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MiG Ayesa packs a wallop in farewell US concert

Upper left: MiG in a trip to Austria before his Dec. 15 New York concert. Upper right: MiG with musician Jon Skibic (Photo by Rex Romero:Broadway World). Lower right: With Kayumanggi Band. Lower left: In a duet with guest Kei Uchida.

Fil-Aussie rocker MiG Ayesa staged his last North America performance on Dec. 15 in Queens, New York, before leaving for Europe to reprise the lead role of Galileo Figaro for the first-ever world arena tour of the 10th anniversary of the smash-hit We Will Rock You beginning early 2013. Based on 24 of the biggest hit songs of Queen, the Laurence Olivier-winning musical is still on a record-breaking run at London’s Dominion Theater. 

In his “breaking-news” report, Funfare’s Big Apple-correspondent Edmund Silvestre said that We Will Rock You, touted as one of the most spectacular musicals to travel the world, will kick off its eight-month tour on Feb. 15 in Finland, before heading to Denmark, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, back to England and Northern Ireland. It will also travel to Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia (where MiG grew up after he was born in Manila).

The multi-million pound production will be mounted before thousands of rock fans every night with MiG leading the company of performers.

“MiG’s two-hour intimate show at Perlas International Cuisine and produced by Castellvi Productions served as a despedida attended by a number of friends and supporters, as well as non-Filipino fans who flew all the way from Canada and Ohio,” added Edmund.  

GMA International’s marketing consultant Grace Hufano-Labaguis and her staff, and BroadwayWorld.com’s Oliver Oliveros also showed support. According to Edmund, they enjoyed not just the show but also the scrumptious food at the spruced-up Perlas, still home of the best Crispy Pata, based on Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside, Queens. 

New York-based Fil-Am talents Grace Hernandez and Kei Uchida served as front acts, setting the mood for a night of pure fun and entertainment.

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As always, MiG delivered a stellar show. The mega-talented Broadway and West End star dished one rousing number after another — mostly from his sophomore album More Than Ever — accompanied by international guitarist Jon Skibic, a bassist on Broadway’s Rock of Ages, the musical that previously featured MiG as Stacee Jaxx, both on Broadway and US national tour, to spectacular reviews. It was also staged in Manila recently, with MiG reprising the role of the narcissistic rocker.

Said Edmund, “The night at Perlas was made more memorable by the spectacular Kayumanggi Band, one of the best Fil-Am bands today, which took the stage midway into the show and played a medley of Queen songs as a tribute to MiG’s upcoming world tour.”

“You guys killed it!” an impressed MiG told the seasoned band that’s been playing all over the US. “Awesome! Awesome!”

Kayumanggi, likewise, stunned the crowd with its spirited rock versions of Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko, Wonderful Tonight and Bulag Pipi At Bingi before MiG joined them on stage and pumped up the crowd even more. They belted Come Together, Your Really Got It, Open Arms, With Or Without You, Hey Soul Sister and the Filipino rock song Salamat by The Dawn, which MiG nailed with perfect Pinoy accent. Together they also sang Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Play That Funky Music and Last Christmas.

MiG gave it all like there’s no more tomorrow until his distinct voice showed signs of strain past midnight with the crowd still begging for more. 

MiG’s New York-based uncle and aunt, Drs. Ramon and Ching Legarda, along with their son Aldo (who’s now a dad to his first child Arianna Isabelle) appeared amused as the crowd refused to let MiG and the Kayumanggi Band leave the stage.

“MiG is a true artist who gives his best whether in a small venue or a giant arena,” shared his avid supporter and promoter Tita Ching. “He’ll give a first-rate show either with a crowd of 50 or 50,000. He’s always on fire whenever he’s on stage. He simply loves to entertain people.”

Already tired but still bouncy and loving the crowd’s adoration, MiG and the Kayumanggi band rendered one last rousing number before saying goodbye. He promised to mount another New York show before the end of 2013 when the world tour of We Will Rock You is completed.

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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