Monday, June 21, 2004

Rain, Rain

So the other night I was at the Fête de la Musique in Eastwood. "Over 100 bands slated to perform in 10 simultaneous concerts at the festival’s biggest venue... There is no doubt that this year's Fête de la Musique shall be the most memorable to date," proclaimed the Fête's official page. Tall order, considering they've been holding the music festival here with relative success since 1994 -- but it turns out they were right, for all the wrong reasons. We spent a memorable time wading through instant floodwaters, had many memorable experiences trying to get into venues too jampacked to admit any more people, and the collapse of the tent on the heads of the Radioactive Sago Project was certainly nothing, if not memorable. Okay, so obviously the sudden downpour was a big factor; one wonders, though, how the organizers failed to allow for the possibility of rain, considering that it's the rainy season, and every other Fête I've been to has also been rained on?

Still, I managed to catch a great set by Squid 9 on the Electronica stage -- Raimund Marasigan and Company's combination of head-bobbing beats, atmospheric stabs of sound and vocals that glide from smooth to almost-pained was as cool as ever. I also caught Ciudad (I love "Dance Lessons"), Mayonnaise (surprisingly, a crowd favorite -- "Kahit hindi kami sikat!"), the Happy Meals (my favorite part -- when vocalist Odin gave a shout-out to the men watching from the top of a parked truck) and Kjwan ("Bastusan na!!" yelled Marc Abaya -- twice, by my count) on the Rock stage. Managed to catch Sundown Muse (I know the band prefers to write their name with all the words jammed together, but I prefer it this way) on the Alternative stage too. All in all, not a bad night for music for the fairly early Fête-goers, but after the sudden rainfall, the World, Alternative and Jazz stages shut down, and the event as a whole, while it did not exactly grind to a halt (some of my friends stayed, and got home around 6 or 7am), became much less than it should have been.

I have fond memories of last year's Fête, though, when we stayed 'til the very last blues-rock jam, with guitarist Sammy Asuncion noodling away and Binky Lampano growling into his mic and Joey "Pepe" Smith swinging his mic in a wide arc from the stage, proving the old rock n' roll stage antics still have some spark in them. We didn't mind the rain then, as we watched and clapped and moved to the music (especially Dave, who was executing drunken robot-like dance steps), and it just goes to show that the best gigs aren't just made up of great performances onstage, but the company you keep in the audience, even if it's just a smile and a nod to the rest of the people around you who are enjoying themselves too. Hope we can both go to the Fête again next year -- it's just as well you sat this one out though.

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