By Lou Marquez Hernandez
Photos By Jude Ng
It was indeed a night of timeless love songs as advertised, but with a hint of fun thrown in. This time, singer-songwriter David Pomeranz, known most of all but not only for his song “King and Queen of Hearts” considered a staple to many a prom night since it was first aired on radio in the 80s, brought along an esteemed and long-time colleague Melissa Manchester to double the love factor and the fun part, too.
Performing with an ease only an artist who is very familiar with the Filipino audience’s ticklebone and considering how many times he’s been here, Pomeranz sang in a very relaxed manner with a bit of bantering and profoundly interesting moments like the Charlie Chaplin routine.
Endearing was the time when water spilled from his mouth onto his guitar during a dialogue, leading him to apologize to his son who was in the audience.
Manchester, performing live for the first time in the Philippines, was electrifying as she sang her most popular song “Through the Eyes of Love” or the theme song from Ice Castles dedicated to its music composer Marvin Hamlisch.
In a dark, sparkling dress, she comfortably belted out songs like “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “Midnight Blue” and “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” an impish song she credited to making her very popular to the aerobics crowd in its heyday.
Filling the Araneta Coliseum with her powerful voice which, for her ripe age of middle 60, was truly admirable, making this writer think of the common adage of wine being better with age, Manchester also sang “You Gotta Love The Life” from her new album released in 2015. The discipline in which she wielded her voice was not surprising though as she is an adjunct professor of the USC (University of South California) Thornton School of Music.
Machester and Pomeranz were fronted by the equally superb performance of Arthur Manuntag whose monicker Asia’s Crooner was apt and greatly-deserved. There was a bonus too, for he took on several voices of long gone as well as existing singers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Michael Bolton and Shirley Bassey, among others – and did it so well that it felt like you’re listening to the real deal if you close your eyes. The audience consisting mostly of those who grew up in the 60’s to 80’s enjoyed and connected with his spiel.
As most good and enjoyable things do, the concert ended a bit late, almost midnight to be precise. And as the ‘prom king,’ Pomeranz and the electrifying Manchester perform the evening’s last song together “Whenever I Call You Friend”, one can’t help but wish for a next one. ‘Till next prom night then.