Wednesday, May 1, 2013


close up summer solstice

Last Saturday, April 27th, Mall of Asia Concert Grounds transformed into a desert of party animals! Yes it's a desert for animals willing to survive on standing and partying under the summer's heat for half a day! 

Close Up was very generous enough to make history by holding the country's very first 12-hour music festival featuring some of our rock bands and international dj's, all for the Close Up Summer Solstice!  Literally summer solstice is actually a once in a year event where the Sun is at its highest and daylight is at its longest, the other one is winter solstice.

Close Up Summer Solstice also brought us closer to EDM, electronic dance music, and made us experience Belgium's Tomorrowland, California's Coachella and Singapore's ZoukOut. Unexpectedly, that hot summer week was surprised by a heavy rain Saturday afternoon. I was in Katipunan that time to get the gold tickets from an online seller and all I can think about is how will the concert party go, considering that it's 3pm already and it'll start by 4pm.

close up summer solstice
close up summer solstice

But skies paved way to music heaven and rain stopped before the first performance. Security's quite strict as they asked me to leave my umbrella, loose powder and perfume behind. Usual concerts would just disallow water bottles. Getting into the concert grounds is like attending a school fair, lots of sponsors' booths / stalls around the area! Here are the fun activity booths to choose from:


My ever favorite Urbandub opened the event with "The Fight Is Over", but crowd went wild with the very relevant "First of Summer" of course! I went kilig (as always) with Gab Alipe!

gab alipe
(UP: HI LOVE! photo from

Next to perform was Spongecola. Yael Yuzon, the vocalist, went to the Gold section (so he was really near us) and so the crowd went wild!

Yael Yuzon

Sandwich came next where the crowd all rocked to "Betamax"! It seems that their first few songs weren't familiar to the party goers.
(UP: photo from

After the three bands is the start of the real party, the rave, and the beat pumping music fest!

Roman and the Filipino DJ Flipside of Jump Smokers opened the club! Roman was also game enough to join the Gold section! Crowd went crazy when Harlem Shake was played, I wonder if there was a video of it? They also played their new hit "Manila Anthem", sweet!
dj flipside
(UP: Filipino DJ Flipside - photo from
jump smokers

Dev went next with "Bass Down Low", quickly giving us that high energy! I really feel sexy whenever I sing the chorus of this song, haha! I like how she wore her shorts jumpsuit with sneakers! The only female representative was joined by two Filipino back-ups Alayna and Jessica. Dev left with "Like a G6".
(UP: photo from Close Up's FB page)

Many were pretty excited when Cobra Starship came out. Although I didn't had that same thrill, I was still game to jump up and down with their set! Definitely enjoyed "Good Girls Gone Bad" especially when huge Havaianas inflatable slippers were thrown to the crowd at the middle of the song.

I also like their remix with The Killers' "Mr.Brightside" and The Wanted's "Glad You Came".

cobra starship
UP: photo from (
cobra starship

Italian DJ Alex Gaudino wasn't able to start immediately due to technical delays. I'm not sure though if that's the reason for his seems to be low energy at the start. He had few interactions with the crowd, I noticed too that the energy went down a little. But he was able to cheer us all up soon after and hoped that we all have a good time!
alex gaudino
UP: photo from (

My energy to dance went higher when Apster came in! He did a remix of Swedish House Mafia's "Save The World Tonight", Tiesto and Allure's "Pair Of Dice" and Rihanna's Diamond. But I started screaming like crazy when he did a remix for Zedd's "Clarity", man I just love that song! Apster's set is definitely my favorite, he absolutely made me rave for, I dunno, 1-2 hours? You have to go back here soon!!
(UP: photo from

Now comes the crowd's favorite, 12am finally gave us Afrojack! His entrance gathered all spectators to come forward and prepared their camera devices. I love the Led graphics he used and I must say, he is really hot in person! That moment he introduced his set with "Bangduck", I knew I'm in for 2-hours of awesomeness! He didn't disappoint us by playing some of his great mixes like "Rock The House", Pitbull's "Give Me Everything", one of my fave - Eva Collins' "Take Over Control", he also did a remix for Psy's "Gangnam Style", and his latest single with Chris Brown "As Your Friend".

(UP: photo from
(UP: HE'S JUST SO HOT! photo from

Admittedly, I wasn't able to see Cedric Gervais' intro, but i was able to hear it! Got so tired to the almost 12-hours partying that we decided to spend our drinks stub and eat at the back. We then stayed at the grounds' back area where others picnicked as well. I ate shawarma, my forever favorite.
moa concert grounds

I was able to hear him play his famous "Molly", his remix of Lana del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" and one of my likes "Cedanie". We went back to the Gold's section around 3:30am and was surprised because almost everyone from the Gold section left, the VIP and SVIP area still have a good number though. People asked for more when Cedric bid goodbye, he was nice enough to play one more mix. I agree with the rest that Cedric Gervais shouldn't be the last on the line-up next time!
Cedric Gervais
(UP: CHARMING! photo from

Partying won't be complete without the mix drinks of course, we bought P200 worth of a Vodka mix cup while we were in the crowd. Aside from that, you can also exchange your stub of P200 for 3 cups to the Captain Morgan booth and get a prize as well (got a cool flashlight!). Havaianas gave free cocktails on the other hand. Booze and beats, perfect combo! Many from the SVIP section went down tipsy (and drunk!), yup, including celebrities!

In fairness, that 12-hours of non stop music they were claiming? It's legit! Performers came one after the other! Challenge accepted for me as i was able to party for half a day, from fresh looking to wasted, haha! Glad to be quite near the stage, I was on the extreme front of the Gold's section, right behind the barriers.

I definitely had a blast raving, swaying, jumping, singing and basically dancing like there's no tomorrow! 10 performances on one event? DEFINE SULIT!

Celebrities spotted on the event were Divine Lee, Victor Basa, BNO's Sam YG & Slick Rick, Janine Tugonon (uuuy, who's your target DJ? Kidding!), James & Phil Younghusband, Julia Barretto, Angelica Panganiban & John Lloyd Cruz, Bianca Manalo, Close Up models Nicole Anderson and Laureen Uy, and a whole lot more! 

Congratulations Close Up! Seriously, THANK YOU for letting us experience the very first half a day music fest here in the country & for bringing us closer to EDM superstars. Great job from the LED effects (although I think this is provided by the dj themselves?), the venue and booths, the affordable food & cocktail drinks, and up to the fireworks! Cheers for an epic party this summer! Make this an annual event please??
(UP: photos from from )
close up summer solstice
(UP: photos from from

(UP: photo from Close Up's FB page)

No comments: