1984 was the year I discovered music, I was 13 years old then and a seventh grader about to enter high school. The summer of 1984 was probably the coolest summer of my life, because I discovered Michael Jackson (the Thriller video was played over and over and over and over again on TV), Billy Joel was singing Uptown Girl to Christie Brinkley, all the contestants in Eat Bulaga were dancing to Madonna's Material Girl and Culture Club's Boy George had Karma Chameleon, which introduced me to gay men who actually 'almost' dressed like women!
And then there was Gary V.
His first album, Gary, was, in my opinion, toe to toe in creativity and depth in singles to Michael Jackson's Thriller. It was that good! I actually talked to Gary years after, in 1998, after his performance at an MTV concert, and I told him how earthshaking and influential his first album was in my life - that playing it was like being in heaven - and that I wished he would sing 'You Got Me Working', 'Betty's in Bed', 'Hang On', and After All" live - since I NEVER saw him sing those songs live or even on local TV! And he said, he couldn't. I was shocked and asked why. He said he couldn't because of some contract BS that he signed when he made that record that forbid him to sing those songs. How very sad....
So, last night, as me and my Pure Energy friends, Heidi (the real Gary V. fan in our barkada), Honey, Joan and me trooped to the Music Museum to have a dose of his music, I was secretly hoping that when he'd sing his 'old school' songs, that he would go way back, as in WAY BACK to 1983. He did go way back, but only to 1989. Frankly, after Shout4Joy in 1991, I kinda tuned out from his music since by the time I was graduating from college, the innovative band from UP, the Eraserheads, was slowly revolutionizing Pinoy music - and their subversively clever lyrics were more interesting to listen to - and around this time, Gary was already leaning more to Christian music, which for a young man like me, at that time, was NOT really the music I wanted to listen to.
Anyhow, when Heidi asked me if I watched concerts of local singers two weeks ago, I said yes, and when she asked if I liked Gary, I said, oh yeah! like the first concert I EVER watched in my whole life was Gary V in 1986! Of course I loved him! And so, after NOT seeing a full concert of his for almost 26 years, his prodigal fan returns!Well, the special effects of the show was really clever!
This is the first time I've seen it done here - and I've been to almost all live shows! You'd have to see it to find out what it is! I was really impressed that Gary's production team decided to use that technology. Also, Gary's voice is still the Gary I know from 1983! While wayward singers like Whitney Houston and locally, Nora Aunor, have lost their singing voices, the Gary I heard last night was just topnotch - gave me goosebumps really! Now this is a guy who just took care of his gift and all his fans last night, I'm sure, are really thankful that he still sounds divine!As for Gary's dance moves last night, well, I am 41 and I realize now that he's just 6 years older than me, but at 47, the guy can still move - and move really well! Since I also do hip hop classes, I know how the body can be a traitor - that even if you want to do certain moves, you just can't anymore, because the knees give in and the legs are just not what they used to be. So to see Gary match the two Maneouvres dancers step by step was quite impressive to watch! Of course, he said later, he didn't do too much of those since he wanted to save it for his 30th anniversary concert.
Gary had a lot of chatty moments last night and it allowed us, his audience, a peek into how his show was conceptualized, how his family took part in the show, how groovy the music of the 80s was and a lot of cheerful banter that seemed like having a friend you haven't seen in a long time, hang out with you in your living room! The intimate nature of the Music Museum allowed that ambience.Of course, he got a standing ovation after the show because just a cursory scan at the audience - you'd immediately notice that these are his true blue fans who have stuck with him throughout his 29-year musical journey. Now, we look forward to more!