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Mixed Feelings for In The Mix

Thursday is the new Friday. Such is not an understatement as the indoor music fest “In The Mix” was held last August 18 at the MOA Arena. After months of waiting and the build-up of emotions from fans of the artists headlining the event, it was all worth the hardships. The event started with the first act, Twin Pines. The trio of young lads who hail from Glasgow brought their synth-pop sound to the delight of the young crowd. While they have yet to release a full-length album, that didn’t stop the crowd from enjoying their set. Their debut single “Young Heart” is already available for streaming on SoundCloud and Spotify.

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Singer/songwriter Elle King performed next and brought her signature style country, soul, blues and rock. She got the crowd singing along especially when she performed her biggest hit “Ex’s & Oh’s”. Aside from performing for the first time in the Philippines, Elle was also excited to discover more of her Filipino roots. She posted on her Instagram account, “Getting my Tagalog on! Can’t wait to see where my family is from in Manila”. Elle just happens to be the daughter of Fil-Am comedian Rob Schneider. So now we’re left to wonder who wears “The Hot Chick” moniker at home.

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The night quickly transitioned to what can truly be said a “Throwback Thursday” when good ol’ altrock band Third Eye Blind hit the stage. They definitely brought the 90s back when they sang a string of their hits whilst throwing in some new ones. For sure, vows have been made to the tune of “Never Let You Go” time and again and this night was no exception. “Jumper”, the 19-year old track which has since evolved from a lament for bullying into a celebratory song for coming out and being true to one’s self was also played. And making it all come full circle, closing the set with their biggest, transcendent hit “Semi-Charmed Life”. No, I wasn’t listening when they said goodbye.

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Eight bloody long years — That’s how long it took for the return of Panic at the Disco to happen. It was a painstaking wait and we were not really sure if it will happen again, with all that shakedown in the line-up through the years. But when, bam, thank you Ma’am! For Victory(ous?) is upon us as PATD finally came back for a show. While this may not have been their solo concert, the gents sure as hell made it look that and feel and sound that way. Every single song was pure blissful energy. Brendon’s falsetto is so on point it could give a pair of stilettos a run for its money. Adrenaline from the crowd was way too pumped and everyone was singing at the top of his/her lungs. They even injected a couple of classics in their set – “Any Way You Want It” by Journey and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. The latter is their latest single, included in the soundtrack of the movie Suicide Squad. The fab set ended with the back to back hits “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Victorious”. It was no tragedy, but truly a victory.

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2016 Brit Awards Best British Male Solo Artist and ‘the man on the hat’ himself, James Bay, calmed the still hyped- up crowd with his mixed sound of folk-rock, blues and indie. James, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist displayed gentle aura and serenaded the crowd whose hearts and ears were captivated immediately. While he has only been in the music industry for three years, James’ debut album topped the UK charts in 2015.

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The last act but definitely not the least is the four-piece altrock/indiepop British band, The 1975. The foursome returned after their hugely successful solo concert at the MOA Arena in early 2015. The said concert was a far cry from their series of mall shows on their first visit to the country in 2014. The band seems to have made an annual habit of coming back to Manila to perform. They even said in a 2015 interview that the Philippines is their second home. And true enough, they were welcomed by fans like relatives returning from a vacation abroad. The band played songs from their debut album “The 1975” and their latest “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It”. Most song transitions were erratic yet hypnotic, they will bring you up high then drive you way low, if only to excite you yet again. The 1975 ended their set and the night of In The Mix with one of the biggest hits from their debut album – Sex. How apt.
In the Mix truly delivered mixed emotions. From feeling young at heart to dwelling over exes (and OHs?) to being taken back to the raucous of the 90s. Then to the panic-stricken growing up days and finally the highs and lows of love and rock and roll. From Twin Pines to The 1975, all feels were perfectly and literally, IN THE MIX.

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Image Source: MMI Live Facebook Account and J. Lucena Photography

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