(Written) 19th February, 2017. 2:53am.
I have a confession to make: I have not listened to your songs in a long time. Not because I don’t want to, but because I knew if I started doing it, it’d be harder for me to stop. I have been avoiding your songs for months now, but I’m glad I did. Watching you live again was like hearing your beautiful voice for the first time.
After your concert last night I was contemplating whether to write something about it or not because, truth be told, there’s really nothing to criticize about it. I loved every minute of it, despite not knowing every song in the repertoire. So instead of a proper review, I decided to just list some thoughts I had while watching your concert.
But before we dive into the songs, can I just say, the Overture was so eargasmic! I got chills hearing the Miss Saigon intro, then it became a medley of beloved musicals that sent chills up my spine. And those video animations… whoever did that was amazing, even though I thought the movement was kinda slow.
Starting Lea Salonga: Songs from the Stage with Beautiful from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical was, for the lack of better word, beautiful. I have just been obsessing about the cast recording a couple of days ago so it made me happy hearing you sing songs from the musical. I was trying so hard not to sing Sara Bareilles’s Brave while you were singing Beautiful (because Carole King and Sara once performed a mash-up of the two songs at the Grammy’s). Plus! I also love that you performed not just one, but two favorites from the musical: this and Natural Woman (that was flawless, btw).
She Used To Be Mine
Now, now, Lea. This song. Wow. Thank you for adding this to your list. You know, when I heard that you were doing songs from the stage, I secretly hoped that you’d add this heartbreaking song to your repertoire even though I know there’s a bigger chance that you won’t. I love Waitress. I’ve been listening to both the cast recording and Sara’s ‘What’s Inside’ album since the start of the year and this particular song just wrecked me to pieces. I’ve avoided that song because it makes me more sad (and 2017 has been nothing but a bitch to me so far) so when you sang the song, I almost fell off my chair. I tried to keep myself from crying even though I was shaking so bad because the feels, man! All throughout, I had to tell myself, “come on, Jhack, don’t cry. Don’t. You’re okay now. Don’t you dare cry!” But I still did. Damn you, Lea!
When you were singing this song, there was a point where I stopped seeing Lea and started seeing you as Jenna Hunterson from Waitress, complete with the Jenna uniform. I heard a bit of Jessie Mueller there while you where singing, and that’s when I realized you’d be perfect for the role. I hope someone buys the rights for the musical and have you play Jenna. I can’t wait to hear you sing “Bad Idea” and cozy up with whoever’s going to play Dr. Pomatter. I bet you’d rock the role.
I knew Nic was going to sing, you said that during your CNN interview with Pinky Webb. I also knew she was going to sing 2 songs, but I was not prepared for the awesomeness of your performance. That was really good! And her own rendition of “Ring of Keys,” oh my goodness! She’s improved a lot (from her performance in Playlist). I hope that won’t be the last time we get to hear her lovely voice because she certainly has a potential.
Wind Beneath My Wings
Question: when you were deciding which songs to include in this concert, were you thinking about killing your audience with feels? Because I’m pretty sure that I died many times while I was watching you. The main reason is this particular song. I tried to suppress my emotions while you were singing, but towards the first chorus I just had to let the tears flow. Seeing your photos with your Mom and hearing you sing that song for her while she was in the audience made me a little bit jealous. I miss my Mom so much, Lea, and hearing you sing this song reminds me of what I don’t have now. It hurts so bad. I still get chills and tears just remembering your beautiful rendition.
Rak of Aegis
Thank you for choosing to sing not just songs from Broadway musicals, but from local musicals as well. I especially love “Magbalik Ka Na, Mahal” from Rama Hari. To be honest I was expecting to hear more songs from our very own musicals, but a medley from Rak of Aegis and one from Rama Hari was fine.
Oh, Lea. Why must you sing more hugot songs? Why can’t you sing happy, shiny songs and refrain from songs that will make your audience weep and die a little? Burn from Hamilton? Empty Chairs at Empty Tables? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I was surprised you didn’t sing “Why God Why?” from Miss Saigon. I was actually waiting for that one, but glad you excluded that from your repertoire otherwise there’d be a river of tears inside the PICC.
You Will Be Found
I’ve never heard of Dear Evan Hansen, nor have I listened to its cast recording, so thank you for introducing me to this wonderful song. It was hard listening to this song because of how things have been for me not just this year, but the last two years, but it also reminded me of what I should always keep in mind when I’m feeling down. I still get lumps on my throat just thinking about your performance. It’s the perfect song to end the concert. Thank you so much for that.
I’ve seen you perform live many times before, but I always loved hearing you sing songs from the musicals. I know that everything I said probably won’t reach your brain but I still wanted to thank you for sharing your gift to us. It’s always a pleasure hearing you live and seeing you in your most comfortable element. Congrats, Lea! You’re my unicorn.