IN PHOTOS: Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa thrill PH crowd at Paradise International Music Festival
MANILA, Philippines – It was too good to be true. We were excited and astounded when we heard that powerhouses Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa would headline Paradise International Music Festival – one of the country's newest festivals, and there we were, living the fantasy on festival day, April 9, Saturday.
Fans converged at the Aseana City Open Grounds in Parañaque City to watch their favorite acts in the flesh. Indeed, it was weekend that was one for the books, and it gave people something to talk about long after the festival had ended.
The Kanye fans were the most visible as they braved the dusty festival grounds with Yeezy Boost 350s to cover their feet, and dozens also lined up for hours just to nab a piece of Pablo merchandise.
Crowds also gathered in the mosh pits to catch the other stellar acts as well, including co-headliner Wiz Khalifa, Rudimental, Afrojack, Up Dharma Down, 4th Impact, Hale, Itchyworms, Cheats, The Airplane Boys, Yolanda Moon, Maude, Lenses, Giniling Festival, Clara Benin, and DJ Rivero.
We managed to catch some of the festival's amazing acts:
Several fans and pundits have pointed out that Kanye West's Paradise set was his first full-length show since releasing The Life of Pablo last February 13, and what a way to be Kanye-blessed in Manila with debut performances of tracks like "Waves" and "Famous." (IN PHOTOS: Kanye West performs for PH crowd at Paradise International Music Festival)
Kanye kickstarted his high-octane set with "Stronger," "Power," and "Black Skinhead." The same array of spotlights that featured in England's 2015 Glastonbury Festival wowed the crowd.
He emerged onstage wearing a Jesus Nazareno shirt as a face mask – as if an homage to the city he's performing in. At one point in "New Slaves," he even puts a spin on one of the lines: "Y'all n*ggas can't f*ck with 'Ye / I'll move my family to the Philippines / So you can't see where I stay."
His set didn't exactly play smoothly, as he had to pause every now and then to personally attend to sound system issues. However, the crowd knew the words by heart – being such devotees of Yeezus, and they continued to rap and sing along during the brief lulls.
Kanye appreciated how the Paradise crowd gamely sang along even to his controversial The Life of Pablo track, "Famous."
He said, "You don't know, it's really overwhelming for me to perform the song for the first time and for y'all to react to it in that way." (WATCH: Kanye West performs 'Famous' for the first time in PH, gives speech about it)
Famous pic.twitter.com/QVuNoi8dHL— Paolo Abad (@PaoloJAbad) April 10, 2016
He also acknowledged his co-headliner, Wiz Khalifa, setting aside all the misunderstandings they had in the past. "Right now, put all your hands together for Wiz," he ad-libbed for "Runaway."
He closed his set with "Only One," a sweet goodbye as the crowd dispersed afterwards.
To put it casually, Wiz Khalifa's set was lit, but this can also be said in a literal manner.
Wiz breezed through his set as pyrotechnics gave a spectacular edge, but he also might or might not had smoked an actual spliff on the stage during "Bake Sale." A huge inflatable joint even surfed through the crowd during "The Thrill."
He took command of the stage, leaping from one end of the stage to the other. Festivalgoers responded by loudly rapping along to tracks like the upbeat "We Dem Boyz," and by singing along to Charlie Puth's parts in his final song for the night, "See You Again."
Austin Mahone busted out some slick dance moves for his set, especially for more upbeat numbers such as his collaboration with rapper Pitbull, "Mmm Yeah."
He made his fans swoon and shout out his name as he also displayed his soulful voice in the ballad-like "Shadow."
Sisters Almira, Mylene, Irene, and Celina Cercado – together known as the Filipino girl group 4th Impact who wowed on The X Factor UK – astonished with their pipes in their renditions of pop songs like Jessie J's "Bang Bang," Katy Perry's "Roar," and Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea's "Problem." Indeed, their Paradise set was sort of a spectacular homecoming. (IN PHOTOS: 4th Impact performs at Paradise International Music Festival)
Up Dharma Down
Local favorites Up Dharma Down brought out their arsenal of songs for the sawi (lovelorn) among the Paradise crowd. As frontwoman Armi Millare sang crowd favorites like "Tadhana" and "Oo," fans who were gathered near their stage sang their hearts out.
British drum and bass band Rudimental took to the decks for a DJ set at the secondary stage, and dropped banger after banger for festivalgoers.
Were you there at Paradise? Whose sets did you enjoy the most? Tell us in the comments. – Rappler.com