Partying ‘til the Morning Light

CloseUp Summer Solstice
April 27, 2013
MOA Concert Grounds

Partying ‘til the Morning Light

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With rising temperatures around the Metro, most people usually head for the beach. Boracay isn’t the only summer party destination anymore as Close Up presented its Summer Solstice Music Festival – twelve hours of partying – in the MOA Concert Grounds. It was the first Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festival in the country.

 Aside from bringing together local and international acts, Close Up Summer Solstice provided its attendees with numerous activities inside the venue. Throughout the grounds were food and merchandise stalls, reverse bungee jumping, basketball booths, and a huge stage-like photo frame. There were stilt walkers in fancy costumes roaming about. An empty piece of land had been turned into an area buzzing with people, activity and, of course, great music.

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Dubbed as the Philippine Rock Heroes, Urbandub, Sandwich and Sponge Cola set things off. Urbandub opened the show, and played hits such as First of Summer and Guillotine. During Sandwich’s set, lead singer Raimund Marasigan encouraged the audience to support Filipino music as he introduced one of their new songs. Finally, Sponge Cola closed the local line-up.  Each band showcased their talent, played a good mix of new and old tunes, interacted with their unique styles, and hyped the crowd with their on-stage energy.

As “Jump Smokers” flashed on screen, a swarm of people rushed towards the stage. “We got smoke, we got that fire,” the song went. And everyone’s hands were up in the air. The electronic dance party had begun. There were dancers on stage with hoses that were filled not with water, but smoke. Roman, Jump Smokers’ singer, was chatty and very interactive with the crowd. At one point, he even went down the stage, cruising through the VIP area, to perform with those in the Gold section.  As they played their set, fireworks decorated the sky, foreshadowing the epic night ahead.

The only female act of the night was Dev. She kicked off with her debut single, Bass Down Low.  The songs in her set included Naked, Booty Bounce, and Like a G6. At the end of her set, she dedicated her performance to all of her girls – the female population of the crowd.

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Cobra Starship ended the Electro Pop stars segment. The band had been to Manila before, but it was the first time that they performed a DJ set. Ryland Blackinton and Alex Suarez, 2/5 of the band, were present. They launched with snippets of You Make Me Feel and Good Girls Go Bad. There were few Cobra Starship songs in their line up, but set list was filled with mixes, bass-powered and Daft Punk songs to name a few.  They wrapped things up with a mash-up that again included You Make Me Feel.

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 The EDM Superstars set commenced as Alex Gaudino went on stage. Following him was Apster, then Afrojack, who was the main act of the night, and then finally, Cedric Gervais.  As each DJ owned the stage, visual effects, smoke, pyrotechnics and confetti accompanied their set.

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 What was impressive was the flow from one artist to another; it was very fluid.  As one artist left the stage, the host would say a short outro, and an appropriate, but brief introduction for the next performer.

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The audience exploded like fire every now and then, especially when a crowd-favorite song would play during the mix.  There were times where the crowd was in unison, one ball of energy.  If not for the outdoor setting, one would have mistaken it to be a club. All around people were bouncing, dancing, jumping and punching the air. It was one big dance party, and a great way to spend a summer night.

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Photos by Carla Barretto

Written by Isabel Matias



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