Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hitting the SweetSpot

Got home at 3 AM this morning from one of the best gigs I've attended all year, a SweetSpot production night at SaGuijo. SweetSpot gigs are known for having excellent, no-filler lineups, and last night's was no exception. Us 2 Evil 0 were a lot of fun as always; they have some of the catchiest songs around, and I have high hopes for their recording efforts (also, co-lead singer Quark dedicated one of the songs to Yvette and myself, making us fans for life). Julianne and her excellent band did a great set as well, and previewed one of her new songs, a "work in progress." Drip was the band we came that night to see, and they did not disappoint ("They're awesome," Mookie whispered halfway through their set); the songs from the second album really highlight their strengths, and Beng, bolstered of course by Ian and Malek, was electrifying.

The big surprise of the night -- at least for me -- was Yosha. The funny thing is, I've seen Yosha perform live before (at Mag:net High Street, I believe), and I filed them and their jazz-fusiony stylings under "Good, but not really my thing." Last night, their performance was such that I can't imagine anyone who likes music at all not getting into them. They started off strong enough, but seemed to get better and better with each song as they warmed up. They really demonstrated the sheer showoff joy that comes with a mastery of your chosen instrument (whether drums, bass, keyboards or human voice) AND that giddy give-and-take you can achieve with a band of equally skilled musicians. It helped that a lot of the people who stayed for Yosha's set -- including my companions at the table in the corner -- were musicians themselves, who could really appreciate what the quartet were doing. ("'Tangina, ang galing mo, pare!" Sarge shouted at Yosha's bassist as we were pulling out of the parking lot afterwards). I remember that their second-to-the-last number was so astonishing -- just when you thought they couldn't get any more amazing, they ramped it up even more -- that the audience just sat there in stunned silence afterwards. There was a five-second delay before our table erupted in howls and applause.

We talked to their deceptively mild-mannered singer (Yosha herself) afterwards, to show our appreciation and to ask her about upcoming gigs. They're playing at 19 East next, but afterwards, she's going overseas for a vacation, apparently. Will be sure to catch them again when she comes back.

(Thanks to Yvette, Mookie and Sarge for a great night out. 'Til next gig!)

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