For so many, SaGuijo is a home (one of the many, in fact) for the music-loving community. It’s only befitting that Revolver Productions and the Vandals on the Wall team hosted the event in this nook (which also happens to be Pindie’s headquarters), last July 13, Saturday.
I’ve been part of Vandals on the Wall since early last year, funnily enough, as a hesitant writer at first. I have no background in ‘music journalism’, but through Ian’s (Urrutia, Editor and founder) pep talk, I agreed. It began as a simple, non-commercial music blog ‘dedicated to promoting and supporting Original Pilipino Music’, both mainstream- and independently produced. From radio and YouTube hitmakers to SoundCloud and Bandcamp producers, the team (well, mostly Ian, the SoundCloud patroller) scour these known platforms diligently, unearthing gems hidden in the most obscure places, or even the pop chart hits that many deem undeserving of platinum record sales. There is no exclusivity, there is no ‘nobody’ or ’somebody’ – everyone gets fair game. These are only few of the reasons that make me proud to be part of it. And the best one of which is, it brought me closer to local music.
Ten different acts from a wide range of genres played, opening with Terno Recordings’ new signee, dreampop act ‘Skymarines’, greeting the audience with warm and idyllic synthwork and vocals. For her very first gig, Valiant Vermin debuted her electropop tracks, filled with youthful zest and charm. Next to perform were YoungLiquidGang crew members, Rome and the Cats. These youngsters blend ‘80s pop with contemporary beats, disco-ready if there was a word for it. Ciudad took the stage next, jamming to a bit of Daft Punk while warming up and performed their past hits, including ones from their recent album, ‘Follow the Leader’. The fifth act, folk duo ‘Library Kids’ calmed the crowd with their smooth and soothing acoustics, banking in on their nearly flawless harmony. The trance was broken the moment the rave brought by Wilderness settled in, pumped up and in high spirits. The crowd was rollicking, of course. The dance party didn’t stop there, as ‘Taken By Cars’ kept it going, playing both old and new favorites with good percussions and a tight rhythm section, ending their set with ‘Shapeshifter’. Although technically a ‘new’ band, ‘Cheats’ members aren’t juveniles in the gig circuit. Combining pop rock angst against a faint ambient backdrop, their music is like an awkward teenager trapped in a grown man’s body. There was no dull moment in it. RnB band, ‘Nouvul’, might as well be pacifiers of the night, sandwiched between upbeat bands. Jazz outfit, ‘Chocolate Grass’ August Wahh and beatsmith Jorge Wieneke a.k.a SimilarObjects weaned the previous tempo to a subdued one, easing the atmosphere with soulful lyrics and melodies. Lastly, ‘Paranoid City’ wrapped the event in full-on party mode, amplifying the overall festive mood with a jumping, cheering, and clapping crowd in one, big climactic finish.
I didn’t cry at this gig. Maybe because I was overwhelmed with happiness for my friends and for the great music, thankful and grateful for everyone who made this passion project just more worth pursuing than ever. Maybe, if there was something that I always find myself do at gigs is sing and write about it. Okay, maybe not the first one, but writing about music, well, I sometimes cry while doing that too.
As cross-published in Pindie Music