Ballads of the Past Back to Back to Back

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October 18, 2013 – Three great balladeers of the 70s to 80s: Michael Johnson, Stephen Bishop and Joe Puerta performed their unparalleled hits together at the Big Dome. Titled as “Back to Back to Back”, the event turned out to be a jam-packed stage graced by a variety of talented local and international performers with a few bonuses here and there. The three-hour concert lingered with the songs that undeniably induced nostalgia among the crowd.

The evening was opened by two significant Filipino acts. First up were the classical pop tenor trio, The Angelos who performed a resounding rendition of “Anong Nangyari sa Ating Dalawa?” and Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”.

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Shortly after, one of the most enduring OPM bands, Side A, also took the stage to perform a set of their unforgettable hits including “Hold On”, “So Many Questions”, “Tell Me”, “Forevermore” and “Tuloy Pa Rin”. Their set received a warm reception from the crowd who sang along and cheered as they played one song after another.

When it was time for the main attractions of the evening, J. Michaels, the event’s host entered the stage along with his band, composed mainly of Filipino talents. The most notable in the band was Lara Cuevas whose rendition of “Sana Minsan Pa” has turned out to be a popular these days.

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Michael Johnson, who is now 69 years of old, entered the stage in good spirits. He narrated that it was his third time in the Philippines and how there was coincidentally an earthquake every time. He joked, “I just want you to know it’s not my fault”, but on a more serious note, he extended his sympathies to those affected by the recent tragedy in Cebu and Bohol. With his characteristically mellow voice, he performed his well-loved hits “Doors”, “Bluer than Blue”, “This Night Won’t Last Forever” and “I’ll Always Love You”.

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The quirky Stephen Bishop, who was dressed in a suit paired with bright yellow neon sneakers, was the next up onstage. It was his 9th time in the Philippines. His words of introduction were “on and balut!” which was his way of presenting his first song for the night, the 1977 hit “On and On”. He also played “Something New in My Life”, “Never Letting Go”, “Save It for a Rainy Day” and the all-time ballad “Separate Lives” which Stephen wrote for the movie “White Nights”. His last song was the Filipino crowd favorite “It Might Be You”.

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The last performer for the evening was the bassist and vocalist of Ambrosia, Joe Puerta. With his versatile vocal range, he performed the Ambrosia songs “How Much I Feel”, “You’re the Only Woman (You & I)”, “I Just Can’t Let Go”, “Holding on to Yesterday” and “The Biggest Part of Me”.

Written by Sandra Mae Laureano

Photos by Glenn Michael Tan

Special thanks to Viva Live and Redstone Media Production



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