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Packed house supports singer Lindsey Pavao
Lindsey Pavao performed before a sold-out crowd Saturday at The Emory. - photo by HIME ROMERO

  I really didn’t know what to expect when I decided to go to the Lindsey Pavao concert.

One thing for certain – I did want to listen to her perform live. I never saw any of The Voice episodes on TV where she was featured due to work-schedule conflict. For that reason, I wanted to watch and listen to her sing – only this time, in person.

I was so focused on her show that I did not even pay much attention to the other performer who was scheduled to do the opening act. Jakkie Arellano, owner of Main Street Café who facilitated and organized the concert in cooperation with Lindsey’s mom, Deborah Pavao, said when I interviewed her for the first story in the Bulletin that there was going to be “another singer” who will be performing before Lindsey gets on stage. So when I was running late on Saturday, I was not too worried about missing Lindsey’s performance. My only concern was having a parking space available at The Emory. After all, it was a sold-out event. The venue was changed from the Main St. Café to The Emory when all 65 tickets for the Main St. Café event was sold out in less than two days and the request for more kept coming in.

Lindsey did not disappoint at her concert. She was great on the vocals and on the guitar. She was a great entertainer on stage with excellent stage presence. She kept everyone glued to her performance. There were no malfunctions to speak of – wardrobe or otherwise. Even her open bottled water that she placed in front of her on the floor next to the microphone did not get accidentally kicked by either one of her bare feet during the performance – she jokingly “predicted” that, knowing herself, it was going to happen – because Earl Jr. did what every caring and concerned older brother does to his youngest sister. Just before they started their next duet, he leaned forward and put the lid back on the plastic bottle.

“This has been my complete honor to come back to my hometown,” Lindsey said at the start of her show.

Noting the success of her first concert in Manteca following her television appearance that catapulted her to national and even international fame, she gratefully told the standing-room-only crowd at The Emory, “In the history of my life, this is the first show I’ve sold out.”

After her phenomenal appearance on television, she embarked on a concert circuit that included shows in Canada. Prior to her Manteca appearance, she just finished a concert in Sacramento where she said she lost her voice in the middle of her performance. Fortunately for her fans in Manteca, her voice did not malfunction Saturday night.

The night was for “The Voice” sensation Lindsey Pavao

There was no question about it. The night belonged to “The Voice” sensation. She was the reason her fans were there – former teachers, people who knew the family from church, former schoolmates, and fans like Philena Hill of Tracy who was excited to see the rising singing star in person after watching her perform on the highly rated television show.

“I watched her on ‘The Voice’ and I love her voice. It’s so unique,” she said.

Another fan of the 24-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitar player, Teresa Burwell, said she also fell in love with Lindsey’s voice on the television show.

“I love it. She reminds me of Fiona Apple. I supported her on ‘The Voice,’ and I’m here to support her,” said Burwell who attended the concert with her husband, Steve.

Stacy Carden, office manager at Lathrop High School, and Suzette Hughes, project coordinator at Joshua Cowell School in Manteca likewise said they were “here to support” Lindsey whom they described as a “very talented young woman.”

Carden said, “We’ve got to support our young children.”

She and Hughes were surprised to learn that Lindsey’s mom, Deborah, also works for Manteca Unified. She teaches digital photography at Sierra High. Her husband, Earl, works for the Associated Press. They are the parents of four and grandparents of five. Second child Nicole was also helping the family at the concert. Daughter Michelle is a drama student at California State University, San Diego. Lindsey is the youngest.

Manteca shone as Family City at Lindsey Pavao concert

Actually, a lot of things that is nice about Manteca, in my humble opinion, were manifested in the best-of-humanity elements that converged at The Emory Saturday night. Strong family ties. Families working together, helping and encouraging each other. Friends as a strong support network.

It was Manteca, the Family City, in action.

It was unexpected, as far as I was concerned, but at the same time it was a pleasant surprise to see Lindsey’s father, Earl, and her brother, Earl Jr., join her on the stage during some parts of the show. I knew that Earl, Sr. was a musician who sang with a band at the former Covenant Christian Fellowship (now New Hope Church at Comconex Road off East Highway 120) back in the mid-1980s. In fact, he told me after the show that he still has the photograph I took of him and his band that included his brother, George, at his garage in the late 1980s, something that I’ve since forgotten.

Before Lindsey stepped into the limelight Saturday night, her father and uncle, George, sang a duet. That was followed by a father-daughter duet. It was clear where Lindsey got her musical genes. She also sang duets with her guitarist brother.

The entire Pavao family all came out to support their star. Deborah Pavao made the rounds after the show handing out copies of her daughter’s photograph to people who were lined up to get her autograph or to have their picture taken with her. She was still signing CDs, T-shirts, and photographs after the chairs were all put away.

That was another part of the concert in which Manteca shone as the Family City. Jakkie Arellano’s own family – her mother, her sisters and other relatives – stepped up to the plate, getting the venue ready for the evening and cleaning up after the concert which was no small feat with more than 200 chairs to load and unload, plus cleaning up the place, not to mention transporting food and drinks to and from Jakkie’s Main Street Café.

Not to be overlooked was the performer who opened for Lindsey’s concert, East Union High graduate, singer-songwriter, and recording artist Reggie Ginn, aka Mary Wells. Her own family which included her father was there to support her as well.

She was my other pleasant surprise for the night – a singer-songwriter who accompanied herself on the piano. Reggie, who was no stranger to Lindsey, is another rising star in the music world who is putting the Family City on the map. Now a resident of Sacramento, the performing artist appeared in back-to-back Manteca Idol runs as Mary Wells. She currently gives live concerts averaging two a month throughout Northern California.