Manila’s Music – a HELLO to Lionel Richie
Singer and 5-time Grammy Award winner Lionel Richie, changed the mood for good for his fans during his concert All the hits – All night long at the Araneta Coliseum last April 5, 2014.
The music junkie spilled the magic of melody to his fans including hits from his days with Commodores and from his successful solo career. It was his second time in the country, the first was with The Commodores, the funk/soul band who introduced “Sweet Love” and “Fancy Dancer” that he fronted, they performed at the same venue back in 1978 so it was indeed a long overdue for his fans after he went solo. The fans went untamed as the light dimmed and began to play around. When we heard a notable voice saying “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” which drew resonant cheers from the crowd following an uninterrupted transition to singing his first song entitled “Just for You”.
At 64, the man from Tuskegee, Alabama was determined to include the crowd to move rhythmically and sway to every height as possible. He made sure that age is just a number, though higher range was a little finite, he had adjusted with the differences through expressions and his very certain humor. His easy, close and harmonious interaction with the crowd was indicated by, playful and friendly exchange of mocks including a comical riff on his invitation to Diana Ross to join him to perform their duet “Endless Love” only to receive a sonorous “No!”. As a replacement, he asked us to sing her part, an invitation to which we positively responded without thinking that we need the help of lyrics flashed in front of us.
The stage presence and energy were so electrifying. He never allowed his audience bogged to ballads, he performed upbeat tunes like a high-energy “Running with the Night” and my personal favorite “Dancing on the Ceiling” that revved up the enthusiastic crowd. After he saw the intense and eager fans he jokingly commented, “I haven’t seen dancing like that Manila.” He also talked about a song inspired by his parents, a hit from the Commodores, “Three Times a Lady.”
Fan favorite was when the HELLO singer told various stories of being in and out of relationships, and how we turn to his songs in each situation, he ended up asking a famous line from an American supernatural comedy film “Ghostbuster” “Who you gonna call?” to where the audience chorally answered “Lionel Richie!”. He started with “Still”, followed by “Oh No” and axed with “Stuck on You”.
Lionel Richie will never be Lionel Richie without staging the song that Hit Number 1 on 1984, the song the whole world loved, taken as the third single from Richie’s multi-platinum album Can’t Slow Down. The song with a very remarkable line of “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?” He sat down, played and sang “Hello”. But not just that, the concert won’t be entitled “All The Hits All Night Long” without performing an upbeat hit, “All Night Long” where we all seemed to be dancing on air. After that he bade goodbye on his respectable throngs. But we did not move yet for we know it’s not yet over. Imagine the majority of the crowd from affluent or well off society demanding for “we want more” lights were off and then went back and there he was, standing in front of us, he wore black all evening, then for the encore he came out in a white jacket. He shared that this next song is the most meaningful song he has written. “We Are the World” a co-written by him (Lionel) and Michael Jackson. Then we all were singing from the same song sheet.
The R&B legend worked it out, he paid attention to all of his fans by looking at them, pointing to the crowd and waving those who were seated at the Upper level. The storytelling part was unexpected and an eye opener to better understand his music.
Lionel Richie is a true performer. He touched all the hits that made him famous. His timeless songs and the sound of his voice goes straight from and to the heart of the people at the Big Dome and will never get old to her. It was indeed a trip down memory lane, a concert we will cherish forever.
Overall, Lionel Richie “All The Hits – All Night Long” World Tour Manila was a very entertaining show. He performed more than 20 songs with great memories that put smiles to all concert goers. A lot of standing ovations and he was on stage for over 2 hours of all his hits from The Commodores to the present as solo artist.
Written by Jo Rivera
Lionel Richie live in Manila Setlist
Just for You
Running with the Night
Stuck on You
Three Times a Lady
Say You, Say Me
Dancing on the Ceiling
All Night Long (All Night)
Encore: We Are the World
Presented by and special thanks to Wilbros Live