If y’all were around to watch Phoenix’s second show, you were blessed

Everyone remembers the first time they heard a song by Phoenix. For me, it was after my tito showed me a YouTube video of dance montage of clips from John Hughes movies set to Lisztomania. There was just something about the quality of their music that made me feel good in that moment — from the popping beat to the smooth vocals.

Tuttifrutti: #PhoenixLiveInManila was an Insta- worthy moment.

It’s that quality that was replicated over a hundred times at the band’s Manila concert last Tuesday. Organized by Karpos Multimedia, the concert at Kia Theater marked their second time in the country, following their wildly successful first show at the World Trade Center.

While their last concert started without an opening act, this time they had Young STAR Fresh Produce alums (and the clearly very excited-looking members of) Tom’s Story to play a couple of their banging instrumentals. Their set was the perfect way to get the crowd hyped — I heard lots of people singing along without the lyrics.

Anchors away: YS Fresh Produce alum Tom’s Story opened the show for Phoenix.

By the time Phoenix’s stage crew came out to set up, I could already feel the energy of the crowd itching to dance. It definitely helped that a couple of the crew members (including one who looked suspiciously like Chris Martin) humored the cheering fans by grinning and motioning to the audience as they tested out the lighting and other equipment.

When Deck D’arcy, Thomas Mars, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz came onstage, it was clear that they were already cool without even trying, what with their DIY-like setup, black jeans and long-sleeved polo shirts just emanating coolness. We were all lucky to be basking in that, even for a few hours.

The band is known for mixing up their set lists, so it was a pleasant surprise when they opened up with a high-powered performance of J-Boy, complete with the perfect blending of lights and smoke.

Like a ride, like a riot, oh!: Seeing Phoenix up close was a dream come true for their Filipino fans.

When the rainbow light show that was Trying to Be Cool came on, everyone was still recovering from the killer opening that also included a massive sing-and-dance-along segment to Lisztomania. And those weren’t the only classics that they played. Phoenix delighted fans with a set list that included back-to-back crowd favorites like Long Distance Call, 1901 and Role Model. It was a sensory experience, too, especially during Sunskrupt!, when the orange background made way for a part with sound vibrations that gave us all goosebumps.

All of the lights: Phoenix gave the audience a light show to remember.
Holdin’ on together: Phoenix was floored with the crowd, singing along to every word.

Highlights of the night included the moment when lead vocalist Thomas remarked that Filipinos were “the best singing crowd” as the lights faded, with the aforementioned crowd chanting “We want more!” When they came back onstage, they gave the crowd another special treat with a stripped down version of Goodbye Soleil off of “Ti Amo.” The night ended with Thomas doing his signature crowd-diving move to the right of the stage as white confetti fell over the VIP standing area.

Always and forevermore: Phoenix played a good mix of old and new songs.

This was a show that reminded me that this is how concerts are supposed to be — I walked out of the theater in the same kind of good mood that I get after listening to their songs. Even if you went in with generally chill feelings about the band, I guarantee that you, like me, walked out converted. Consider us all initiated into the order of the Phoenix.




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