David Guetta Live in Manila Last 10.10.12!
When In Manila and a party junkie, you were probably spotted at David Guetta Live in Manila last October 10, 2012. And even if you’re not a night owl, watching David Guetta – DJ Magazine’s #1 DJ for 2011 and the man behind dance mega hits like “Titanium” and “Without You” – perform live for the first time in the Philippines is simply too big an event to pass!
David Guetta Live in Manila was a full five hours of non-stop, back-to-back-to-back House music featuring David Guetta, Alesso, and Kaz James, not including the opening set of cool lady cats Deuce Manila. It is by far the most extravagant set built for a concert among the shows that I’ve watched this year (which is, a lot!). To put things simply, the PhP 7,500 you could’ve spent for VIP access to this event is sulit na sulit na sulit!
Opening Scenes of David Guetta Live in Manila
I entered the SM Mall of Asia Arena at around 8:30 PM just as lady jocks Kat DJ and Patty Tiu were wrapping up their opening act for the triple-header dance party. Wearing tank tops and a collection of glow-in-the-dark bracelets, the mestiza duo spun feel-good beats to hype up the early crowd. The VIP dance floor was filled only a fourth of the way, most of the early birds (owls) flocking to the stage to get as close to the action as they can.
Cuties Kat DJ and Patty Tiu of Deuce Manila. Apparently, it was Patty’s birthday that night! Belated happy birthday, Patty!
All the nice ladies were dressed for the night. With make-up on and wearing either pretty little dresses, pencil-cut skirts, or thigh-baring shorts, they got the memo that David Guetta Live in Manila was a dance party. The guys were more comfortably clad in their usual shirts or polos and jeans. Some had fedoras on, but most went in their usual gimmick attire.
At around 9 PM, the usual start time for concerts here in the metro, Australian DJ Kaz James was up. He played for a full hour which included remixes of “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Oasis’ “Wonderwall”. Truth be told, Kaz James was lackluster. Technically, we could craft up a list of flaws in his set. For example, the visual plugins he used during his performance were redundant. For the most part, it would consist of his name being flashed on the screen repetitively. The remixes were mediocre. The combination of beats too simple yet prolonged to the point of becoming a drag.
More telling however was the crowd’s reaction to his performance. They stood idly, occasionally cheering and clapping their hands (more out of courtesy) especially when a medley ends. It wasn’t all bad. Kaz James received a decent response when he remixed “Somebody That I Used to Know”. One segment featured a visual plugin of a kitten following circles of lights as they moved to the left and to the right. “Cute,” I quipped. Then he went back to flashing his name.
David Guetta Live in Manila: Alesso vs. Guetta
Is it just me, or did Progressive House DJ Alesso kill it last 10.10.12?
Building on two, sometimes three, dominant beats per sequence; frequently adding interludes to cut up repetitions; working on crescendos every so often; transitioning across sequences in the sleekest possible manner; complementing his bass-driven performance with visually stunning, perfectly timed plugins; lights, strobes, smoke, flames, and confetti – a perfect performance that got the crowd raising their effing hands and jumping up and down; for those in the lower and upper boxes seating on their comfy chairs to stand up and start to party; and for those chilling outside the hall sipping on their Captain Morgan complimentary drinks to rush inside and instantaneously pack the VIP dance floor.
Working through countless material and influences including Daft Punk’s “Around the World”, REM’s “Losing My Religion”, and Diddy’s “Coming Home”, last year’s #70 DJ introduced himself in striking fashion to this Manila crowd, most of whom have never heard of him before, and set the bar really, really high for headliner David Guetta.
After one and a half hours of standing, bobbing, and cheering, I only got to rest for a bit before the green lasers flashed and scanned across the main hall of SM MOA Arena. Everyone stood and excitedly cheered for the next performer, the DJ who is on top of the world right now.
The packed SM MOA Arena crowd at the beginning of David Guetta’s set.
The crowd erupted as David Guetta emerged, clad in his trademark black leather jacket. Press play, and “Titanium” started playing to the sheer delight of the audience. The party goers cheered, screamed, clapped, jumped, danced, sang, raised their hands, went wild with all abandon as the night hit the 11:30 mark. David Guetta would repeatedly turn the volume down as the crowd obliged in unison, “Far away, far away!”
David Guetta was very vocal in wanting to make his first visit to the Philippines very memorable. He would climb up the control panel and egg the crowd on as they clapped to the original beats and songs Guetta made with various artists in the most recent evolution of his storied career. The strobes flashed, the spotlights danced, smoke and fireworks shot up, and yes, the undying glee of the crowd for confetti showed every time it would pop into the air as everything was synchronized to the beats laid down by Guetta.
Fireworks + Stunning Visuals + David Guetta Atop the Control Panel = EPIC!!!
As far as Alesso and Guetta‘s performances are concerned, it would be really hard and maybe even unfair to compare their performances against each other. Alesso plays Progressive House while Guetta dabbles in the more traditional House music. Guetta obviously had more original content, but Alesso is an artisan in the craft of music weaving. I mean, this guy gained popularity as a result of DJ mainstays like Avicii, Tiesto, and Kaskade supporting and using his material! How cool is that?
Alesso builds two to three layers of easy-to-digest beats and constantly shifts through the sequences to keep the crowd – a very impressed one at that – engaged, while Guetta usually works with two layers of beats, usually synth-driven, and at times mixing two very complex patterns to create the illusion of having additional layers of sound (which I find most impressive in his performance). Alesso‘s visuals are masterfully synchronized to his music, while Guetta opted for a more futuristic set of visual plugins and relied on the strobes located above and on both sides of the stage to flash simultaneously with the thumps of his brand of House.
In the end, both performances were very good. And the combined four hours of party awesomeness will be very difficult to top this year or maybe even until Armin van Buuren and other top DJs decide to drop in and give us one helluva show. The sight of confetti falling as the spotlights stopped dancing and focused on the cheering crowd is a picture (which I don’t have) which represents what an amazing time everyone was having.
Choice Rants Before We Conclude
Speaking of sights and perspectives, can I just say, being seated at the upper box sucked! Located all the way up the fourth floor of the massive SM MOA Arena, I felt like a wallflower, detached, removed from whatever was happening below, someone watching a good movie on its fourth week; sitting in a dance party, standing but unable to move around because of the stationary seats, our view blocked by the beams that hold the spotlights from the ceiling. So maybe Kaz James didn’t do as badly as I portrayed him to be. (No, he did. The sentiment was the same below as it was above.) And I probably missed the tiny details of what was happening below from the almighty position I was at (it blows to be up there without Omniscience). Things were pretty dry from above, I must say. So logically the upper box was scarcely filled while the VIP dance floor was packed and the lower box area was healthily filled as well.
Regarding the schedule of the concert, morning beavers like myself were no match for the lateness of the concert. Having two classes to teach the very next day, I called it a night at around 12:30 PM. Some of my students did stay up until the end of the show at 2 AM, and apparently David Guetta performed a new single for the first time as his final piece. (Fellow WIM writer Ivica Say was able to video the the final single “Just One Last Time” from the concert. Enjoy!) If the show was scheduled on a Friday instead of smack in the middle of the week, then by Odin I would’ve stayed and cheered, upper box or not. But duty calls, and similarly most of my working acquaintances did have to leave before the show’s end. Despite missing more than an hour of David Guetta‘s set, it was a good night of performances and I went home happy. We even played “Titanium” in the car while driving home!
When In Manila, the SM MOA Arena was transformed to the sickest dance venue for David Guetta Live in Manila. A feast of lights and sounds, of bodies moving to nothing but the beat, arms raised in joyous revelry. Thank you to Music Management International for inviting When In Manila to cover the event. Thank you to Magic Liwanag for allowing us to bum some pictures off his ever-impressive concert galleries. And so until the next good show, keep calm and ROCK ON!
Thanks for a fantastic performance, Mr. Guetta! ONE LOVE!!!