My Bazooka Rocks III Experience: High on Rock & Roll and Revolution
When in Manila, concerts and music festivals are everywhere but nothing is quite like the annual Bazooka Rocks where amazing local and international bands come together to blow people’s minds with their high voltage music! As soon as my feet entered SMX convention’s Hall 4 last weekend, I voluntarily went down the rabbit hole with no plans of crawling back to the surface ever again. It was my first time to attend Bazooka Rocks Music Festival and, man, did I have the best weekend ever! BRF3 is over and done now, but I’m still feeling pretty high on rock and roll and booming drumbeats.
Since it was a 2-day concert event, let me sum up my experience into two parts starting with Day 1:
The entryway to the stage of Bazooka Rocks was heavily themed with twisted Alice and Wonderland things, which made me feel like I was literally going deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. There were a bunch of zombies who welcomed me inside, too, which was really cool. There were lots of circus-y booths like “Pop the Balloon” games, face painting and a Happy Zoo! I don’t drink but I’m pretty sure everyone else loved the free beer! As I got closer to the end of the tunnel, I felt my heart thumping alongside the beating of the drums. I felt the excitement in the air as the next band prepared to melt some faces!
Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail
While I didn’t get a chance to see the local acts like Brick City, Runway Crimes, Tiger Pussy and Ria Bautista; I heard they did a kick-ass job opening for the international acts. And why wouldn’t they? They’re all as awesome as the bands they were playing alongside with! When I got there, the next band was about to play next, so I immediately looked for the perfect spot to squeeze my way in to the front row. When the epic countdown went boom, Senses Fail began blowing our brains out! They opened with the song called “You Look Cute When You Scream” that really pumped up the crowd. I haven’t listened to their entire Renacer album yet but after that set, I’ll definitely listen to their entire discography.
Chris Conley of Saves The Day / Photo by: Charmaine Cabugnason
After that explosive performance came the feel-good pop punk music of Saves The Day. They opened up with their song entitled “At Your Funeral”, which highlighted Chris Conley’s amazing set of vocals. I screamed my heart out when they sang “Let it All Go” because of the feels. It was an amazing set. Even though the crowd didn’t do much moshing, it was a heartfelt experience.
Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday / photo by: Charmaine Cabugnason
One of my most awaited performances came in the form of Taking Back Sunday. They started with the “Preface” from their new album “Happiness Is” then kicked it off with “Stood a Chance”. When they sang my favorite “Number Five with a Bullet”, I felt like crying because I’ve been waiting to hear that song live forever. Of course, everyone pretty much jumped and head-banged to their heart’s content when they finished their set with “MakeDamnSure”, also one of my favorites. I couldn’t even catch my breath from screaming after that. My throat is still scratchy, but it was worth it.
Bert McCracken of The Used / Photo by Charmaine Cabugnason
After only 20 minutes or so of rest from rocking with TBS, it was The Used’s turn to bring the house down starting with their new song “Cry” fresh from their new album “Imaginary Enemy”. Their set was so intense and amazing, I almost thought I was imagining everything! Then the most awesome thing happened when they sang my all time favorite The Used song “Buried Myself Alive”. The best part of their set was when Bert expressed his support for Gaza by proudly wearing his “Freedom for Gaza” shirt as he convinced the audience to question authority at all times.
When The Used came back for a one-of-a-kind encore with the acoustic version of “On My Own”, the crowd went nuts! I turned off my camera and joined the crowd of head-banging punk rockers when they played “A Box Full of Sharp Objects + Killing in the Name” for the finale. It was definitely the perfect song to end Day 1 of Bazooka Rocks III with. I will never forget that night.
Did you know that Bazooka Rocks II was just as awesome?
Check out our review here: Bazooka Rocks: Bazooka Indeed Rocked
And because I was pretty much beaten up after Day 1, I was super late for the performances of our OPM bands such as Paranoid City, Nyctinasty and GraceNote on Day 2. I was only able to catch a few songs from Chicosci like the “Chicosci Vampire Social Club” which they nailed! Nevertheless, they were all phenomenal so I’ve heard from the early birds. I regret missing their performances, but what made me even sadder was the fact that I had camera troubles that day, so I don’t have any pictures of them, either.
Anyway, the metalcore band Coldrain made a fan out of me as they took the Philippine stage by storm! If it wasn’t for Bazooka Rocks, I wouldn’t even know that this raw and powerful band exists. It’s a good thing my friend has her digital camera so we were able to capture one of their performances on video. Masato’s vocals are too amazing to be real and you can just see their rocking powers ooze out of their performance. Check it out:
After all of that screaming and moshing, Echosmith lightened up the mood and gave us a rest when they sang their hit song “Cool Kids”. I didn’t squeeze through the crowd this time. Instead, I sat down and let their music drown me in feels. My favorite bit was when they performed a cover of “Melt with You” an original song by a band called Modern English. That song has been covered way too many times, but their version is one of the best I’ve heard so far.
Brian Dales of The Summer Set
I finally resolved my camera issue just in time for the next band. I wasn’t very familiar with the songs of The Summer Set, but they succeeded in making me move my body and dance around as they perform their youthful anthems. It was so magical seeing so many kids dancing, singing along and banging their heads. They ended with the song “Lightning in a Bottle”, which was easily the crowd favorite. Their drummer Jess, who’s half-Pinay, truly amazed me. She is one of the best female drummers I’ve ever seen.
Tay Jardine of We Are The In Crowd
The crowd went absolutely crazy when We Are the in Crowd appeared on stage. There were mini-fire crackers and massive stage effects which made the night even more fun! No one could take their eyes off of Tay as she dazzled the crowd with her beauty and voice. “Kiss Me Again” was my favorite from their set and what made it more magical was the sea of glowing stick foams that Tay gave away to the audience. I didn’t get one, but I was able to capture that epic moment on my camera.
Josh Franceschi of You Me at Six
After WATIC’s performance, everyone got up on their feet and patiently waited for the final act of Bazooka Rocks III. We didn’t wait that long because You Me At Six went up on stage without a countdown that really surprised us. Next thing I knew, everyone was jumping up and down and everything around me is moving to the beat of “Too Young to Feel this Old”. Their encore performance was one of the best I’ve ever seen especially during “Bite My Tongue”. I went in as a non-YMAS fan and I walked out as a huge fan girl of the band.
As expected, Bazooka Rocks III ended with a bang and confetti showering everyone. I will never forget how this concert made me feel and even if it has been days since the festival, I can still feel the electrifying effect of being in the same room with people who are as passionate and dedicated to music as I am. I will definitely come back for Bazooka Rocks 4, 5, 6 even up to 100!
And it’s a wrap for BRF3! See you next year!
Bazooka Rocks III / PULP Live World
PULP Website: https://www.pulpliveworld.com
PULP Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pulpliveworldprod?fref=ts
Bazooka Rocks Website: https://www.bazookarocks.com
Bazooka Rocks Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BAZOOKAROCKSPH