Review: Sam Concepcion, Khalil Kaimo ask audience to ‘think along’ in show

Gian Carlo Vizcarra

Posted at Apr 24 2022 05:02 PM

Sam Concepcion and Khalil Kaimo lead ‘Think Along’ on Black Saturday. Gian Carlo Vizcarra
Sam Concepcion and Khalil Kaimo lead ‘Think Along’ on Black Saturday. Gian Carlo Vizcarra

The bucolic venue Farmbiz Sa Pandin in San Pablo, Laguna and the gloomy, drizzly weather during the late afternoon of Black Saturday served as perfect setting for the “Think Along,” an introspective special show topbilled by Sam Concepcion and Khalil Kaimo and directed by The CompanY’s Sweet Plantado-Tiongson.

Prior to the start of the show, the event organizers explained their decision to proceed with “Think Along,” instead of the originally-announced and thematically-bolder “Green Glass Door.” They felt that it is more apt to the show’s Black Saturday schedule, intending to invite people to introspect about our personal stories -- our relationships, love, life, and even faith.

“Think Along” is an imaginative, fairly simple, yet truly affecting show, celebrating the powerful lyrics and stories behind our favorite hit songs -- foreign and local, classic and recent. Concepcion and Kaimo, both Trumpets’ alumni, exhibited palpable rapport as they lend even more vulnerability to the already beautiful lyrics of the songs curated for “Think Along.”

The show, which lasted a little over an hour, had the two perform almost alternately, and was divided into segments bookmarked by a special introduction of Farmbiz sa Pandin’s main man and former theater actor David Cosico. Each performance was punctuated by Polly Cabrera’s guitar interpretation of the number’s featured song.

 Theater directors Audie Gemora, Jaime Del Mundo, and Chris Milado. Gian Carlo Vizcarra
Theater directors Audie Gemora, Jaime Del Mundo, and Chris Milado. Gian Carlo Vizcarra

The show opened with a straightforward invitation to the almost 100 attendees of the event, which included respected stage directors Chris Millado, Jaime Del Mundo, and Audie Gemora with Casa San Pablo’s An Alcantara, critic Art Hilado, to have a closer look at their respective life’s journey.

Concepcion and Kaimo opened the segment with their reflective interpretation of the lyrics of John Lennon’s “In My Life,” and Art Garfunkel’s “Traveling Boy,” respectively. Kaimo closed the first segment with “Home,” Michael Buble’s hit song written by Greg Holden and Drew Pearson.

The second segment open with Concepcion's honest rendition of Rob Thomas’ “Unwell,” and then segued to his collaboration with Kaimo for “Sirena,” penned by famed rapper Gloc-9. Closing the segment was “See You Again,” a commissioned work to honor the late Paul Walker, by Kaimo.

The more romantic part followed.

Sam Concepcion. Gian Carlo Vizcarra
Sam Concepcion. Gian Carlo Vizcarra

In a lighthearted number, Concepcion playfully dished out Bodjie Dasig’s “Ale,” while Kaimo gave a touching performance of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman,” which he dedicated lovingly to her mom Enchang Kaimo, who attended the event. He followed this up with Jason Robert Brown’s “Someone to Fall Back On.”

Childhood buddies Concepcion and Kaimo then gave a reassuring performance of Steven Curtis Chapman’s “I Will Be Here,” which was followed by back-to-back-to-back OPM hits -- Ebe Dancel’s “Huwag ka Nang Umiyak,” Jazz Nicolas and Wally Alcola’s “Di Na Muli, and Gary and Angeli Valenciano’s “Sana Maulit Muli,” all vulnerably given new life by Concepcion. 

For this segement, Kaimo performed Euwie Van Loria’s “Kahit Ayaw Mo Na,” and turned in a very emotional reading of “Jealous, “ written by Timothy Mckenzie, Josh Kear and Natalie Hemby.

Khalil Kaimo. Gian Carlo Vizcarra
Khalil Kaimo. Gian Carlo Vizcarra

Concepcion then gave a heartfelt reading of Teddy and Taeyang’s “Eyes, Nose, Lips,” which was followed by an even more emotional, painful duo interpretation of “Leaves,” a hit song by Ben & Ben and written by Paolo Benjamin Guico.

To end the show on a more upbeat note, the two friends celebrated perhaps their friendship, the success of the special show, the gradual return of live performances and the warmest reception they had from the audience with Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

“Think Aloud” seems to be Concepcion’s prelude to returning to live theater performances as it was also announced that he is set to reprise his titular role as Joseph in Trumpet’s long-running “Joseph The Dreamer” this 2022.