In 2015, MTV and Department of Tourism entered into a whole other realm of collaboration. This, however, was not your rapper featuring singer or DJ featuring a vocalist kind of collab. Rather, they sealed a partnership intended to showcase both local and international talents in one concert stage, for the global audience to witness. Such was what MTV Music Evolution came to be.
This year MTV Music Evo returns in Manila. Hosted by MTV Asia’s Alan Wong and Hanli Hofer with MTV Pinoy’s Yassi Pressman and Andre Paras, MTV Musiv Evo 2016 was dominated by pop music as opposed to 2015’s hip-hop and r&b laden show. With line-up that included father and son Gary V and Gab Valenciano, popular young loveteam JaDine of James Reid and Nadine Lustre, K-pop girl group A-Pink, singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha and the return of 2 acts that have previously been to Manila: Far East Movement and OneRepublic. It would be fun to note that one of Far East Movement’s biggest hits, Rocketeer, actually features OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on vocals.
The show started at almost 8 PM, amid roaring thunder and mad rain. But the crowd did not budge, as each one had an act they most definitely went out of their way for. Gary V opened the show and if that wasn’t enough to hype up a crowd, alongside was Mr. Superselfie himself, Gab Valenciano, whose antics were a firepower all his own. Young stars JaDine quickly followed and got quite a horde of their fandom showing support, singing along to practically every song. Shrieks were all over the place as well while the two were onstage.
Perhaps one of the artists the crowd had such mixed reactions to was singer/songwriter Bebe Rexha. She started her set with the song that probably introduced her to the club-going crowd, the ravers and the likes – “Take Me Home”, which is a hit she has with electrodance group Cash Cash. She also recounted how she started in the music industry with barely $200. She approached Eminem with a song she wrote and as luck would have it, that song is what we all know now as Rihanna’s “Monster”. She also sang what might be her biggest hit so far, “Me, Myself and I” which is a collab with G-Eazy but this time, she rendered a stripped-down version, showing off another skill right there. She ended her set with her current hit “No Broken Hearts”, which is yet another collab and this time with Nicki Minaj. It was safe to say that after that night, Bebe Rexha gained a slew of new followers and fans alike. Coz if you were there and were not wowed, I can’t even imagine the horror.
And then Far East Movement got everyone dancing as to be expected, singing along to their hits “Like A G6” and “Rocketeer”. DJ sets were aplenty and well, despite the fact that it started drizzling again but that didn’t stop the crowd from being all hyped.
On to definitely the most awaited act of the night, the return of OneRepublic. This was like a major sing-along party as not once during the 10-song set did the crowd not sing to their hearts delight. Ryan Tedder seemed very pleased as well, pacing all over the stage, saying hi to practically all cameras he came faced with and at one point even stood on the top of the piano. And speaking of piano, OneRepublic had a truly sentimental version of “Apologize” played only with Ryan Tedder on piano and bassist Brent Kutzle on the cello. With that insane weather, the crowd, the acts… I think I am beyond grateful and may inwardly say, ”I swear, I LIVED”.
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