Moonpools & Catterpillars performing at Amber. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Nearly 20 years since the release of their breakthrough studio album in 1995, the Filipino-American rock band Moonpools & Caterpillars were ecstatically welcomed by fans on Tuesday as the quartet launched its three-concert series in the Philippines at the Amber Ultra Lounge at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Fans practically sang along with vocalist Kimi Ward Encarnacion for the entire duration of the California-based band’s 90-minute set, which was opened by local bands The Pinups, We Are Imaginary and Moonstar88.
“We've never seen anything like it. What a blast from start to finish!!!” the band posted on its official Facebook page on Wednesday morning.
“Usually after a really good show, you can say that you killed. But last night, I think you could say that the audience killed. Manila, you were a force. It was such an honor to play in front of you last night,” the band added.
Before deciding to perform in the Philippines for only the second time – the first time was back in 1996 at the Star City Expo – the band, which also includes Filipino-Americans Jay Jay Encarnacion on guitars, Tim DePala on bass and Gugut Salgado on drums, raised more than $21,000 for the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines during a benefit show at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles in early January.
A few days after that gig, the band surveyed its fans on Facebook about possibly doing some concerts in the Philippines. The response was overwhelmingly positive such that tickets quickly sold out when music portal Pinoy Tuner announced the band’s concert back in February.
Apart from Tuesday’s show, Moonpools and Caterpillars will also perform at Outpost in Cebu on Wednesday and again at Amber at BGC on Friday.
The Amber crowd for the kick-off concert was obviously in the mood for some ‘90s nostalgia as they rocked with the band and gamely participated in Ward’s call-and-response gimmicks in songs like “Sunday.”
Ward, looking like a neo-hippie in a patterned cheongsam top and sampaguita garlands on her pixie ‘do, was a perky presence, as she energetically bounced around the small stage. But it was clearly the propulsive rhythms and buzzing guitar effects of the Fil-Am boys that drove the band’s sound and rocking appeal.
On many songs, such as the hits “Soon,” “Hear,” “Summer Time” and “Trampling Rose,” all from the classic “Lucky Dumpling” album, one can hardly hear Ward’s distinctive vocals anymore as she was drowned by the lusty singing of the crowd.
The quartet even included some OPM covers toward the end of its set, with the Encarnacion couple doing harmonies on the Juan dela Cruz Band anthem “Ang Himig Natin” and the entire band firing up the Pinoy rock classic “Beep Beep.”
The band aptly ended the night with the ballad “Heaven” with Ward and the crowd singing “Take care, don’t go too far, I will miss you so” to each other.
Moonpools & Caterpillars are indeed home again.