Patricia Javier gets Malu Barry back on the concert scene
MANILA, Philippines — Malu Barry’s signature booming voice reverberated in music halls, pubs, lounges, and studios in the 80s and the 90s, and her followers have been missing her music since her hiatus on the concert scene. Recently, close friend Patricia Javier pulled her out of hibernation and trained the spotlight on her once again for a comeback performance that also marked her 60th birthday.
“One & Only Queen Malu Barry” had a jam-packed crowd at Teatrino at the Greenhills Promenade in San Juan City on Sept. 2, where the singer-actress belied her age by performing more than a dozen songs that showcased her strong vocals and interpretative prowess.
“Oh my God, my last concert was a long, long time. It has really been a very long time. I’m both excited and nervous. Thank you, sister Patricia,” Barry told members of the media before going onstage. The show was also a benefit concert for Dr. Rob’s Foundation Inc., the charity organization under the chiropractic clinic of Javier’s husband Dr. Rob Walcher.
Barry said she could not decline the invitation from her close friend Javier, national director of the Noble Queen of the Universe Ltd. Inc., that recognized her with a special national title. She also expressed her gratitude to her celebrity guests who performed during the concert.
Among those who lent their star power to the show were Ara Mina, Marissa Sanchez, and 80s icons Anthony Castelo and Ernie Garcia. Javier also had her own set, performing Sharon Cuneta classics “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” “Maging Sino Ka Man,” and “Bituing Walang Ningning.”
Barry opened her performance with an emotional rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “When I Look at You,” from the movie “The Last Song.” She immediately followed it up with songs from her era, “Stand By Me,” “Never, Never, Never,” “The First Time I Saw Your Face,” and “Besame Mucho,” then brought it back to more recent times with a powerful performance of Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
For her second set, Barry started with Callum Scott’s “You are the Reason” that she dedicated to her children and grandchildren, then delivered a heart wrenching rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Gone Too Soon” that she offered to her late son. She then gave an impassioned performance of “The Prayer” as she declared her resolve to “keep pushing in life.”
She received loud cheers when she sang generational anthems “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo” with such aplomb, and then later waxed emotional with “A Song for You,” the same song she performed on the “Tawag ng Tanghalan” stage of “It’s Showtime” when the noontime show pitted celebrities against each other in the singing competition. Barry closed out the show with “This is My Life,” that earned her a standing ovation from the crowd.
She also paid tribute to her late friend Rico J. Puno, who she shared a manager with before, with “Memories,” and dedicated “Wind Beneath My Wings” to Javier.
Barry also honored the late Lino Brocka with “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” She said the filmmaker’s last opus, “Kislap Sa Dilim” was her first break in the industry. “All of my co-actors were great. I was really shy because you had Lorna Tolentino, Gabby Concepcion, Christopher de Leon. Where would you fit me there among the three? And then you have Lino Brocka,” she shared, adding that her filmography grew after her breakout role in the award-winning film.
And now that she is back to singing, will this also mean her return to acting is imminent? “I’m just here, calling out to you. Yes, it is possible,” Barry declared. EDV