Title: Back with Brian McKnight
Written by Jhoanne Mariano
Edited by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Kevin Pableo
Top R and B singer Brian McKnight charmed Pinoys last March 16 with a one-night concert at the Big Dome. Brian enthralled the crowd with his hit tunes including One Last Cry and Back At One with special guests Angeline Quinto and R and B princess Kyla.
It was around 9 o’clock in the evening when the angelic voice of Angeline Quinto filled the venue. She serenaded the audience with My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion and Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin by Ms. Lani Misalucha. Her fans, aptly called the Angeliners, started screaming their love for her as soon as she set foot onstage. Angeline was eventually joined by popular comedian and Showtime mainstays Vice Ganda and dancer Jhong Hilario.
With the audience enchanted and still in stitches from Angeline, Vhong, and Jhong’s numbers, Brian McKnight made a grand entrance befitting someone of his stature. He descended from the stairs in the middle of the stage and, in the midst of warm applause from the crowd, kicked off the night with the tunes Shoulda Been followed by Gimme Yo Love. Like a true performer Brian proved he can not only sing, the Grammy-Award winning artist showed off killer moves on the dance floor including a sexy “booty dance” with his lead guitarist and bassist.
After the second song, he greeted the crowd by shouting “Manila!” before launching into his third song, All Night Long. The audience can definitely tell if a performer is merely going through the motions, however, judging from his performance, McKnight wasn’t like that. Passion oozed from every pore in his body.
The R and B singer didn’t just leave the audience in awe, he also kept them laughing with his charming quips. A fun moment during the concert which exhibited just that was when, during his fourth song, Only One 4 Me, he struck a sexy pose before uttering the lines, “I can be the man…that you need.”
Before he went on to his fifth song, Another You, the singer interacted with the crowd once more.He thanked Manila for being with him that night. Ever the jokester, the singer noticed a poster held by a fan that stood near the stage. Brian apologized for being a bit old, because he could not read everything written on the poster. Although he probably could see the “I love you part” because he warmly replied “I love you back” which made the giddy fan swoon even harder and rush back to her seat. We’re betting that outpouring of love inspired him a lot because Bryan began to look for the taken and single ladies in the crowd. Ever the charmer he pronounced to all the females in the audience, “I will be your man tonight.”
During his sixth song the singer had the audience in the palm of his hand. He asked the crowd to sway along to his sixth song “ Find Myself” while uttering the words “Everybody move this way, and now that way, and now this way, and now that way…”
Bryan also exhibited his flair for musical instruments with an acoustic guitar solo right before launching into the tune Read My Mind. During his performance of the classic Jeffrey Osbourne hit On The Wings Of Love the singer said it was a song which, back in the day, would really get him the girls!
On the other hand his next performance, a cover of Journey’s Open Arms, was memorable in an entirely different way. The singer remembered singing the song during his highschool dance with a girl who had bad breath!
Singers who can play a multitude of instruments are a rare breed. Bryan proved he belonged to this elite group with a compelling piano performance of Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder, followed by Rock With You by Michael Jackson.
One of the most thrilling moments that night was a duet with Angeline Quinto. The two sang the Vanessa Williams hit Love Is, their voices soaring to the ends of Araneta. An amusing moment in between their duet was when the Star Power champ quipped, “Mr Brian… I’m sorry I’m not fluent in English but, you know, I can sing.” “Yes you can!” Bryan reassured.
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Bryan is living proof of this adage when he sang Everytime You Go Away and “6, 8, 12” with his two sons Niko and Brian Jr. They also performed the duet “Marry Your Daughter” with Brian accompanying his sons on the piano. What a talented family!
After that night, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind why Bryan speaks so highly of his sons. After their duet, Brian Jr. ran around the patron area singing while Niko played the guitar for their L.O.V.E. number .More than just their inherent talent, you can truly see the blood of Brian McKnight running through their veins brimming with the passion and skills they’ve undoubtedly inherited from their father.
Bryan showed Manila some love by bringing up another Pinay entertainer, none other than R and B chanteuse Kyla! .They performed the duet How Do You Keep the Music Playing by James Ingram and Patti Austin.
The R and B singer closed the night with one of his biggest hits, Back @One. Nearly everyone in the audience sang along as he performed the tune that has become a staple in many a variety show and karaoke machine across the country.
“I’m gonna leave you with this tonight,” uttered Brian before he performed Fall 5.0 which served as his last number for the night. Not every foreign act is able to show his undue admiration for Filipino talent while showcasing his stellar songwriting and singing skills, for that Brian McKnight will always and forever be one class act.