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Media and Fan Reviews from the Phillipines

Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

10:53 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #1

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 22, 1007


(From Mouser)

Taylor "Soul Patrol" Hicks @ Greenbelt 3 Dec 22, '07 1:10 AM
for everyone

I do not follow the AI series closely and the only winner I am in love with is AI6 Jordin Sparks because of her touching songs. From radio jocks I've heard a few unkind words about Taylor. So when I saw that he was performing in Greenbelt, the curious in me wanted to see how Taylor was tailored.

I became a fan of Taylor that night. Not only did I like his songs and his style, I loved the fact that he really gave his 100% to every note, every song, every move. He was there for the audience, present 100% in the now! I wish I could have the same level of Taylor's dedication to my craft!

Do I make you proud? More power Soul Patrol!

Thanks to Carlo and Pivi Diaz for the access and the meet-n-greet!

Photography and DT by Julles Roberto for Edge of Chaos Media: Bold. Reckless. Unapologetic.
Greenbelt 3, Ayalamalls, Makati City
18 December 2007


For more pictures from Greenbelt visit this website:

Taylor at Greenbelt, Ayala Malls, Makati City


Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

10:55 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #2

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 22, 2007



The Manila Bulletin:

One-On-One Interview With Taylor Hicks

One-on-one with Taylor Hicks: A voluntary initiation to Soul Patrol!

by Kaye Villagomez

Clad in a casual long-sleeved shirt and jeans, a much–rested Taylor Hicks (who had to adjust from a frenzied press conference the day before this interview) welcomed the Manila Bulletin in this up–close meeting that eventually certifies the deserving American Idol in the guy.

In 15 or so minutes with Taylor, we would also later realize we've been Soul Patrolled.

Taylor is the first American Idol winner to visit Manila. Others were runners-up Constantine Maroulis of season four and Taylor’s fellow season fiver Elliot Yamin. All of them were brought in by Ayala concert touring group and they have performed in Ayala Malls and special shows. In Taylor’s case, there’s a friendly tie-up with Mossimo. He stayed for a good four days and we were able to get comfy with Taylor on his third day on Manila at the Ascott Hotel in Makati.

Other than the fact that he is much, much better-looking in person than on TV and print, the 31-year old Hicks is one of those (few?) artists who really kept it grounded. He would only talk about his pre-Idol struggles ("I have been performing since birth!) if he could also talk about respect for other artists ("I’ve had my difficulties but so did others and most of them went through more struggles than I did.")

Also, the laidback personality adds to that charmer air of warmth he effortlessly exudes. He must have said "Awesome!" some eight times each time we would talk about Manila and its people.

To those who might have been living under a rock, here are flash facts about Taylor: He won "American Idol" season five in 2006 off a finale between him and drop-dead gorgeous Katharine McPhee. Ryan Seacrest and Idol fans likened Taylor’s appearance to Jay Leno, Phil Donahue and George Clooney. His fans call themselves ‘Soul Patrol’ back in Idol and to this day (while McPhee was nicknamed ‘McFever’).

Born Taylor Ruben Hicks on Oct. 7, 1976, the Idol is an American soul singer and songwriter who grew up performing around Southeastern US area. Taylor auditioned for Idol in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 10, 2005. He originally wanted to try out in Memphis, Tennessee, but auditions in that city were canceled to accommodate relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. His Southwest Airlines flight out of New Orleans had been canceled, and he had been offered a travel voucher to use at a later date. He used the ticket voucher to fly to Las Vegas. Taylor would later pass the audition—that almost slipped—with the nods of Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul; not Simon Cowell who thought Hicks would not make it to the final round. Retribution would later be at hand when on Taylor’s first performance for the voting public, Simon swallowed his words and recalled his earlier claim. Then the rest, as they say is history.

Post-idol, Taylor’s "Do I Make You Proud" (which was also the theme in the concluded Asian Idol), clinched Billboard No. 1 and the self-titled CD, his first mainstream project, earned gold when released. He has performed with various famous acts and will continue touring the world and in consequence, touring his dreams.

Here, Taylor talked about our own Philippine Idol Mau Marcelo (whom he performed with in Asian Idol in Indonesia), loving the Philippines, his passions and most of all, a heart too charged with soul.
How has your Manila stay been so far?

"Awesome! I knew it will be special but everything has been awesome here!"

Name three things you will never forget about your experience here.

"There are a lot! But if I were to name three, it’s how gracious people here are, the weather and again just how well I’ve been received here wherever I go"

Are you aware of how big an impact American Idol has made here? Do you know how big you are here in Manila?

"I did not know but I am becoming aware of that now. And one thing’s for sure, this may be my first time here but it’s definitely not the last."

You are the first American Idol winner to visit us...

"Am I? That’s great. I plan to come more often.

You were in Indonesia for the Asian Idol before you went here, were you able to meet our representative Mau Marcelo?

"I’m not sure… Wait, yes I remember Mau because I sang with her and performed my song ‘Do I Make You Proud’ along with the other finalists and she’s a real great singer. She’s very talented."

Were you able to see any other local singers while you’re here?

"Unfortunately nor but I was able to meet Sway Penala who was with my batch on Idol and he’s told me so many wonderful things about the Philippines and the people and the passion Filipinos have for music and I finally experienced it for myself."

Would you like to perform or collaborate with Filipino artists?

"Definitely, I would love for that to happen."

Do you still get nervous before a performance?

"Yeah, a little bit I guess."

You mentioned yesterday during your press conference that you would like to try movies...

"Yes, that’s true. I would love to crossover if there’s an opportunity but it does not mean that music will take a back seat. Music will always be my first love and if I had to choose, I will always choose music."

What role would you want to do first?

"I seriously would want to be an extra, just the guy who passed by, little dialogue maybe, just a start. I don’t mind doing that really."

Were you able to trace where Soul Patrol really came from?

"I think that’s a mystery I will never be able to solve. I just embrace it and glad that people who have joined the ‘patrol’ are still here with me."

What’s next after this Manila stop? Is there a new recording coming up?

"Yes, we are working on a new album and with this one, I got to prepare a lot more and devote more time into it making me more involved here than the first one."

So there will be more of the real Taylor in this CD?

"Definitely. Yeah, you can say that. I’m really excited about this next CD we’re coming up with."

All originals?

"Basically, but there will be a lot of collaborations also."

Which do you think is more difficult, breaking into prominence or keeping it big in the industry?

"You know what I feel that both are in the same level as far as difficulty is concerned. It’s one thing to be able to penetrate the business yet it’s another to stay thriving in it."

Since "American Idol" had its lowest ratings in season six (by Idol finale standards), how long do you think the show will go on?

"As long as there are people like me, the millions who dream and more millions who watch, I think the show will still be in for a long run. It will always be a pleasure for me to guest in the show. They have all my support."

How much of your goals have you reached so far?

"I’ve been very blessed. I am very fortunate to have been given all the opportunities that have been coming my way since Idol. I’m just thankful and I’m going to keep on going."

I believe it was John Lennon who said the "dream is always better than the reality," is it the same in your case?

"I’d have to say I’m living the dream. I’m always living the dream."

Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

10:56 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #3

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 23, 2007


From the Manila Bulletin Online:
Friday, December 21, 2007

A change in the life of Taylor Hicks

Yugel Losorata

American Idol 5th season winner Taylor Hicks is now living the life of a full-pledged celebrity.

He is enjoying it, completely aware of the big change and able to pinpoint the particular shifts his life has experienced ever since winning the title.

In a media event set for the first American Idol winner to visit the Philippines , the 31-yeard-old singer smilingly told the press, "My fan base went this huge (doing a gesture that meant it has ballooned) and I can’t go out without a bodyguard anymore."

Hicks beat the likes of Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Elliott Yamin to earn the American Idol title in 2006. A soulful crooner with a famously gray hair, he amused the judges, especially the sharp-tongued Simon Cowell (who at first said he wouldn’t make it to the final round), with his superb performances throughout the competition. With that, he created for himself a large fan base now dubbed as "Soul Patrol."

Probably more than the prestige, Hicks savors his privilege as instant international star going to other places to perform and be recognized and work with other singers and musicians as well. "I get to travel and play my music and collaborate with great artists," he said while at the hot seat at Hardrock Cafe, Makati last Tuesday noon. The media people got extra treat when he sang a few lines a capella.

The oldest to win the American Idol, Hicks is here in Manila and serenaded Filipinos via mall venues, particularly at Glorietta 4 Park last Tuesday night, at Greenbelt 3 Park the following day (in celebration of Mossimo’s 10th anniversary), and at the Trinoma Activity Center on Thursday evening.

Busy with music, the second Idol winner from Birmingham, Alabama (after season 2’s Ruben Studdard) thinks of expanding his artistry to movies sooner or later. For the meantime, he’ll sure have a new year to look forward to with a brand new CD, tour, and DVD record. "I’m pretty excited about 2008," he noted. "But you’ll never know what’s going to happen."

An experienced music man idolizing Ray Charles so much that he carries a little statuette of the legend wherever he performed, Hicks almost didn’t make it to the Idol auditions if he didn’t fly to Las Vegas to get a ticket to the show. It turned out he would be the third Idol winner to have not experienced being in the botton three or two throughout the Finals duration.

His self-titled, major-label debut came out in December of last year while a concert album called "Live at the Workplay Theatre" was released this year.

Being a major, globally acknowledged contest winner, Hicks has the pride to give anyone aiming for fame, fortune, and recognition some advices. "Key is having faith, believing in yourself, and dedicating yourself into your art," shared the self-styled American star.

The Manila Bulletin Online

(From Mouser)


Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

10:57 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #4

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 23, 2007

From The Manila Bulletin
December 18, 20007

'American Idol' sensation Taylor Hicks in town to serenade Pinoys

Crispina Martinez-Belen

In town is 'American Idol' sensation Taylor Hicks who’s scheduled to do a series of concerts here as a holiday treat to his Pinoy fans.

His shows are presented by Ayala Malls, which has been noted to always try to bring the best in mall entertainment to the Philippines. The American Idol’s Philippine invasion is part of Ayala Malls’ continuous effort to bring to its patrons high-calibre entertainment with accessibility.

Hicks is set to serenade Filipino music lovers starting tonight at the Glorietta 4 Park, on Dec. 19, 8 p.m. at the Greenbelt 3 Park, and on Dec. 20, 7 p.m. at the TriNoma Activity Center. The series of musical events is co-presented by Mossimo and Ascott Makati, the official residence of Taylor Hicks.

The singing idol from Alabama (he was born in Birmingham and raised in Hover), with his salt-and-pepper hair and raspy and soulful voice, was said to be an unlikely Idol, but he exceeded expectations everywhere by winning the American Idol title of the show’s fifth season.

Hicks performed the hit songs "Takin’ It to the Streets," "Levon," "Living For the City," and "Dancing in the Dark" in his own unique style and charm and which won him legions of fans who proudly called themselves the Soul Patrol. But Hicks almost did not make it to American Idol during his first try at the overcrowded Memphis audition but he persevered and followed the try-outs to Las Vegas. Once he got to the show however, he proved to the judges, most notably to Simon Cowell, that although he doesn’t look or sound like the typical pop star doesn’t mean he can make it to the music scene.

Hicks grew up listening to classic soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, which he said he could relate to even as a child due to the divorce of his parents and other troubles; and singer/songwriters Van Morrison, Bob Segen and Billy Joel. Is chief influence, however, was Ray Charles, whom he admired so much that he carried a little statue of Charles with him whenever he performed. Though Hicks had no formal musical training, he picked up singing, guitar and harmonica playing on his own. He began performing for his family at an early age and won a talent contest at his high school (at which time his hair started turning gray). While studying business, communication, and marketing at Auburn University, Hicks formed the Passing Through Band, and left school early to try his luck in Nashville. As a touring performer, he opened for artists ranging from James Brown to Drive-By Truckers and also performed at the Playboy Mansion. Hicks released two albums with his band: "In Your Time," a live album, and "Under the Radar."

Hicks signed a record deal with Clive Davis and 19 Recordings Unlimited after winning the "American Idol" title and released the single "I Do Make You Proud" that summer. He also performed with the American Idol Tour and began work on his major-label debut album. His selftitled debut arrived in Dec. 2006. "Live at the Workplay Theatre," a concert album recorded in the summer of 2006 was released this year.

The Manila Bulletin Online

Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

10:59 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #5

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 25, 2007

From The Manila Standard Today Online:

American Idol in Mossimo’s 10th year

Mossimo Philippines celebrates 10 years of world-class style and fashion at Greenbelt 3 Park, Makati tomorrow, starting at 7 p.m. with cocktails, and live entertainment at 8 p.m. Featured entertainer is American Idol 2006 winner Taylor Hicks who will regale the guests with his musicality that is presently taking the music scene by storm. Hicks is also here to promote his debut CD under Sony-BMG Records.

Mossimo has not only become the choice apparel of today’s smart and fashionable generation but also of the current top-selling artists in the music and TV industry. These stars go for Mossimo Clothes for its hot and hip look plus of course its comfortable quality.

Among today’s celebrities who have made Mossimo part of their wardrobe are: ETC’s Sam Oh, Rocksteddy, Miguel Escueta, Third Avenue, Denise Elise and Julianne.

Mossimo recently unveiled its Kids Holiday Collection 2007 featuring varied styles and colors designed for those aged 1 to 14.

Kids will definitely look sassy and smart in any of the clothes in the 2007 collection now available at Mossimo Kids Boutiques in its stores located at SM Lipa City, Festival Supermall in Alabang , SM Batangas, SM San Lazaro, Ultimart in San Pablo, Laguna, Robinson’s Ermita, SM Valenzuela City, Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa The Block, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Pampanga and SM Tagaytay.

As its holiday treat to the kids, the label is sponsoring the Barney Show at the Araneta Coliseum from Dec. 19 to 23. And those who purchase at least P3,000 of any Mossimo item will be entitled to a P300 worth of All You Can Ride tickets at the Global Fun at the Mall of Asia.


Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

11:00 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #6

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 25, 2007



Just happy to play music for a living

By Pocholo Concepcion
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:07am (Mla time) 12/26/2007

MANILA, Philippines—As a child of divorced parents, recent Manila visitor Taylor Hicks found solace in music. He fell hard for black artists; getting to watch them in concert convinced him that he should follow their lead.

For 10 years, Hicks toiled as a professional singer, making the rounds of bars and clubs (even parties) around the southeastern states, including those near his hometown, Alabama.

Though he wasn’t signed to any label, he already had two albums—“In Your Time” and “Under the Radar”—both self-produced, prior to his self-titled major label (Arista/Sony BMG) debut which came after he became the 2006 American Idol.

Despite worldwide attention following his triumph, Hicks remains grounded and doesn’t mind being referred to as the oldest or least likely-looking Idol. What he’s most proud of, simply, is being a musician.

How did your parents’ divorce affect you?

Any child who goes through a divorce has to find a happy place. For me, music was that happy place. It became my passion and outlet for my feelings.

How did you find the music that you love?

I first heard Sam Cooke and Ray Charles on the radio, in a program called AM Gold.

Was there a conscious effort to emulate these influences?

Yeah, but once you hear all these great artists and musicians, you want to recreate something for yourself. That’s when you try to take off and create your own music.

What was the biggest difference between your first two independent albums and the major label debut?

The first two were my music, songs that I’ve written. The third had other songwriters and producers. That was a great learning experience which helped me become a better recording artist.

How do you rate the first two albums?

I think the first one definitely needed some work. The second one was the better attempt. And the third was me understanding what it was like to have a bigger production.

You described the third album as organic.

What I tried to accomplish was take some of the organic influences and cross them over with pop sensibilities. I think I got a good shot at it.

What band or solo artist, do you think, has been very influential these past few years?

I think Norah Jones brought us back down to earth commercially with “Don’t Know Why.” It allowed songwriters and people with pure musical talents to be heard on radio, as opposed to the more “produced” sounds. For me, personally, it’s Ray La Montaigne. He’s a great soul singer.

Do you remember watching a concert that changed your life?

I was 6 or 7 when I saw Lionel Richie and Tina Turner in concert. Seeing those two performers, right off the bat, didn’t hurt anything.

You look more fashionable now. Do you have a stylist?

I go shopping and comb my hair just like everybody else. But you know what? I take that back, ’cause very little do I comb my hair, although I put gel in it.

Have you ever thought of dyeing your salt-and-pepper hair?

No. I would be scared to [do that] because nobody would know who I am.

What if it all turns white?

Then I may have to reconsider.

You were referred to as the oldest American Idol in the early part of the contest. Did that affect you?

You could say I was the oldest and the wisest! I knew it was up to America to vote. Some of the judges’ comments, I just let them roll off my back.

Clive Davis (record company boss) signed up Chris Daughtry (2007 AI fourth placer) even earlier than you.

Chris deserves all that. He’s a rock singer and songwriter. Considering how popular rock music is right now, that’s a no-brainer.

Before AI, you spent time in Nashville pursuing your music career, although it didn’t pan out.

I was trying to make it for 10 years. I did everything possible and created every opportunity just to make it. I thought Nashville was a good place for me, at the time, to be heard. It taught me a lot about myself.

Are you proud to be called a white soul/R&B singer?

I’m just proud to be a musician, to play music for a living.

How do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Completely white hair. But hopefully still playing music, touring, maybe sitting here with you for another interview.

Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

11:01 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #7

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Dec 26, 2007


Taylor's fans in Asia loved the Philippine performances. Here is one review taken by Mouser

From TOSP:

belle marquez

Hi guys! I didn't know where to put this so I started a new thread. this is a long read and a little too late but I hope you'll get an idea how he did on his last show in the Philippines.

Trinoma Show Recap:

This for me was his best show because I got to sit in the first row (LOL) and he really gave it his all.

Sequence is the same. The band still rocked.

Mau Marcelo (our Asian Idol contestant) watched the show.

He sang THE RUNAROUND the best during this show.
As usual, the moment he came out, people cheered for him. This was the biggest reception he had among his three shows. He started off the song sounding a little nervous while looking around, most probably overwhelmed by the number of people who came out to watch him. Remember, his first two shows were held in smaller venues. He was probably surprised with this big venue. He kept asking "how are you feeling?" or "are you good?" Big crowd, big opening. He already moved around even this early on the show. This was a great way to open what was to be his best show in the Philippines. I think many people like The Runaround now.

Unlike the long introductions he had during his previous shows, he introduced Heart and Soul by just saying the title. I still wished he sang another lively song in lieu of this but he sang this better now. He moved around a lot still and he constantly placed his right hand on his heart. He ended this song on a high note showing off his range.

P.s. My friends and I flashed a "From Day 1, You are Our IDOL" poster and after this number, he THANKED US. Usual reaction? we SCREEEAAAMMMEDDD!

Then he sang the always funky USED ME UP. I still believe that he sings this song really well. Suits his style and his voice. I still love the rap part and he blew the audience away that some people gave him a standing ovation after this performance. Of course including me!

With due credit to Ray Charles he sang THE RIGHT PLACE. With him standing still, he clearly delivered the message of the song. He sang it BEAUTIFULLY again and to me it seemed INSPIRATIONAL. He added some comedy with "be there" again. This time, I TRULY, SINCERELY appreciated it.

Honestly, THE MAZE wasn't one of the songs that I really dug in his album but after hearing him sing it live, I appreciated the song. He played his harmonica and it was HAIR RAISING. My dad, who is a Kat McPhee fan became a temporary convert during this performance. He clapped his hands all throughout the number and I was pleasantly surprised. Before the performance, people were nodding their heads. During the performance, people were dancing in their seats. After the performance, some people stood up and gave him a well deserved round of applause.

Then he introduced his first single off his post - idol CD JUST TO FEEL THAT WAY. I noticed that I was probably the only one singing along to the song but it didn't matter. I noticed he was running a little out of breath here but he carried on anyway and ended softly but dramatically. Still one of my favorite songs performances. (Well, I seem to like Taylor singing Mellow songs)

Taylor's take on TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS was ten notches higher. Out of nowhere, it looked like he gained a sudden rush of adrenaline and really nailed this performance out of the ball park. It was HOT HOT HOT. My favorite, favorite performance of his entire visit. He played his harmonica and it was (like Randy would say) THE BOMB. He did the sprinkler dance (is that what you call it?) and looked gorgeous while doing it. :*) After the performance, my dad (who like I said is a die hard McPhee fan, certified Taylor snob) clapped for him and so did the crowd. I and some of the VIPs stood up to give him a standing ovation. That truly gave chills down my spine.
**I think he noticed that I sang along to most of his songs because he seemed to be looking at us a lot of times. He can't blame me. I'm a fan.

Also, we flashed our "We Love You Taylor" poster during the performance and everytime he took a glance of it, he would give a cute smirk/beam.

His introduction of DO I MAKE YOU PROUD included a mention of American Idol. But of course, he didn't elaborate much. I heard people singing along. He still sings it like it was just yesterday that he was on the show. Even if he sang it with much confidence, it still sounded that he is constantly in search of validation from his fans. During the song, we started the hand wave then he instructed the wave himself after seeing us.

Then we flashed our "You Make Us PROUD" poster and I'm sure he had no doubt left in his mind. We were proud of him despite all the criticisms and downs. At this moment, we just felt blessed that he was singing infront of us because i never would have thought that I would have this memory to share with all of you.

After that mellow number, he rallied with "Heaven Knows". Doing his signature moves, he kicks the song off on a good note. Then the energy escalates. Then he pulls out his harmonica and rocks the house. He jams with his bandmates on this one particularly the percussionist (who was really young but really good). He ends with a loud applause.

As he wished us a WHITE CHRISTMAS, we all screamed "awwww!" hoping the experience would never end. I personally felt real sadness fearing that would be the real last time I'd see him. But then it hit me. He's infront of me now wishing all of us a great Christmas and for that, there's nothing to be sad about. We flashed our Christmas Hicks poster here.He started slow, dramatic then built the energy up. He gave his female back - up singer some solo moments. She was great by the way. Then he moved and moved around. It seemed like he truly enjoyed himself and then it was over. He stayed for a minute more on stage still looking around then left for the photo opportunity.

**When he was already singing "Merry Christmas Baby all over, The front row flashed all the posters we had and he looked our direction more than 6 times I believe. Bill might have taken some photos. I just knew he was grateful.

I made the posters by the way just 20 minutes before the show started. I did it in the activity center. I was scared that the guards might reprimand me but they just left me to do it. I felt honored to make them.

This recap took an hour of my time but it's really worth it.

Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

11:02 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #8

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Jan 1, 2008



‘Idol’ sings the blues in Manila
By Fran Katigbak

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:07:00 01/01/2008

THE SOULFUL Taylor Hicks stays true to his style and music. Photo By Fran Katigbak

MANILA, Philippines
It’s not easy singin’ the blues to an audience whose daily dose of music comes from skinny teenyboppers, booty-shaking divas and bling-clad “boys from the ’hood.”

Not if you are gray-haired and inclined to play the harmonica or if your dancing looks drug-induced.

But just as he defied pop stereotypes when he won “American Idol” Season 5, soul singer Taylor Hicks also proved it pays to stay true to his style and brand of music.

Filipino fans, even those as young as 6, watched the 31-year-old artist in a series of shows recently sponsored by the Ayala Malls in Manila.

At the show in TriNoma, Hicks was in his element singing tracks from his self-titled album as well as songs he composed early in his career. Of course, not to be missed were the Alabama native’s harmonica-playing and the manic, footloose moves that became his trademark on “AI.”

The chemistry was apparent between the artist and the all-Pinoy band led by composer Louie Ocampo, who had arranged the songs in the program. In fact, the audience would erupt in cheers and wild applause each time Hicks and Ocampo matched antics on the harmonica and keyboards.

The rest of the band had the chance to shine as well. At one point in the show, Hicks introduced each member who then worked up a brief solo on his or her instrument.

Perhaps the only hitch was the fog machine, which produced more artificial smoke than necessary. A wide screen should have been installed to project close-up video shots for the benefit of those behind the VIP/special-pass area.

We also wish Hicks had walked to the audience in “Taking it to the Streets,” like he did on the “AI” finale, but we understand the danger it might pose to security.

The mini-concert put the spotlight on the 2006 “American Idol” as artist and performer. Soulful, energetic, passionate with his music, Taylor Hicks has, indeed, given us reason to be proud of him.

Inquirer.net_Idol Sings the Blues in Manila


Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

11:03 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #9

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Jan 1, 2008


From "The Heart and Soul of Taylor"

From Soul Patrol in the Philippines:

Taylor Hicks had a great time in the Philippines and I knew that he was going to find the Filipino people highly receptive of his visits there! A long time ago, I predicted that Taylor Hicks would have fans in that country because Filipinos love old school music and old school style singing! We love Karaokes and Videokes and we never have gatherings without singing and dancing in them. The funkiest the dance moves are, the better it is. The older the song is, we will find a way to revive it, and make it new. Hence, Taylor Hicks fits right in. As much as we also embrace the newer songs, we are always nostalgic, and long for older songs to get played. We have kids as young as 5 year olds who can belt out songs like Release Me and Cuando, Cuando from Engelbert Humperdinck. Haha! In other words, music is a way of life.

The success of Taylor Hicks' mini tour in the malls in the Philippines may not be reported in the U.S. entertainment sections of our media here, because I think Jamie Lynn Spears' teenage pregnancy is much more imporatnt, I guess. (rolls eyes) But this is a remarkable achievement for Taylor Hicks and his Soul Patrol in the U.S and in the Philippines. The Philippines felt priviledged to have been Taylor's first ever tour outside of the States. So, as a Filipino myself and a long time Taylor Hicks supporter, I would like to thank Taylor Hicks and his management for letting the Filipino people experience for themselves that magic that is Taylor Hicks. And for his SP here in the US, based on a lot of the comments I received about Taylor's reception from the Filipino people, they are happy and relieved that Taylor was well loved by Asians, and the Filipinos in particular. There seemed to be a little apprehension on the fans here in the US when Taylor announced his appearances in Asia. I'm glad those worries are no more.

We look forward to his next visit and this time, with a longer promotion and more radio airplay of his songs, you can bet that the Pinoy SPs will be mobilized and they will even be making more noise and the love for Taylor Hicks will even be shown more.

Soul Patrol, Mabuhay si Taylor Hicks!

Posted by Soul Patrol Pinoys at 2:56 PM

Soul Patrol Pinoys
United States
We are Filipino fans of the soulman, Taylor Hicks. We are Soul Patrol Pinoys who are forever touched by his music. Taylor Hicks has the Pinoys' Heart and Soul!

He bleeds my stone

The Heart and Soul of Taylor


Joined: 4:12 PM - Jan 22, 2008

11:04 PM - Jan 30, 2008 #10

Posted at the Whomp Swamp by san on Jan 6, 2008


I grew up being taught this saying over and over, “No pain, no gain.” It’s a cliché but one that applies to anyone and to most situations. Taylor Hicks’ visit to Manila wasn’t any exemption.

For someone whose day begins at 12:00 P.M. in the afternoon, whose timid ways make striking up conversations with people hard and whose hesitant manners make her an easy target for cunning buyers in supermarket lines, competing for limited stubs to the Ayala Malls concert was not exactly the perfect place for me.

I woke up to the sound of my alarm at 4:45 a.m. in the morning. My head was still heavy because it wasn’t my routine especially on school breaks. But, once I got a glance of the Taylor Hicks concert flyer that I posted on the ceiling, I immediately got out of bed and got dressed to go to the mall.

Two weeks back, when I first saw the flyer, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Taylor Hicks is coming to Manila. I seriously thought it was a mistake. So, I checked several sites that could clarify this but I only got more news and details on his visit. From this moment on, I was determined to catch him live. Who would have thought he’d come to Manila? Even after poor airplay and lack of proper promotion of his album which for me was one of the best I ever held and listened to, he’d choose to visit the Philippines. I thought it was definitely unbelievable but wonderful.

I arrived in the mall at 6:35 a.m. No one was around yet and then I got word from the security guard that stubs will be released at 11:00 a.m. I was four and a half hours early. I admit I was frustrated but I had to do the sacrifice. I thought, this may be the first and last time I’ll see Taylor live (well, as well all know it won’t be ;) ).

At around 8:00 a.m., there were more people coming in. And the group grew by the minute; each one eyeing on the concierge that distributes the stubs. I couldn’t say I deserve it more than the other people who also made the same sacrifice to get stubs but I thought to myself, I was first here and so I think I deserve to get the good passes particularly one with a meet and greet opportunity. Forgetting my introverted ways, I pushed myself to the concierge and started the line for everyone to follow. If it was the supermarket, I’d gladly make way for other buyers since I have the luxury of time and opportunities. But for this one instant, I didn’t have that luxury and I just felt I needed to meet Taylor. I just had to.

I thought people would fight their way for my spot but that didn’t happen. Actually, newcomers were approaching and asking me for details about where they should line up for stubs. I truly couldn’t believe the people I’ve met during the waiting period. I remember perfectly a couple approaching me and asking me about details of the stub distribution. But minutes later, the conversation shifted to topics other than Taylor like our hobbies, our dreams, concerns. The small talk blossomed into a beautiful conversation that I rarely had with people I just knew. Now, we’re constantly communicating through SMS. And we’re up until now good friends.

When I got my stub and exited the line, I was surprised with the number of people waving back at me as I was leaving. Some I didn’t even know by name but I guess they were grateful for the little help I assisted them with. They may not have been my friends now but I’m just happy that I was able to give them assistance because like me, I knew they wanted to see Taylor Hicks, the American Idol live.

As I was in the perimeter of the venue already, I recognized the people I’ve lined up with earlier that day. They never forgot to flash a smile as they saw me. I smiled back for I know this moment was something we’ve all longed for. My back and legs were still hurting from the exhaustion and long waiting and I’m sure they were experiencing the same thing. But at that moment, it didn’t really matter because we all knew we were in for a great show.

The moment Taylor Hicks stepped on stage, I was shaking in excitement and as I looked around, everyone was screaming, cheering hard; enchanted by the American Idol that we didn’t think we could even see and meet. I and the couple beside me were quiet, still trying to let the experience sink in. Then when Taylor starts singing, we shook the shock off and screamed our lungs out. Realizing we had a late reaction, we giggled for a moment then turned our attention back to the Soul Man.

In between numbers, I would always look around trying to catch the expression on people’s faces. All I could see was joy, happiness, excitement, jolliness and fulfillment. I couldn’t blame them for I experienced those same emotions myself. The atmosphere was encouraging, merry and jovial. You could just lose yourself and be in tune with Taylor’s beautiful music. And his performance? It kept us hooked the whole time.

Seeing Taylor Hicks perform live made me forgot how tired I was and how terrible my past few weeks before that day were. I used to rely on reviews made by other SPers for a glimpse of how great Taylor was live. Now, I can’t believe I am writing this article to share with all of you. Still amused and grateful for that opportunity, I am carrying on with life with a memory and realization that I came out of this experience a better person with more friends and a witness to the greatness of Taylor Hicks, the American Idol, our idol.

Written by: Belle_Marquez
Manila, Philippines

Check out this site for great sights and sounds of Taylor in The Philippines!