Ice Seguerra walked on stage, briefly waved to his cheering fans, turned his back, then faced the mammoth videoke machine set up at the upstage center, and hit a big button.

The screen generated a countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then “My Way” popped on the screen.

His live band began to play the first strings of Frank Sinatra’s popular traditional pop, which was famously banned in karaoke bars in the country, a phenomenon known as the ‘My Way Killings,’ because the song triggered brawls and fatal shootings during karaoke sessions.

As soon as Ice opened his mouth to belt out the forbidden yet timeless song, he once again proved his gift for the craft. It’s not just the singer-songwriter’s pitch-perfect live performance that engages the crowd; he sings from the heart, crooning the story of the song, emotions etched on his face.

After the song, he collapsed on the floor as if shot dead. Then, sprang back up in good humor. The crowd at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan, erupted in wild applause.

In his June 28 concert titled Videoke Hits: The Repeat (it was that popular), Ice had a boil on his left cheek, which he poked fun at a couple of times. After all, not a boil, nothing, could distract him. He was having such a great time, and this enthusiasm reflected back to his audience, whose own ailments dissipated with every track he sang.

Courtesy of Fire & Ice Media and Production Inc

The concert, designed to mimic a private videoke bar, was a clever idea by Fire and Ice (Ice and his wife Liza Diño’s company). It was not just to recreate the ultimate Pinoy pastime for gimmick (complete with a lyric video starring Ice and Liza in wacky drama), but the concept allowed the “Pagdating ng Panahon” singer the joy of singing his favorite hits, from romantic ballads to classic OPM, to Billboard chart-toppers, and Broadway musicals.

The randomness of the repertoire all the more put the spotlight on his talent as he jumped from one genre to another, with some hits rendered the “Ice Way.”

ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” transformed into a heady, steamy, slow version with a red-hot LED background featuring a silhouette of a dancing woman. For Ben&Ben’s hopeful ballad “Leaves,” Ice sat on the steps of the stage, eyes closed, his voice undulating with various feelings of grief and resilience.

Courtesy of Fire & Ice Media and Production Inc

He also fulfilled his dream as a Broadway singer with his powerful rendition of Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed a Dream” as Miss Saigon’s Isay Alvarez watched from the audience and who would, at the end of the concert, join the standing ovation.

Ice also had a riot as he turned into a Backstreet Boy for “I Want it That Way”— this after he was Baby Spice, complete with a blonde wig, for “Stop” (with wife Liza serving as Posh Spice). And thanks to technology, he also had a poignant duet with his late father, who had shared his passion for karaoke.

Ice did not hog the microphone the entire time — he went to the crowd to pass the mic to audience members, including actors Ricky Davao and Robert Seña. Sometimes he would invite his professional singer friends on stage — like Juris, Princess Velasco, and Ryan Gallagher — to perform with him.

Courtesy of Fire & Ice Media and Production Inc

It felt like a huge party, with a karaoke game, and humorous gags here and there.

Despite all the side entertainment, one can’t deny that Ice was the star of the night. He’s the karaoke king. The concert remained singularly focused on letting his voice shine, proving once again that he’s one of the best live performers in the country. It’s not just his 100-karaoke-score singing voice, but also the passion behind the performances, that truly entertained his audience.

Courtesy of Fire & Ice Media and Production Inc

Truth be told, I was never a karaoke person — not only because I’m a terrible singer (I’d be shot dead, too), but I’m an uptight introvert who can only enjoy songs privately. But that night, as I sat next to my equally impressed friend, who wept during “Muntik Na Kitang Minahal” (Ice sings as if he was going through the experience of the songwriter at that very moment), I was still not converted to this whole karaoke craze — but I became a solid Ice Seguerra fan.