Photos by Tin Sartorio
When you get to the venue of any big show and see long queues snaking out from the gate, energy levels are usually flatlining. But when we got to ABS-CBN Vertis Tent last July 24, the whole place was bristling with electricity, everybody low-key vibrating over the fact that they were about to see Honne and Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals for Karpos Live’s second show, Mix 1.2.
Expectations were high on that night, considering how much of a banger Mix 1.1 was. You could say Mix 1.1 was basically Karpos Live testing the waters, applying this new concert concept to two formidable local indie acts, Tom’s Story and Reese Lansangan. Both of them killed it for sure, their sets backed with compelling visuals and spots of orchestral backing. But Mix 1.2 was set to be a different beast, with two international acts basically coming in as co-headliners. How do you maximize a night like that?
Exploration No. 5: Reese Lansangan experimented a lot during her set, switching up instruments and setups per song.
Dreamcatchers: Tom’s Story brought the noise during Mix 1.1, combining post-rock with electronic textures.
We can start with the opening act — local jazz outfit Dayaw set the tone for what was to come that evening, playing a tight, rhythmic set whose sound jives with the likes of Vulfpeck or Hiatus Kaiyote.
Thanks to Dayaw and their energy, Mix 1.2 got to start from a high place, and the rest of the evening was a crescendo from there. Honne came out swinging with Forget Me Not, backed by a full band setup that made them sound bigger and more spacious, walls of sound filling up the whole tent. Every now and then frontman Andy Clutterbuck would take a breath to banter, saying at one point that this was the best show they’ve done, and “Can we do this every year?” We’ve got Big Crowd Energy to thank for that awe. It’s easy to have fun as a performer when you see people sing to your songs, and barkadas breaking off into their own little circles to dance.
Warm on a cold night: Honne kept Mix 1.2’s crowd ecstatic with a long, packed set.
But the night really kicked itself into gear when Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals came out to play, busting out the gates with an ad-lib and chant-laden rendition of Come Down. Whether he’s singing or drumming, .Paak performs like he’s hopped up on six cups of coffee, jumping and spinning and yes lawd-ing all over the stage like nobody’s business, and at one point signalling a moshpit from behind his drumset. At the end of it he kicked his drums off the stage and even did a couple songs after that. Most bands have dips in their set — .Paak had zero dips. The man doesn’t know how to chill, and by the time he finished, everybody was sweat-drenched, riding an endorphin-wave that only an eclectic mix of R&B, soul, and jazz can give you.
Ask anyone who was there, they’ll tell you Mix 1.2 was a trip.
(Stray observation: there was a crazy amount of couples in attendance at Mix 1.2. Can you imagine being the one who got your S.O. tickets to Honne and .Paak? That’s so many pogi points in the bank. You’re set for life.)
Ask anyone who was there, they’ll tell you Mix 1.2 was a trip. We’ll be waiting for Mix 2.1, in which Tom Misch and Vancouver Sleep Clinic come to town. Until then, we’ll have the memory of this particular night to hold us over — a high you might never come down from.
Karpos Live Mix 2.1 is happening on August 23. For tickets, visit karposlive.com.