The MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 started with a firework display and ended with an explosion of confetti as American band OneRepublic closed out the show with its soulful performance of “If I Lose Myself.”
The multi-genre music extravaganza featuring performances of the pop rock band, L.A.-grown electric dance trio Far East Movement, Billboard Hot 100 artist Bebe Rexha, top K-pop idol girl group Apink, local music icon Gary V and his son Gab Valenciano, and popular love team and recording stars James Reid andNadine Lustre proved to be a big attraction as more than 26,000 concertgoers braved the rain and trooped to the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on Friday.
Music fans had turned up at the venue carrying umbrellas and wearing raincoats. They were welcomed by Gary V who opened the five-hour outdoor music event.
Mr. Pure Energy branded his act in unmistakably Filipino fashion by playing a kulintang and immediately set the mood on stage by singing the 90s anthems “Babalik Ka Rin” and “Sa Yahweh ang Sayaw.” Joined by onstage by Gab, and backed by The Maneuvers, Gary V made the crowd groove to some of his biggest hits like “Shake It Off,” and “Arise” (remix version).
Next to hit the floor were James Reid and Nadine Lustre. The couple shared the stage performing a duet of some well-loved singles, “Para-Paraan” by Nadine and “Huwag Ka Nang Humirit” by James. The young heartthrob made the crowd swoon with his renditions of “Randomatic” and “Bonfire” while Nadine showcased her dancing skills and vocal ability with “Me and You” and “Paligoy-ligoy.”
The crowd-pleaser JaDine closed their set with a romantic turn singing a cover of Freestyle’s “This Time” with their faces very close to one another.
Albanian-American Pop Singer Bebe Rexha took the intensity of the show a notch higher when she emerged from the backstage wearing a risqué ensemble topped with a pink shimmering robe. The 26-year-old put on her bold display of jubilation and ushered in her EDM-infused brand of music with “Take Me Home,” the first single she wrote which she also considers as the “song that helps me get through life.”
Bebe sizzled and immediately got her fans moving to her powerful delivery of chart-toppers like “The Monster”, her composition for Rihanna and Eminem, and “Hey Mama.”
“I’m playing this song for you. If you know the song, I’d love you to sing along. I’m from the United States but we are all the same. My next song is about loving yourself…believing in yourself,” she told the crowd before performing “Me, Myself, and I,” her single that sold more than 1 million copies in the US alone, and which music video on YouTube has received more than 171 million views since its release.
After a searing set presented by Bebe who ended her act with “No Broken Hearts” and left crowd all hyped up, South Korea’s rising girl group Apink proved even further that music knows no language and boundaries. The quintet connected with their audience, who interestingly even sang along with the band when it dished out “Remember”, “Mr. Chu”, “No No No,” “Attracted to You,” and “Luv.”
The third foreign act to hit the MTV stage was Far East Movement. The electric dance trio brought the house down with familiar hip hop-EDM ditties including “Push,” “G6,” “Bang It To The Curb,” and “When The Funk Drop,”
Far East Movement wrapped up its set with the audience singing along to a crowd favorite “Rocketeer”, leading into an explosive outro with their hits “Illest”, “Turn Up The Love”, and “Rattle”, where the band then sent giant inflatables.
Wrapping the monumental second edition of MTV Music Evolution in Manila, was the performance of the multi-platinum selling alternative rock band, OneRepublic.
After opening its set with “Love Runs Out,” the Colorado-based band then delivered a flurry of prolific singles, like “Secrets,” “Apologize,” “Counting Stars,” and new single “Wherever I Go.”
After perfectly blazing through an arsenal of songs and singing with impressive force and conviction, OneRepublic lead vocalist Ryan Tedder told the crowd: “We travel a lot, if you don’t know. But what’s unique about the Filipinos? You are the most genuine people on Earth. You guys are so nice you freak us out.”
And the audience burst into a frenzy of applause and cheers.
MTV Music Evolution: Manila Asia Special premieres on MTV on July 19 at 8 p.m.