One of the most awaited events for Larc~en~Ciel fans in the Philippines had finally arrived. On the roof deck of Elan hotel in Annapolis, one scorching Sunday, L’arcoustic celebrated Larc~en~Ciel Philippines Street Team’s first anniversary. With 40 attendees, the group’s highest turn-out so far, the first-ever acoustic jamming session was a smashing success.
To describe L’arcoustic as ”fun” is an understatement. Having live bands perform their own acoustic renditions of L’arc~en~Ciel songs was a fulfillment in itself. With the addition of exciting games, contests, and prizes, the event was one happy shindig, despite being an event for a rock band.
As part of the tradition of setting the mood, DVD viewing was the first enjoyable activity. After getting inspired by the band’s 20th anniversary concert, the performances were ready to roll. The performers were a roster of fresh and seasoned musicians and singers all eager to share their l’ove for Laruku.
Christian Lopez, a member of the band called MITTSU Project, was the first to break the ice and set the tone of the event with his one-man act using an acoustic guitar, a multi-effects pedal, and background accompaniment. With his own renditions of the songs Neo Universe, Fate, and Anata, he has left the audience wanting for more.
The second performer was Glenn Orbon, a.k.a. MaiGensai, an architect from UP. With a minimalist style, the guitar hobbyist played his all-time favorite Larc song, Flower, using only his ever faithful acoustic guitar. This was followed by a performance from Gringoria, in which Glenn is also a member.
Gringoria is a portmanteau for Glenn, Ringo, and Street Team’s very own, Aria. Though the talented guitarist Ringo was a no-show at the event, his guitar prowess still amazed the crowd through his recording of Ready, Steady, Go, that accompanied Glenn and Aria’s duet.
Time Slip and Lies and Truth were the next numbers rendered by Triszois, together with her professional musician friends, Raz, Leu and Paolo. This was followed by a powerful rendition of My Dear and Blame of the same set of performers, this time, with the crowd-favorite Leu as the front man.
After an array of guitar acoustics, a heavenly piano cover of My Heart Draws a Dream was performed by Jam Esteban. A first-timer in LArcMNL events, Jam left the audience in awe with her performance, a feat she accomplished without using any music sheet.
A heartfelt mellow performance, given by the sultry singer Miho Octobergloom, followed. Her ballad version of Jojoushi and Pieces, in collaboration with other performing bands, was a refreshing ensemble to the jamming sessions.
Then, a J-rock inspired band, Asterysk*, rendered a special performance with the songs Shine, The Fourth Avenue Cafe, and Stay Away. With their presence in the event, L’arcoustic has truly become a bona fide gig.
Although the guest performances were tough acts to follow, they were followed nonetheless by the closing performance of the band Irozuki (which means “changing colors” and from the lyrics of one of the songs they were to perform). The band is composed of Street Team members, Jahra and Gabelle, and volunteers, Michelle, Starr, and Jezen. For their debut, they played their acoustic renditions of the hits Winterfall and Jiyuu e no Shoutai.
In between these performances, of course, were the signature happenings in every Street Team event. These activities not only spice up each gathering, but also make the Cielers stay alert and think on their feet for L’arc-related games such as trivia questions, song title charades, filling in the lyrics, PV guessing, and the epic Mukimpo-eating contest. Apart from these healthy competitions, there were also a raffle of personalized L’Arc Philippines notebooks, L’Arc singles and albums. Also, who could forget the trademark sing-along portion, the Larc~e~oke?
Another highlight of the party was the screening of a six-minute AVP showcasing the Street Team’s journey from the group’s formation, to their online campaigns through social networking and blogging sites, first fan meet, participation in the J-pop Festival and Asian Expo, to the online parties, Hyde night, l’ove project, #LArcMNL auction, to their big feature in Manila Standard Today. It also served as the venue for launching its mascot, Sari-chan, and for a sneak preview of the upcoming major J-rock convention.
LA’rc~en~Ciel Philippines’ anniversary party is just the beginning of yet another year of hard work, growth, and milestones, all for the good old cause of bringing the best band to Manila.~