IN PHOTOS: Danish synth-pop duo First Hate hit Poblacion, Makati for their first PH gig

Tristan Zinampan
IN PHOTOS: Danish synth-pop duo First Hate hit Poblacion, Makati for their first PH gig


The band ends their Asian tour with the Philippines, after visiting various cities in China and Japan

MANILA, Philippines – “Controlled chaos” was how Joakim Nørgaard, vocalist of the Danish synth-pop duo First Hate, chose to describe what he liked best about Manila.

“It’s in extreme contrasts,” added keyboardist Anton Falck Gansted.

“There’s high humidity and high heat. And then the extreme cold with the air conditioning. Then you see cosmopolitan and urban areas beside each other.”

“I think we’ll go out and experience the Manila nightlife, do some field recordings and use them for our new record,” said Anton in excitement.

Touring the world

Last April 25, First Hate held their first Philippine gig as part of their Cherry Blossom tour in Asia. The event was a one-night-only show and was held at the Johnnie Walker House in Poblacion, Makati.

For the band, coming to Manila wasn’t just their first time in the Philippines, but their first time visiting a tropical country.

Formed in 2014, the band has been mostly active only in Europe — having started in the underground music scene of Copenhagen then slowly having ventured to headline shows in London.

It was only in 2018 that the band decided to go on their first world tour. So far, their route has taken them to more cities in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and now China, Japan, and the Philippines.

The Philippines is the last country they’re visiting before going back home to Denmark to work on their next album.

First Hate’s music has been called “bright” and “sparkling Euro-trance.” Online music magazine Pitchfork has gone on to describe the band’s appeal lying “in the tension it draws between DIY practice and pop sensibility, juxtaposing underground temperament with choruses that soar.”

A night of fun and good music

Joining First Hate during the show were other rising acts in the Philippine house music scene.

There were performances from ACTIV, Pillow Talk, Lustbass, and Ena Mori.

The Johnnie Walker House also exhibited their complete line of colored labeled scotch, including their “Rare Drams” line – Johnnie Walker’s set of rarest and most expensive drinks.

Feeling the mood of the night, First Hate talked about love during their show. For them, it’s what’s at the center of their music.

“It’s in our logo, the love crux. It’s a symbol of love, and of people searching for love and symbols in this post-modern world,” said Nørgaard. –

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Tristan Zinampan

Tristan is Rappler’s resident pop culture vulture. He leads Rappler’s youth culture section, Hustle.