Swing Out Sister…At Last!

It is four days after the event, but I still have a great hangover from Swing Out Sister, which performed here in Manila last Monday.  It certainly made my week — and even my 2008!  Having shared the evening with two good friends, Nadia Trinidad and Jove Francisco, who are true-blue SOS fans themselves, even made the event more meaningful.  It was also a pleasure seeing many other good friends.  Some politicians were even there, perhaps reminiscing their early adulthood in the 80’s.  Hehe.  The Big Dome was, I think, 80 percent full.

The show did not start on time at 8, although the tickets spelled it out with bold print — “Show starts on time.”  Some activity finally happened at 9, which was the front act by Faith Cuneta.  To be fair to her, she has a good voice.  But even if she sang standards, she still sang to the wrong crowd.  She had too many songs, and endlessly thanked Ovations Productions and kept plugging her latest album.  As my friend had aptly said, “It’s not as if she’s guesting on ASAP!” 

She even had a funny question to the crowd (this is more or less paraphrased): “Do you want more (of my songs)?”


“… Good thing I have one more song,” Faith answered back.  She at least had the honesty of saying “ang hirap talaga mag-front act.”

The endless commercial plugs of the sponsors and media partners, also made the crowd very impatient!

ANYWAY — at 9:30, the theme from Rocky officially started the show.  The first song was a medley of Surrender and World Out of Control.   What followed were a lot of newer songs, like Something Everday, from their latest album, Beautiful Mess — which was also sang later on.

Surprisingly, Corinne Drewery sang a few songs from their Filth and Dreams album, which is said to be their least popular album.  They sang Who’s Been Sleeping? and Sugar Free.

From the Shapes and Patterns album, Corinne gave a heartfelt rendition of Now You’re Not Here, which is highly popular in Japan, and was used as a theme for a TV show there.  There was also Love Won’t Let You Down from the Where Our Love Grows.

But it was the classic songs from the 80’s and early 90’s that really got the audience on their feet.  SOS didn’t disappoint the crowd with You on My Mind, Twilight World, and Am I the Same Girl? 

And of course, the great finale and to make the night complete!  Breakout!  This was obviously the most anticipated song of the night, as people were clamoring for the song early in the concert.  Corinne of course, just smiled and said that it will be sung eventually.

It has always been a delightful to hear foreigners speak our language.  Corinne said “Salamat” after almost every song.  She also recounts riding the jeepney.

Corinne even designed her own barong, which flowed all the way to her feet!  She has certainly put her fashion design background to good use. 

If there’s one thing I loved about Corinne’s performance, it was her voice.  It was truly in top form, and her voice reflected the spunk and enthusiasm especially found in SOS’ early albums.  I’d say this because their Live at the Jazz Cafe, Live in Tokyo, and Filth and Dreams Albums — although good — lacked a certain vibrance.  But the energy was certainly around in their Manila concert.  I really hope they make release a CD of their Manila performance.  It would surely be a hit. 

How I wish though that they sang Lala Means I Love You, Waiting Game, Precious Words, and more songs from their Shapes and Patterns and Somewhere into the Night albums.

I do have one big question at the end of it all: Where was arranger/composer Andy Connell the whole time?  He is after all, the other great half of SOS, and it was a pity that he wasn’t around.

After having been to the concert, I am really happy to know that the Philippines can easily match Japan in terms of the support it gives to SOS.  They are very well-loved here.

What a memorable experience, seeing live my most favorite group of all time!  The best two hours for 2008!

After all, it was a ten-year wait for me — a ten-year wait to hear them perform live.  It was a decade-long wait to hear live Breakout, the song that, as I have mentioned recently, defines how I approach life. 

What a real blessing indeed.  Certainly another prayer answered. 🙂

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