Engelbert: Release me for I’ll be back again

- Romy Macalintal - The Philippine Star

“When you want to express your love, you don’t need to do anything. Let the lyrics of these love songs do it for you.”

With that opening adlib, the great and versatile British singer Engelbert Humperdinck put his audience at awe and wowed them altogether as he belted out that popular, familiar song Am I That Easy to Forget.

Not to be outdone, the audience responded that it is not that easy to forget Engelbert as shown by the capacity crowd that engulfed the Newport Performing Arts Theater of the Resorts World Manila in Pasay City who witnessed his outstanding performance last Dec. 4.

It was a repertoire of his famous love songs that he rendered with his incomparable and stylish baritone voice that made you feel so enchanted and would lead you down memory lane. Yes… where were you when Engelbert first sang these soothing and romantic songs which he resurrected in the said concert? A Man Without Love; Still; Help Me Make it Through the Night; After the Loving; Quando, Quando; I Can’t Stop Loving You; The Power of Love (an old song which he gave a new face with a guitar instrument); I’m on Fire; How I Love You (which he dedicated to all countries in trouble like Beirut); Hungry Years (which he recorded with its composer, Neil Sedaka); There Goes My Everything; Spanish Eyes; Release Me (which he said was “the song which started my life); and his encore number, Feeling.

Engelbert told his adoring fans that it was the late great Dean Martin who introduced him to the world of show business. Thus, by way of a tribute to Dean, Engelbert showed a video clip of his 1965 guesting in the Dean Martin Show where they sang the song Crosby, Sinatra and Me and imitated Dean’s signature song, Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes. Engelbert resonated a funny interpretation saying Everybody Loves My Body Sometimes, and the audience approvingly responded with applause and laughter.

While the jokes he made were the same familiar funny stories he made in his previous concerts, they still continued to amuse his fans. As he was about to drink, he said that “for 20 years no alcohol has passed my lips.” Then the punchline: “But I can also lie.” Then took a sip of his wine.

Then there was this incident when, one early morning, he heard a lady “was banging on my door; banging on my door. And so I let her out.”

The concert was so interactive that his thousands of fans in attendance were encouraged to join him in singing. The Last Waltz and Release Me kept the audience’s voices reverberate in the entire theater as they sang and swayed with Engelbert’s relaxed and remarkable singing style that has captivated the hearts of his millions of fans worldwide. For sure his Last Waltz will not be the last time he will be waltzing with us.

Before performing Release Me, he told his audience that “I can’t believe this song is 46 years old already” which is practically the number of years this 77-year-old balladeer has been entertaining all of us music lovers.

While the original words of the last portion of Release Me was Release me my darling, let me go, he delighted his adoring and loving fans by changing its lyrics to give the assurance to “Release me, for I’ll be back again” which was met with a standing ovation and a thundering applause which he gladly acknowledged by saying “your applause is the food of an artist.”











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