Concert recap: Troy Laureta wows Filipino fans this time

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Oct 01 2022 03:22 PM


A post shared by Ogie Alcasid (@ogiealcasid)

MANILA -- Filipino-American musical director, songwriter and performer Troy Laureta is a name to reckon with in the music scene. Undoubtedly.

Starting from the international stage, where he worked as musical director for a number of big-name artists, Laureta performed in a major concert for the first time on the local stage and displayed the talents he has been blessed with.

Last Friday night, Laureta worked not just with international artists, but local talents, as well -- and showed Filipino fans how he wowed foreign fans in the past.

“Make some noise, Manila,” Laureta excitedly urged his audience at the start of the concert, “East Meets West,” staged at the Newport Performing Arts Theater at Newport World Resorts.

Emerging onstage with a fire-truck red cape, he humbly introduced himself to everyone, “I’m Troy Laureta,” as familiar strains of “Kapantay ay Langit” played on the background. He lost no time in playing the keyboards with admirable high energy.

Regine Velasquez and Jed Madela readily emerged onstage and crooned “Makasuyo Buong Gabi,” as if to set the musical ball immediately rolling.

Making local artists share the stage with international performers was a brilliant take for the rare concert. The audience had the chance to enjoy the performances of the artists.

Through the years, Laureta has worked with the likes of David Foster, Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Andrea Bocelli, Steven Tyler, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rita Ora and Nicole Scherzinger, to name a few.    

“I’m a producer and musical director,” Laureta told his amused audience. “I sing sometimes. This is my very first concert. We celebrate music and inspire everyone. We bridge East and West.”

For one, Loren Allred, the voice of “Never Enough” in “The Greatest Showman” delivered a heart-rending version of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Araw Gabi,” that made the audience applaud and others even gave her a standing ovation.

Similarly, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Matt Bloyd delivered his version of JR’s “Bakit Pa Ba,” the first Tagalog song he learned that certainly delighted the crowd. Surely, even JR would be definitely proud.

Jona ignited the stage and sang “Bang Bang.” Then, she returned to render Laureta’s haunting composition, “Someone To Love Me.”

Madela, meanwhile, had his spot numbers – “You Are My Song” and “After the Love Has Gone – where he admitted he felt the jitters onstage.

“It’s a little intimidating to be in front of you tonight,” Madela said. “You must understand, we didn’t perform onstage live before an audience for a long time.”

Laureta’s younger sister, Cheesa, shared the limelight that night with him. They rendered “Over the Rainbow.” Proud mom, who flew in from the US West Coast, was in the audience that night.

“Our dad wanted us to become a nurse or a doctor,” shared Laureta. “But we left [Oahu] Hawaii where we were born, went to LA [Los Angeles] and both pursued music.”

Apparently, the siblings never looked back since then. Cheesa, who made it to “The Voice US” quarterfinals in 2012, impressed the audience with Chaka Khan’s “Through the Fire” and Jessa Zaragoza’s “Bakit Pa?” last night.

At one point in the concert, Laureta paid homage to David Foster, with whom he worked with for a decade touring the international scene. With Adah Leosala, she belted out Whitney Houston’s biggest hits, “I Have Nothing” and “I Will Always Love You,” both written by Foster.

“Miss Saigon” artist Tanya Manalang (she played Kim in the UK) joined Laureta and dished out “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” as well as her version of Martin Nievera’s popular ballad, “Kahit Isang Saglit.”

At nearly 11 p.m., guest Ogie Alcasid emerged onstage and amused the audience when he hardly sang “Nandito Ako,” because the crowd sang it for him.

He also delighted everyone when he asked Laureta what OPM meant. “Original Pilipino Music,” the latter readily replied. However, Alcasid countered, “Ogie Pogi Masyado,” that got the crowd howling and laughing.

Alcasid proudly crooned “Huwag Mo Kong Iwanan,” his first collaboration with Laureta. Initially, Alcasid didn’t like the song he wrote. Yet, he got the biggest surprise when Laureta returned the melody to him and he heard it.

Paolo Valenciano was at the helm of the nearly three-hour concert. The five-member band onstage included veteran musician Adonis Tabanda. Laureta served as the musical director for the show. 

To close the concert, Laureta proudly called onstage Velasquez anew. 

“She wrecked my soul, lifted my spirits, then wrecked it all over again,” he unapologetically said of the Songbird, who rendered “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw.”

“To work with so many beautiful artists is a blessing to me,” Laureta admitted. “Sharing the stage with Regine is like full circle to me. I only sang her songs inside my room before.”

Velasquez ended with “Pangako” and took a bow with Laureta.

The night allowed Filipino fans to embrace Laureta, who played and performed for them. Although he is not based in Manila, Laureta will certainly have more chances to collaborate with other local artists in the future.

His talent should not go unnoticed locally. After all, he had a chance to shine in the international stage alongside big-name artists.

The second night of “East Meets West” goes onstage tonight, Saturday, at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Newport World Resorts.

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