Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — It was the first time I heard “Patlang” live. Cambio’s propulsive breakup song remains as devastating as it was when I first heard it in college. Which is why the return of the supergroup Cambio in this year’s All of the Noise is such a joy, a jubilant capsule from the 2000s to end the year — the decade even.
I keep being reminded that the band is, in some ways, a shell of Eraserheads, with Kris Dancel, Buddy Zabala, and Raymund Marasigan all former members of the giant ‘90s band (interestingly enough, there was an Eraserheads vinyl record release the next day) but to think about the band as that is to do them a disservice. More than a decade since they’ve put out “Derby Light” and the songs are still as refreshing. “DV,” “Lihim,” and “Autopilot” still contain that wildness since I first listened to them in 2004 and the tentativeness of “Call Center” rings truer these days as I contend with even more existential issues.
The band’s set also feels a bit ritualistic, with Kris giving her guitar to her son (“This is the last time I’ll ever play this!”) as they played “Patlang” is a nod to Cambio passing on the torch to younger bands, perhaps the bands that they also played with in the All of the Noise lineup — She’s Only Sixteen, Imelda, Oh, Flamingo. But let’s not memorialize a band whose music still crackles with the defiant energy as it did when it was released in the 2000s, especially not when an entire room of young guns is also screaming “Divisoria! Divisoria!” along with everyone else.
Speaking of screaming, this year’s lineup of international bands was a surprise at first. If you thought the Rest is Noise would bring back the cute vibes of last year’s headliners Phum Viphurit and Boy Pablo, you’d have been a little disappointed. The last two international acts were burlier than the usual — rakrakan in the post-rock sense, a much-awaited cleansing after a year of terrible, terrible news. UK math rock band Delta Sleep had difficulties with their setup but pushed through nonetheless with a sweeping round of structured anthems that were just so damn engaging even if you’re not familiar with the band’s discography (“Camp Adventure” is still a highlight of the night).
And then came Deafheaven. The post-metal band appears onstage, soundcheck longer than anticipated, with a background that looks like stained glass in a cavernous church. Concerts are often described as a religious experience, but Deafheaven’s five-song set is living deliciously as the devil tempted in the horror film “The Witch.” There was a mosh pit but it was more of a midsummer dance, swirling and swirling, with people dressed in black and florals. It truly is hard to discern anything what vocalist George Clarke is saying but that’s not the point. People raise their hands as if in praise, anticipating revelation, with couples swaying to the brief interlude of dream-like guitars. It was as intense as I dreamed it was going to be and I am transformed by it. I will never know sound after hearing Deafheaven live. And with the gorgeous chaos of “Dream House” ending their set — the night, the year, the decade — I shall cradle my anger and send it off to another world.
From Offshore Music's showcase to the perky dance-pop of the Singapore band M1LDL1FE, here's everything you missed at this year's All of the Noise 2019.