IN PHOTOS: Pinoys love LANY so bad -- and the feeling's mutual

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Apr 10 2018 01:35 PM

LANY vocalist Paul Klein greets the crowd. Jeeves de Veyra

Fans in the front row had many moments with LANY vocalist Paul Klein. Jeeves de Veyra

A giant LED screen was the main backdrop. Jeeves de Veyra

LANY vocalist Paul Klein almost falling into the crowd. Jeeves de Veyra

LANY vocalist Paul Klein at the piano. Jeeves de Veyra

LANY vocalist Paul Klein sings a mash-up of 'Sign of the Times' and 'Current Location.' Jeeves de Veyra

The band magically appears in another stage. Jeeves de Veyra

'ILYSB' was a fitting ending to this sold-out show. Jeeves de Veyra

The band thanks the Araneta crowd. Jeeves de Veyra

Glowsticks waving all around and a mosh pit that was close to full -- that was the scene that welcomed American indie band LANY at the Araneta Coliseum on the second night of their sold-out Manila shows last April 6 and 7. 

Vocalist Paul Klein entered the stage with arms akimbo, taking a moment to absorb the deafening roar of the crowd. 

“Last night was the best night of my life, but tonight might top it,” Klein told the crowd as the Los Angeles band launched into "Dumb Stuff" and "4EVER!" that had the crowd singing back with the unmistakable gusto of a Filipino audience. 

Klein and bandmates Les Priest and Jake Goss are no strangers to the fervor of Filipinos. This is their third time in Manila, having been crowd-drawers since their first performance in the Wanderland music festival, as well as their sold-out Ayala mall tour. 

This, however, was their first arena show -- a fact that was celebrated all throughout the show, as Klein thanked the crowd repeatedly for "making their dreams come true."

It felt that they went full circle, and gave a performance that was clearer, loving, and amazingly, almost spiritual. There was an intimacy to the hours spent with the packed crowd, with Klein asking the audience to "sing like a family" at one point. 

There was showmanship that rivaled the best of them, as Klein worked the crowd with songs like "Flowers On the Floor," "Good Girls," "pink skies," and "The Breakup," among others. It was, as if, he wanted to get as close as he could with the crowd, with a concertgoer even getting a good 5-10 seconds of Klein holding her hand while he sang. 

While LANY's songs are often categorized as dream pop with their languid sound and tempos, the energy never wavered. Klein was a master at inserting lines in between songs that gave the adoring crowd shivers. Take, for example, saying “Everything is already better, Manila!” after singing a line from "yea, babe, no way."
There were also jaw-dropping moments like Klein standing on a flimsy piano stool as he played the piano, which was at once scary and exciting. He was a cannonball on stage, carefully giving attention to every area of the big arena’s audience. They took it a step further, with the band actually moving stages at one point. 

After the song "Hurts," the arena’s lights were turned off with only the words "Malibu Nights 2018" flashing on the screens. Then a spotlight turned on, and we found the band near the back of the moshpit, giving folks at the center and back of the arena a better view while they sang "13. "The band returned to the stage via the side of the moshpit, giving audience members high-fives along the way. 

Dancing was also a big part of this show. Klein led the way, dancing and giving the audience mind-blowing body rolls that never once failed to ignite the crowd like dynamite. Just to note, "Super Far" was an undeniably crazy affair, dancing wise. 

But there were less frenetic moments, too, like when the band slowed the tempo during their mash-up of "Sign of the Times" and "Current Location." Klein's voice was noticeably raspy (possibly since this was already Day 2) but this also lent a raw touching quality to his performances on the piano. 

“We’d like to come back for the rest of our lives. By far, hands down, the most fun people to play to in the entire world,” Klein said before launching into the mash-up.

It was the same bit of magic that worked for the song "Hericane," a song about a painful lost love, that had the audience witness Klein have an emotional moment, which the crowd responded to by starting a passionate “We Love You!” chant. 

Production-wise, the set was very simple. 

We had Priest and Goss with their instruments on a riser. Their background was a giant LED screen that wasn’t too noisy with graphics all throughout the show, except when it came to the finale with the screen was full of running “I love you so bad” phrases. 

"ILYSB" is the band’s biggest hit, so far, and a fitting ending to this sold-out show.

And as confetti rained down to a thankful throng, signaling the culmination of LANY ’s two-day run in the Philippines, Klein ended with promise: “We’ll be back in 2019!”