Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Madela@ 10: Music and mimicry by a worthy talent

(Published Nov. 21, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

It’s been a decade since recording artist Jed Madela burst into the music scene, hence “X,” the 10th anniversary concert at the PICC Plenary Hall last Friday.

It was a well-attended event despite problematic traffic around the area. The singer was onstage by 9:10, opening with a sleeker version of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” briefly mashed with MC Hammer’s “Pray.”

This was quickly followed by the dance ditty “Wish,” which segued into David Guetta’s “Without You.”

The perfunctory first spiel acknowledged friends and fans who had braved Friday-payday traffic. Madela slowed things down with “Kiss From a Rose,” then talked about his involvement with teleserye soundtracks. The ballads “Sinasamba Kita” and “Bukas na Lang Kita Mamahalin” more aptly showcased emotional verve and range, for those in the hall who were not exactly floored by the opening songs.

“X” showed Madela’s funny side. Interspersing songs with comedy sketches, he traced his roots, revealing phases depicting his musical growth, accentuated by self-deprecating humor. He and band leader Mel Villena bantered amusingly, the latter even heckling the performer from time to time.

Joined by male and female dancers during a medley of Beatles hits, Madela moved around a bit, but let his more agile companions provide the more kinetic, interpretative motions.

Photo by Mike Sun
Then he talked about loving Motown early on, and proceeded with heartfelt covers of The Jackson  5’s “Got to Be There” and “I’ll Be There.”

Madela recounted joining singing tilts as a kid, borrowing a karaoken machine and minus-one tapes from a friend. Of course he won some, lost some. The friend eventually stopped lending him the equipment and competed against him in the same contests. To this day, he revealed, he continues to ignore that person’s “friend requests” in Facebook.

“X” also highlighted Madela’s talent for musical mimicry. Continuing his absorbing career story, he sang snippets from Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back” and Martin Nievera’s “Be My Lady” eliciting amused cheers.

But more stunning were his impressions of Regine Velasquez, Lea Salonga and Lani Misalucha, from whose famous songs he sang a few stanzas each.

He was quick to joke that Velasquez and Salonga were “invited guests,” but that they were at the concert of Sarah Geronimo, who was likewise celebrating her 10th year in the business via a concert elsewhere, that same evening.

A baffling philosophical musing on the supertyphoon disaster elicited reluctant applause: “The Philippines was made an instrument of God to unite the world.”

Save for that, the show ran smoothly for over two and a half hours—and because it was a famously no-guests event, Madela was onstage practically the whole time. A hodgepodge of covers it was for sure, but a welcome and organized musical melange. He got to throw in a teary number, “Proud of Your Boy,” dedicated to his parents. He did Stevie Wonder and Elvis Presley medleys impressively. There were even show tunes.

“I have learned to enjoy, to have fun,” Madela enthused. Well, it showed. More importantly, it resonated—and reiterated that he is a worthy, worthwhile major talent.

No comments: