One of the best ways to experience music is to hear the performer sing their songs live. There’s a rawness to the experience that you can’t always capture when listening to Spotify or watching videos on YouTube. But for Regine Velasquez, it doesn’t matter what platform you’re on. I watched Freedom: The Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Valentine Digital Concert and she still electrified, even if I was watching her from a laptop screen.
Asia’s Songbird had an eclectic mix of numbers, from original songs to covers of OPM hits and foreign favorites. She showed off her singing prowess in performances of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave,” a medley of Linkin Park’s “In the End” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” (with Curtismith in the digital background), and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”
While watching Velasquez showcase her vocal range was breathtaking, I enjoyed watching her sing more emotional numbers. Some of my favorites were a stripped-back version of Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love,” and Madonna’s “Crazy For You.” She dedicated the last two to her son Nathaniel and her husband, Ogie Alcasid.
Seeing Velasquez perform these slower songs made me appreciate the digital concert more. With a physical setup, sure, you’d be blown away by the talent, but it’s hard to appreciate the singer’s emotions. In the digital concert, everyone is up close so you can see her joy when singing George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” and her sorrow covering Ben&Ben’s “Leaves.”
Velasquez also paid tribute to many OPM singers by performing their hits. She gave a hair-raising performance of The Juans’ “Istorya.” At one point, she brought out Bamboo for an excellent rendition of the Rivermaya song “Himala.”
A Regine Velasquez concert won’t be complete without some original hits and this one had its fair share. She sang classics like “Sana Bukas” and “Tanging Mahal.” I’m aware that “On the Wings of Love” isn’t a Regine original (it’s by Jeffrey Osborne) but I’ve tied this song to her so I’m talking about it here. For this, CGI was used to have two Regines serenading the audience.
A nice treat to the concert is the addition of younger songs to the setlist. My favorite is Velasquez singing Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over.” She was accompanied by six Regines in the digital background providing backup vocals. Other highlights include Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and an English version of the TWICE song “Heart Shaker.”
I had a great time watching the Freedom concert. I haven’t seen Velasquez perform in a while so I enjoyed catching up on her growth as a performer and hearing the voice that made her a legend. I think I had more fun because it was digital. It felt like she was serenading me and I got to see her up close. Even the set was beautiful: it was a mix of digital and traditional design. I especially liked the cranes that circled Velasquez at the start of the concert.
This is the first digital concert I’ve seen and I’m looking forward to watching more!
PLDT is one of the producers of the Freedom: The Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Valentine Digital Concert.