By Lou Marquez Hernandez
Photos By Jude Ng
Entering the 5th Dimension
While it would have been a bigger blast if lead singer Marilyn McCoo and husband Billy Davis, Jr. were around, there was no doubt that the Fifth Dimension concert held recently in Manila left all the watchers with more than the feeling of nostalgia.
Florence LaRue, already a grandmother at 72 but still belting it out like it was 1967 along with Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris and Floyd Smith showed why the group remains to be one with the cleanest-sounding music in their era.
With each song, whether a 5th Dimension original or a cover of dance tunes or love songs, Florence and her companions gave these the well-deserved vocal justice for the enjoyment of the concertgoers who were either dancing or gleefully singing or both all night long.
While I immediately recognized songs like “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,” “Up, Up, and Away,” and “One Less Bell to Answer,” I was so happy to learn about that the group actually sang the easy, breezy “Stoned Soul Picnic” and somewhat imploring :Wedding Bell Blues.” The last song, I read somewhere, was a song about McCoo and Davis, who also had a concert in Manila in 2011.
They also exceptionally rendered songs “September,” “My Girl,” “Never My Love,” “McArthur Park” (a favorite among Filipino videoke singers), “Raining Men,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again,” the latter was the final song by LaRue to cap a perfect and classy evening.