omg! Philippines News Blog
  • I’ve never seen an event with so many fans wearing black shirts as when Metallica performed in Singapore last August 24, 2013. Forty thousand fans filled the Changi Exhibition Center, the newest and largest concert venue in Singapore.

    A few days earlier the band played in Kuala Lumpur. A few hardcore fans from KL still showed up in Singapore for their second fix of the band. The whole of Southeast Asia had waited 20 years for the guys to show up and fans weren’t just going to miss their chance, they were going to milk it for all they’ve got.

    The band, who flew in from KL on the day of the concert, went straight to the pre-concert press conference.

    Metallica's 2-hour set was packed with classics.  (Photo by Niña Sandejas)

    READ: Rehab launched Pinoy rapper Ron Henley’s career

    Normal guys

    Seeing them in normal clothes was a surprise. I was so used to the dark image they they presented all these years. That afternoon, singer James Hetfield wore a normal white shirt, long shorts and sneakers; guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo were in surfwear since

    Read More »from 40,000 fans jam Metallica concert in Singapore
  • This August 19 at the Hard Rock Café in Makati, Canadian rock duo Japandroids will prove that half a band can be twice as great as a full four-member lineup. With only two members sharing vocal duties—Brian King on guitar and David Prowse on drums—the band has gained notoriety through their energetic live performances.

    Japandroids was formed in Vancouver in 2006 and struggled to break into the Vancouver music scene. While recording “Post-Nothing” in 2008, they saw that the band was going nowhere and decided to release the album in 2009 without any promotion.

    Yet this surrender turned their fortunes around as music website Pitchfork had awarded the song “Young Hearts Spark Fire” with Best New Track and consequently the entire album with Best New Music which enabled the band’s music to reach a global audience.

    READ: Yael Yuzon dishes on Sponge Cola’s 13th anniversary concert

    Punk rock chant

    “Post-Nothing” then became a whole lot of many things. The attitude that led Japandroids to release

    Read More »from 2-member Japandroids set to gut Manila club with rousing punk set
  • We celebrated Sponge Cola's 13th year as a band in the historic music museum with our first major concert called Maximum Capacity. Why 13 years and why just now? Well.

    Bands normally do gigs, they don't do shows. normally bands play straight up and let the music speak. You don't normally hear about concerts with lights, videos, entrances and exits, you hear them playing gigs all over. Not to belittle these gigs but that's just how it works for bands. I guess making things seem a tad more guerrilla and unassuming adds credibility for bands. With Maximum Capacity, we wanted to shake things up and do something different. After all, with so many of these gigs all over, we technically forgot to celebrate our tenth year, so why not explode with a SHOW on the 13th year with a bit of lady luck's pixie dust?

    Read related story: Yael on Sponge Cola's longevity

    With that, we worked with Paolo Valenciano, a good friend and a creative genius to put together a show. With him directing, I knew things

    Read More »from Sponge Cola’s ‘Maximum Capacity’
  • "Bang Bang Alley" is the cop-out, the short-cut, the catch-22, the dark and unsavory routes we take when we give in to despair. It is the path that some take to sustain the most primal form of addiction: power. It's the first refuge and final stop for those of us who choose to run away from the consequences of our actions, mostly when there seems to be no other choice. It's the cramped, dank, media-saturated places in our brains that we disappear to when we suddenly snap.

    "Bang Bang Alley" is the memory that we cannot bury and instead choose to drag along for the rest of our lives like a hunchback pulling a coffin. "Bang Bang Alley" may or may not be a girlie bar in some sleazy part of town. It may be that karaoke place you frequent or that massage parlor you’ve been meaning to visit. It could be in the hallowed halls of government or the mud-covered fields of the country. "Bang Bang Alley" is where you end up when you make a wrong turn.

    It began four years ago in Benguet...

    So how did we

    Read More »from BANG BANG ALLEY: How did we get here?
  • I had expected to arrive to a subdued and sentimental crowd waiting to see The xx play Manila last July 30, but I was wrong.

    The Manila crowd responded to the band with loud screams of adoration which overpowered the NBC Tent at The Fort in Bonifacio Global City, the first time I’ve seen the venue packed to the brim.

    Tickets had sold out and people were lined up outside the tent for several hours. Some hoped they could snag a spot at the front row. Others waited to see if they could get a hold of additional tickets released on the day of the concert itself.

    READ: Singaporean indie pop princess in multiple Manila gigs

    ‘Salamat’ from the band

    When the show started with opening acts Taken by Cars and UpDharmaDown, people were still entering the venue.

    Sold out crowd at The xx concert in Manila. (Photo by Niña Sandejas)

    The overwhelming number of people who went to see The xx made members Oliver Sim, Jamie Smith and Romy Madley Croft respond with much gratitude, with Croft actually uttering “salamat” to the crowd’s approval.

    The trio did not disappoint: the group

    Read More »from Crowd love greets The xx in Manila
  • When you walk into Saguijo or Route 196 these next few days, you might be surprised to find Singaporean singer-songwriter Inch Chua on the lineup.

    Singapore’s indie pop music princess is set to play Manila’s smaller venues beginning tonight, August 6 at Aracama at The Fort Strip in Taguig, August 7 at in Saguijo in Makati, August 8 at Route 196 in Quezon City and it’s back to Saguijo on August 10.

    Her live concerts precede the worldwide release of her new album “Bumfuzzle” on August 27.

    READ: Why Aia de Leon wasn’t chosen in ‘The Voice’

    Fired from her band

    In addition to Manila, her tour includes shows in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and, of course, her native Singapore.

    It wasn’t always on the up and up for the 24-year-old.

    But, being fired from a band may have been the best thing that ever happened to her.

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    Bad situation turned good

    Inch Chua has opened for Katy Perry, Vampire Weekend and Macy Gray. (Photo courtesy of Inch Chua)

    At the age of 16, she fronted for a band called Auburn’s Epiphany after answering an ad

    Read More »from Singapore’s indie pop princess plays Manila this week

  • A little over a week ago, Aia De Leon, former vocalist of Imago, joined the reality TV show contest “The Voice of the Philippines.” I knew about this prior to the show as news like this doesn't go unnoticed. Of course, due to privacy clauses, nobody really knew what happened to her in the contest until the show was aired.

    Well, now we all know that Aia De Leon wasn't chosen by any of the judges, much to their regret.

    You see, I’ve been a fan of Imago and Aia De Leon’s deeply beautiful and unique voice for many years. Prior to the band’s "Tara Lets" era, I think Imago’s most glorious days were when their songs "Akap" and "Taning" were at their peak.

    RELATED: What Team Bamboo has to offer

    Still sounded like Aia despite ‘blind audition’

    On “The Voice,” Aia may have sounded a little different when she sang her version of Michael Jackson’s "The Way You Make Me Feel." But if I made like the judges and closed my eyes so I couldn’t see who was singing, I think I’d still say that she sounded a

    Read More »from Why Aia de Leon wasn’t chosen in ‘The Voice’
  • DJ turned painter Roberto "Danger" Sanchez

    Roberto “Danger” Sanchez is one of the top DJs who started in the 80s, with his music style evolving from early post-disco to European house to a wide-ranging repertoire that mixes classics with what's current.

    He is widely known as a veteran of the club scene, an alumnus of Groove Nation, the group that produced raves at the height of the scene in the late 90s. He eventually became one of the most in-demand DJs,  flying to various gigs and exclusive events nationwide.

    Angel by Danger SanchezBecause of his wide influence in the industry, he became an events director and a music producer. He organized LocalE, the first organization of DJs and electronica producers, and opened a school with DJ Jesi Suaco. He also had a band called Tribo Manila, which mixed recorded electronic music with live instruments.

    READ: Do you record entire concerts on your phone? Then, listen up

    Serious heart operation

    But blazing through the party and music scene took its toll. Last year, Sanchez underwent a serious heart operation that

    Read More »from Sidelined by heart ailment, vet DJ restarts with art
  • In the old days, the audience raised lighters to show how much they revered the performers on stage. Nowadays, cellphones and iPads create the light spectacle during concerts. But these aren’t used to give props to the band but ways to document the entire show.

    As a professional music photographer, I understand the importance of taking photos or videos of an event so that others can relive the moment. But in my job, I am usually allowed by concert producers or the band’s management to shoot only three songs during the course of a concert. Honestly, I prefer it that way.

    Of course, other photographers may wish otherwise. Others would rather document a show from intro to encore. But I like that I only have 10 to 15 minutes to do my job. That means I can just enjoy the rest of the concert. Though taking photographs of concerts for a living sounds like a pretty cool job, I do sacrifice my personal experience to get the work done.

    RELATED: So you want to be a music photographer? 5 tips!

    Read More »from Do you record entire concerts on your phone? Then, listen up
  • The XX: Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith

    One thing I know about English indie-pop group The xx is that they’ve managed to infiltrate the soundtrack of almost every TV series and movie that seems to have captured our emotions.

    The music of  The xx, as simple as it sounds, is hauntingly complex. The spaces in between the music emphasize Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft’s ethereal voices with Jamie Smith’s impeccable arrangements.

    On July 30, 2013 at the NBC Tent in Bonifacio Global City, we will get to experience this for the first time, as the band has added Manila to their Asian tour at the last minute.

    READ: New venue built for Metallica concert in Singapore

    Critical darlings

    Formed in 2005, The xx’s first self-titled album was released in 2009. It was critically acclaimed and won the UK's prestigious Mercury Music Prize. This brought them global exposure, ironic considering their music’s solitary vibe.

    In the album, the song “Intro” went on to have a life of its own. The short instrumental piece has been all played all over from

    Read More »from The xx marks its moody spot in Manila


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