Scene & Herd

All those Defying Gravity covers didn’t prepare us for Elphaba’s explosive number.

by Gaby Gloria

9 Works Theatrical and Globe LIVE takes the Charles Dickens classic to the Philippines with a tremendous outdoor production. And yes, there will be snow.

by Maine Manalansan

Three things make for a good Halloween party: a pop-culture ridden theme that’s easy enough to translate into costumes, sing-along tunes, and a store inside a mall to have it in. Last week’s Hoodwink Halloween party at SM Aura Premier had all three and then some.

The Hoodwink store was turned upside-down and transformed into the world of Netflix series Stranger Things. It was tricked out with treats for Stranger Winks Chapter Three: The Vanishing of the Fuccboi, their anniversary party. And yup, it was better than your wildest Winona Ryder dreams. The bash was complete with the necessities: guests entered the party through a half-covered hole into the upside-down, got vibes from Will Byers through the iconic alphabet wall (although nothing compares to the guy who actually dressed up as the alphabet wall), and of course, feasted their eyes on Eggo stickers a la Eleven.

But what’s a party without a danceathon? Before the party, Hoodwink held a contest for the best Stranger Things-themed playlist. The best ones were played at the party and the winners got to take home some sweet merchandise. Of course, said playlists were replete with enough ’80s bangers to put your favorite throwback radio program to shame.

Photos courtesy of Hoodwink

And then there were the costumes. There are only so much characters to choose from Stranger Things, but that didn’t stop anyone. From our count, there were nine partygoers dressed as Eleven, in differing variations: there was an Eleven with the wig, Eleven with a bloody nose and hospital gown, Eleven in that water tank suit, Eleven with the dress and denim jacket at the grocery store, and the list goes on — clearly Eleven is the next fashion icon. Also in attendance were a collection of Barbs, a couple of jazzercisers, and of course, the standard costume: a random ’80s person.

It was a night of creepers and jeepers, and the occasional, “I’m drunk in a mall!” Third time’s always the charm, and Hoodwink definitely delivered on tricking out Halloween inside, outside, over and out. Spook y’all again next year.

by Neal Corpus

Halloween season means parties every day until the 31st. But it’s rare to find one that serves both tricks and treats. The folks at Belmont Hotel threw an awesome Halloween bash for Philippine STAR’s Lifestyle team last Oct. 26. Their basement 1 function room was decked out in spooky decoration with creepy music to match. To elevate the festive Halloween spirit, they even extended the theme to their food, serving pumpkin salads, jack-o-lantern cream puffs and blood stew (“It’s not your regular dinuguan,” says their food & beverage manager). Their setup could definitely make any Pinterest fanatic scream in delight.

Of course, no Halloween party would be complete without any tricks. Alakim, Pilipinas Got Talent Season 1 grand finalist, showed some magic tricks up his sleeve. While he didn’t perform his winning act during the TV show finale — he disappeared from the Araneta stage and reappeared at the audience area —  he still got some oohs and aahs from the crowd with a spine-chilling guillotine act. (JSYK, no one got murdered.)

Belmont Hotel and The Philippine STAR also awarded the best costumes of the afternoon. Jonty Cruz, Young STAR’s editor-at-large, came as award-winning filmmaker Lav Diaz and won a round trip ticket to Hong Kong courtesy of Cebu Pacific and Bistro Group gift certificates. Kathy Moran, STAR Lifestyle’s managing editor, dressed up as Little Bo Beep and even had her dog-slash-sheep in tow. The cute duo also won a Cebu Pacific round trip ticket to Hong Kong courtesy of JG Summit and gift certificates from Rustan’s Supermarket, Pancake House and Dads.

The treats didn’t stop there. Because Belmont Hotel is celebrating their first birthday, they also awarded an overnight stay to each member of the Philippine STAR lifestyle team who also came in winning outfits. The Young STAR team’s Deal or No Deal-themed costumes were easily a crowd favorite and so was the #twinning outfits of YStyle and Young STAR contributors Koji Arboleda and Tom Bucag. Gift certificates from Rustan’s, The SM Store, SSI, Robinson’s, Daiso, Sfera, L’Indochine, and Edd Fuentes Publicity were also given away.

By the end of the afternoon, our bags and stomachs were filled with goodies. If Halloween parties are always like this, then we don’t mind coming in costume all days of the year.

by Maine Manalansan

It’s a little-known fact — or maybe it’s just us  — but when September rolls around, it’s funk and groove time. Perhaps it’s because of Earth, Wind and Fire’s hit single celebrating that month, and maybe it wasn’t the 21st night of September, but Satchmi sure kept it groovy for their second anniversary party. They’ve been fulfilling our analogue dreams that long, kids, and this year was no different.

It kicked off with the sultry and playful sounds of Toni B. Prior to this event, I honestly haven’t heard Toni B’s music. But I found myself staring in awe as she played piano and sang to a crowd of wide-eyed fans. By the time No Rome took the stage, everyone was appropriately buzzed with excitement. People were jumping, dancing and singing along to their music. The night was capped off by the trio of Tandems ’91, who also played some of our favorite tracks (from #YSProm, of course) and even sampled a bit of Earth, Wind and Fire. It was unexpected and, of course, the crowd got into the groove.

Of course, a Satchmi event wouldn’t be complete without some giveaways. From Bratpack gift certificates to a brand-new Motorino turntable, it seems like Satchmi birthdays are gifts that keep on giving. For those who didn’t win any goodies, there were other treats as the store gave 10-percent discounts on vinyl. Satchmi’s loyalty card program was also announced at the event so expect more goodies and surprises for your collection.

They also launched their new sub-brand called Film Folk to those who are keen to explore film photography. Remember that beautiful rack of film and analogue cameras inside Satchmi? Expect more things to come as they work on keeping the film spirit alive. In the category of more awesome things Satchmi is working on, they’re also releasing their own line of beers. From jazz to blues to rock, your nightly buzz will be so much better with Satchmi craft beers available soon.

With new drinks, a larger film selection and racks of vinyl, there’s no denying that Satchmi are just getting started. But they’re already well into the groove.

by Maine Manalansan

Gone are the days we’d party ‘til sunrise just for fun. Let’s admit it: we’re not as resilient as we used to be. We’ll take a Friday night in with our book and our pets over any late-night escapade that ends with getting stuck in traffic. But we get it: tough times call for some serious R&R. The FOMO is still very real. Hmmm…. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

When you feel like you’re on the brink of a meltdown but don’t want to completely disappear to “The Upside Down,” a laidback hangout might just be your thing. At last weekend’s Human and Chill Shopping Party, we were reminded that it doesn’t take much to recharge and prepare ourselves for another crazy week at work. The Human branch in Glorietta 4 was transformed into the backyard party of our Coming-of-Age dreams where old and new friends come to unwind. Here are some adulting life hacks that we learned from that afternoon chill session:

1. Driving is great but not worrying about carmageddon is even better.

Remember that time we were dying to get our driver’s license so we could take secret road trips in the middle of the day? Being able to drive yourself around is great — it makes you feel you’re in control of your life. But when you have to go through the same EDSA traffic and parking dilemma every day, it gets very frustrating. When the opportunity allows it, hitch with a friend or book a carpool instead. Last weekend’s Human x Uber promo got us thinking less about our transpo problems and more about chilling our day away. Note to future self: backseat naps can do wonders in case of adulting emergencies.

2. Late ’90s to early 2000s music is still everyone’s jam.

What better way to relive the old times than listening to the soundtrack of our YA days? DJ Arthur Tan took everyone on a major flashback by playing everything from Tupac to the old Kanye to pre-2007 Britney Spears. If there’s anything these songs remind us, it’s that the good, the bad and the ugly times come and go but we’ll always get through them somehow.

3. You don’t have to be an artist to find comfort in art.

Getting “artsy” is one way to unload your brain. Whoever said stickers are only for kids probably never had a cute set like the ones they handed out at the Human and Chill event. The instax from Fujifilm made for a great flatlay but artist Pau Tiu took it to the next level by turning them into collages. We might not all be as crafty, but seeing live art can be pretty therapeutic, too.

4. Treat yourself every once in a while, but most especially if there’s a sale.

The hard thing about being an adult is finding the balance between saving up and spoiling yourself. Desperate times call for desperate measures and a quick retail therapy can save even the lowest of days. The Human and Chill Shopping Party was the perfect pick-me-upper because the 20-percent discount even took the splurging guilt away.

5. New and familiar faces make for a pretty chill acquaintance party.

Dealing with people shouldn’t always be stressful. In fact, some R&R with the right bunch of friends can make all the difference. At last weekend’s hangout, we met some new and familiar faces that made the event anything but awkward. Pro tip: change up the group you hang out with every once in awhile. Catch up with some old friends and be open to making new ones. Widening your circle will always do you some good.

Visit for more photos.

by Tin Sartorio

Saying goodbye is never easy but Clara Benin made sure to leave everything on a good note.

by Tin Sartorio

A crowd of mismatched individuals gather at Mow’s Bar last April 15 to see a quirky band perform.

by Rogin Losa

In which a fancy tent on the beach became home for the weekend.

by Pam Musni

For Paradise International Music Festival’s first run, it seems that anything less than West is a felony.


Poler Outdoor Stuff makes the outdoors cool again with gear that is both fun and functional.

by Tin Sartorio

Switchfoot takes over the Manila stage for the third time.

For 5 Seconds of Summer’s Filipino fans, the five-year wait to see them live was totally worth the trouble.

Wanderland Music and Arts festival came back with a bigger, better lineup of artists.

Everybody can be a DJ these days, but what does it take to be a true master of the craft?

by Marga Buenaventura

It’s quite easy to get lost in all the fluff that surrounds the month of love. After all, it does require a lot of creativity and a little too much cheese. (Siomai bouquet, anyone?) The times and the gimmicks may change, but the feeling of love and heartache stays the same. And once in a while, it’s best to remind ourselves of the thing that really matters: connecting to people. Lucky for us, that’s what Stages Sessions’ “Confessions: A Night of Secrets, Stories and Songs” concert was all about.

The guys behind Stages Sessions brought the same intimate experience of their afternoon shows in CBTL Bistro for their Valentine’s special at the Music Museum. Last Feb. 12, some of today’s mainstream and indie artists came together for “Confessions.” The mini concert was centered on the crazy world of millennial love — from falling for someone to experiencing heartbreak; from making up to moving on. Artists like Aicelle Santos, Morisette Amon, Curtismith and Bullet Dumas shared their own stories and sang the songs we all dared to sing at one point in our own relationships. (See: everyone’s Up Dharma Down playlist.)

Gone acoustic: Musicians Bullet Dumas and Curtismith, among others, share the stage for Confessions.

There were banters, hugots, and a whole lot of feels. There were even a few surprises like when an audience member shared his breakup story and naturally gave in to the urge to bust out Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. But then again, we’ve all had our break-into-song moments (minus the full band, usually). It was a honest-to-goodness night of remembering our different experiences of love and the crazy things we do because of it, and being assured that we are still normal human beings for doing so.

To learn more about Stages Sessions, visit and

by Tin Sartorio

It’s definitely the year of YouTube, and we love it. The folks from Karpos Multimedia brought in some of our YouTube faves and Hollywood celebs to Manila at Clic Play Fest. From guessing games with actor Ki Hong Lee to the defeaning screams when YouTuber Ryan Higa showed up, it was a day that definitely set hearts racing. But FOMO not, friends, here’s the lowdown on what happened at one of Manila’s first social media festivals.

by Marga Buenaventura

If there’s one thing that we miss about Halloween, it’s the constant mystery that surrounds the air. And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean supernatural and scary things. We’re looking at real life here: Can I finish this candy bar in 30 seconds? Is it really possible to beat the game Five Nights at Freddy’s without getting eaten by mechanical bears? Did Juan Luna actually paint secrets about his brother in his masterpieces?

This is the kind of mystery that Ayala Museum recreated in Midnight Museum last Oct. 30. Unlike last year’s interactive tour of the different galleries, this year focused on the hidden mysteries around the museum. They kicked the festivities off with Brave Story, an anime about a kid who goes into a fantasy portal to change his past.

Young STAR’s Costume of the Night winners

Two hours before midnight, they opened the galleries to aspiring sleuths. Each gallery has a certain mystery to be solved. It’s like your typical escape room game (e.g. 100 doors or Stanley Parable) but you’re actually in the room doing the actual escaping.

Ironically, the easiest puzzle to crack was the one in the highest floor. The goal for Gone Gold, located at the “Gold of Ancestor” exhibition, is to find the culprit behind the missing funerary mask. Two floors below at the diorama exhibit, Traitor Among Us also looks for a certain culprit: the traitor who exposed Andres Bonifacio’s plans against the Spaniards.

For the final mystery, they transformed Ayala Museum’s newest exhibition “From Citadel to City,” into Juan Luna’s turf. The mystery to be solved: a freelance cartographer seeks help to figure out what the famous painter is telling him in his sleep. It was quite the Instagrammer’s haven. It was surprising to see that no one took advantage of the flat-laying opportunities.

At the end of the night, Young STAR also awarded two participants in the best costume: Boylit de Guzman (as Ted from the movie Ted) and Rachel Aglipay (as a DIY stormtrooper from Star Wars). Awards were also given to the fastest group to crack the puzzles. And to those who didn’t, well they have mysteries that can last them until Halloween next year.

Follow Ayala Museum on Twitter (@ayalamuseum) for updates on future events.

by Maine Manalansan

Last Saturday was probably one of the craziest nights you’ve had in recent weeks. We’re talking about brain cakes, blood bag booze, and people wearing outrageous costumes inside a mall. Something that could only happen on Halloween and… Hoodwink’s second anniversary.

The Hoodwink store in SM Aura last Oct. 31 transformed into a mad scientist’s laboratory and was the perfect pre-game Halloween party. We were greeted at the door by Alexander Wang and were escorted to the bar by no other than pregnant Kim K. The night’s main act, Curtismith, dressed up as fellow artist CRWN, so it was a pleasantly weird sight when they started doing a live musical collab. Of course, there were the scene-stealers like The Weeknd and that guy in the wheelchair. Within the evening, we also met with the winners from the Instagram giveaway contest. Ally Munda brought home the Ami skateboard that looked perfect with her punk fairy princess costume. But since our friends from Hoodwink are very generous, they gave out even more prizes for the ones that came in the best costumes like the skull stars of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music video and Sadness from Inside Out. Overall, it was a pretty chill night of music, booze, and newfound friends. But for the record, I like to think the temporary tattoo sticker giveaways were the perfect ending to the beginning of the rest of the night.

Whoever said Halloween is just another holiday has probably never been to a Hoodwink rager. Even better next year!

by Tin Sartorio

In partnership with music club Black Market, Sony Philippines is set to hold a series a “Silent Parties” from now until March 2016, effectively introducing the local underground scene to a type of gig known to few and rarely ever organized around these parts: the Silent Disco.

The interesting thing about the Silent Disco as a type of gig experience is that it eschews the most important aspect of live performance: sound travelling through the air of a given space. Last September 16, Sony Philippines held its first Black Market Silent Party with DJ Scratchmark manning the booth. Headphone stations were set up around the dancefloor, and club-goers were invited to gather around each station to listen to the DJ’s set through Sony’s MDR-XB450AP or MDR-XB450BV headsets, as though each bass thump and subtle quirk were directly injected into the brains of the audience. The Silent Party takes tool typically meant for blocking off the outside world, and turns it into an instrument of communal revelry.

The Silent Disco may have begun as a means of keeping a party going without violating noise curfews, but has since evolved into an invitation to question how we enjoy music. With each audience member effectively anchored to their chosen stations and held quietly in place, Sony’s Silent Party subverted the average club-going experience. Take away the option of moving freely through the space, or the advantage of still being able to hear the music muffled outside the club’s walls, and the Silent Party serves as a reminder that gigging is, first and foremost, a listening experience. Come for the music, stay for the music.

For the months to come, Sony Philippines will be inviting more electronic musicians to its Silent Parties, with the likes of David Sorrenti, Vince Pante, and The Zombettes set to take control of the booth. If you ever get the chance to go to a Silent Disco, take off your headphones while the music’s going on. You’ll be met with stark, disturbing silence, bearing witness to a mass of people having each of their worlds quietly rocked.

by Jam Pascual

With the sea of young adult novels lining local book shelves lately, sometimes it’s hard to find one with a story that doesn’t make you think, “Haven’t I read this before?” After reading book after book with the same awkward girl falling in love with a brooding mysterious guy (encapsulated by the @broodingYAhero twitter account),

by Gaby Gloria

In the heat of summer, indie band alt-J delivered an awesome wave last May 19.

Alt-er Boys: alt-J performed their hits last May 19 over at Solaire.
Alt-er Boys: alt-J performed their hits last May 19 over at Solaire.

Decked out in unassuming black outfits, the members of the English indie band alt-J charmed the crowd with their diverse melodies and sublime lyrics last May 19. In town to promote their latest album “This Is All Yours,” the three-piece outfit captured the essence of the album while also doing justice to the new songs live. Flashy to-do’s like the recent Katy Perry concert offered fans a lot to tweet about, but alt-J’s Solaire Theater performance proved that good shows don’t always have to come with backup dancers and flamethrowers that scream “I’m a big deal!”

The album gained rave reviews from critics and listeners on the indie scene alike, going straight to number one in the UK charts, and even earning a nomination at the 57th Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music album, proving the blogosphere to be a strong force in creating buzz for acts like alt-J. Following on the heels of their debut album, 2012’s “An Awesome Wave,” the new release has a more subdued sound.

Mr. Brightside: alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton
Mr. Brightside: alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton

Describing the overall sound of the band is a little bit difficult, as they can conjure a number of things. There are some synths here, orchestral arrangements there, and sometimes drum machines thrown into the mix. Some songs, Left Hand Free for instance, offer what the standard indie rock song might with a catchy chorus and electric guitars. Other songs like Arrival in Nara are quiet, almost eerie tracks that paint an abstract picture.

Bluest Light: The band looking sharp and slaying the crowd
Bluest Light: The band looking sharp and slaying the crowd

Opening with the electronic-driven Hunger of the Pine, audience members (both in the orchestra and balcony sections) were almost immediately on their feet. The band’s onstage vibe felt genuine, and each song was carefully crafted, unlike other songs that are practically churned out by some artists. Another notable thing about the show was the psychedelic light show — it gave each song a unique personality of sorts. Save for a few “Thank you”s and “Cheers” to the Manila audience, the British alt-J let their music rightfully take the spotlight, not relying on excessive pomp and circumstance.
After an approximately 20-song setlist, the show wound down with the nostalgic and yearning Breezeblocks. By that time, it was a full sing-along session, making it a perfect way to end the concert. It was definitely a crowd favorite. The band then took a final bow, leaving everyone satisfied. In sum, the band put on an understated show that delivered nothing but good music and a unique experience. Alt-J is just one of those bands that you have to see live to get a full understanding of the intricate narrative they weave in their songs.

Little Drummer Boy: Thom Green hitting those beats
Little Drummer Boy: Thom Green hitting those beats

by Elle Shivers

Young STAR chats with folk and indie siblings Angus and Julia Stone.

Angus and Julia happened to drop by Manila to headline the Closeup Forever Summer Festival
Angus and Julia happened to drop by Manila to headline the Closeup Forever Summer Festival

Most of us scour the globe for our creative soul mates — the Kim to our Kanye, the Owen Wilson to our Wes Anderson. We look for someone who is not only our inspiration, but our potential collaborator. In the case of brother-sister duo Angus and Julia Stone, they only had to look as far as the upstairs bedroom.

Angus and Julia happened to drop by Manila to headline the Closeup Forever Summer Festival, where a mix of indie and EDM acts proved themselves to be everyone’s summer soundtrack. Local performers were also at the party — there was some electronica pop care of Sinyma, and a bit of feels from B.P. Valenzuela. With DJs Martin Garrix and Eva Shaw taking on the fist-pumping stage, it was up to the Stone siblings to provide a soulful element to the heady mix. Performing some of their big hits like Big Jet Plane, Angus and Julia’s set provided the ideal beach vibe as the sun began to set.

Before prepping for their beach-perfect performance, Young STAR chatted with the Australian folk and indie siblings about growing up with music, writing their own songs, and listening to Mark Ronson this summer.

YOUNG STAR: Could you tell us what it was like to grow up in the Stone household?

JULIA: Angus had a room upstairs that had these big open windows, and he used to be able to jump out the window pretty easy and sneak out at night. (Angus smiles) Well, I think we all did. I don’t know, it felt like a really big house and there was lots going on. The garage was where dad rehearsed with his band, and that sound would travel up through the house. So when you would go to sleep at night, you would hear the jams going through the walls.

What is the best part about working together?

ANGUS: I think it’s cool in a way that we’re two separate artists onstage but we’re still a band. You kinda feel on some nights you’re part of the audience. You can watch the show, but also be a part of it at the same time. When it’s your turn to sing one of your songs and take the lead, it sort of works in this really cool way that’s sort of moving.

So how would you say your songwriting styles differ?

JULIA: It’s nice to be so close to somebody and their creative process and to see how different it is. So you try to learn from that and maybe get better in your own way of expressing things. For me, it’s very difficult to express myself in a few words. But what I love about Angus is that he can crystallize things into a very specific point and the emotion is carried across so well. I think that’s what makes him such a great songwriter.

Could you maybe give us five songs from your summer playlist?

Well, we only listen to our own music. (Laughs) Sylvan Esso, Coffee?

ANGUS: (Whips out phone) There’s a song called Feel Right by Mark Ronson?

JULIA: Hold On by SBTRKT? Which is an older song, but it’s good.

ANGUS: There is an End by the Greenhorns?

JULIA: You do the last one.

ANGUS: All right. Um… Road to Zion by Damian Marley.

by Helene Enriquez

Sunday evening is hardly ever fun—it reminds us of the Monday that always comes too soon. But if we had to spend the last day of the week at a shindig like Recess, the party hosted by the people behind The Girl + The Bull and 12/10 on May 17, who are we to complain?

According to owners Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera, throwing a rooftop shindig at Baron 3 Garden Suites was the ideal pause from a long year of putting up two restaurants. Not that they wanted to escape completely; after all, both teams from The Girl + The Bull and 12/10 served their food, beer and cocktails that folks have come to love. Attendees got to enjoy restaurant favorites like The Girl + The Bull’s famous Faux Twix as well as Old Fashioned cocktails from 12/10. They even had grilled corn to suit the laid-back ambience — lush carpets, comfy pillows — as they listened to live music. Adding a bit more cool to the party are some of Manila’s favorite local acts like BP Valenzuela, Like Animals, RH Xanders, Lustbass, Similar Objects, and Reese Lansangan.

The party was, in every way, just like the mid-morning school break we all look forward to: the perfect time to catch up with friends over delicious food and great music. And like any fun recess break, this one may have flown by too fast.

by Margarita Buenaventura

They may be at the bottom of the corporate food chain, but being an intern is no easy job. Just ask the interns who went through C.L.U.B. Happiness. C.L.U.B. Happiness, which stands for Create. Learn the Basics. Uncover your potential. Be the brand, is the 6-month long training program Coca Cola FEMSA Philippines offers to graduating students from top

by Elle Shivers

If  your idea of preparing for the Manila leg of Demi Lovato’s “Demi World Tour” was to unearth your copy of Camp Rock from the depths of your cabinet or hard drive and watch it repeatedly, then we’re on the same page. It’s been almost five years since the last Camp Rock movie came out,

by Gaby Gloria

Every college student knows that writing a thesis is the final frontier. For some, it involves hours upon hours in the library, researching on related literature about how events are the best marketing tools for businesses. Whatever aspiring degree earner does, it’ll definitely require some hard work.

by Maine Manalansan

Guys — and yes, I literally mean guys — have you ever gone to a store that boasts of having both a women and men’s section, but the men’s section seems like a glorified holding area? When the kids’ line has more denim options than yours, there’s really not a lot to choose from, is

by Jonty Cruz

In true scout fashion, Young STAR awards badges to the standouts of Wanderland 2015.

by Gaby Gloria

Watching an awards show that is meant to be broadcast live is like watching a magician reveal their tricks. On TV, things are always happening: award speeches, performances and exciting surprises. When commercial breaks come around, you’re left wondering if you’re missing out on anything. To provide some words of reassurance: you’re not, at least

by Mariah Reodica

Did you guys hear about this awesome block party that happened last Saturday? The one with so many amazing bands and food worthy of the calories everyone seems to be afraid of? If you did, then you probably were there and had a night you’ll never forget. If you didn’t, we got you covered.

Heima has come a long way over these last six years. From being one of the country’s best new furniture designers, the store has transcended into a true lifestyle brand even becoming a tastemaker of sorts, giving products both local and foreign that much needed push. Today, Team Heima now has stores catering to the aspiring man as well as a new design cafe, and most importantly a successful series of events and parties, the latest of which happened just this past Saturday. Young Star was there to help celebrate Heima’s birthday over on Brixton Street.

Featuring a slew of local bands including Ang Bandang Shirley, The Strangeness and Ciudad and an Edsa traffic’s worth of food and beverage trucks like Barista Box, Shawarma Bros, and our new favorite, Jasper’s, the latest Brixton Block Party had everything a rocking and hungry millennial would need on a Saturday summer night.

The best proof of an amazing Saturday party is the lazy Sunday that follows. Memory a little hazy? Check. The wicked drinks and sinful food grumbling inside of you? Yup. That moment you realize you wish you could do it all over again? Hell, yes.

by Jonty Cruz

My journey towards legit fan status reached its pinnacle last April 12 and I’ve got to say, it was one hell of a ride to the top. Literally. The car trip up north to Bulacan felt symbolic, like it was my own personal pilgrimage towards K-Pop Mecca. There was a lot of shrieking and flailing during the car ride with my friends, and copious amounts of shade being thrown at each other for having poor taste in bands. The half-a-mile walk from the parking lot was quite a trek, and the suffering didn’t end until we were all corralled into the gloriously air-conditioned Staples Center-esque Philippine Arena.

It was all a blur after the lights turned off—a blur of light sticks and fireworks, sweaty bodies, syllables that rhymed but did not make sense, toned bare thighs, perfectly coiffed hair, and lots of glitter. I felt spent. Hoarse. Exhausted. Hopped up on dopamine. And all because of four bands I don’t even actively follow.

Red Velvet were the first to take the stage and are solely responsible for bumping me up a notch higher on the Kinsey Scale. Despite how pedestrian their outfits were (it’s K-Pop— I want my snap, crackle, and pop, okay?), all four girls were bursting with energy and were cutely awed at how the crowd kept chanting their names.

We wear pink: Girls’ Generation came and slayed the Philippine Arena audience.

BtoB brought something different to the table: a little bit of hip-hop, a little bit of classic ’90s-sounding boyband realness, and a whole lot of fan service. The boys kept shooting little hearts with their hands and smiling at the camera. I swear, the girl a few seats away from me was so close to vibrating out of her clothes.

Clad in matching cutesy pink dresses, Girls’ Generation were a sight to behold. They had the entire crowd wrapped around all eight of their dainty little fingers as they traipsed and twirled their way all across the stage. Their set was fun while it lasted although the chorus of Gee will continue to haunt me for what looks like the remainder of 2015.

I’ve been warned of Super Junior’s stage antics, and let me tell you it was more than I was prepared for. These guys are clearly veterans and it was evident in their sharp, choreographed dance numbers and their penchant for banter with the crowd. They’re a hilarious bunch and it’s no wonder that this decade-old group has stayed relevant through the years.

My first time, like most first times, wasn’t perfect. All in all there were no regrets and, thankfully, no pitiful morning-after walk of shame. I walked away with my heart intact and waiting for the next time I can do it again.

by Elo Macatanay

Before they rocked Manila last Monday, synth-pop band Bastille sat down with Young STAR to talk music, touring, and stealing a raincoat from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The cheers of the crowd at Bastille’s concert last Jan. 5 in Manila could rival the sound of all of the fireworks set off during New Year’s Eve. The band’s synth-pop anthems were made for crowds and sing to dance to. On the infectiousness of their debut album “Bad Blood” and their mixtapes, they’ve been able to tour the world.

The band is composed of four men from London: singer-songwriter Dan Smith, drummer Chris “Woody” Wood, guitarist William Farquarson, and keyboardist Kyle Simmons. However, all of their facial hair, collectively — plus Dan Smith’s signature quiffed haircut — could arguably be counted as their fifth member. The band was charming and laid-back during the interview before the show, and they threw quips back and forth with that infamous brand of British humor. Smith, however, spoke more softly than the rest did, taking time to think over his answers carefully.

“A lot of songs come from interesting things I’ve read, things I’ve seen, places I’ve gone,” mused Dan. His songs are rich with references to places (Pompeii, Durban Skies), mythology (Icarus), and films. Scenes from movies such as The Breakfast Club and American Psycho were sampled on Bastille’s mixtapes. Even the band’s music videos have a cinematic quality to them, whether they feature edits of Terrence Malick’s Badlands, or strange, self-contained stories of their own, such as the bizarre shape-shifters of Torn Apart. Smith may have taken up journalism, but before Bastille took off, he was used to writing stories, not being in the spotlight.

“Dan would rather be anywhere but onstage,” said Will, “but he’s grown to be a good front man.” Nobody would’ve guessed his shyness from the Smith that concertgoers saw last Monday, who got cheers from the crowd every time he struck a drum. The band has been touring for years, and the way they play their music has changed massively since they recorded “Bad Blood” in a studio. Since then, they’ve been named the Best British Breakthrough Act at the 2014 Brit Awards, topped charts, and played to thousand-strong crowds all around the world. Woody jokingly claimed they’ve gotten lazier since the band started out, but they’ve clearly learned to own a stage.

To Woody, their brief stay in the Philippines could be summed up in three words. The first is diverse, because of the mix of cultures. Second is intense, because of the whirlwind of things they’ve gone through since they landed.  Third, as most foreigners unaccustomed to the weather would say, is humid. The fact that they even got the chance to play in Manila, however, was already a big surprise for them.

“Making an album, starting a band, and touring is quite a personal endeavor in the beginning. Obviously you want it to go further, but you don’t know if it will,” said Will. They never expected to do gigs out of the UK, let alone play a concert in Manila. After they stepped out of their van at World Trade Center, dozens of girls that had been waiting in line since 10 in the morning rushed up to them, screaming and jumping in excitement.

“It’s really quite touching, I think,” said Dan, “When you come to places you’ve never been or even considered that you’d get to go there and have people wanting to meet you and wanting to get photos with you, it’s crazy.” He probably never expected what the sign that one of the fans in line held read either: “Dan Smith? More like Damn Smith!”

The band has also had their fair share of mischief. At Roskilde, which they recall as one of their most memorable gigs, the heavy rain let up towards the end of their set. Woody held up a raincoat and swung it around, and the rest of the crowd followed. As it turns out, Woody stole the raincoat from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“I’m not sorry that I stole it,” he quipped. These hijinks may help liven up the more monotonous parts of a tour, but despite a hectic tour schedule, the men of Bastille still love every moment of it. More went down in Manila: “Best thing about @bastilledan shoving his finger into a spinning fan? DRUM SOLOOOOOOOOOOOO,” tweeted Woody (@Woodythedrum) late Monday night, after a first-aid mishap during the concert led to Dan being escorted offstage for a little bit. Despite that, they gave their all to every song, including rare songs and B-sides, and of course, the hits.

“We’ve been asked before, ‘Surely you’re bored of playing Pompeii?’ but I’m genuinely not,” said Woody. “It’s the song that changed our lives.” All the insecurities expressed in Pompeii seem to have been left far behind by a Bastille with more confidence, and a sense of assurance that befits their name.

by Mariah Reodica