IN PHOTOS: Celine Dion captivates sold-out crowd in first Manila concert
Celine Dion is one of those musical artists who could sing the phonebook and it would sound absolutely fabulous. Bearing a confident stage presence, she performed for a sold-out crowd on her first visit to the country in the first of two consecutive shows at the Mall of Asia Arena.
As you would expect from an artist who’s been in the industry for decades, the on-stage spectacle was polished in an assuring fashion. Although it may appear nearly effortless there is no substitute for experience when it comes to a consistent and entertaining show. A sure sign of a pro is when they can make something so complicated look so simple.
Consider the sheer number of musicians on stage. Celine herself, along with 16 others: a string quartet with cello and violins, drums, percussion, guitar, bass, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, keyboard and three background vocalists.
To everyone’s delight, the layered sound blended seamlessly for the entire rainy night, you could argue note perfect. The stage lighting was also designed extremely well, with everything balanced in an intelligent and appealing manner.
Celine immediately captivated as the concert kicked off with “The Power of Love,” catching the audience's attention and maintaning it throughout the nearly two-hour concert. (WATCH: Celine Dion sings most iconic hits at first Manila show)
The show was broken into parts and as you would expect from the diva-esque personality, included a total of 5 costume changes ranging from an elegant little black dress number to a flashy silver top and skirt ensemble with hot pink highlights.
The setlist was a solid mix that included many of her instantly recognizable hits, various covers, and medleys. Periodically in-between songs, she addressed the fans directly, which came across as more of a casual conversion between friends.
In a playful fashion she told the crowd, “Beauty and the Beast was the very first theme song that I had the privilege to sing and that one was a long…” trailing off as an audience member shouted out "1991." Humorous banter ensued mostly regarding aging.
“Don’t start now, I just turned the big 5-0, I’m a Mamacita,” she said
When announcing her heartfelt thanks to the Philippine fans she said, “You’ve been supporting my music for nearly 3 decades, it’s a miracle I don’t have a walker.”
Along with "Beauty and the Beast," she also sang other songs from films: Titanic's “My Heart Will Go On” and a more recent hit, Deadpool 2's, “Ashes.”
She was a bit starstruck as she shared how she felt when Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds asked her to record a song for the movie. “I was so proud to receive a letter from him, I was like freaking out,” she said.
Of course, the audience came through for their idol, participating gamely as she organized various parts of the arena to sing along to “Because You Love Me.”
Celine also performed other artist's songs, including Eric Carmen's "All By Myself," and Carol King's "The Reason."
The songstress' emotional connection to the music was apparent throughout the show, especially as she introduced one of her more recent songs, "Recovering," written by Pink.
“In 2016 during the most difficult time of grieving the loss of my husband René I have received an unexpected gift from someone that I admire tremendously," she said, describing the track as “a song that expresses the power and the strength to overcome any hardship that you are going through, no matter what the situation is.”
Everyone in the arena knew she was holding nothing back, and the audience could feel the genuine emotion injected into the delivery of her lyrics.
As consummate performers do, Celine laid it all out on the stage and the crowd loved it.
Combining theatrical flair and powerhouse vocals, Celine exhibited a prowess that is not often seen, and can only be matched by a handful of singers across the world.
Obvious attention to detail, animated movements, and an outstanding performance from a considerable ensemble made this concert an unparalleled night to remember. – Rappler.com