A night of music brilliance with Sungha Jung | Inquirer Entertainment

A night of music brilliance with Sungha Jung

/ 08:25 PM August 23, 2014

17-year-old Sungha Jung playing for his Filipino fans during the first set of his concert at the Samsung Hall last August 17. Image by Garry Soliman/PinoyTuner.

MANILA, Philippines—Sungha Jung only had his guitar—an acoustic one at that—during his concert in Manila last August 17. But the moment he stepped on the Samsung Hall stage, the boy took us places — places we never imagined reachable through strings and music.

But before he did, the country’s very own Ukelele Philippines Ensemble first set the mood with its own rendition of “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, “Love Never Felt So Good” by the late but very much celebrated King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and “I Love You” by Korean girl group 2NE1.


And when the group of Filipino musicians finally handed over the stage to the main man of the night, the crowd cheered and then the rest was history.


Set one

Image by Garry Soliman/PinoyTuner.

Out of the seven tracks Jung played in the first set of his concert, six were his original compositions; five of which were from his fifth album “Monologue”, and the other one, an unreleased piece which he brought to stage as a special gift to his fans.

“First Step” was the first track heard that night. The music that initially embraced the Samsung Hall exuded the bright sunshine of summer but blew the gentle breeze of spring.

And then from playful, Jung pulled his audience to a romantic view of the setting sun with his “Sunset in Paris” — a track which, according to the 17-year-old, he composed while in Paris for a concert.

But the acoustic fingerstyle guitarist is not one to settle down in a monotonous mood. Right after the relaxed rendezvous, he fired up the wintry hall with “Flaming”. This part of the show exhibited how far the boy has come in terms of guitar playing—fingerstyle.

Then, he switched back to a sweet stroll with the stars and other heavenly bodies with his heart-melting “Milky Way”. As the boy was plucking and strumming his strings, some from the audience kept their eyes closed while listening to the moving piece which, somehow, makes you think of life and its wonders.


After the performance which felt larger than life, Jung then presented his special gift for his fans—a track called “Waiting”. The musician-composer was seen smiling, smirking, and then back to smiling the entire time he was playing the piece.

Another suave performance followed with “Sprint”, then an Original Pinoy Music (OPM) was heard. To the delight of young and adult fans alike, the seventh track which Jung prepared for the first set of his concert is—his own rendition of Side A’s “Forevermore”.

The show then paused for a 15-minute break.

Set two

Sungha Jung reunited with his acoustic guitar during the second set of his concert. Image by Garry Soliman/PinoyTuner.

When Jung returned to stage for the second set, he came back with a Ukelele instead of his acoustic guitar. The boy kept standing for his first two performances.

A Frankie Valli classic, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, was the first song Jung played for set two. By this time, the audience could no longer keep their voices in, some were heard singing along as the boy continued to pluck and strum.

After the classic, Jung hit his cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”. This earned the guitarist loud cheers and screams from the audience.

Then he went back to his own shelf to pull “Felicity”, this time he is reunited with his acoustic guitar, then the next three songs he played were certified crowd favorites: Maroon 5’s “Payphone”, “Eyes, Nose, Lips” by Big Bang member Sol (Taeyang), and “Let It Go” from the award-winning 2013 Disney movie “Frozen”.

Before Jung started playing the piece that was to end the fine rollercoaster ride, the boy joked that he will be waiting for the audience to shout for “more” while he is backstage. “Please think it over,” he said, before finally getting lost in the zone of his final piece.

When his performance ended, he stood up, bowed, and waved a supposedly final goodbye to his audience. But because the crowd truly wanted more of the prodigy, the people didn’t just shout “more.” They even stomped their feet as loud as they could just so the soon-to-be 18-year-old would come out and play again.

Image by Garry Soliman/PinoyTuner.

Seemingly, Jung heard them well. It didn’t take him more than five minutes to be out again with his guitar. He took his seat, then he playfully said “Thank you very much” to everyone who granted his request to have an encore.

Good thing the audience stayed. Because what Sungha Jung did next was something he doesn’t normally do, if not “never been done before.” The acoustic fingerstyle guitarist, who rarely feels nervous performing with his guitar, had to muster a generous amount of courage before he was able to bring his final gift for his fans.

He sighed deeply one last time, and then the 17-year-old guitar genius was heard singing “Why Georgia?”—his favorite song by American singer John Mayer.

Meet and greet

After the show ended, Jung spent a few more minutes at the Samsung Hall to sign albums and guitars of his ever-zealous and enthusiastic Filipino fans.

The “Sungha Jung: The Philippine Tour 2014” was brought to the Philippine audience by PinoyTuner.

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TAGS: concert, Entertainment, Guitar, Music, South Korea, Sungha Jung

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