Jillian Is Your Friend

{ramblings & chronicles on food x music}

Phoenix Live In Manila: First Concert For 2014

My first concert for this year was none other than one of my favourite bands, Phoenix!

I manage to choose the shows I watch carefully, else my bank account will be dry & I can forget about purchasing my toiletries for a month! One of my criteria is knowing beforehand if they deliver at a live setting. I remember being torn between buying tickets for Two Door Cinema Club or these guys. My Dork was drooling over the latter whereas I simply could not choose. I did intensive research & even asked friends who’ve seen both bands live. One comment that my friend Aimee said was “Two Door makes good music but they weren’t very engaging. Phoenix puts on a good show! Watching them live felt surreal.” So that weekend, I gave the go signal & we bought VIP tickets much to The Dork’s delight. And Jesus loves me, so the Two Door concert was cancelled. Yay?

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On concert day, we grabbed pizza at the nearest S&R before going to World Trade Center.

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While eating pizza, we went into a discussion if there would be front acts. I mean, who would do justice of playing before Phoenix?! Much to our surprise, there were none. The producers probably though it was best — and indeed it was! I went apeshit when the set suddenly started with Entertainment, one of my favourites.  Very reminiscent of Hong Kong Garden by Siouxie & The Banshees. I could not help but jump around with the crowd as well as signing (AKA screaming off-key really badly). The next three songs did the perfect buildup: Lasso (I expected microphone flinging hahaha) & Lisztomania. The crowd could not stop singing around & overall, the energy was awesome. These monseiurs sounded so good live!

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The setlist was as follows (* – favourite)

  1. Entertainment*
  2. Lasso*
  3. Lisztomania*
  4. Long Distance Call*
  5. Too Young*
  6. Girlfriend*
  7. The Real Thing
  8. Trying To Be Cool*
  9. Drakkar Noir*
  10. Chloroform*
  11. Run Run Run
  12. Sunskrupt! – A mashup between Bankrupt! & Love Like A Sunset
  13. Consolation Prizes
  14. SOS In Bel-Air*
  15. Armistice
  16. 1901*
  17. Countdown – An intimate, acoustic version!
  18. If I Ever Feel Better*
  19. Rome*

The placement of the songs were just right! The first half were a good mix of raped tracks in my iPod. Ones that made my heart skip beats & my dance monster get it awwwn.

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I did notice a few things that might have made my (and everyone else’s) concert experience better:

  • Sound system – The bass was “ga bagrung” & there were some parts with feedback & cracks. It would have been extra surreal if the sound was clean, especially for those guitar riffs & synth chords.
  • Lack of live feed – At a flat concert hall, the least producers could do (especially for people at the back or short people like me) is to provide a large screen with live feed. Two at the sides would have been great.
  • Seating placement – My beef was, why in the world did they have seating arrangements at a flat venue? I was pretty sure everyone would get up & jump around in a frenzy (I know I would) instead of stay put in their numbered seats. I was right. When the concert started, EVERYONE at our area stood on their chairs! The bouncer had to go all Robocop & shout at people to get down. I felt bad for the crowd at the Gold section, all they could see were heads & arms. Logistics-wise, it was a fail.
  • Minimum visual appeal – I feel like the LED screen was not put to good use, just plain graphics/backgrounds. It’s pretty expensive, they could have done so much more with it to maximize. The laser lights were pretty meh for me as well.

But a Phoenix show is a Phoenix show. Musically, they more than delivered — poor sound system or not. Thomas Mars does a wonderful, wonderful job in getting a crowd worked up! And the soaring Entertainment finale with confetti blasts & Mang Thomas (hahaha) personally going to the back of the audience to say his thank-yous was more than a testament as to why they are one of the Top Live Acts of 2013. As I’d shout that night, it was “like a riot, like a riot, ohhh!”

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This entry was posted on January 22, 2014 by in Music.
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