No Filipino time here – the show started at 8PM sharp at Teatrino, Promenade last March 3, 2017. Thankfully, fans were lined up way before then just to get a seat close enough to finally see singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation Gabe Bondoc in the flesh.
FMD Xtreme, a local dance group who have made their name known internationally, started things up with a couple of dance numbers to hype up the crowd, followed by singer-songwriter Keiko Necesario who endeared the crowd with originals and covers alike.
Next up was Calvin Orosa, X Factor Australia alum, who instantly charmed fans with a cover of South Border’s Kahit Kailan – nailing the accent he previously told us he was practicing. Spotting Thor Dulay in the crowd, Calvin invited the Master of Soul himself up on stage for an impromptu jam session. He ended his set with an original song called Anchors, which he revealed would be part of his upcoming EP to be released this year.
Finally came the time that the audience has practically been waiting years for. MAS Presents founder Marco Selorio could barely get a word of his introduction out due to the audience’s enthusiastic cheering, but without too much delay, Gabe Bondoc finally took to the stage.
After starting out with a praise song by Hillsong United, Gabe said: “This is one of the most… this is THE most amazing crowd I’ve ever played for.” And indeed, every song was met with loud cheers from the adoring crowd who knew every word, be it Gabe Bondoc originals or covers.
Aside from his most popular tracks (“You’re It,” “When You Say,” “Seafoam” and more), he also surprised the crowd with some lesser known tracks, surprising covers, and yet another jam session with Calvin Orosa. One of the most impressive parts of the night was when he went into an epic Bruno Mars medley, which flawlessly went through “Chunky,” “Versace on the Floor,” “24K Magic,” and “Finesse.”
He already revealed that he’d be back for an encore even before his last song, joking that we “already knew” what would happen next. He ended his set with “Gentlemen Don’t,” and came back not five minutes later for his encore. Letting down his now waist-length hair, he aptly covered what he called his favorite song: Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World,” and segued smoothly into Moana track “How Far I’ll Go.”
Gabe may have went through a good number of songs, handpicked from throughout his career, but there’s no doubt that fans would’ve stayed even an hour longer just to hear more. Here’s to hoping he comes back to the Philippines sooner rather than later.
Were you at Gabe Bondoc’s show at Teatrino? What was your favorite part? Leave a comment below!
Writer/photographer/non-musician that hopes to promote local independent music. Probably hanging out at a gig at this very moment...