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MANILA, Philippines – Summer Noise’s impressive, well-curated roster of musicians this year turned up the heat on an already sweltering Saturday evening.
Yet ironically, that was a relief. They were the balm to that unbearable humidity.
No matter how unforgiving the weather was, the festival lineup – a mix of local favorites as well as indie darlings from our shores and beyond – was hard to resist. This especially goes for those who just made their Manila debut.
Held this year in the middle of Greenfield District – a stone’s throw away from bustling EDSA, the 2019 edition of Summer Noise was an ambitious step up from last year, considering the names on the roster.
Here’s how it went, in photos:
Thai-New Zealander singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit returned to Manila only a few months after his appearance at All of the Noise last November 2018. Not that anyone’s complaining, as the ever-smiling musician was, like his song, a lover boy.
Singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner’s Japanese Breakfast, in her first visit to the Philippines, truly gave her fans “soft sounds from another planet.”
Shuffling from effervescent-sounding selections (“Everybody Wants to Love You,” “Machinist”) to bluesy, plaintive and dark (“Boyish,” “The Body Is a Blade”), Zauner gave her Manila audience a heady mix of emotions – reason enough to cry and dance (or both at the same time).
Summer Noise was sort of a homecoming for Last Dinosaurs, and they surely made it special. After all, it’s been many years since their 2013 debut at Black Market in Makati and Wanderland 2014.
“The Philippines is the best place to be,” frontman Sean Caskey told the crowd, as their set proved to be one of the evening’s highlights.
American dream/emo rock band Turnover was also one of the most much-awaited acts. Some local music figures were even watching them backstage and from the wings.
Jakob Ogawa, in spite of the technical hiccups that cut forced him to cut his set short, promised his fans to return with an even better show.
For every tearjerker like “Tadhana,” there were also the likes of the danceable “Sigurado” in a set from UDD (FKA Up Dharma Down), ever the crowd favorite.
Alt-rock quartet She’s Only Sixteen made another electrifying appearance in The Rest is Noise’s summer show, just after last year’s All of the Noise. They even debuted new material.
Local music legend Cynthia Alexander’s set before sundownwas undeniably something to look forward to.
Singaporean dream pop acts Sobs and Subsonic Eye joined forces once more as “Sobsonic Eye” in their return to Manila.
Their compatriots from Taipei, Manic Sheep – with their ‘80s-esque take on shoegaze – was equal parts nostalgic and refreshing.
Math rock outfit Tide/Edit shared the stage with The Ringmaster’s Francis Lorenzo for Summer Noise – a special treat for the afternoon’s festivalgoers.
Taiwanese act SEN performed their songs in their native Mandarin, but with their take on post-punk, their set proved to be a standout.
Sheila and the Insects brought their brand of garage rock from Cebu.
Rap collective Uprising came onstage with a defiant, stick-it-to-the-man message to tell.
Were you there at this year’s Summer Noise? Who were your favorites and who do you want to see again? Sound off in the comments! – Rappler.com