THOUSANDS of dedicated fans from all over Pampanga and Central Luzon followed their hearts to see and hear iconic balladeer Engelbert Humperdinck live at the LausGroup Event Centre on Thursday.
The one-night only concert, courtesy of Corporate Guarantee and Insurance Company (CGIC) in partnership with Ovation Productions, is the pop legend’s way of celebrating his 50th anniversary in the music industry.
It was indeed a celebration as he serenaded music lovers with his classic hits “Release Me,” “Welcome To My World,” “The Last Waltz,” “Spanish Eyes,” “The Way It Used To Be,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and the unforgettable “Quando, Quando, Quando”.
Aside from singing his legendary songs that touched the world, he also performed a powerful rendition of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” presented an energetic version of “On Broadway,” and surprised the younger generation guests by covering Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran’s contemporary hits.
Moreover, the King of Romance also proved there’s no stopping him at the age of 81, by announcing the release of his newest album “The Man I Want to Be,” a heartfelt ode to his wife of 53 years who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
He shared the audience a glimpse of its tracks by singing “I’m Glad I Danced with You”, a touching song penned by daughter Louise Dorsey and features a duet with his nine year-old granddaughter Olivia.
To conclude a sold-out concert, he then crooned his 50th anniversary single “I Followed My Heart” which he said the lyrics speak for himself: “This one thing is true, I followed my heart, every single part/From the very start, I followed my heart”.
When delighted fans screamed “More!” he belted out his 70s hit “For the Good Times” and sang along with the crowd who gathered at his side on the centerstage.
Seventy five year old Natividad Bacani, who has been an avid fan since the singer rose to fame, said she got so thrilled when she heard that the English balladeer is coming to Pampanga.
“It has always been my dream to see Engelbert Humperdinck live! He was my all-time favorite singer and crush,” she exclaimed.
“As an early Christmas gift, my children bought me tickets to see the show because they know how I really love Engelbert and his music. I will forever treasure this moment because it’s a dream come true! Engelbert is still so amazing, seems like nothing has changed. His voice sounds as smooth as ever,” she added.
Humperdinck burst into the music scene during the 60s along with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Tom Jones, and was catapulted almost instantly to the status of world icon.
His debut single “Release Me,” became an instant hit when it went into the Guinness Book of Records for staying 56 weeks in the charts and became No. 1 in 11 countries.
He was subsequently hailed by The London Times as “the premier voice of the 20th century” for his inimitable three-and-a-half octave range and ultra-smooth onstage charisma that captivated fans of every generation in many parts of the world.
In the last four decades, he has generated record sales in excess of 150 million records, including 64 gold albums and 24 platinum albums, and won four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
For the past few months, Humperdinck has brought his 50th anniversary tour across the globe—making stops in major cities in the United States, United Kingdom, other parts of Europe, and Asia, including the Philippines.
After his first ever visit in Pampanga, he will grace the Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 28, followed by Biñan, Laguna on November 30, and will conclude his Philippine concert leg on December 2 in Iloilo.
LausGroup of Companies Chairman and CEO Levy P. Laus announced that after Humperdinck’s successful and momentous concert at the LausGroup Event Centre, there is more to come.
“Engelbert’s concert is truly a show one for the books for the people of Pampanga and Central Luzon. It was fantastic and very nostalgic, and we’re bringing more of this as we welcome another world-renowned artist, Debby Boone, here in Pampanga on February 2018,” Laus noted.
Dubbed “Debby Boone Sings Karen Carpenter,” the much-awaited concert marks the local debut of Debby Boone as she extols the musical achievements and legacy of the late Karen Carpenter.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on November 26, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Pampanga also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.