MANILA -- It was a night of chill vibes and breezy tracks in Karpos Live Mix 9, featuring Adoy and FKJ, held recently at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent.
Adoy started with a psychedelic LED and synths-backed intro that welcomed the band members one by one onto stage before launching into their song, "I Just Can’t Forget Her."
By their third song, "San Francisco," the crowd and the band were fully in tune, as the audience readily answered and followed prompts of vocalist Juhwan.
Then followed melancholic songs that effectively evoked sunset-hued drives like "Grace," "Young," "Balloon," "Runner’s High" and "Bike," among others.
A definite highlight was their performance of "Laika," where the song’s intro was a driving and powerful ball of force that moved to slow and forlorn. These shifts made for an emotionally charged song, with lighting concept to match, bathing the band in an intense red.
One must also not fail to mention the one-two-combo of "Pool" and "Wonder." Heard live, "Pool" had a more present funky guitar twang that was quite irresistible to the ear, while "Wonder" was more of the same, and had the crowd swaying back and forth, seemingly in a trance.
Ending their performance with "Don’t Stop" was an inspired choice. The song was like a millennial fist-in-the-air moment with lyrics like “Don't stop me, this is the moment! Keep me young and free.”
Celebratory too, with the crowd singing along to the millennial doowop part of the song with gusto.
“Thanks for coming tonight! I love [the] Philippines and I love Manila! See you next time and soon!” promised Juhwan.
With the intimate venue lending itself well to the city pop flair of Adoy, the band’s sophomore performance in our country had the band shining more brightly. With more songs in the pipeline, it’s exciting to imagine what their next visit will bring.
Much like his previous performance in Wanderland, FKJ for French Kiwi Juice (real name: Vincent Fenton) delighted the crowd with beautiful looping and his unmistakable musicality.
“This is very special for me because it’s my second time in the Philippines. First time was in your 2015 festival, and it’s the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to, and seeing this country blew my mind away, so this is special for me,” Fenton said at the start of his set.
Surrounded by a rig that he adeptly maneuvered around, FKJ played multiple instruments from keyboards, guitars and a saxophone, among others. It was the playing of the latter instrument that had the crowd cheering in delight, especially in his performance of "Tadow," a collaboration with Masego.
Aside from "Tadow," FKJ also performed "Risk" and "Losing My Way," songs that he worked on with Bas and Tom Misch, respectively.
A notable highlight in his set was his looping of Dr. Dre’s XXplosive which smoothly segued into Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey’s "I Know What You Want," to which the audience happily sang along to.
While the general mood of Mix Live 9 was chill, FKJ added many layers to this. For example, his performance of "Skyline" was dreamy and sexy, while "TIU" was mostly tinkling piano and innocent. "Ylang Ylang" also deserves a mention when it comes to mood, as the haunting piano-driven track — sad and nostalgic — almost had this author in tears at one point.
“My wife is Filipina, Pinay. Manila can be tough at times but there’s something wonderful about Manila, it’s the people!” shared FKJ.
After a rousing chorus of ‘We Want More’ from the crowd, FKJ gave Mix Live 9 a memorable ending as he brought out his wife, June Marieezy, otherwise known as (((O))) to sing "Vibing Out with (((O)))." The response to the encore was explosive, as the crowd sang along, waved their hands in the air, and cheered loudly for both long after they left the stage.