Takes 3 U.S. Cities
by Leah Salterio
CONGRATULATIONS to Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez, who have
successfully conquered three U.S. cities in their ongoing,
month-long concert tour.
After their Valentine shows - he with ex-wife Pops Fernandez at the
Big Dome and she with Michel Legrand at the PICC - Martin and Regine
quietly slipped out of the country to do a month-long U.S. concert
tour. With them are musical director Louie Ocampo and an entourage
of session musicians.
Even before 2002 ended, Fil.-Americans were already scrambling for
the best seats in the venues where Martin and Regine were scheduled
to perform. Their combined star power drew in some of the biggest
Fil.-Am. audiences in recent memory.
Their first stop was Honolulu, where Filipinos came full force and
filled the Hawaii Convention Center to capacity.
Then they performed before a sold-out audience at Cox Arena in San
Diego, California, even as a heavy downpour fell throughout the day.
Both Martin and Regine were initially concerned about the Chicago
show, especially because it was scheduled only three days after the
US declared war on Iraq. But the show went on to become one of the
most successful parts of the tour, a sell-out at the Arie Crown
Theater in downtown Chicago, where Celine Dion also performed last
Even the organizers in San Francisco were impressed when Martin and
Regine drew enough people to fill up the cavernous Cow Palace.
Martin and Regine will hold their final show at the U.C.L.A. Pauley
Pavilion in Los Angeles on April 5, before returning to Manila.
Maxi-Media put together the country's two biggest concert artists in
one mega-project. The U.S. concert tour is the initial offering of
the newly formed Maxi-Media U.S.A. based in Glendale, California.
The outfit aims to set a trend by exporting outstanding Filipino
Aside from singing a medley of popular '80s love songs, Martin and
Regine also did a medley of '70s OPM music, including "Magkasuyo,"
"Umagang Kay Ganda" and "I Don't Love You Anymore." They also sang a
Broadway medley from the popular musicals like "Miss Saigon,"
"Starlight Express," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Beauty and the
Perhaps because of the prevailing mood, their versions of "The
Prayer" and "Used to Be" were among the most applauded numbers.
Immediately after the U.S. leg of the tour, Martin and Regine will
come home to resume their commitments in Manila, where they will
stage their show at the Araneta Coliseum on May 9 and 10.
Unlike the latest Martin and Pops concert, the Martin and Regine act
will definitely be a limited-engagement show. Martin has to fly back
to Las Vegas to do a solo concert.
More performances of the Martin-Regine world tour are now in the
works, to include Hong Kong, Guam and Australia.
Gerard Salonga takes over as as musical director for the two-night