MTV Music Evolution Returns for a Second Time, Local and International Icons Take The Stage By Storm

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Heavy rain had no effect on music fans who planned on attending the second installment of MTV Music Evolution on June 24 at Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. The annual music event gathered more than 20,000 fans across the Southeast Asian region. The festival has become one of the top live music events this year, especially since there is a wide range of artists on a single bill to see. But Friday’s second annual festival will be remembered for its weather just as much as the music.

In celebration of pop music, a stellar line-up of international and local acts took the stage through explosive performances by OneRepublic, Far East Movement, JaDine, Bebe Rexha, APink, and Gary and Gab Valenciano. MTV Music Evolution 2016 showcased the way that pop music “can’t stop movin’ the music scene” throughout the years.

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The night started with MTV VJs Alan Wong, Andre Paras, Hanli Hoefer and Yassi Pressman who introduced Gary Valenciano, an icon in pop music industry and his son Gab Valenciano who then challenged his father for a dance battle. Despite the heavy rain, Mr. Pure Energy was still unstoppable, and everyone was singing and dancing along to his hits like “’Di Bale na Lang Kaya,” “Hataw Na” and “Babalik Ka Rin”.

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This breath-taking performance was followed by the Philippines’ hottest love team, James Reid and Nadine Lustre also known as JaDine. James led the audience through wholehearted performances of “Randomantic” and “Bonfire,” while Nadine sang “Me and You”. Their set won’t be complete without their ‘kilig’ moments and seeing them together onstage.

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The infamous international acts shortly followed, starting off with American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha who took the audience to a pop-dance era. She brought some of her hit tunes such as David Guetta’s “Hey Mama” and G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself and I” and performed a song called “The Monster” her original song and composition which was made famous by Eminem and Rihanna that saved her from being broke. The crowd moving in unison amidst a spectacular array of spotlights. Bebe hit the most favorite part in her set when performing her latest effort, “No Broken Hearts.” Watching her dancing and singing around the stage, the fans could not resist to sing and dance along. Her obvious love for the genre of pop gave the crowd a full-blown taste of what she can do as well as a look into where she is headed.

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Next up was K-Pop all-female group, Apink. Park Cho-rong, Yoon Bo-mi, Jung Eun-ji, Son Na-eun, Kim Nam-joo and Oh Ha-young took the stage gracefully with amazing production and synchronized dance steps filled with catchy tunes. It was deafening to hear the loud screams of “Pink Pandas”, which their fans are collectively known as.

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American hip hop-EDM group, Far East Movement took the stage in a lit-up DJ booth that illuminated the entire stage with a wave of energy and excitement that continued throughout their performance. The group played easily recognizable party hits like “Rocketeer” and “Like a G6.” It was almost like a challenge to the crowd, who got riled up, to give off as much energy as they were given. They waved their goodbyes as the crowd cheered on at high levels as they left the stage.

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Wrapping up MTV Music Evolution 2016 was the highly-acclaimed band, OneRepublic, who took Manila through a pop-rock time warp via their famous and timeless songs like “Apologize”, “Counting Stars”, “Secrets” and “Good Life”. As they were closing out the night with the more beat-driven electronic dance song “If I Lose Myself”, it became all too apparent that the band’s greatest strength is the way they handle each performance, as they are actually as solid when playing live as they are on CD. OneRepublic indeed is deserving of this vast stage and loyal fans.

Overall, I was impressed with the production, MTV Music Evolution is more than just a music festival, it’s a cultural event that draws celebrities and floods social media feeds, the hashtag #mtvmusicevo was one of the top trending topics on the day of the event. It had an amazing sound system, we brought ear plugs because usually concerts are way too loud, not so here. It’s loud but the perfect amount of loud.

With massive LED screens throughout the grounds, a perfect light show and spectacular performances that will surely be remembered. Perhaps that’s the highest achievement of artists, to make us feel what they feel. If so, the second installment of the MTV Music Evolution was a huge success at any level.

MTV Music Evolution 2016 was recorded live for global telecast under the MTV World Stage global series to an international audience of more than three-quarters of a billion households in over 160 countries. The show premieres on MTV on Tuesday, 19 July at 8pm.

Repeat airings of MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 are on:
Tuesday, 19 July at 11pm
Wednesday, 20 July at 12am
Thursday, 21 July at 11:30am
Saturday, 23 July at 2:30pm
Sunday, 24 July at 8pm

Special Thanks to MTV Asia

Written by Cent Bernardo
Photos by MTV ASIA / Kristian Dowling


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