Monday, March 4, 2013

№ 116. Joss Stone at Malasimbo

Just three hiccups before the Sunday Malasimbo concert of Joss Stone:

First, a friend from the Dutch Embassy wished us good weather before she left for Manila. Uh oh.

Naturally, it rained.

We were now worried about shelter, soaked grounds and, of course, slippery trails. The night before (Saturday, March 2), we noticed, while walking down to the amphitheater, how the terrain was quite steep. Many access points were poorly lighted. This conjured grim pictures of Woodstock, booze and heaps of muddy mayhem.

Second, except for a few lucky ________ (supply your own colorful endearment here), we missed the Malasimboat! I missed it by 15 minutes.

We asked about it at the gate the other night, just to be sure. But they couldn’t tell us much. Our bouncer cum tech nerd even monitored it in Twitter. No luck. We just decided to kill time and nap before the evening gig.

Third, brown out! Another friend, a Materials Engineer, was already worried about the juice on her cam----yes, we never thought of worrying about the light and sound for the concert.

What could an advocate do? Plead for the case and negotiate a poison pill provision (read: pray). And, ladies and gentlemen, the power outage lasted only an hour.

So up Mt. Malasimbo, many good-looking and cash-rich gals and guys went, hopeful and armed with banigs and garbage bags. Just in case.

To perch us longer on the suspense noose, the Sunday big event started much later than Saturday’s main act, Jimmy Cliff. Eleven-ish. We just lost track waiting because the sound engineers and the agent were, errhm, very thorough on the prep.

60 minutes thorough.

Jimmy Cliff at 64 could still reggae and ska with the Saturday crowd.

After they set-up their own impressive array: Wurlitzer piano, Yamaha Motif Synth, drums and percussions, base (Strat?) and Taylor Grand Concert guitar, they checked all the connections and all the possible permutations. Until they lost sound. At first, they lost reception on the right half of the keyboard, then on the left half and then again on the right. Uh oh.

So they had to replace a few cables. Sound check part two. One exasperated kibitzer finally said that their Grammy-certified equipment couldn’t mesh with the low-fi Raon (Bento Box) bangs and whistles of the organizers.

60 minutes…. Tick tock....


More whistles from the crowd.

But when she set foot on the stage....

She walked to the stage barefoot.

She owned all four corners of her space.

She lit up the crowd.

She was radiant.

Only her assassin smile could match her razor pipes.

She missed her cues when a bug flew into her dress.

 She smiled, inspite….

The crowd forgave her. She could do no wrong.

She crooned.

She flirted with the band....

Rather, she flirted with the bass player. Tiny dancers always fall for the bass players.

... and the crowd.

She was perfection.

Witching hour at Mt. Malasimbo

It was past midnight. The crowd was bewitched.

All worth the wait in the end.

Bento Box: 

*The Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival is an international music and arts event held yearly in Mt. Malasimbo and set against the tropical beaches of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines (Malasimbo Festival)

**For those in the portable karaoke underground economy, Raon Street in Quiapo is the capital of cheap vinyls and audio cassettes and other chop-chops, custom-made and refurbished carcasses of electronicas---faux or branded. Plus, you can shop for your favorite dibidi from your suki just around the corner of Hidalgo.

***Thanks to Travel Factor for sponsoring my trip. Kidding! But I hope there's another one next year. Perhaps there's gonna be an even better line up and maybe, just maybe, cheaper food and drinks.

**** Here's the series on Malasimbo written by a daughter of a friend whom I bumped into. The whole of Makati crowd seemed to have converged in that edge of the known universe.

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