Who didn’t, after watching that fabulous concert featuring two fabulous choirs who both celebrate 50 fabulous years this 2013?
The Madz first “teased” us with this poster:
And soon after, we found out what it really meant:
I could not miss this concert! What’s not to miss: The Madz. The Swingles. Pure vocal awesomeness. I really got “Swinglified” last Saturday night!
It was also a date night for me and my husband. I convinced him to get orchestra seats, and I am so glad we did! So after dinner at the Harbour Square, we went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater to claim our pre-ordered tickets. I was so happy to see so many people in the lobby before the show started!
The program started with the Madz singing several songs for the first part, a combination of the old and new Madz repertoire. They began with “Cantate Domino” by Josu Elberdin. I have heard this a couple of times already and I like how the Madz sung this–simple yet grand. “La Guerre” was sung in another version–Old French pronunciation, I suppose. Their “Italian Salad,” through the years of being in the Madz repertoire, never fails to make the audience laugh. Their set ended with “Circle of Life,” another crowd favorite, remains foolproof.
Before their final song, Sir Mark had a short spiel which introduced the Swingle Singers. The Madz then went down the stage and sat on the first row of the audience. I thought there will be an intermission announcement, but instead, Sir Mark told the audience to wait in our seats as the stage was being prepared for the featured performers.
And so, it was the turn of the Swingles, who sang a few songs before an intermission was announced. I swear it was the first time I ever smiled throughout a concert! *Fanmode on*
The Swingle Singers is an eight-member a cappella group formed by Ward Swingle in 1963. Back then, their repertoire consisted of orchestral music set into choral arrangements. Through the years, they have expanded their repertoire, which included pop music, original compositions, and made use of technology by using recorded percussion and adding effects on their microphones. Since they were only a few singers (currently, they are seven), they use microphones to amplify their sound, especially in large auditoriums. Their sound engineer rocks, by the way, and did an amazing job as well!
After the intermission, they were joined by the Madz for two musical numbers — “Eleanor Rigby” and “Lady Madonna.” The Madz girls were sparkling in their gold blouses while the men wore all black. Again, they went back to the audience as the Swingles sang the rest of their program.
I like how they interspersed spiels and choreography with their songs. Everyone got a chance to speak, and each song had its own story to tell. Never a dull moment. Crowd favorites would be the “Il dolce suono/Fifth Element” medley, and “Single Ladies” complete with booty-shaking of their male singers!
Besides their newer songs, they also sung their older repertoire. Loved “Claire de Lune,” of course. They ended with another classic by Astor Piazolla–“Libertango.” I also wished they sang other Swingle favorites, like Flight of the Bumblebee and their Bach arrangements. They should come back, then! It was a treat hearing them live.
Of course, it did not end there. Encore numbers were sung, and as their final offering, they sung the Ilonggo lullaby, “Ili-Ili, tulog anay,” which I found out was done by one of the Madz’ resident composer/arranger, Ily Maniano. The lullaby got Swinglified, to everyone’s amazement.
It was indeed a magical night, and I could not help but tell my friends how happy I was. I will definitely remember that concert for a long time!
Thanks, Madz, for working really hard to bring in the Swingles to Manila, for playing host to them while they were here, and for allowing us to experience what you guys had experienced in Colombia during the America Cantat.
This fan is gonna end this post with a video of the Madz singing a Swingles piece. I used to just listen to them through Sir Mark’s iPod, then on Youtube. I am happy that I have sung one of their songs, like this one: Soul Bossa Nova, which we performed in New York in 2007. Have a Swinglin’ time, y’all!