Title: Olivia Newton John Dazzles Manila
Written by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Chris Lucas
It’s hard to believe Australian-pop superstar Olivia Newton-John’s first trip to Manila was during her one-night concert at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum last March 31, 2012. But it was, and for her legions of fans (of all ages, we must add), who showed up to watch her perform, it was nothing short of a dream come true.
Looking back at the concert there’s no denying the fact that each song she sang came from a specific period in her life. Olivia kicked off the walk down memory lane with a medley of country songs including Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Johnny Cash’s Banks Of Ohio, ending her number with John Denver’s Country Roads, Take Me Home. As her fans will be more than willing to tell you, Olivia made significant contributions to the world of country music. Her 1973 album Let Me Be There charted No.1 on country albums for two weeks as well as 54 on the Billboard 200.
Olivia also shared bits and pieces of her life during the concert. She talked about her humble beginnings in London as a country singer while sitting down on a stool beside her band and back-up singers. After the mellow medley things began to get physical, LITERALLY! While still sitting down she began to sing the verses of the song, stopping midway to ask the audience if they would like to sing the original version. Of course they did! Olivia then stood up and performed a very lively rendition which made the audience dance and sing along.
A great part of the concert was how Olivia would relate each song to her life. She sang a song she wrote about surviving breast cancer, Not Gonna Give In To It. She also dedicated the song Grace And Gratitude to Earth Hour which was being celebrated that night. Being an Australian herself, Olivia proudly shared how the yearly event, dedicated to saving the environment, began in Australia.
As expected, one of the most applauded numbers that night was Hopelessly Devoted To You and Summer Nights from the hit iconic musical Grease. She jokingly shared to the audience how tired she is of having people ask her how it felt like to kiss John Travolta, her leading man in Grease. Her first song from Grease was Youre That I Want followed by Hopelessly Devoted To You. She asked for audience participation for We Go Together before leaving the stage. However, like majority of concerts, Olivia saved the best for last. Her encore was the singer’s mega-hit, I Honestly Love You. It was a great concert, particularly because it was also a very personal concert. We were very happy and grateful to Olivia for sharing her life with us through her songs and we hope she comes back. We are sure Manila won’t mind “getting musical” with Olivia time and time again!
MCS Concert tidbit: After the concert some concertgoers posed for pictures beside Olivia’s poster outside the concert venue. We also spotted an Olivia fan named Jules Lacson who showed us old Olivia Newton John albums, we will post the pictures soon!