|The Naïve New Beaters|
Eurobelix, David Boring and Martin Luther BB King
I've never been comfortable with music festivals that go on for hours featuring numerous acts. Previous attempts in watching music festivals always ended up with me getting sick and unable to get out of bed the following day. I guess that I am so used to air conditioned concert halls and comfortable, cushioned seats that watching an outdoor concert somehow makes my body breakdown afterwards. But I decided to try the music festival circuit once again since I am always up for crazy adventures all for my love of music.
With the invitation of the Embassy of France to the Philippines, I was able to experience 2013 Fête de la Musique once again which was my second time in a row. I got more excited this year knowing that I have prior Fête de la Musique experience. This year, there were several music acts that I know personally and also, Radio Republic was a media partner which meant that I would be more at ease, have more access and probably would enjoy the festival more. And just like last year, I avoided drinking any alcohol since things can get unpredictable at events like these and I don’t want to be among the unpredictable ones.
It was already dark and night has set in when I arrived at the A.Venue Open Parking where the event was held. Quest was already wrapping up his set by the time I got my media pass. After he got off stage, I immediately went to the holding area to say hi to him. Then I saw beat boxer Josef Amarra and rapper Abra who were clearly enjoying the event watching by the side. Josef went on stage as he was the guest performer collaborating with Flying Ipis, the next act after Quest. In contrast to Quest’s inspiring and uplifting music, Flying Ipis let some explicit language fly pumping out the crowd that already started to thicken as the night went on.
Then it was time for the main act from
The Naïve New Beaters (NBBS) composed of David Boring (vocals), Martin Luther
BB King (guitar), and Eurobelix (drums and loops). The group, an electro-pop
act can be considered as a novelty act since not only their catchy music but also
their names, costumes and props suggest that humor plays a huge part in their
live performances. With a clear grasp of the English language for a French
national, David Boring (who wasn’t boring at all) was able to engage the
Filipino audience with his antics. Audience participation was key to their set
as David convinced the crowd to stick out their fingers and form a heart with
them, put arms around the shoulders of the person next to them even if their
total strangers and to join in singing “L” and “A” in one of their songs that
almost everyone in the crowd has never heard of before. I decided not to
consume any alcohol during the entire time that I was at festival but I felt
drunk because of the craziness that the NBBS put on stage like the inflatable palm
After The Naïve New Beaters, other acts that followed were Ukulele
who surprisingly rocked the stage. The ukulele might be a small instrument but
who knew that it could rock that big. I saw in the audience what I believe are
some members of the group since they were cheering loudly and holding their
ukuleles up proudly. Legendary rock/metal band Razorback was also among the
highly anticipated acts of the night. But while vocalist Kevin Roy, guitarist
Tirso Ripoll and bassist Louie Talan were there, drummer Brian Velasco and
other guitarist Manuel Legarda were not present. I wanted to ask Kevin where
the two were but knowing him, I knew that wouldn't get a decent answer. The
band then had to borrow SinoSikat?’s drummer Reli de Vera for their set. Kevin
sported a lighted glove which is in line with this year’s theme: the 30th
Anniversary of Thriller. He was joined by General Luna’s Nicole Asencio who
also wore a similar glove. It is amazing to note that while Razorback was
performing, a group of middle aged Korean women were right in front of the
stage and having the time of their lives.
SinoSikat? performed next but alas, I could only catch their opening song as it was time for me to wrap things up. That meant that I also missed Up Dharma Down which I think was the real highlight of this year’s event. I’ve had a busy and rain filled week leading towards the 2013 Fête de la Musique. Thankfully, the weather fully cooperated and I didn’t feel a single drop of rain falling from the sky while I was there, although I was subjected to puffs of second hand smoke and other microbes floating around. I somehow regret not being able to interview The Naïve New Beaters fearing that their French might be too thick for me to understand. But I’ll take all of these as lessons learned as I will once again attempt to last longer at the 2014 Fête de la Musique. And once again, I’ll do it without drinking any alcohol.