If we’re disappointed with the acts coming to the Philippines, then why don’t we make our own music festival? It doesn’t have to really happen – it can all be in our heads. And thus, the earthings! Fantasy Festival was born. Today, we pass the baton to you: after three weeks of non-scientific polls and a couple of friends coerced for answers, we have a sixth stage filled with acts that you chose. (And us too, since we had to vet.)
Since we supposedly live in a democracy and it’s in fashion to give everyone a say, we made a sixth stage filled with suggestions from you lovely readers. (Well, actually, we originally planned to have six people do six stages; we just didn’t have enough time.) So, for the past few weeks, on Twitter and Facebook – and, at one point, by asking our friends directly – we gathered the artists you want to see live. Thing was, there really was no clear frontrunner: apart from three acts that got, like, two votes each, every person we asked seems to want to see a different act live. So I had to fly in and pick what would look interesting. That also means no Chvrches (sorry Ellia), no New Kids on the Block (sorry Tonet) and no Foals (sorry Chesca and, well, everybody else who’s been calling for the British band to come here). As for the name of the stage? If Google Translate is correct, it’s French for “we want”. [NB]
First on the list is a pick from Ellia: New York band MS MR, aka the grim-slash-trippy duo of Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow. After breaking out with “Hurricane” in 2012, they released their debut album, Secondhand Serenade, and has made a name for themselves with what I’d call a less esoteric yet more gothic take on the Lana del Rey sound. (No, I’m not saying they’re imitating that other Lizzy.) Definitely unlikely we’d see their album here, but as there’s a glut lately of concert folk bringing in indie bands that nobody but ardent fans have heard of, this should work, right?
I was surprised to see Daughter as one of three bands who’d get two votes. The British folk band – calling them “folk” isn’t quite gonna cut it though, but you know – have flown under the radar for the past three years, before signing up with 4AD and releasing their full-length debut If You Leave last year. Elena Tonra’s haunting voice bleeds in with the band’s subtle sweeping sound, occasionally crossing ethereal shoegazer territory, remaining powerful throughout. Also, yes, Daughter performed at Laneway Singapore last month, so they were just three hours away from us for one day, and you wonder why her ilk can’t get played here. But that’s another rant.
I’ve known a lot of people who like Anberlin, but they were a band I never thought of listening to, more so trying out. I know. I’m surrounded by the band’s fans when I was in college, and I’m only really listening to their song as I write this. Monica suggested the band because of their “epic music” and the fact that the band has recently announced they will go their separate ways after releasing one last album and going on one last tour. “Best farewell gift ever!” she said. Anberlin’s been to Manila, so there’s definitely a market for their hard melodies that make you think “people call them a Christian band?” if you don’t know any better. Maybe someone will bring them here this year.
If things went a little differently, Florence + the Machine would be this stage’s headliners, because they just held on to the lead for so long. Allene suggested we throw her in, as well as @terribletootsie over on Twitter. And, I mean, why not? Florence Welch’s voice is still utterly gorgeous, and there’s a magical quality to their songs (although I will maintain that Ceremonials had too much uplift, to the point of losing most of its meaning). If anything, the band going to Manila for a concert isn’t a farfetched possibility. A lot of people will watch them live. A lot of people will have a spiritual experience to Florence along, for obvious reasons. Oh, and also, they were rumored to be part of 7107, remember? I think it’s schedules that closed the door on the idea. For now, at least.
But then U2 came along, and the idea of a band other than U2 being the headliners became really, really stupid. Janine and Gino suggested the Irish legends to me, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people have hoped to see U2 here at one point or another. (There were rumors before, right?) And why not? Say what you want about the politics, but the band’s done a lot of good songs in their almost three decades together. They haven’t gotten hokey despite the time. They remain relevant. And whether you were raised to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” or “Vertigo“, there is something for everyone. Granted, I will have to admit that U2’s wont to do a big solo show rather than a festival – they almost appeared on Glastonbury in 2010, but had to pull out after Bono’s back injury, which led to Muse doing a U2 cover – but hey, this is a fantasy festival. We can dream, right? Which has been the point of this whole week. And it’s been fun. Now go to your other festivals and enjoy what you can, or will, or want to.