Sunday, March 31, 2013

there's no party like a BLOC PARTY

It happened. It finally happened! I remember back in 2010, news circulated that Bloc Party will be visiting Manila together with Phoenix and Muse. Unfortunately, it was just a false alarm. But who would've thought three years later, here they are!

Let me give you a brief history of my 8-year on/off relationship with Bloc Party. It all started when I had a habit of stealing my big sister's cd collection. I saw the 'Silent Alarm' record (that year of its release around 2005?) and tried to give it a listen. Lo and behold, a fangirl was born. I remember an interaction with Russell Lissack on Myspace (yes, Myspace. Back then when it was all about the music) where he used to talk to fans. I still remember his default song was "Hummer" by Foals. Also my first introduction to Foals. Thank you Russell. 

At one point, I dread that these guys would break up since Kele and Matt each came out with solo albums, Russell toured with Ash, and Gordon returned to his old band Young Legionnaire. Luckily, "Four" gathered them back into one place. 

Me and my 'Blocmates' (kinda like Clay Aiken's 'Claymates' but better. Ok, I'll stop.)
Thanks to the photographer who took this!

Up Dharma Down setting the mood right.

They opened the show with "So He Begins To Lie" featuring sexy Matt Tong in short shorts and 70's chest hair.
One of my favorites from the album!

I loved the part when they came back for an encore, Russell hit that first note of "So Here We Are" and crowd went wild! Kele scanning the crowd with a big awe on his face. What a moment right there.

We were in a state of Flux! +Rihanna intro! I knew it! (not really)
I wonder which one of them is the Ri-Ri fan.

They came back for round 3 (Yes, a second encore!) with another favorite, "Sunday"! "I love you in the morning, when you're still hungover" is a perfect line to my Bloc Party aftermath the next day.

The amazing quartet of Kele, Russell, Gordon and Matt took the crowd in a roller coaster of emotions. A ride you never want to end. I loved it. I loved every single part of it.

(Photo by Dax Balmeo)

Two hours, 4 amazing musicians, a light show that made the Pyromusical look rubbish (no offense), and music that never gets old. One of the best shows I've seen so far!

Oh! And I met 3/4 of the band. Russell is such a sweetheart!

So He Begins to Lie
Hunting for Witches
Positive Tension
Team A
Waiting for the 7.18
Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
Day Four (Remembered closing my eyes to that soothing "oooh" part)
The Prayer
One More Chance
[Encore 1]
So Here We Are (Glad they replaced 'Signs' with this. So nostalgic!)
This Modern Love
Flux + We Found Love by Rihanna intro
[Encore 2]

3 things I learned:
1. Matt Tong is definitely the crowd favorite. In photos and interviews, he'd look like that quiet, nerdy Asian in rimmed specs and granny sweaters but come showtime, he transforms into a drum sexy short shorts--which I believe he wore on every show this tour. For that, I shall quote his tweet, "I think anyone within a five-meter radius of me whilst I've been wearing those shorts has been through a lot."
2. Russell still had his signature asymmetrical fringe but in a mature, professional version. Hah
3. Gordon is multifunctional. He shifts gear from the bass guitar, to the keyboard and the glockenspiel. Also, can someone explain to me why he let his guitar rest on the post? (if you didn't catch a glimpse of that you can watch it on the video below)

Here's something to take you back to that night. I would live in that night if I could...
(Pardon the rusty audio. We were in front of the speakers.)

All photos by Beverly Kho unless otherwise stated.


Friday, March 15, 2013

G R I M E S in Manila

Last night me and my friend experienced the incredible Claire Boucher aka "Grimes" at the Hard Rock Cafe. She was amazing live as expected! Kind of surreal actually. Grimes is an epitome of real talent. I think artists like her deserve a big extravagant show with fire dancers, circus animals and flying unicorns. You know, normal stuff.

Eyedress opening for Grimes (I need to know that song that sounded like 'Midnight City')

She played a quick set of 8 songs which I'm glad I knew 7/8. She opened the show with "Symphonia IX"

Awesome crowd, elf music, trippy lights, some go-go dancers (maybe not), and a great view of Claire Boucher. That's all you need on a well-spent Thursday night.

Symphonia IX
Circumambient (Dancers appeared out of nowhere. I kinda wish that didn't happen..)
Nightmusic (Favorite from the 'Visions' album! So good live!)
Be A Body
Genesis (Didn't really appreciate this song on its first release but views changed after hearing it live!)
Phone Sex (Most anticipated track! I was surprised I was the only one singing along in my area.)

I was hoping she would play "Urban Twilight" though. That would be so amazing! But overall, the setlist was a good mix.
Don't miss out on this! If you get the chance to see her, go! You won't regret it.

Props to Kindassualt for making this happen!

(Photo by Stephen R. Lavoie)

Here's a little video I made to take you back to that night. Enjoy!