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Stevie Wonder’s private concert at Solaire
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When I was younger, all I wanted to be was Lisa Bonet—before the dreads, the piercings, and Lenny Kravitz.
Now that I am older, I love Kerry Washington. There has to be an African American woman inside of me.
Like every time I watch Scandal, I really feel Olivia Pope, especially when Stevie Wonder is playing in the background.

Lisa Bonet/Kerry Washington
Lisa Bonet/Kerry Washington

I’ve loved Stevie ever since I was a kid growing up in the ’70s, and I wouldn’t have known he was performing at Solaire in Manila, if not for Grace who told me about this.
But how to get tickets? I thought of my media contact at Solaire, before Grace reminded me we had connections: my dad is a friend of Enrique Razon.
I texted my dad for tickets, then a couple of days before the concert, I picked them up at my dad’s office.

Stevie Wonder invitation

Last Saturday night, Jeroen and I arrived at Solaire at 8:06 PM and found our seats at the balcony. At first I thought we had bad seats (not orchestra) until I saw Enrique Razon himself sitting in the same section, but at front row center. Right next to him were Korina Sanchez and Mar Roxas.
I looked around and wondered who are all these other people, aside from friends of Mr. Razon? I realized they were probably Solaire VIPs and high rollers.
I thought about how rich people are portrayed in Filipino movies and telenovelas: coñotic, Spanish-speaking in postura clothes. True enough there was a loud one in our section, name dropping. It was excruciating.
Then I heard the third richest man in the Philippines speaking to his friends—in straight Tagalog! He wasn’t wearing an Eddie Garcia suit, just a simple light blue shirt.

Eddie Garcia Enrique Razon
L-R: Eddie Garcia, Enrique Razon

The show started around 9 PM. Nobody told us to turn off our phones and nobody tapped us on the shoulder to stop recording the performance. We were treated like real guests. Plus there was no painful front act. I loved it.
Too bad there were a number of empty seats. What a waste for many of his fans who wanted to be there.
It had been 25 years since Stevie Wonder performed in Manila. Now here he was with a full band and five excellent backup singers. Blind since he was a baby, he walked to the stage alone—slowly in a straight line, then guided by white markers to the front of the stage, while playing this instrument.

Stevie Wonder at Solaire, Manila

For the next two hours, they played many of my favorite songs:
All In Love Is Fair
As
Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing
Isn’t She Lovely
Lately

My Cherie Amour
Overjoyed
Knocks Me Off My Feet

Ribbon In The Sky
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

Stevie’s voice would crack at the beginning of each song and become perfect from the middle to the end.
He was wonderful and would ask the audience to sing some of the parts. I could see Martin Nievera in front of us singing to his heart’s content. He is my two brothers’ singing idol.

Stevie Wonder at Solaire, Manila

Then Stevie Wonder asked if there were real singers in the audience. Aiza Seguerra came onstage with two gutsy girls who should’ve stayed in their seats (sorry! ayaw ni Simon Cowell). Then Martin Nievera’s companions clamoured for him to go onstage. In fairness, Martin and Aiza did well.

Stevie Wonder

Sometimes Stevie would tease the audience and stop in the middle of a song. Jeroen didn’t like it! It was sort of like this.

But it was a pretty long show, Mr. Razon got his money’s worth. Having heard hit after hit, I was satisfied and okay to leave after the last song. No need for an encore. Truthfully I was more scared of traffic going out. That said, it was so worth it. Thank you for having us.

Stevie Wonder at Solaire
The last song

20150425_225905
The crowd dancing

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soleil

Whenever I watch Scandal, I always think you look like Olivia.

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CVS Reply:

truly? :)))))

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soleil Reply:

Yup! I thought it wasn’t the first time someone told you.

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Guest

He is really good! 🙂 Your camera’s nice! Crisp yung sound and when you zoomed, it did not get that grainy… was that a camera or smart phone?

Nice performance Stevie!! 🙂

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aysyabahalana

Buti wala si Doris Bigornia at Sharon Cuneta dyan

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Roderick Benga

I really enjoyed it!

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