It was one of those rare concerts where everything was seemed tailored-fit for the audience. From the song choices, (which was straight from my favorites playlist) the intimate setup and the guest artists, Edward Benosa’s Most Requested concert, turned out to be more memorable than I expected.
Benosa’s birthday concert also turned out to be an evening full of surprises.
The first surprise was the set-up. Director Frank Lloyd Mamaril made such clever and imaginative use of the Teatrino’s very small stage. Every inch was maximized, such that there was even space for an LED screen, which enhanced the audience’s concert viewing experience.
He complemented that with a well-chosen repertoire that made the most of Edward’s vocal strengths. The repertoire was varied: it went from the usual romantic pop ballads to acoustic numbers to rock-flavored hits that surprised the audience who didn’t realize Edward had it in him to do those kinds of songs.
But because the show’s title was “Most Requested”, the segment that really drew attention was the “Most Requested” medley that included “You Are So Beautiful”, “Chivalry is Dead”, “Crazy”, “The Scientist” and the current radio and fan favorite, Charlie Puth’s “One Call Away”. Edward’s version was easy on the ears and a crowd-pleaser. The audience sang along with him, since they were familiar with the song.
Also surprising were Edward’s guests, DJ Chacha and Morisette Amon. DJ Chacha made the audience sit up and take note of her musical ability when she did a duet with Edward of the OPM hit “Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang. Morissette, Edward’s co-star in the stage musical “Chuva Choo Choo” (which will reportedly have a repeat/extended run middle of this year) did a duet with him of “Sana Kahit Minsan”.
These two young voices are among the most promising of their generation, and they will definitely go places in today’s competitive music industry, either as solo artists or as a tandem.
But the biggest surprise was Edward Benosa himself who showcased his impressive vocal range as he bravely took on some vocally challenging songs from Bruno Mars and Adam Levine as well as several genres, from ballads to rock.
The night really belonged to Edward, who proved what a versatile artist he could be. Among the standout numbers were his performances of “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 (it was part of his Maroon 5 medley) and rocker Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ‘69”. Edward also did a medley of Justin Bieber songs that included the mega-hit “Love Yourself”.
Also taking center stage were songs from Edward’s Star Music album. He performed several songs, including “Iingatan Ko”, and “Puso Kong Ito”. Of course, he couldn’t leave the venue that night without performing his biggest hit, “Di Man Lang Nagpaalam”. How appropriate indeed that he chose it to be his last song before he closed the show—or made “paalam”—to his very supportive audience that night which included members of his fan group, the Edward Benosa Loyal Supporters. Also beaming from the sidelines were members of Edward’s Star Music family headed by Roxy Liquigan, who has believed in Edward’s talent since Day One, and composers and record producers Jonathan Manalo and Rox Santos.
It seemed that all the songs in the repertoire were carefully chosen. His closing song (before the encore of “Di Man Lang Nagpaalam” was “Best Day of My Life” originally by American Authors, and indeed, that day, April 16, did turn out to be the best day of Edward’s life. It was the day that he stepped up to the challenge, joined the big leagues and proved that while still a newbie compared to othehr, more established artists that have been around for 10, 20, even 30 years, he definitely has what it takes to take the ball and roll with it. He can and will go on to build a flourishing career in the music business. He obviously has the potential and the vocal chops to do that. That much was clear that night, and will be even clearer in the months and years to come.