Good music defines a good weekend. Last June 17-18, Makati was the epicenter of simultaneous gigs, resembling one huge watering hole punctuated by live performances from some of the country’s most exciting acts.
There was a tribute to John Mayer, as well as the 2016 Féte de la Musique festival, and Terno Inferno Night that kept music fans happy for two straight days.
Here are the acts that Inquirer Super was able to catch:
John Mayer tribute
Some 600 people showed up for the two-day tribute to John Mayer’s “Room for Squares” album. For its organizer, IndieManila—or Bel Certeza, a one-woman team—it was a dream come true.
Certeza’s personal passion project allowed people to discover other kinds of music, and not just that of John Mayer.
She said the goal of the event, held at 12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub, was to gather vintage Mayer fans and introduce them to young artists in the local indie scene, at the same time that the new generation of music fans would turn on to Mayer’s songs as interpreted by the young artists.
“IndieManila’s followers are mostly college kids,” Bel said. “Natuwa ako that they were able to connect with Mayer because of the local artists who performed the songs. They found out that these artists were covering these songs of Mayer, and they actually started to listen to his songs.”
The performers were KR Quiñon, Martti Franca, Nights of Rizal, Reese Lansagan, Kai Honasan and LPG (Laglag Panty Gang) with the frontmen of SUD, Miles Experience, and Jensen and the Flips.
“Room for Squares,” Mayer’s debut album, was released in 2001. Certeza said the 12 Monkeys gig was a chance to go back in time to celebrate the 15th year since the release of the album.
Féte de la Musique
Féte de la Musique was crazy, an experience that no local music festival has yet topped.
With two main stages and 21 pocket stages all over Makati, the event made us wish we had teleportation powers so we could watch all the action.
The Indie Stage at Axom in Green Sun seemed to be the most popular of all the other stages, judging by the sheer number of people in the audience.
It was so packed, a line had formed outside where people stood, content to hear the music without seeing the artists.
Organizers had to stop letting people in as early as 10 p.m., but that wasn’t really surprising, especially when the roster od acts included Ang Bandang Shirley, Autotelic, The Ransom Collective, Cheats, among others.
The hashtag turned out to be true, #WalangAlisanSaGreenSun.
BP Valenzuela’s music had subdued layers of different energies, pulsating beats and catchy melodies. She had a magnetic presence, notwithstanding a delicate voice that sometimes fell into a frail whisper, as she sang narratives about love, loss, and gray areas in between.
Delighting the crowd with tracks from her album “The Neon Hour,” Valenzuela said that Manila inspired her to make the record.
Playing for the first time on the Féte main stage, Valenzuela said the milestone was a reflection of her musical journey and the direction it has taken since her performances on the acoustic, eclectic and indie stages of Fete starting in 2014.
“I’m working on a new album, but I’m not revealing a lot about it yet,” she teased.
Mellow yet vibrant
The neo-folk-rock band Ransom Collective reminded us of the sounds of The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons.
Its creative, colorful play on strings and percussion enhanced its mellow yet vibrant, lighthearted tunes like “Run,” “Fools,” and “Settled,” which the crowd loved.
Tom’s Story, a trio, performed “Anchors,” “Dream,” “Catcher,” “VL Raza” and “Mugatu”—the mimicked notes rolling off the tongues of the air-drumming, fist-pumping crowd.
Experimental in approach, Tom’s Story’s music had a youthful vibe and combined different genres with distinct narratives, which you wished also had poetic lyrics to sing along to.
While glancing at the artists painting the white walls of Lokal Hostel, we heard the music from the Eclectic Stage. WYWY’s mixes had a supernatural groove, lending a mysterious mood to the music.
Terno Inferno Night
“Outside it’s Féte de la Musique, here it’s just Fat de la Musique,” joked Up Dharma Down’s Armi Millare before the band played.
A special edition of Terno Inferno coincided with the first day of Féte, and was also held near the area of Féte’s multiple stages. Up Dharma Down took the liberty of calling the 12 Monkeys as venue of the “hugot stage,” to explain the Terno-managed bands in the lineup.
The legendary Terno Inferno nights were anticipated by many in the live music circuit. It was a fan’s way to hear the indie record label’s artist roster that included Up Dharma Down (UDD), Encounters With A Yeti and Yolanda Moon.
UDD performed its classic hits “Sana,” “Indak,” “Tadhana” and “Oo,” to the 12 Monkeys crowd, who knew these anthems by heart.
The band also played two new songs. “All the Good Things,” which UDD wrote for its recent Singapore show, was a kaleidoscopic experiment with more eclectic electronic beats and deeper bass lines, paired with snappy stanzas dotted with the catchy, tongue-twisting adlibs—a refreshing addition to its repertoire.
The other song, which was in Filipino, was untitled but had a previously unheard vocal tenacity.
Announcing that it’s currently working on a new album and promising to release it soon, UDD seemed to be exploring the opposite end of its 2012 album “Capacities,” with new sounds for fans to look forward to.