Febfest Part 2: Surreal

The National Live at FebFest 2014

The succeeding show of the Febfest series gave its revelers another great night. It was a different kind of music festival what with its distinct vibe. Being inside the halls of the Metrotent, the fog and chill creeping around, coupled with the unconventional tunes of The National, Youth Lagoon and Buke and Gase transported the audience into a surreal trance.

Buke and Gase at FebFest 2014

The show started on time as the duo from Brooklyn took center stage. Buke and Gase, getting their name from the hybrid instruments they crafted themselves, is composed of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez. These innovative and adventurous musicians gave an enthralling performance. Though seated throughout their set, they commanded the stage with their inventive multi-tasking and diverse musical expertise. There were only two of them, but their unique sound made it appear as if they had an entire ensemble playing with them.

The atmosphere around the venue gave off that tranquil vibe. Some people in the crowd had drinks in their hands, some swaying in languor to the beats while others taking in the music in a discrete way. The audience showed their love and appreciation for each act not by high-pitched screams, but with claps and cheers.

Youth Lagoon Live in Manila

When Youth Lagoon entered the stage, vibrant, colorful lights pulsated, creating a dreamy atmosphere. Youth Lagoon is a one-man musical project by 24-year old Trevor Powers, his music ranging from avant-garde to psych-pop.

Accompanied by a backing band, Youth Lagoon presented a show that not only thrilled people, but also managed to dig deep into their senses. His music, in its unpredictable screeching and pulsations, resonated throughout the Tent. It was hypnotic and surreal to just stand there and listen to it.

Youth Lagoon at FebFest 2014

When not in front of his piano, Trevor went around the stage – head banging and shaking – his curly hair all over the place. His eclectic stage presence and mesmerizing music, without a doubt, captivated the audience. Some even gave themselves totally to the music: dancing wild and free. In fact, if people dared to close their eyes during the set, it was to experience the music at a deeper level.

The National Live in Manila

The crowd enkindled as the highlight of the festival, The National, took their place on stage. The Grammy-nominated ensemble is made up of Matt Berninger, Scott Devendorf, Bryan Devendorf, Bryce Dessner, and Aaron Dessner. Hailing from Ohio, the band’s sound is distinctive: Matt’s smooth baritone vocals mixed with raunchy yet melancholy-sounding guitar riffs and resonant, but confounding lyrics. They played a 20-song set showcasing their most memorable tracks from their four recent albums.

The audience abandoned their relaxed and entrancing demeanor for their moment of exuberance. It was a certainty that the loudest and most recurrent cheers of the night were for The National. Their twenty-song set satisfied those hungry to see the band live. They delivered a fervent performance that left the crowd buzzing.

There were times during the show wherein the music was so powerful that the place seemed to be shaking; the two screens on opposite sides of the stage were vibrating. The revelers that made up the Febfest crowd were a diverse group. It didn’t matter which area of the hall they were watching from. In the end, it was about the experience of being there – surreal as it was. And that was more than enough.

FebFest 2014 Crowd

Read FebFest Part 1: A Uniquely Trippy Music Festival

Special thanks to RandomMinds Production

Written by Isabel R. Matias

Edited by Sandra Mae Laureano

Photos by Sandra Mae Laureano

sandra-laureano Sandra Laureano is a capricious dreamer who enjoys music, fiction, poetry, photography and watching moving pictures in glass screens. In between her job as a finance person, she stares into space, plots little ideas, writes in bits and attends as many concerts as she can.

Visit her blog at bluntvoidprototype.tumblr.com


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