Music and mayhem at Summer Solstice 2013

Ina Jacobe, Janessa Villamera, Alexandra Leal
Music enthusiasts gather for this celebration of diverse genres represented by artists from the local and international music scene

LOVE FOR REMIX. The Cobra Starship experience rocked the music festival scene through their DJ set. Photo by Haiko Magtrayo

MANILA, Philippines – From sunset to sunrise, history was made as Close Up Summer Solstice, a 12-hour music festival, rocked the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds last April 27. 

Music enthusiasts gathered for this celebration of diverse genres represented by artists from the local and international music scene.

Urbandub officially kick-started the event by playing “The Fight is Over” at around 6pm. They did a good job warming up the audience as they pumped up the stage with more of their music. Ending strong, Urbandub played “First of Summer,” which is very much an appropriate feel-good song to introduce the rest of the evening with.

Next on the stage was Spongecola with their hit single “Tambay” that intensified the audience’s energy. Aside from being a great singer, Yael Yuzon attempted to bag the crowd-pleaser act by frolicking to the Gold section where most of the guests at that time were at. And boy did he win the spectators’ attention.

LET THE MUSIC FESTIVAL BEGIN. Urbandub took on the stage as they officially started the 12-hour concert. Photo by Ina Jacobe

PHILIPPINE ROCK HEROES. L-R: Gabby Alipe (Urbandub), Yael Yuzon (Spongecola), and Raimund Marasigan (Sandwich) owned the stage as they performed for Close Up Summer Solstice 2013. All photos by Ina Jacobe

Last but not the least for the Philippine Rock Heroes, Sandwich finally took the spotlight. The crowd was already heavily thickening at this hour. As usual, the band did not fail to make their audience dance with their bizarre yet catchy songs. The crowd sang and danced some more to the music as Sandwich played their top hit song “Sugod,” apparently their favorite song from the band.

The whole segment lasted for around an hour and a half giving each band about 30 minutes to perform. The venue was already getting more packed as more people came in for the next set. The audience was alive and the atmosphere was getting crazier and more exciting by the minute! Based from the noise and the energy from the audience, they were more than ready to conquer the rest of the night. 

Electronic heartbeats

LISTEN CLOSELY. Jump Smokers' DJ Roman sings to the sea of people. Photo by Haiko Magtrayo

Jump Smokers came all the way from Chicago to Manila to kick off the Electro Pop Stars list. DJ Roman and Filipino DJ Flipside made everyone put their hands up in the air as they played a number of their remixes such as Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” Pitbull’s “Tonight,” Chris Brown’s “International Love,” David Guetta’s “Titanium,” and Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones.” 

They also performed their original single called “Rock It like It’s Spring Break.” As Roman mentioned, “doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold because tonight, we’re gonna rock it like spring break.”

Indeed, the party scene got even more intense when they had the crowd hear their brand new single “Manila Anthem” for the first time. Moreover, according to Roman, their stay in Manila “was worth every hour.”

LIKE A G6. Dev's pumped up tunes kept the music enthusiasts up on their feet all night. Photo by Haiko Magtrayo

Devin Star Tailes or Dev, a well-known electropop vocalist, rocked the night as she merely showed her girl power through her feel good songs because, after all, these tracks are already worth a thousand emotions. Dev’s list included “Bass Down Low,” “Kiss My Lips, Booty Bounce,” “Like a G6,” “In the Dark,” and more.

Her character and appeal towards the audience made a great impact in terms of taking in control of the epic, hyped-up drive to party all night long. In the dark, voices joined all together by singing her songs.

With headphones and turntables surrounding them, Cobra Starship played many of their most popular songs remixes like Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl’s “In My Mind,” Flo Rida’s “I Cry,” The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” and The Wanted’s “Glad You Came.”

Completing their song line-up were the catchy beats of “You Make Me Feel” and “Good Girls Go Bad.” 

EDM and Dr Love

THE DOCTOR IS IN. Alex Gaudino played some of his well-known sets at the Summer Solstice 2013. Photo by Haiko Magtrayo

The Close Up Summer Solstice concert gave a 6-hour showcase of eargasmic remixes from world renowned DJs Alex Gaudino, Apster, Cedric Gervais and Afrojack. Dubbed as the EDM Superstars set, their set was slated from 10pm until 4pm. 

Being in the EDM industry since 1993, Italian DJ Alex Gaudino knew the tricks and techniques to get the crowd pumped up during the start of the EDM Superstars set. Known for his upbeat take on a Joan Jett classic — “I Love Rock and Roll.”

Despite the tech difficulties he encountered during the start of his set, Doctor remained professional and serious with his craft. He told the Pinoy crowd that he will do what he came for, which was to make music and he hoped that the crowd will have a good time.

HANDS UP IN THE AIR. Body to body, the crowd was unstoppable in partying. Photo by Haiko Magtrayo

His set included some of his hits such as “Reaction” featuring Jerma, “Que Pasa Contigo” featuring vocals from Sam Obernik and the lead single of his Magnificent album, “I’m in love (I Wanna Do It).”

Abdesamad Ben Abdelaouid, who has made a mark in the EMD industry under the shorter and hip name DJ Apster, is a rising DJ who came to the Philippines last April 27 to serve a dose of his infectious remixes and danceable beats.  

He made sure that everyone in attendance lose their minds as he played various remixes of Rihanna’s “Diamond” and a cover of “Zedd’s Clarity.”

The success of the 26-year-old Dutch export has been considered to follow the same path of 2 of his greatest influences, Tiesto and Afrojack.

Aside from headlining as a DJ in various concerts and clubs around the world, he was also tapped to produce remixers by Afrojack and other EDM bigshots such as Steve Aoki, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull among others.

All “Jacked” Up

‘TIL THE SUN COMES. On his first time in Asia, DJ Cedric Gervais offered Manila with body-pumping music during the last few hours of the party. Photo by Stephen Pedroza

And when the clock struck at exactly 12 midnight, the long wait was finally over for the anxious crowd who had been waiting for Afrojack, one of the successful EMD DJ in the industry today and the event’s main performer to ‘Rock the House” down.

It wasn’t the first time that he graced the Philippine soil for a performance but it is evident that his expertise in the craft didn’t wear off. The crowd went wild when a timer with a message “I thinks it’s time to let you know” went off. Fans of Afrojack knew that it came from his most known single, Take Over Control.

Colorful and psychedelic graphics and well-timed fireworks displays welcomed his arrival and lifted up the weary spirits of the crowd.

The crowd didn’t feel the change and were reenergized when he played hit after hit at the concert such as his remixes of Will.I.Am and Eva Collins’ “This is Love,” Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring NE-YO and Nayer, Psy’s “Oppa Gangnam Style, Shermanology ‘s “Can’t Stop Me,” “Rock the House” and his well-known collaboration with Eva Collins, “Take Over Control.”

Though he was slated to be the last one to perform because he was expected to arrive in Japan the next day, he gave the audience the hippest and raddest music festival they wouldn’t forget.

NON-STOP. Crowds were hyped up even until the wee hours of the morning. Photo by Nolgie Antonio

Have You Seen Molly?

The Summer Solstice concert ended with the bang as Italian DJ Cedric Gervais took the stage for the sold-out concert’s last event.

Though he was  performing during the wee hours of a Sunday morning, he knew what the Filipino crowds wanted and kept the crowd “Wide Awake” all throughout his set. His performance at the concert marked another milestone in his career because it was his first time to visit and perform in Asia.

The Summer Solstice “survivors” who stuck around until 4am got the chance to dance along to his infectious single “Molly” and his club-friendly remix of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness.”

Sadness is perhaps what many Summer Solstice-goers felt at the end of this last set. But they can smile at the great memories they made that summer night. –

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