The hullaballoo over Regine Velasquez’s transfer to ABS-CBN has done wonders for her confidence. Although she’s likely aware of her iconic stature in the industry, hearing the fans defend her openly and so staunchly in recent weeks is strong reminder the songbird remains loved and can afford to relax a bit on her laurels.
That’s exactly her vibe in “Regine at the Movies,” a concert series that opened at New Frontier Theater over the weekend with two more dates at the venue on Nov. 24 and 25. She is still able to hit the high notes, no doubt about it, yet she now paces herself in that she sometimes would opt to not sustain it as long as she used to. Those complex melismatic runs that have singer of lesser ability head for the hills? Tempered.
Clearly, Regine was there to enjoy herself, and, funny enough, that made the show even more enjoyable to the audience. It’s like loving yourself first before you can share that love with other people. Taking her cue, musical director Raul Mitra stuck mostly to the familiar musical arrangements of the songs as heard on the soundtrack of the chosen movies (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Anastasia,” “A Walk to Remember,” etc.). The few exceptions included the piano-driven version of “It Must Have Been Loved” versus the original by Roxette that was heavy on drums and guitars; and “You Are My Song” and “Tagpuan” that used a full band against the more known quiet versions.
Regine is more open about her religious beliefs. A renewed Christian for sometime now, she often thanked God throughout the show. After doing “Only A Hope,” a love song, she said “All glory to you Father,” giving the impression that to her, the lyrics can be read as a prayer.
Even if you’re a solid Regine fan, you learn a lot about her in his series. Her spiels talk about the first movies she saw, her favourite songs from the movies and why, and her thoughts on how powerfully music resonates the message of movies especially in key scenes wherein a song take over.
There are also numbers Regine sang simply. Hearing her do those from “James Bond” proves that even if you take away the flashy singing style many R&B singers are known for and one that Regine does so well, there’s that voice so impressive despite being unadulterated.
The showstoppers in the first instalment of the series that saw Piolo Pascual as guest performer were: “I’ll Never Love Again” from “A Star Is Born,” “Never Too Far” from “Glitter” and “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” from “Armageddon.” People held breath in to see if the diva still has it as far as reaching the high notes goes. Thankfully, it’s still there.
Was that a spoiler? Not at all. At the press conference for the series held a couple of weeks back, Regine said that not one show on the series is the same. She means that you can watch all three shows and not hear the exact same repertoire every night.
So, see you at the “Movies?”