Friday, November 14, 2014

[Concert Round-Up] Mr. Big Live In Manila

Words by Edan Cañete
Photos by Kris Rocha

Mr. Big rocked the Mall of Asia Arena last Halloween (October 31), making it their third time to perform in the Philippines to the delight of Filipino rock fans.

The show started at around 8:50 pm, and when the lights dimmed and the crowd went wild, I knew this would be an energetic show. Mr. Big, the American rock group composed of vocalist Eric Martin, lead guitarist Paul Gilbert, bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Pat Torpey (who is currently battling Parkinson’s disease) and tour drummer Matt Starr, gave an amazing rock show with more than 20 songs!

Fans looked forward to hearing their old hits such as To Be With You, Wild World and Just Take My Heart. This longing was satisfied by Mr. Big and more by also playing new songs off their latest album The Stories We Could Tell, released just last September 2014. The concert was such a treat for guitar fans. If you were a guitar enthusiast, you would definitely love the group’s dynamics and serious display of musicianship onstage.

There was some serious shredding that night, with Paul Gilbert letting his guitar sing beautifully in almost every song. He also had an electrifying guitar solo during the middle of the show.

Not to be outdone is bassist Billy Sheehan’s 5-minute bass solo, who was introduced later in the show by Eric as “the real Mr. Big”. His was the best bass solo I have ever witnessed live. It was hypnotic and beautiful.

One of the memorable parts of the show is when Paul and Billy had a guitar face-off, which instantly made me think of friends who would have loved to witness such a crazy music battle. Mr. Big also gave their Filipino audience a surprise when drummer Pat Torpey (who was playing percussion beside the drum set) suddenly took over the drums and played Just Take My Heart. The audience were cheering especially when Eric exclaimed “Pat took a special trip to see you, Manila!” As the show progressed, one could notice a difference - an evolution - of Mr. Big’s music from their formation in 1988 and to their most recent album. Truly, they have come a long way but still kill it on the guitars and vocals.

The band loved performing for their Filipino fans so much that after their supposedly final song, Addicted to that Rush, they played five more songs (including their monster hit To Be With You) for their encore and even switched places/instruments at one point.

Congratulations to Pulp Live World for making this happen!


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