Written by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Ed Clinton Go
Party philes, die-hard rakistas, acoustic mavens, pop fans, and love struck teens-they wouldn’t be caught dead together. But you know what they say about music- it has the power to unite even the most diverse people. Last March 8, 2012 music lovers from all walks of life met and had a SMASHING good time at Dayly Entertainment’s Smash Project. The crowd bore witness to a concert of epic proportions as Typecast, Urbandub, Chicosci, One Buck Short, Slapshock, The Cab, Chris Carraba, Cobra Starship and The Used performed their hearts out, leaving the audience, thrilled, exhilarated, and yes, more than a little infatuated.
Front acts local bands Urbandub, Chicosci, and Slapshock served as the night’s diesel as they warmed up the audience with some of their most popular songs. Typecast, often referred to by fans as the Dashboard Confessional of the Philippines, kicked off the 5-hour show with their famous emo-rock hit Boston Drama. Not to be outdone was Malaysian group One Buck Short whose lively rendition of Last Friday Night was met with cheers and head-bopping.
They may have called themselves “dorks” during the press conference held the day before at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, but they looked nothing like it as the Las Vegas band pop-rock band The Cab composed of front man Alex Marshall, Alex De Leon, Joey Thunder, David Briggs and Frank Sidoris entertained the crowd (and made many a fan girl scream) with songs “Take My Hand,” “Bad,” “I’ll Run,” “Bounce” and “La La”.
The Cab fans will be delighted to know how special the Philippines is to the band- De Leon in particular. “My godfather is Filipino and I learned so much from him; like, a lot about respect and appreciation,” the front man revealed during the press conference. “We’ve had so many fans tweet us over the years trying to get us promoted here, and I look forward to just going out after the shows and meeting them.” Expect a collaboration with Justin Timberlake very soon as De Leon dished out some JT loving also during the press conference. “I specifically look up to him because he kind of does everything. He’s not a one-trick pony,” gushed De Leon.
Everyone here at Manila Concert Scene would like to dole out 1,000 pogi points to the boys of the Cab for two specific things: one for looking for a member of the Manila Concert Scene staff and giving her a hug after the press conference when this writer told them that her co-worker is a big fan. Another kilig-inducing backstage moment was when a 17 year-old Cab fan by the name of Patricia fainted during the second half of the band’s set. When the band heard about the incident De Leon serenaded Patricia and her friends backstage with a snippet of the song “I’ll Run”. Of course one of Patricia’s friends caught the whole thing on tape and uploaded it on Youtube. We are sure Patricia will remember that for the rest of her life!
The mood at Araneta Coliseum shifted from pop rocking to party rocking when Cobra Starship hit the stage. The fan girls, boys (and everyone in between) gyrated, jumped, danced, and sweated to the sytnthpop band’s songs Hot Mess, You Make Me Feel, Guilty Pleasure and The City Is At War. Even if he was absent during the CD signing and show’s meet and greet frontman and creator Gabe Saporta made up for his absence by giving the fans a little, well, fan service. In the middle of his performance Gabe’s pants tore near the crotch area exposing neat pair of blue boxer briefs. Saporta never ran out of jokes and quips during the entire set, proclaiming at one instance that if he was the President of the Philippines he would have everyone’s pants tear every night. Well, if everyone in the country looked like Saporta why not? Right before leaving the stage the goofy and sexy frontman jumped into the crowd doling out kisses to the girls which we are sure, like his pants, made many girls heads explode.
You could really see the change in the crowd when Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carraba hit the stage. People from all sections started to stand, cheer, and whoop. Couples began to hold hands while girls had wistful smiles on their faces. Sans the rest of his band Carraba serenaded the crowd with his swoon-worthy voice as he belted out his gut-wrenching and utterly romantic anthems like Belle of the Boulevard, Vindicated, and Stolen.
During the press conference The Used’s Bert McCracken kept on saying “I love you” to the members of the media. The Utah American rock band lead vocalist proved just how much he loved the Filipinos as he, along with his band, Dan Whitesides, Jeph Howard, and Quin Allman delivered a truly head-banging performance that night. Fans formed rock signs with their hands as the band electrified the atmosphere with the tunes The Taste Of Ink, A Box Full Of Sharp Projects and All That I’ve Got. We were also delighted when we saw the Philippine flag in front of the band’s drum set. It really is more fun in the Phbilippines!
What would be a rock concert be like without a mosh pit? Bert made sure that would not be missing as he ably supervised the forming of the pit prompting the group composed mostly of boys (and very brave girls) to chest bump, fist bump, and bump whatever body parts they could- all in the name of rock insanity.
International rock festivals are scarce in this country. As the Smash Project has so ably proven you can be a rakista, a pop fiend, or a party animal but when it all comes down to it- everyone in the Philippines loves and appreciates music. We hope that there will be more festivals like the Smash Project- a lively convergence of hearts and minds from all different walks of life.May music unite our hearts and minds in more ways than one.