemble from Manila had taken the spotlight, opening what would be an uninterrupted concert act with popular Christmas hits like It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Pasko na, Sinta ko, and his very own Christmas Won't be the Same Without You.
There's something captivating, even romantic, in the way Nievera's voice captures the soul of a song, eliciting excited shrieks and “I love yous” when his holiday hits were subsequently followed by his signature songs like Be My Lady, You Are My Song, Say That You Love Me, among others.
Nievera also showed his loyal following that he can sing contemporary upbeat songs by younger singers as he did covers of Ne-Yo's Tonight, Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger, LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem, and a medley of top billboard songs of Bruno Mars, who narrated how the young half-Filipino singer asked for his autograph back in Hawaii. “Now it's me who wants Bruno's picture and autograph!”
Nievera went to sing several theme songs from past and present teleserye shows aired by The Filipino Channel, revealing that he is already scheduled to sing another one by doing a cover of Rey Valera's Maging Sino Ka Man.
Joining Nievera on stage for part of the show was his twin sister Vicky, and the two did a duet of After All, the theme song of the teleserye called A Beautiful Affair; Time of My Life from the movie Dirty Dancing; and How Do You Keep the Music Playing originally sung by Patti Austin and James Ingram.
The successful concert, which was facilitated by volunteers from the United Filipino Organization and the Shirley's FC, ended fittingly with Nievera crooning This is the Moment and What A Wonderful World.