What do you do when you’re tight on cash, but got a love for live music? You look for free gigs, of course. You may find one as close as the mall nearest you. Music Menagerie is a series of free, live shows featuring up-and-coming Philippine music acts in Alabang Town Center. Read on below for a taste of what the last show featuring Apartel was like.
It was a few minutes before four in the afternoon. In one corner of the Town Plaza, instruments, speakers, cords, and microphones were set-up beside the playground. Toddlers, oblivious to the free show they were about to witness, ran around the area. One in particular sat alone at a colorful table in front of the speakers lost in the land of make believe. Around him, more and more people inched closer to the stage whether out of curiosity or a genuine interest for the band that was to perform.
As members of Apartel began to take their respective places, the crew did last minute checks. In a span of a few minutes, the crowd thickened much like the atmosphere around. The band began their set and more people inched their way closer though there was an obvious invisible line between the crowd and the performers. The colorful, kid-sized table was still there, but its little occupant was not.
Music photographers, and videographers roamed around the area documenting the afternoon. On the side of the stage, a vintage neon sign of Apartel’s logo lit up. And without the band, sans neon signage, it would seem as if there were a kiddie party what with the blue and white balloons around the playground. This, coupled with the bubble machine that was on top of one of the speakers, gave a more playful, festive tone to the atmosphere.
Apartel is a fusion of powerhouse musicians from the Philippine music scene. Though they are a massive band–massive because they are more than six on stage–it can be an overwhelming sight, but in no means does this make their performance an auditory overload. On the contrary, their big band facade completes the soulful nature of their music.
As the band played on, rain clouds hovered above. The sultry air could have put-off people from watching the performance, but they stayed until the end of Apartel’s set. There were times where it seemed as if there were a few minor technical glitches, but the band played on with a cool, confident demeanour.
When the band wrapped up their performance, some fans stayed to buy merchandise, ask for signatures, and even selfies. Mall shows can be full of frenzied energy, but this show paralleled its venue: a sultry southern laid back escape from city life.
See more photos below:
Some tips when documenting moments such as these
- When taking photos, look around you to see if you can incorporate any elements into your shots. For example, in this show, there were balloon and bubbles, so those were into some of the shots.
- Both for photos and words ask yourself: how is this show different from other concerts? What other angles can I take the photos from?
- When crafting this story, the aim was to take a creative, narrative-style approach, so it reads like a short story.
Over to you!
Have you seen Apartel live? What was your experience like? Do share your stories in the comment section below.
If you need help navigating the Philippine indie music scene, grab a copy of the Beginner’s Guide to the Philippine Indie Music Scene e-book. It lists down the bands you should know, ways to find gigs, as well as tips for when you explore the indie music scene. You can get a FREE preview of the e-book below: