Pagkaraan ng tatlumpong taon bilang isang top balladeer ng bansa ay muling pinatunayan ni Martin Nievera na siya pa rin ang tinaguriang Concert King, matapos nitong punuin ang Smart Araneta Coliseum kagabi, Friday, September 13.
Nag-concert ito na pinamagatang Martin Nievera: 3D, The Anniversary Concert.
Guest performers sina Aiza Seguerra, Bamboo, Anne Curtis, Regine Velasquez, at ang anak ni Martin na si Robin Nievera. Bukod sa duet nilang mag-ama ay kumanta rin ng sariling komposisyon si Robin na pinamagatang “Stay Strong.”
Si Gary Valenciano naman ay kinuha ni Martin mula sa audience at nahilingang makipag-duet sa kanya sa awiting “Kahit Isang Saglit.”
Halos lahat ng kapamilya ng Concert King ay dumalo. Namataan din sa audience ang dating asawang si Pops Fernandez, isa pang anak na si Ram Nievera, sina Richard Poon at asawang Maricar Reyes, Amy Perez, Jhong Hilario, Matteo Guidicelli, Mr. Johnny Manahan, Direk Fritz Ynfante at marami pang iba.
Kinanta ni Martin halos lahat ng top hits at signature songs niya mula sa unang album niya noong 1982 hanggang sa pinakabago niyang release.
Hindi maitago ang sobrang kasiyahan ni Martin nang makausap ito ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ng iba pang entertainment media, matapos ng konsiyerto, sa backstage ng Big Dome.
Panimula ng multi-awarded singer na pawis-pawisan pa, “It’s very very special na after thirty years, I still have the same audience.
“Punumpuno, but more than anything else, ganado sila at excited sila sa mga kanta ko noon.
“Parang Throwback [Thursday] at Flashback [Friday] ng songs ko from the 80s. They wake up, shake up, and enjoy the show.
“It feels great that after so many years after the lights off or the lights go on, inisip ko na baka hindi sila [concertgoers] pupunta, hindi sila sisipot... na baka wala ka ng pull.
“That’s why, this show, I decided na... gusto ko talaga na kung sino yung followers ko through the years ay makita ko, pero kung halimbawa, kalahati lang yun [ang audience sa Araneta], okay lang yun sa akin, hindi ako magbabago.
“I wanna know who’s out there. I want them to know kung gaano ako ka-grateful sa kanila—the audience, the dancers, the guest performers—thank God, thank God.”
HOLDING BACK THE TEARS. Kapansin-pansin na during the show ay pinipilit niyang pigilan ang maluha, lalo na sa spot number nila ng dati niyang karibal pero ngayon ay ka-teamwork na si Gary Valenciano.
Pagri-reveal niya, “’Coz i don’t want to cry and I easily cry. I can’t sing [when I cry]. Nakakahiya sa audience ’coz it’s for them.
“Johnny Manahan was there, my first writer ever sa Penthouse Live, my family, everyone. To see them all here, cheering for me, supporting me is already a great, great miracle for me this evening.
“So, I’m very happy to see all the guys who still remember all these years. And I would like to thank everyone.
“I’ve been able to express it with my songs, with my performance, so, kung iiyak ako, wala na.
“You can tell it na pinipigilan ko talaga at kung nabasa ang throat ko, wala na, it’s over.
“Heto ang happy place ko—sa isang venue na kahit maliit na venue sa harap ng maraming tao."
FUTURE PLANS. Pagkaraan ng tatlong dekada niya sa music world, ano ang mga plano niya sa mga susunod pang taon?
Saad ng 51-year-old singer, “To make it thirty one. We’ll take it one step at a time.
“I’m tired of worrying... Tonight, I was a singer na hindi takot kung ano ang gagawin ko... kung ano ang isusuot ko, hitsura ko, boses ko...
“I was able to prove that tonight, and it’s good to watch a great performer just perform and not trying to prove something.”
Nagtataka nga raw ang marami sa audience kung bakit hindi kumanta onstage si Pops Fernandez.
Paliwanag ni Martin, “She didn’t want to sing. We just finished a show together. So, I have no choice.
“Even Gary didn’t want to sing.
“I want it [the concert] to be a tribute to Pops because, I think, our team is the team to beat.
“Pagkatapos ng teleseryes and movies, tapos na yung love team nila, nagmu-move on sila, pero kami ni Pops, we may not be together anymore, we may have different partners in our lives, but more than anything unbeatable pa rin ang teamup namin.
“So, I don’t want her to be on stage working for her tribute. I wanted her to sit in her beautiful throne where she deserves to be enjoying her tribute,” paliwanag ni Martin.
Sa gitna kasi ng show ay tinawag ni Martin ang Concert Queen na nasa gitna ng audience area at pinaupo ito malapit sa stage, sa isang epesyal na upuan, with her favorite junk food and a mirror, na ikinaaliw ng concert goers.
Sa mahabang listahan ng mga kinanta niya noong gabing yun, alin ang pinakapaborito niya?
Aniya, “I really love Broadway. I really love it.
“But from among my signature songs, I love “Say That You Love Me” and “You Are My Song.” I don’t know why, but I tried to attack it differently.
“I tried to do different things from the way I did before.
“Thank God, this is a dream for every singer. Parang teen idol ang dating ko, like sa sigaw nila, sa applause nila... The audience has grown with me.
“I’m okay with that... that means the world to me.
“I’ve been here for thirty years and ang dami-daming singers for the last thirty years who are no longer here anymore.
“So, all glory to God that He gave me this second, third, and fourth chance to sing for you.
“I love to sing and I was born to sing for you, and not for anything else, I love to sing for the Filipino people.
“We have the same sentiments, we have the same heart, same fears, and as long as I’m Filipino, I’ll be a singer.”
NO PLANS TO RETIRE. Kaya hindi nakakapagtaka kung malayo pa sa isip niya ang mag-retiro.
“I can’t retire,” mariing sabi ng singer-songwriter. “There’s no retirement here. In America, they would say ’I’m retiring’ and then come back.
“I can’t do that.
“I will retire if you don’t want me anymore. If you have no use for me, then I will retire.
“I look forward to working harder and learning more.
“I can’t sit on my throne and be the King—no way!
“I still want to sing for you guys... I need to sing.”