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Pure excellence and pure heart reign at Gary V's 'Pure Energy' concert

May 2 ------ Phenomenal cannot begin to describe OPM icon Gary Valenciano's two-night concert spectacle, "Pure Energy: One Last Time," at the Mall of Asia Arena last weekend. Part of the massive sold-out crowd that was stunned and mesmerized over and over by the beloved 59-year-old performer's rich and resounding voice, unbelievable dancing prowess, and enduring stamina — that even a 20-year-old would envy that Saturday night of April 27 — proved that the irreplaceable Gary V. is not only the Philippines' "Total Performer" but inarguably its GOAT.   


Yes — for me and the countless fans that filled the humongous MoA to every available space in the bleachers — it was clear that Gary Valenciano is and will long be OPM's greatest performer. And it isn't just because Gary V.'s artistic excellence remains unchanged in his 40-year career, which the concert celebrated. Or that for the full three hours of the show, not once did he leave the stage, seamlessly shifting from breathtaking solos of his treasured hits to singing with each one of his OPM powerhouse of guests (among them Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla, Concert King Martin Nievera, Ebe Dancel, Gloc 9, Darren, Jona and Ice Seguerra — more on Ice on sidebar story). Or even all the spellbinding dance moves he led alongside his original back up, the Manouvers; the young BGYO boys; and the concert ensemble, the A-Team, that just went on and on and on, each set faster, more energetic and more intricate than before. 


Indeed, Gary V delivered every spiel, song and dance step to perfection, his voice never faltering across an exquisite repertoire of 25 songs and major productions that started and ended with two of his biggest inspirational hits, with all the good stuff like "Shout for Joy" and "Take Me Out of the Dark," with "Eto Na Naman," "Growing Up," "Look In Her Eyes," "Hataw Na" and "Di Bale Nalang" in between. He, together with his production team, headed by son Paolo Valenciano as overall director, definitely mounted a first-rate music event — the audio was crystal clear, the stage-wide and changing digital backdrop carefully designed to awe. But again, while all these do make an artist great, what makes Gary V. the greatest is his deep and pure passion for his life's calling in music and his genuine dedication as a performer. Besides his pure excellence in his craft, it is his pure heart that ultimately moved the audience from bliss to shedding a tear. 


When Gary V. smiled, it was sincere. When he spoke about his faith, he was sincere. No matter that his health suffered several blows in recent years besides his lifelong struggle with diabetes, Gary V. didn't hold back on every song he sang and every strenuous move he made. So when he thanked the audience at the end of a historic night in Philippine music — an audience that is just as grateful to him for 40 years worth of songs, all-out entertainment and genuine inspiration — there was no question Gary V. had surpassed greatness. By popular demand, "Pure Energy: One Last Time" will have a repeat on May 10, while Grab Philippines closes off MoA for its friends and partners for a special May 7 staging. 




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