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Mag:Net Anniversary Part 1


Mag:net High Street, one of the popular rock clubs in Metro Manila, recently celebrated its second birthday with a special night that featured sets from some of best bands in Filipino rock today.

Opening the gig was a typically blazing set from Pedicab. The dance-punk group’s usual musical histrionics were in full effect, rousing the Friday night crowd with a spirited run through the band’s best tunes, including a particularly satisfying performance of “Simulan Mo Na.” Noticeably absent was keyboardist Raimund Marasigan, who was said to be somewhere in the States at the time.

Pedicab opens Mag:Net's 2nd Anniversary

Following Pedicab was a fantastic set by forward-thinking shoegazepoprockers Sleepwalk Circus, who, with a string of consistently fine performances over the past several months, have built great expectations for their upcoming album (reportedly on Terno Records). The band seems to improve with every performance. As Fran and Peavey, the band’s two guitarists, walked off the stage, leaving behind a tapestry of winding loops for bassist Mica and drummer Mike to play with, it felt like a band that had truly and finally arrived. Could Sleepwalk Circus be the next Up Dharma Down?

Complete with rope lights and LED candles, Sleepwalk Circus captivated the crows

Whether Up Dharma Down would surrender their current mantle as Filipino indie rock flag bearers can only be answered by Up Dharma Down themselves however, and judging by the band’s solid set that night, they’re not stepping down anytime soon.

Armi and the rest of Up Dharma Down made Bipolars cool

Adding to the night’s eclectic mix was post-hardcore group Chicosci, who brought in tow a bevy of devoted fans who gathered in the cramped space in front of the stage as the band set up. In the tradition of the best hardcore acts, Chicosci’s performs as if on a tight wire, always tending toward the off-kilter and dangerous, forsaking “tightness” for a dose of refreshing punk rock urgency. The band opened with a very tongue-in-cheek cover of Lady Gaga’s “Pokerface” before segueing into “Paris”, which remains as potent today as when it was first released seven years ago.

Chicosci brings their own kind of emo-rock

The set that went down as the undisputed favorite of the crowd however was Spongecola’s, with the band throwing all kinds of surprises left and right. The night after all also served as the premiere of the new Quark Henares-directed video for “Ayt!”, Spongecola’s new single with pop icon Gary Valenciano.

The set began with a solid run through some of Spongecola’s most popular singles, including the still-compelling “Lunes.” The band then switched things up bringing on stage Pupil’s Yan Yuzon (brother of Spongecola singer Yael) to help out on guitars, as well as DJ Dubious, who floored the crowd with a beatbox routine that included a cheeky and absolutely note-perfect cover of Benny Bennasi’s ubiquitous “Satisfaction.” Yael then tried his hand at beatboxing (with less spectacular results), but certainly the biggest surprise was when Gary V himself took the stage for a live take on “Ayt!” and an impromptu performance of “Sana Maulit Muli.”

Gary V, Yael and the rest of Spongecola make beautiful music together

Leading consumer tech company Philips was on hand to sweeten the night, giving away a bunch of brand new GoGear mp3 players to lucky partygoers. Anticipation has been building for the brand’s upcoming Virtual Battle of the Bands as well, which is expected to take off in the coming weeks. Some of the most prominent names in local rock- including Francis Reyes, Cookie Chua, and Raimund Marasigan- are set to take part in the contest as special judges and mentors.

2 of the nights 3 winners of Philips Go Gear

All in all, it was a memorable night, a fitting way to mark the birthday of one of the most beloved rock clubs in Metro Manila today.

To be continued.....

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