When in Manila, once again, was part of another concert in the metro. Last April 19th, Japanese post-rock band, TOE, quaked the grounds of Manila for the second–and hopefully not the last–time.
It was a Friday night but the usual start-of-the-weekend heavy traffic along EDSA didn’t hinder TOE fans from being there on time. The show took place at Metrotent in Pasig City. It was a pretty wise decision for Intastella Burst HK, the official organizer of the event, to change the venue because more than a thousand goers clicked ‘attending’ on the concert’s Facebook event page. If it pushed through at its original venue, which was B Side in Makati City, the whole place would’ve been totally a drag for everyone since their courtyard is really not conducive to a lot of people (especially since Metro Manila is a living sauna these past few weeks!).
I was really stoked weeks before the concert because it was my first time to cover a big event for When in Manila. I wanted it to be rad so I came with my partner-of-all-trades, Bijan Gorospe, who took all the photos for this feature article (he was also the one who made me listen to the band).
We made it in the nick of time. A lot of people hung out at the entrance. A few let time pass by grabbing a quick grub at a nearby food bazaar, the Il Mercante, which was just a few steps away from the tent. Some made the night a perfect opportunity to catch up with friends and acquaintances who they rarely see.
As I’ve mentioned, this was TOE‘s second time to be in the Philippines. But to their fans, first time audience and returning viewers alike, TOE always deliver an extraordinary performance that’s worthy of infinite repeat.
Unlike the usual formation of band members during gigs, TOE likes things more intimate. The fantastic four (Takashi Kashikura – drums, Takaaki Mino & Hirokazu Yamazaki – guitars, and Satoshi Yamane – bass), usually play facing each other, circled around the platform. Therefore, if you’re part of the crowd, you’ll always be able to see how good they are at rocking out with their instruments, no matter where you are standing or sitting.
TOE played incredible music for almost 2 whole hours, with compulsory guitar tuning and occasional sips of beer/water as their only intervals. They are a bunch of men with few words. Even though there’s no lyrics (and if there was, it would be in Japanese!) to their songs, the crowd effortlessly connected to their earth-thumping music.
The place was jammed with people and since it was general admission only, we had to inch our way to the best angle that we can get. Thanks to the band’s stunning lighting, all pictures came out really dramatic and vivid–just how it really was in real life.
TOE lets their sound do the talking so we’re doing the same thing and let the pictures speak for their awesomeness. Without much ado, here are the photos!
To sum up the night, TOE fans said the show was “sulit pero bitin!” Special thanks to Chi Brotonel of Intastella Burst HK, who made this partnership with When in Manila possible. ‘Til the next band!