Guam Live International Music Festival: Our Review
When in Manila, we love to travel! And listen to music. And attend concerts! How perfect was it then to be invited to the inaugural Guam Live International Music Festival, happening on June 6-7 on our friendly island neighbor in Micronesia?
On the agenda: travel to and vacation on a beautiful tropical island, listen to a variety of cool music and experience 11 diverse bands in one festival over the course of two days. Top priority: have fun!
Who wouldn’t want to be signed up for this? An incredible festival weekend in Guam awaited us!
Organizing entity Guam Visitors Bureau arranged a festival lineup that promised to bring well-known international acts to the island in addition to several up- and coming bands from various Asian countries. While we didn’t know some of the artists, we were definitely intrigued by the program:
Friday, June 6
Friday, June 6, #GuamLive was headlined by none other than Sublime with Rome. My personal excitement was high as I reveled in college nostalgia and re-lived my alma mater Sublime hymn ‘Santeria’, remembering my college bff who – back in the day – introduced me to the “bands you need to know” and the “songs you need to listen to”.
However, before Sublime with Rome rocked Guam’s Paseo Stadium in Hagatna, festival goers experienced a primarily reggae & island vibes inspired night. Launching day 1 of the festival were Izah Blue, a roots reggae & dub singer from Hawaii, Caleb the King, a Guam-local and rap/hip-hop artist, as well as Rock Bottom, a Guam-based rock/reggae band.
A bit after 10pm, an anticipating crowd was about to experience the long awaited highlight of the night: Sublime with Rome. Starting their performance off with Sublime hit “Date Rape”, rockers Eric Wilson and Rome Ramirez put on a show that was well worth the wait. Giving nothing less than a stellar performance, the band continued – amongst others – with Sublime hits “Smoke 2 Joints”, “Wrong Way”, “April 29th”, “Doin’ Time”, as well as post-1996 Sublime with Rome track “Take it or Leave it” and others. Leaving the stage to a cheering crowd, the band returned to play an encore of “Panic”, “What I got” and all-time Sublime favorite “Santeria”.
All in all day 1 ended well accomplished with a happy crowd heading home, excited for an even bigger second festival day.
Saturday, June 7
With the hot and humid island weather clearly in mind, organizers set day 2 of the outdoor festival to start at a climate cooling 5pm. Due to technical issues, a visibly larger crowd than the previous day was made to wait for two hours before the start of the first band’s show. The entire lineup pushed back, the first performer came on stage at around 7pm.
With an eclectic mix of music scheduled for the night, performances commenced with Popu Lady, a Taiwanese girl group. Nu’est, a South Korean urban electro boy group, Brown Eyed Girls, a South Korean pop girl group as well as Home Made Kazoku, a hip hop trio from Japan followed, giving the Guam Live crowd a taste of far east pop, hip hop and electro music.
At around 10.30pm, a definite crowd-favorite took the stage: Guam-born and raised pop singer Pia Mia. This 17-year old music sensation, who is making waves in LA these days, caused alarmingly high cheer levels by primarily young fan girls who did not hold back on singing word for word all the lyrics to her songs. Backed up by four talented young male dancers, Pia Mia entertained the energized audience for the next hour. The obligatory Instagram-selfie with the crowd followed before the Guam native left the stage. Returning to a demanding audience, Pia Mia gave an encore and finished her part of the night with Guam ballad “Hagu”, sung to the smooth moves of a group of local cultural dancers.