June 24, 2017, 3:02 am
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Gary V still got it

Several times, Gary Valenciano has been asked if he sees anyone in the horizon who is the “next Gary V.” Gracious as always, the much-awarded performer would say it is better for an artist to create his own identity, to be known as his own person. 

It is sound advice coming from a most seasoned entertainer. At 52, Gary remains on top of his game by constantly improving and evolving, as fluid as his moves on stage. He has held the title “Mr. Pure Energy” for more than thirty years because of his sleek steps and high energy performances. Although he says he feels uncertain of the tag now – at one point, he requested that he not be referred to as “Mr. Pure Energy” – he proved in “Gary V Presents” at The Theater at Solaire, that there is no one deserving of the title but him.

Gary was singing, dancing, jumping and shouting for joy with his guests  – amazing singers all – Lara Maigue, Katrina Velarde, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Janice Javier, Kiana Valenciano, Bullet Dumas, Allan Mitchell Silonga, RJ dela Fuente, Tim Pavino, Jimmy Marquez and Mitoy Yonting.

The way Gary and son Paolo Valenciano structured the show, each of the artist had their chance to shine and highlight their unique strength. Lara’s voice was perfect in the “Sa ‘Yo Na Lang/Kailangan Kita” number with Gary. Jimmy, Carla and Gary’s “Could You Be Messiah” was goosebump-inducing. Another touching number was “Take Me Out of the Dark” with Gary, RJ and Tim. 

Gary was not only a performer, but was also a master conductor – treating each of the artist like a well-oiled instrument and able to extract the most melodious sound from each. It was a treat hearing Katrina’s vocal skills in “Spain” and Kiana holding her own in her number with her dad in “What More Can I Say.”

Come to think of it, Gary was like a proud daddy, encouraging, prodding all the junior singers. He trained the spotlight on Bullet in “Babalik Ka Rin” and was generous with his praise of Mitoy before they sang “Natutulog Ba ang Diyos.” He was playful with Janice, who matched his every move in “Hataw Na.” 

But Gary remains, to borrow from Vice Ganda, “unkabogable.” He brought the house down with his performance of “Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak,” out-danced Joshua and Jason Zamora of the Manoeuvres, and was just fantastic all throughout the two-and-a-half-hour show. 

Towards the end, the seemingly indefatigable music icon mentioned slowing down. However, to his fans – and to the artists he’s helped and inspired – he will always be Mr. Pure Energy. (GFCT)
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