Fred Said

Review Blog

Il Divo Live in Manila

Posted by Fred on November 7, 2010 at 11:20 AM

January 20, 2007


For my wife Elaine's birthday this year, I brought her to watch Il Divo's one-night only concert at the PICC. Had to buy the tickets way back in December! When I bought the tickets last December 12 at Ticketworld in Centerpoint, there were very few seats left! That is despite the hefty P5,150 price per ticket, and that is just for balcony seats!


It was a glittery night. Women were all dressed up to their glittery nines. Up in the balcony with us were an international audience. Past 8pm, they announced the arrival of GMA herself.

The orchestra and band opened with their overture. Then the four gentlemen of Il Divo (David, Urs, Sebastien and Carlos) stepped out onstage with their first hit "Regresa A Mi (Unbreak My Heart)". It was a bit annoying that in our seats, we cannot see the top of the stairs where they started to sing because our view was obstructed by the overhead speakers! Good thing they did not stay long up there, and went down the stairs. At first, the audience was quite restrained in their screaming, far cry from the other concerts I have seen before.

They sang songs from all their three albums: "Isabel," "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman", "Mama", "Everytime I Look at You" (after this song, the audience was more enthusiastic with their applause and screams), "Heroe", "Caruso" (revealed to be the audition piece of Sebastien), "Passera" (my personal favorite of all their songs), "Musica" (marked by a lengthy instrumental break which served as the break for the quartet).

The second half started with "Nights in White Satin", "Nella Fantasia" (done especially for the Philippine show, since they said it was not really part of their repertoire anymore), "Feelings", "Unchained Melody", "Pour Que Tu Maimes Encore", "La Vida Sin Amor", "All By Myself". They said goodbye already before they sang "My Way."

As with other concerts, the audience of course clamored for more. And of course, they obliged with 2 encore numbers: "Without You" and finally "Somewhere" (where they sat down on the edge of the stage, and obliged brave female fans of all ages--started by an old lady with very white hair-- who asked for autographs and posed for photographs. I guess these women did have to get something extra for their more than P10,000 tickets, don't they?).

Il Divo delivered their songs almost exactly as they sounded on the albums, which is how the Philippine audience likes it. Hearing them live is fantastic. Of course, you are there to watch the vocal interaction of this quartet. However, there are several songs when you practically hear only a duet between Carlos and David, who have the most powerful voices. Carlos has the richer operatic voice, which can overpower everyone else at times. David has a full and strong head tone, which he uses very well to soar above the other voices. Sebastien has a distinctive pop voice that he uses very well in his solo spots. This French guy seems to be the one with most female admirers, as can be judged by the volume of their squealing. Urs had a particularly weaker and rather indistinct voice even during his solos, and would get drowned out when they sing together.


The venue: PICC does not really seem to be a good concert venue, especially the balcony, since you cannot really see the entire stage. This was already proven when I watched Barry Manilow there, with my aunt years back.


Technical stuff: The musicians and the sound system were excellent. The lighting was dim and awful. They cannot even follow the singer they were spotlighting very well. One time, David comically bent down forward to follow his spotlight near the floor! Hehehe. The video projection was not timed precisely. It cannot follow the right soloist several times as well.


Overall, it was still a very good concert. Was it worth the hefty price tag? Well, I really want to think that it did.


Categories: Concerts

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