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Wanderland 2013: Appeasing a country’s ‘Coachella Dreams”

MANILA, Philippines — Most Filipino audiophiles and art enthusiasts can only dream of being part of West Coast America’s famous, and supposedly, coolest annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. But thanks to the folks at Karpos Media, we get the closest thing to it back home.

Wanderland Music and Arts Festival 2013 was held last May 18 at the Circuit Makati. Granted, it was only a one-day event with only a couple acts, festival-goers still get to enjoy noteworthy talents both international and homegrown for a fair price.

The first of the deemed annual festival pulled off the vibe that it was hoping for, assuming that it is an attempt of a localized Coachella, because aside from the live entertainment that it provided, the open field and booths, the festival-goers were a sight to see as well. People took advantage of the event and dressed the part. Some were clad in what is deemed as hipster clothing with Aztec prints and flower wreaths on their heads. Most were in shorts, midriff tops, and even swimsuits. In short, instagram-ready outfits. Only a very small number appeared to have missed the memo on the dress code (yours truly).

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But more than the fashion and art side of things is the celebration of good music. Not the repetitive, bass-blaring kind we usually hear on the radio but one that is outpouring with musicality.

The festival was jumpstarted by local act, Taken by Cars. The band’s vocalist Sarah Marco had the crowd get up from their mats as soon as they hit the stage. They were followed by a band named Pulso, who impressed with their instrumental rock skills. It was great to just sit and listen to music that tells a story despite the lack of lyrics.

She’s Only Sixteen, an up and coming band ignited the crowd with their youthful energy on stage. Sounding something like foreign band Arctic Monkeys in a certain way, the band satisfactorily delivered and proved to be a very promising talent.  Yolanda Moon set the calm after She’s Only Sixteen’s frenzied gig by playing soothing and chill urban music.

The first foreign act to hit the stage was Australian indie pop band, Colour Coding. Fairly new in the music industry, having only debuted some two years ago, they gave a full-on performance including their most acclaimed release “Perfect” and expressed their joy of being acknowledged in another part of the world.

Avalanche City, capped the daylight set by playing a whopping 12 songs, not that anyone’s complaining. The wide array of instruments that the members of the band can play kept the crowd on their feet awaiting to be in awe at every number. The folk band from New Zealand definitely gained new fans after their gig.

As soon as the dark started creeping in, Natalie Foster of Tully on Tully pumped up the crowd when she twirled her way to the stage in a Red dress and amazed with her powerful vocals. People sang along to their song “Stay” and “Naked”.

After Tully on Tully came another female-led band, Up Dharma Down as they broke off the roster of foreign acts and reminded the festival-goers why they are touted as one of the Filipino bands that has the biggest potential to make it internationally. They played the crowd favorite “Tadhana” and everyone swayed along probably while holding on to their significant other’s hand.

The first of the three biggest acts to come on stage was oldies but goodies American alternative rock band, Nada Surf, shifting from their new songs to their old hits. According to Matther Caws, lead vocalist, they are set on not performing anywhere this year but said yes to Wanderland’s invitation with no hesitation, in which the crowd cheered on.

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Neon trees kept the ball rolling with Tyler Glen’s unmatched energy that was very contagious; performing like it is nobody’s business. They sang most of their hits such as “1983”, “Love and Affection”, “Animal”, and ended with “Everybody Talks”. Neon Trees, was definitely the most fun performance of the night, what, with Tyler crowd surfing and kicking off his boots to give to the crowd.

Closing in to midnight and with no signs of the crowd dying down, The Temper Trap graced the stage after the long wait and did not disappoint. The Australian rock band closed the night with “Sweet Disposition” sounding phenomenal.

All in all, it was a success for its first year. Things pretty much went as planned, unless the sometimes half-hour set-up and soundchecks before the next band plays are actually part of the plan.

Although, it was spurred as an imitation of Coachellafest, Wanderland was able to make a mark of its own. Wanderland was more than a celebration of music and art, it was the celebration of youth in all its glory and liberty, and we can’t help but look forward in anticipation to Wanderland 2014.

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TAGS: Art, Fashion, Music, Wanderland Music and Arts Festival 2013
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