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2013, Best of (and a bit of 2012)

Year 2013 has been good. I spent half of my year in Manila and the other half in Abu Dhabi/Dubai. I’ve been to several concerts and gigs this past year and all of them seems memorable in their own right. So here’s my year’s highligths.



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10. Smash Project 2012 (Araneta Coliseum, March 8, 2012)

My first concert that I paid for a ticket to see. Featuring several of my favorite bands. Dashboard Confessional and The Used. While Urbandub and Typecast opened for them. This photo of Daniel Whitesides, drummer of The Used, was taken at the end of their set, when he was already leaving the stage and the lights were already dimming. Only the “EXIT” sign was lit up.

Trivia: Professional Camera was prohibited inside the venue. And we were sitting up in the Upper Box side. How the hell did I made this shot? Well, I hid a Sony Nex in my bag, together with a Pextax 135mm f2.8 Manual Lens. It was a bit of a challenge to sneak the gear in and to make this shot.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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9. Juan Dela Cruz Band Reunion Gig (Hard Rock Café, Makati, October 20, 2012)

My initiation for the concert photography workshop with Miss Niña Sandejas. This gig was my “application” session (after the lecture session) of her workshop. It was a reunion night for the band and I admit despite not being an avid fan of them, I really enjoyed not only shooting them but I also enjoyed watching and listening to their classic hits. Bonus part is, I get to meet Sir Francis Reyes and had a little chat with the guy.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page) 

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8. Surf & Music Festival 2012 (Urbiztondo, La Uñion, October 31 – November 2, 2012)

My first festival coverage weeks after having my first concert photography workshop. It was a 3 night event and I surely had a hell of good time spending time with the beach, people-watching, and then shooting the event all through the night. Lots of our local bands performing one after each other and night after night. First and my last gig to see Dominic Gamboa of Tropical Depression. My photo ended up his cover photo on his Facebook Wall right before he passed away.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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Trivia: The photo that started it all. As I was looking for keepers from my shots, I noticed this photo of Raymund Marasigan performing for Sandwich. It was like he’s on his knee, completely silent, eyes closed. Such seriousness. I posted this photo on twitter and mentioned @raymsmercygun. Then he replied. Then what happened next was the greatest thing that I am and will always be thankful of.

 (full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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7. Rock LoQal (SM Mall of Asia Arena, December 15, 2012)

40-ish bands in one night. That’s one hell of gig to shoot. “Sunugan ng shutter to!”. The photo pit was filled with people (not photographers) and it was hard to get a spot. So that explains Monti’s photo framed with someone’s arm. It was also my first time seeing old bands I knew and new ones too, like Peso Movement (Japs Sergio’s Photo).

What’s interesting about this gig was that I got stuck in a moshpit. Slapshock performing on stage. Crowd filled the photo pit. And the next thing I know, I was stuck in a moshpit. People around me jumping in chorus. The floor was literally like a big trampoline. I can feel it bending every time the crowd land their feet to make for another series of jumps. Dust rising in the air like smoke. I just went with flow.

 (full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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6. Muzik Laban Rakrakan Series: I survived Doomsday (SM Mall of Asia Arena Coral Way Parking, December 22, 2012)

The day after the prophesized Doomsday. Well, we survived. I got to see Queso for the first time. And my ears got a taste of Mottaka for the first time. And fell in love with it. This was also my first “gig went wrong”. I’m not sure if it was Slapshock or Queso, but one of the front barricades collapsed in a middle of song and the crowd went crazy and all of us photographers run for our cameras’ lives over the back and side of the stage as bouncers tried to control the situation. And by saying “controlling the situation”, I meant the bouncers literally punching people in the face when someone tries to get past the broken barricade. Here’s Niño of Gayuma engaging the crowd.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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5. Execption Music Fest 2013 (Bonifacio Open Grounds, February 25, 2013)

When I started shooting gigs. I’ve always enjoyed Sandwich’s set. The Mong-Diego-Rayms tandem is just crazy. They enjoy their set and themselves. Always hear Diego doing backup vocals. And this time, he’s screamin’.

 (full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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4. Radio Republic’s Instagig (Fort Bonifacio Highstreet, July 13, 2013)

My last gig before leaving home. Here’s Armi of Up Dharma Down caught in a perfect moment of bliss. Just her, her hands on the keys, and her mic. Feelin’ the music. There was no photo pit for this gig as this was meant to be an “instant” gig. Fans filled the front of the stage as soon as Up Dharma Down went up the stage. It was hard to get a shot with all the people in front of the stage and having just a 28-70mm on my camera. So I walked around the stage and found this truck parked right at the side. Climb at the back of the truck facing the stage, and took this shot from there.

 (full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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3. Rivermaya and Bamboo in Dubai (Dubai, October 11, 2013)

It was my first time seeing this two acts. I’m a long time fan of Rivermaya. Especially before and during Rico-days. And seeing this two acts share the stage was like nearly a reunion gig. Rivermaya played first. With Mark, being the last original ‘Maya in the group. And then came Bamboo. I’ve never expected Bamboo to perform the way he performed that night. His energy was infectious. One moment his jumping loud all around, the next minute he’s kneeling and silent. He was like the main act of that night. With both bands doing songs of the old Rivermaya, it was quite a reunion for their fans.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page)

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2. Extreme Fiestamatic (Dubai, November 8, 2013)

I am a fan of Rivermaya. I was introduced to their music at the time where Rico Blanco was their current frontman. But I am listening to Post-Rico songs too. So I shot this gig because of Rico. Even though this was a mixed event of a Fashion Show (Mr. Dubai), a stand-up comedy (Ethel Booba) and Music (Rico Blanco). I don’t know what happened with the organizer and promotion but only a few people came to see this event. But even though that’s the case, Rico’s performance was never less. Sir Francis Reyes once said, “And even if there are only a handful of audience in attendance, play your heart out. If you do, that handful will tell the tardy ones, “You missed a great gig.” That’s exactly the story about this photo. Despite only having a small audience, Rico Blanco played and sang as if he was performing in Araneta with a big crowd.

(full set of photos on My Facebook Page) 

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1. High Impact A2 Festival (Dubai, December 27, 2013)

I gave up hope of covering this gig. I’ve contacted every known organizer, sponsor, related person to this gig, but no one replied for a media/photo pass. So I just convinced myself of not going, telling me "Malayo masyado, talo sa byahe." So how did I ended up “seeing” this Eraserheads gig? Here’s the story.

I was lazily watching Kickass 2 in my room.

My phone screen lit up.

A twitter message that reads, "I have an extra ticket. I’m at the Grand Millennium, Room 1711… Sorry I’ve no backstage passes".

"I’m cool Sir. Thanks. But sa Abu Dhabi ako Sir nakatira. I am (roughly) 3 hours away sa Dubai", I replied.

"Dude, abot ka. We are on at 10:45 PM"

After 3 hours or so…

I was standing in a middle of a pumped up crowd. My camera not in front of my face but was resting on my side. Absorbed with what was happening. The crowd singing and chanting in chorus. There were no familiar faces. Everyone to me was a stranger. All of them high with a smile. But we did not need to know each other. We just nod our heads with the beat and go with the perfect moment of bliss. We are all hooked up and connected together by a greater force.

Music.

Salamat sa musika. Ely. Raymund. Marcus. Buddy.

Salamat sa suporta. Raymund. Matt.

Salamat sa gabay. Niña.

— 8 months ago
#2013  #2014  #higlights  #best of  #rock shoot listen  #music photography  #concert photography  #eraserheads  #rivermaya  #the used  #juan dela cruz  #bamboo  #up dharma down  #armi millare  #Diego Castillo  #mark escueta 

Decemberr 27, 2013. Around 5 in the afternoon.

I was lazily watching Kickass 2 in my room.

My phone screen lit up.

A twitter message that reads, "I have an extra ticket. I’m at the Grand Millennium, Room 1711… Sorry I’ve no backstage passes".

"I’m cool Sir. Thanks. But sa Abu Dhabi ako Sir nakatira. I am (roughly) 3 hours away sa Dubai", I replied.

"Dude, abot ka. We are on at 10:45 PM"

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After 3 hours or so…

I was standing in a middle of a pumped up crowd. My camera not in front of my face but was resting on my side. Absorbed with what was happening. The crowd singing and chanting in chorus. There were no familiar faces. Everyone to me was a stranger. All of them high with a smile. But we did not need to know each other. We just nod our heads with the beat and go with the perfect moment of bliss. We are all hooked up and connected together by a greater force.

Music.

Salamat sa musika. Ely. Raymund. Marcus. Buddy.

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— 8 months ago with 7 notes
#eheads  #eraserheads  #Raymund Marasigan  #buddy zabala  #ely buendia  #marcus adoro  #dubai  #high impact a2 festival  #eheads2013 

Bamboo/Rivermaya Live in Dubai | World Trade Center Dubai | October 11, 2013

Bamboo Music Live and Rivermaya brought their hits in Dubai in their double header concert last October 11, 2013 at the DUbai World Trade Center.

With both acts singing songs from Rivermaya’s old hits and both making a brave move doing some covers, Bamboo and Rivermaya gave the crowd a little taste of their new and a lot of their old songs.

More photos on my Facebook Page

— 10 months ago with 4 notes
#bamboo  #rivermaya  #live  #dubai  #music photography  #concert photography  #live concert  #rock shoot listen 

Kamikazee Live in Abu Dhabi | Abu Dhabi City Golf Club | October 04, 2013

More Photos on Melvin - Rock, Shoot & Listen Facebook Page

Thanks Core Events / MBT

— 11 months ago with 2 notes
#kamikazee  #jay contreras  #jomal linao  #jason puto astete  #puto  #ariel lumanlan  #macoy estacio  #chicosci  #abu dhabi  #music photography  #concert photography  #live concert  #rock shoot listen  #melvin cariaga 

Radio Republic’s Instagig | Bonifacio Highstreet | July 13, 2013

with: Up Dharma Down, Moonwlk, Quest, Taken By Cars, Skymarines, Yolanda Moon, & Maude

More Photos on Melvin - Rock, Shoot & Listen Facebook Page

Thanks pindiemusic.com

— 1 year ago with 27 notes
#instagig  #radio republic  #up dharma down  #taken by cars  #maude  #skymarines  #yolanda moon  #moonwlk  #highstreet  #quest  #armi millare  #pindie 

Brownman Revival - Diskarte (Live Music Video)
at 70’s Bistro, Anonas, Quezon City

— 1 year ago
#brownman revival  #reggae  #roots  #rock  #70s bistro  #live  #music  #video  #shoot  #listen 

Exception Music Fest 2013 | Bonifacio Global City Grounds | February 25, 2013

more photos here on facebook

— 1 year ago
#exception  #music  #fest  #sandwich  #pedicab  #imago  #6cyclemind  #parokya ni edgar  #raymun marasigan 

Red Horse Beer Muzik Laban 2012 Grand Finals | Roxas Boulevard Open Field | February 2, 2013

More photos on my facebook page.

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#red horse beer  #muziklaban  #grand finals  #pepe smith  #ely buendia  #mayonnaise  #ian tayao  #wilabaliw  #queso  #slapshock  #jamir garcia 

Red Horse Beer MuzikLaban Series XVII 2013 Semi Finals GMA Leg | SM MOA Arena Coral Way Parking | December 22, 2012

— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#red  #horse  #beer  #muziklaban  #a music theory  #rakrakan  #series  #concert  #music  #live concert  #music photography  #queso  #razorback  #slapshock  #wilabaliw  #philia  #gayuma