Concert Reviews; Fra Lippo Lippi's Sincerity in a Repertoire of Hits

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Byline: YUGEL LOSORATA

Adisagreeing storm cast a difficult path for concert goers Saturday night. But it did not succeed over there at the Big Dome.

As expected, Norwegian Per Sorensen treated fans to a night of catchy music and deep-from-the-heart singing, featuring songs from the famed New Wave group Fra Lippo Lippi. The guy obviously knew it wasn't easy making it to the venue because he kept thanking the audience who made it despite the rain. It's imperative to admire Fra Lippo's music even more after the show.

Fra Lippo Lippi's singer and chief melody-writer knew how to tickle--and most of the time, melt-- the hearts of Filipino fans as he brought on stage a strong repertoire that rarely provided unfamiliar songs. With a mixed of Filipinos and foreigners as back-up band, Per sang applause-earning tracks, kicking off with two big hits from the Fra Lippo catalogue: "The Distance Between Us" and "Stitches And Burns." He began cheering up the crowd by exclaiming, "Mabuhay Manila! Are you ready?"

By saying that "Philippines is like coming home," he launched himself into singing "Coming Home" where his voice alone and keyboard-playing sent shivers and made the venue a lot more emotionally charged. On the keyboard Per held the emotions of his followers in a kingdom called the Big Dome where he was, obviously, the king that night.

His next four numbers after that were the night's peak as Per sang "Later," his solo charming hit, followed by Fra Lippo Lippi's signature track (according to other countries), "Shouldn't Have To Be Like That," the near-sublime "Light And Shade" which he dedicated to the late Jeff Porcaro (of Toto), and the feel-good upbeat "Some People" wherein people stood up and swayed, expressing their elation over Per's larger-than-life presence and heart-felt performance. So moving was his singing of "Light And Shade" it wasn't a surprise to see a few from the audience shedding teardrops while the song was ongoing, especially that he seemed to be emphasizing via vocal punch the song's most powerful line, "Die everyday to be free."

To prove that his arsenal is far-from-empty, Per then serenaded the audience with the lovely "Angel." Performance sincerity was felt throughout the show moreso when he went down a number of times to shake hands with the fans and be photographed. …