A feast of music
MANILA, Philippines - A feast of music, it truly was.
At Fěte de la Musique held last June 23, music of all tastes and genres were served in strobe-lit stages for all night revelers, music-lovers and plain passers-by to partake of. The feast lasted from 4 in the afternoon to 4 in the morning, with different kinds of music performed in pocket venues, like different meals served in different courses.
Best of all, this all-you-can-hear buffet was free and for all.
Organized by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Alliance Française de Manille, Rustan's, San Miguel and the Makati City local government, Fěte de la Musique was intended to be a street party of city-wide proportions that would showcase local musical talent, celebrate Franco-Philippine friendship and serve as testament to the power of music to unify people regardless of differences in nationality, language and culture.
All stops were pulled for the feast with the blocking off of major streets like Makati Avenue, B. Valdez Street and Kalayaan Avenue. The organizers gathered around 100 musical acts to perform on 9 stages in separate venues across Makati City. They laid out the pocket venues as they would plates, the waft of mic checks and tune-ups attracted diners.
And dinner was served.
For the main course, some of the biggest names in the local music industry performed their brand of patriotic music on the main stage located at the intersection of Makati Avenue and Kalayaan Avenue. The line-up included Cynthia Alexander, Blue Rats featuring Cooky Chua, legendary guitarist Johnny Alegre and the cherry-on-top of the eclectic dish, Pepe Smith. People started dancing on the street during the performance of the French DJ collective, Chinese Man. Surrounding the stage were crates of beer which could be had for Php50 each.
Like any truly great buffet, Fěte de la Musique had a little something for everyone.
All that jazz
Just across the street from the main stage was the Jazz stage on the second floor of St. Giles Hotel where jazz cats could enjoy their favorite genre of music, or where exhausted Fěte-goers could take a break from the heat of the outdoor stages.
Though some listeners complained that many of the acts weren't strictly in the jazz category, the crowd still seemed to enjoy all the performances which included those of Fuseboxx, Tonet Lipana, Rated A, Tricia Garcia and JFK with Johnny Alegre.
The room cackled with energy and rang with the sound of clapping hands during the performance of French accordionist Christian Herve who performed the much-loved classic soundtrack to Paris, "La Vie En Rose" as well as other upbeat French songs.
'I wanna rock!'
One of the most well-attended stages was the Indie and Rock stage at B-Side in the Collective on Malugay Street.
Slapshock, Imago, Ciudad, Hilera, Flying Ipis, Jeepney Joyride, Radio Active Sago Project and more bands rocked out amidst a backdrop of street art and graffiti. Movie trailers for the upcoming Cinemalaya Film Festival were screened inside the restaurant beside the stage where a couple of bands performed as well.
Hip and electric
Dancers and hiphop lovers found their spot at Kyss where the line-up included Picoy, People's Future, UK-based Kush, D'Tech, MDK, Hukbalahap and more.
Devotees of electronica had their fill at Time where Morse, Ann Barcelona, Massive Jam, Similar Objects and Feen shared their music.
Latin music was served spicy hot at Chihuahua with music by The Salsa Project and featuring The Salsa Fanatics.
For those who preferred something more chill and relaxing, blues and soul music took center stage at the bar Heckle & Jeckle where Fete-goers enjoyed music from Chillitees, Cheeba, Bleu Rascals and others.
Meanwhile, world, reggae and ska came together at Society Lounge where there were performances by Superkendi, Neighbors, Tropical Depression, Kadangyan and more.
Experimental music from foreign artists like Tony Piggoti and Samuel Andre as well as local artists like Lakbay Lahi, Heidi Sarno, Omni Saroca, Eric Calilan and more formed the line-up at the experimental stage at Art on Baler Street. Experimental films were also screened.
Crowds flowed in and out of the stages and venues.
To really enjoy the night, you had to have a lot of energy to move from one stage to another and still have enough left over to enjoy the music in each. Many highlighted their must-see bands in each stage and transferred to another as soon as their favorite act had finished. Others simply drifted in and out of each stage, appreciating whatever performance they happened to drop in on.
Fěte-goers were as varied as the music performed that night, with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together for hours and hours of seemingly endless music and performances. There were hardcore music lovers mixed in with the uninitiated but curious, foreign faces among Filipino ones, grandparents, eccentrically-dressed teens and toddlers being carried by their parents.
Walking along Makati Avenue — where most of the stages were — was like walking down a street where there was a big party in every corner and you were invited to all of them. Though traffic may not have flowed as easily as did the music that night and parking spaces were few and far between, most people made do by parking far and walking the rest of the way, which made the whole thing feel even more like a street party.
The biggest complaint of the night (aside from the pricey beer) was that — though all the posters and flyers declared that Fěte de la Musique 2012 was to be a "Tribute to the Beatles" — the theme that got a lot of people excited seemed barely executed. Not a single cover of a Beatles song was performed in most of the stages and emcees in between musical acts didn't mention the theme at all.
But Fěte 2012 was able to get another theme across: the astonishing diversity of the Philippine music scene. The featured bands together represented a colorful spectrum of genres and ages. There were seasoned and well-loved artists as well as exciting new ones, all willing to experiment with their music and use their Filipino identity to create unique sounds for all audiences to appreciate.
It's too bad that it takes an event initiated by another country for some of us to know this.
This year's Fěte de la Musique was one big, awesome party and if there's one thing that Filipinos and the French have in common, it's that we love a good party.
Fěte de la Musique accomplished what any all-you-can-eat buffet worthy of the name should: leave its diners feeling satisfied and, at the same time, craving for more. - Rappler.com
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