The ‘Ultimate’ concert coup

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It has always been a dream for producer Anna Puno of Starmedia Entertainment to put together four of the biggest artist in the Philippine music industry—Martin Nivera, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha and Gary Valenciano in one show.

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It took many years and many shows between at least two artists before the ultimate plan materialized this year.

In 2008, Starmedia produced The Main Event featuring only Regine and Lani, which staged sold out shows in the US and Canada but, to the dismay of their fans, never in the Philippines.

In 2009, the production outfit, in collaboration with Manila Genesis, produced one of its biggest shows AS1 featuring Martin and Gary at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. It gathered an sensational audience of 300,000. The concert had a repeat at the Araneta Coliseum the following year and toured over 20 cities in the US, Canada, the Middle East, and thankfully this time, in key cities of the Philippines too.

On the other hand, Cacai Mitra of I-Music Entertainment (IME) has been behind her sister Regine’s solo shows, including the much talked about 25th anniversary concert of the Songbird, Silver, in 2012, among other major productions.

It was back in 2005 when Anna and Cacai officially teamed up for the first time to produce Queens on Fire, featuring Regine and Pops Fernandez.

Eight years later, in February 2013, they made another mark in the Philippine concert scene with Foursome, bringing together power couples Martin and Pops and Regine and Ogie Alcasid, followed by a repeat in March of the same year. In 2014, a reunion concert between Martin and Regine was conceptualized and staged, which filled up the massive Mall of Asia Arena to the bleachers.

This year, in the dynamic producers’ tradition of giving fans the best they can in on the live stage, Starmedia and IME have finally pulled off the ultimate dream—Martin, Regine, Lani and Gary in a single Valentine’s concert that is surely the hottest ticket of the Valentine’s season.

In fact, Anna and Cacai jointly announced this week at a final press conference for the show that both nights at the Mall of Asia Arena on February 13 and 14 are sold out.

“There’s already a clamor for a repeat, but as you can tell from our years of producing, it’s almost impossible to get these four big music stars together,” Anna related. “But Cacai and I promise to work on that.”

Total Performer Gary Valenciano, who shared the presidential table with Asia’s Nightingale that afternoon at Luxent Hotel in Quezon City, quickly responded that he will be more than happy to do a repeat of the concert even before it rolls out, truly honored to share the stage with his three fellow performers.

“Just for a bit of trivia, I’ve never performed in a full-length concert with Lani and Regine,” Mr. Pure Energy shared. “I guested in Lani’s shows before and we sing on ASAP when she’s in Manila, but we’ve never been featured in a concert like this together. The same goes for Regine. As for Martin . . . never mind Martin,” he joked about his biggest rival in the ‘80s who is now one of his closest friends.

Gary also told The Manila Times that for Ultimate, elaborate set designs and other production gimmicks will not be the stuff to watch out for.

“With these four voices, and these four personalities coming together for the first time, that’s all you really need,” he rightly said.

As for Lani, who has already made a name for herself in Las Vegas and other parts of North America, this Valentine’s concert is also one for the books.

“It was very hard to pull this off,” she confirmed. “We didn’t even get to do a pictorial together because of our schedules!”

Lani more importantly said that she is thrilled by the fact that among the lineup of performers at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, there is one local production that stands out—and yes, it is the Ultimate concert coup.

“It makes me proud that ang kahilera namin sa MOA ay mga foreign acts lahat,” she stated. “And I’m even prouder that sold out na kami.”

Ultimate goes on stage at the Mall of Asia Arena on February 13 and 14.

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