Last night we found the PICC, also known as the Philippine International Convention Center.
Not to be confused with the CCP, the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Everything says the PICC is right behind the CCP, but as we discovered, it's actually a block down, a block over and another block down. Well, it wasn't that hot a night, and parking was a breeze. Plenary Hall is rather nice. Laura and Ryan came too and they liked it way better than the CCP Main Hall. I have to agree that we had better and more comfy seats this time.
About the time we discovered Maksim for ourselves, we discovered bond. They are a similar genre, crossing the line between classic and rock, with artists as wild as their music.
bond is a quartet with two violinists (from Perth, Aus. and Wales), a viola player (from Sydney) and a cellist (from Cyprus). I admit it was hard to get into at first because of their garish costumes and hyper movements. With Maxim, he sat at his piano. With these ladies, they were skipping and dancing in tight tops and tutu type skirts with wickedly high heels, all while playing their instruments. Quite a sight.
Once the concert started it was 45 minutes late and the audience was typical Filipino. We've noticed this when attending other functions or watching local concerts on TV, the audience does not react. I can't figure out if it's a sign of respect, a sign of enjoyment or a sign that the population is hard to please, but concert goers don't move. At all. The musicians came out and there was little more than polite applause after their first few pieces. The first violin spoke into the mic and tried to get a response with her "Hello Manila!" and you could practically hear crickets.
We were amazed then that near the end of the concert, one side of the orchestra seats were waving their arms! And then... they stood up! The first violin waved her arms for everyone to get up and some people did... then sat down again. By the very last piece, I was baffled because more of the audience was actually staying up and there was noise while folks clapped and cheered and some people were even moving in their seats. They were dancing!
But you know why people were really getting out of their chairs? Everyone had their phones. And they were taking pictures. From where we were, we could see dozens of little blue screens being held up as bond danced their way to the front of the stage and posed for photos as they played. We joked later that we'd love to get a picture of all the folks taking pictures. It's classic.
My favorite part of the concert was the acoustic set. Watching bond play electric instruments is impressive, but I really feel the acoustic pieces highlighted their true talent. Probably because the sound is much purer, and you can tell how intensely and beautifully they work together. They hopped around the stage with their radically unique electric instruments and we were swept away with the power of their music, but the acoustic really shone their talent.
It was a great evening. Ryan and Laura hosted us for dinner which is always a treat and bond plays amazing music that and you can't help but start dancing. One of our favorites is "Explosive". If you watch a video channel, you might catch it there. It's a little odd involving military men storming an empty building, but the group is a little odd all over.
The one thing I would have changed from the evening (ok, two things, but only one from the actual concert) was the spotlight guys. They were AWFUL. Terrible. Miserable. Dreadful. Spots would forget to come up. They would cut off heads. They wouldn't follow the women. When the musicians were lined up, three spots would come up but the fourth would be napping. We weren't the only ones who noticed, so don't think I'm nitpicking. It's distracting when the lead instrumentalist is in the dark.
The other thing I would have changed... I would have taken tylenol as soon as I got home. Go ahead and say I'm just old, but the loud music and the excitement came back to bite me during the night. One thing I really hate is waking up with a pounding head and fumpbling around in the dark for tylenol.
Ok pain aside.... Buy the CD. Or all three.