MANILA – Multiple Grammy winner Michael Bolton reunited with his “Bolt of Talent” co-host Morissette Amon as the American singer kicked off his Asian Dream Tour at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Manila last Friday.
Amon joined Bolton in a special duet of his No. 1 hit “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You,” a video of which was shared by actor-singer Audie Gemora on Facebook.
Earlier in the show, Amon helped warm up the crowd for Bolton, as she sang her single, “Diamante,” the “Wicked” showstopper “Defying Gravity,” and Beyonce’s “Love on Top.”
Bolton, now 64, sang mostly covers, starting with the popular “Stand By Me,” and his hit version of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody,” which quickly turned the spacious ballroom into a giant karaoke.
Despite his age, Bolton has largely retained his powerful vocal chops, particularly in the mid-range, although it was also obvious that he was already having difficulty in sustaining high notes.
The covers continued with his hit version of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” “You Don’t Know Me” and a bluesy number “Sweet Home Chicago.”
After an instrumental number from his backup band, Bolton returned with Amon and the audience howled with approval as they sang the ‘80s power ballad, which was first recorded by Laura Branigan.
Apart from Amon, Bolton also sang duets with female singer Sam Fly on the Motown classic "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and on "The Prayer."
After another band instrumental, which saw the saxophonist play parts of Bolton's "Missing You Now," and Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful," Bolton surprised the audience by singing his next number "When A Man Loves a Woman" in the audience area.
He eventually made his way back to the stage for his hit "How Can We Be Lovers" before ending the show with the upbeat "Steel Bars."
Given that he has yet to sing many of his other hits such as "Love is a Wondeful Thing" and "Time Love and Tenderness," the audience naturally clamored for more.
He and the band returned but for only one more song: a soulful cover of "Georgia on My Mind."
But while the concert reminded local music fans of Bolton's brand of blue-eyed soul, it was also an introduction to Filipino singer Lance Busa, the first-ever winner of the pan-Asian singing tilt “Bolt of Talent.”
Busa similarly showed a soulful streak with his song choices like Luther Vandross' version of "A House is Not A Home." He also put a jazzy spin to Hotdog's "Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko."
Busa serves as the front act for Bolton for the entire tour, which continues on November 8 in Taiwan before moving to Thailand (November 11), Singapore (November 15) and Malaysia (November 18).