“Manila!!!” David Guetta boomed over the mic, heavy French accent and all, and the slightly inebriated crowd whooped loudly in response. The SM Mall Of Asia Arena was set up like a huge club, complete with futuristic laser lights, a giant, dazzling LED-lit DJ booth, and complimentary Captain Morgan Spiced Rum drinks that gave the concertgoers a nice buzz.
It felt a bit strange to be all dolled up and letting loose on the dance floor on a Wednesday night, especially when everyone else seemed to be either on hump-day work mode or studying their butts off for pre-sembreak finals.
It was also a little odd that the Lower and Upper Box areas were open, because not only did the rows of seats leave very little room for dancing, but the concertgoers appeared somewhat detached from the rest of the merrymaking happening in the Patron pit.
Then again, there is nothing more enticing (or stress-relieving) than partying in the middle of a crazy week with the world’s hottest DJs at the helm, no matter which section you were at. Midweek blues and exams notwithstanding, Pinoy partyphiles got to savor five straight hours of ear-gasmic house and EDM music from a powerhouse cast of world-class spinmeisters last Oct. 10, courtesy of MMI Live and Globe Platinum.
The night kicked off with lady DJs Patty Tiu and Kat DJ, collectively known as Deuce Manila, who were the winners of the Manila Mix Off contest held at Privé Lounge, The Fort last Oct. 8. This was followed by a warm-up set from Australian singer/DJ Kaz James, one-half of the defunct dance duo BodyRockers who were responsible for the 2005 hit track “I Like the Way (You Move).”
Already a household name, 21-year-old Swedish wunderkind Alesso nearly eclipsed the headliner himself with his sleek progressive house remixes of pop/rock songs old and new, from R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and Coldplay’s “Fix You” to Diddy and Dirty Money’s “Coming Home,” not to mention the bonafide crowd pleaser “Save the World” by Swedish House Mafia.
At about 11 p.m., the main event finally took over the control panel. Clad in a black leather jacket (which he promptly took off a song later), Guetta leapt on top of the table and greeted Manila with open arms and a huge grin amidst wild screams, well-timed pyrotechnics and gyrating geometric LED images.
A first-time visitor, the 44-year-old French DJ wasted no time in inducing euphoric seizures with the current charttopping anthem “Titanium,” followed by a relentless string of remixes from “Nothing But the Beat 2.0,” a re-release of his critically acclaimed 2011 album that boasts of stellar collaborations: “I Can Only Imagine” featuring Chris Brown, “Wild One 2” with Sia and Flo-Rida, “Play Hard” featuring Ne-Yo and Akon, “Without You” with Usher, “Turn Me On” with Nicki Minaj, and the latest single “She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)” featuring Sia. He also played his older hits, like “When Love Takes Over” featuring Kelly Rowland and “Sexy Chick” with Akon.
As energetic as his own tunes, Guetta would wave his arms or clap his hands with the crowd; he had also turn the volume down on occasion to listen to the crowd sing (or yell) his songs back to him, the ear-to-ear grin never leaving his face. His infectious beats were punctuated with cheeky catchphrases like “I’m David Guetta, b-tch” and “Put your f-cking hands up” flashing in the background.
Towards the end of the set, the pit was flooded with confetti made of translucent paper stars and metallic streamers that caught the glare of the strobe lights as they fell. Evidently pleased with the reception, the DJ came back for an encore that he claimed he has never played before in any of his shows—“Just One Last Time,” featuring Taped Rai which was, quite literally, a most appropriate ending for the dance party of the year.
Still running on a post-concert high, a number of people stayed for the after-party that lasted until 3 a.m. Who says Pinoys can’t party on a weeknight?