One year down, more to come!
Last 28 April 2013, Philippine fans of popular Japanese rock act L’Arc~en~Ciel banded together and paid homage to the legendary rock band’s music by holding an acoustic session of their songs.
Titled “L’ArCoustic Jam Session & Pool Party,” the event was organized by the L’Arc~en~Ciel Philippine Street Team (LPST) to celebrate the team’s first year anniversary, which was held at the bar and pool area of Elan Hotel at Greenhills, San Juan City.
From 10AM to 4PM, the event was jam-packed with cover performances, impromptu collaborations, games, bananas, fangirling, fanboying, and laughter!
Kicking off the event was the live DVD viewing of L’Arc~en~Ciel’s momentous concert, the 20th L’Anniversary Live, while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. After which, the program proper had begun with the jam session’s first performer, Christian Lopez.
Christian already belongs in a band, however, he performed solo in the event. Sported by his guitar and quivering hands, Christian was too nervous to perform, partly being as an event-starter. Now I don’t claim to be a music expert so I cannot go about the technicalities of the performances, but Christian definitely set the bar high for the following performers!
His first song was “Neo Universe,” one of my all-time favourite songs.
Days before the event began, Christian was already deliberating on which songs to perform for he knows how to play a number of L’Arc~en~Ciel’s songs. But when he announced that his second was “fate”, another all-time favourite of mine, I just had to scream from delight. It was the first time I’ve heard an acoustic cover of that song.
For his last song, which our host Aria had chosen, was “Anata.” The ballad, like what usually happens in L’Arc’s concerts, had been given much meaning and joy when everyone in the venue started singing along, especially during the chorus near the end.
Next up was a mini-game called the L’Arc Trivia, wherein attendees were to guess the L’Arc promotion video (PV) in which the objects shown in the screen belongs to. It is actually a difficult game if you don’t have a keen eye for details in the PVs.
The second performer was another soloist, Glenn Maigensai Orbon. An active #LArcMNL member, Glenn has always proclaimed “flower” as his favourite song, which was why it did not come as a surprise when he performed it. The surprising thing was how much he owned the song, giving “flower” his original flavour and expressing his emotion while performing.
With its warm reception during our previous event ,“Hyde Night,” the Street Team then brought back the L’Arc Charades game! Attendees were divided into three groups and were given two minutes each to guess as much L’Arc songs as possible. The songs listed were only the ones with English titles. Group 2 ended up winning this round, followed by Group 1, and then Group 3.
The party continued when Glenn came back in front, together with Aria, and they both performed “Ready, Steady, Go.” The guitar acoustic cover was by Ringo of the #LArcMNL Group, who, unfortunately, was unable to attend. The trio’s name altogether is GRingoRia.
Lunch was then served as the 20th L’Anniversary Live DVD viewing resumed.
The party continued with the performances from the band of Paolo, Raz, Triszois, and Leu. First up for the vocal was Triszois, and they performed “Time Slip” followed by “Lies and Truth”.
Coming in next for the vocal was Leu, who impressed everyone with his voice and singing style that resembled Hyde’s, though he looks like Korea’s Bae Yong-Joon. Their band then performed “My Dear”, followed by “Blame.”
A new game was then introduced – “Arrange Yourselves!” By being reunited with their Charades groupmates, the attendees were first asked to come up with a group cheer which they are to use every time they have successfully arranged their line depending on the given task. Tasks included in the game were to arrange themselves according to their age when they became a L’Arc fan, how many original CD singles and album they own, etc. The event gave birth to two of the most epic banters of the event.
First up was in the category of the number of original CD singles owned:
Nick: Lima. (Five)
Leu: (with epic shocked reaction) LIMA?! (Five)
The second one was in the task of arranging themselves according to their favourite L’Arc songs in alphabetical order:
Nick: New World
Leu: The Nepenthes
And Leu, with his matching hand gesture for “T” was all defensive with the “THE” of the Nepenthes. 😛
The first female soloist of the event came next, Jam Esteban. Also the founder of Kis-My-Ft2 Philippines, Jam first made an impression with fellow L’Arc fans by sharing her beautiful piano cover of the band’s song “My Heart Draws a Dream” at the #LArcMNL Facebook Group, and Fan Video for L’Arc~en~Ciel. This time around, she played it live, and sought the aid of Glenn to sing the lyrics. It was around this time when the sky was beginning to darken and the cool breeze provided a sentimental atmosphere as Jam played. But with the presence of Glenn and his funny antics, it balanced out the solemnity and seriousness of the atmosphere.
LPST then brought back another game, this time from the first Fan Meet. Yes, the Mukimpo Eating Contest! Defending champion Raz was called in front so he can defend his title of being the ultimate banana eating machine. His challengers were Kenneth (male) and Hizaki as chosen by random sampling. In the end, Raz was victorious for the second time, devouring six overripe bananas in three minutes!
Next up was another female soloist performer, Miho Octobergloom. With her quiet and modest demeanor Miho was unlike your regular, loud fangirls. And when she sang, her voice was like an angel’s. Her first song was “Jojoushi”, which was accompanied by Gab and Starr in the beatbox and guitar. For her next number, “Pieces,” she was then accompanied by Raz, Leu, and Paulo. The performance also saw epic “counting” for the bridge part near the end of the song.
Infairness to the #LArcMNL musicians, by just being formed on the same day and with little time to practice, the impromptu collaborations and accompaniments were still done successfully.
A male soloist, named Eury, came in next and perfomed with Ringo’s acoustic cover of “Niji.”
After which, another game was introduced: the Blank~e~Oke! For this game, five participants were chosen and were tasked to sing a L’Arc song. Only that, they have to fill in the lyrics in selected parts. For this game, the chosen song was none other than “Blurry Eyes.” Participants for this game, in order of singing, were Pancho, Christian, Jam, Leu, and Kenneth (female) as chosen by random sampling. In the end, Leu won the game by filling in the lyrics in all of his turns.
The final guest cover band for the event is a household name in the local J-Rock fandom. Named “Asterysk”, the band is comprised by Kairi, Yomi, Raki, Ardi, and Henson. Their first song was “SHINE”, followed by “the Fourth Avenue Café”, which saw the playful slapping and kicking of the vocalists against each other. Their last song was “Stay Away.” Even with the absence of a lyrics sheet for the song, the band continued to jam with the crowd singing until the end.
When all of the guest musicians have performed, the LPST played a short audio-video presentation, presenting the Team’s accomplishments for the past year. The video was also the channel in which the Team’s official mascot has been finally announced. Our local sarimanok Ciel-chan: Sari-Chan!
In order for the teams to seek redemption for their losses in the first round of the Charades, we did another round for Charades; each correct answer equaled two points, which were to be added with their first round and “Arrange Yourselves” scores. This time, Group 2 ended up victorious, followed by Group 1 and Group 3. The L’Arc Charades was also where the Team Pass came into fruition, with the existence of our guest Nick who frequently “passed” in his turns to act.
The last performer was the band named “Irozuki.” Comprised by two of LPST’s core staff, Jahra and Gabelle, and the LPST volunteers Michelle and Starr, and Pancho, the band performed “winterfall,” followed by “Jiyuu eno shoutai.”
Before the event formally came to a close, everyone gathered in front of the new LPST tarpaulin for a group photo, and signed at the #LArcMNL signature frame. Prizes were then awarded to the game winners, and merchandise and CDs were raffled off for lucky attendees!
The charades winners took home #LArcMNL campaign stickers. Three of the #LArcMNL notebooks, sponsored by Paperplanes Manila, were awarded to Leu for the Blank~e ~Oke, Raz for the Mukimpo Eating Contest, and Kenneth (female) for the Best Actor Award during Charades. For the raffle, the first minor prize was the thickest #LArcMNL notebook, which was won by Nick. The Heaven’s Drive single went to Jam Esteban, and the Spirit Dreams Inside –another single- was won by JM. The major prize, which was the SMILE album, was won by Bunny.
As a part of LPST, it is not for me to say if the event was a success or not. But based from the generous and enthusiastic feedbacks from the attendees posted in the #LArcMNL group, I think we managed to pull off a good event. 😛 Some of the Team’s members were not able to join us in this momentous occasion, but everything would not have come into fruition without them.
At the end of the day, what matters is that the attendees enjoyed and got to bring home a lot of good memories from the event. And may the LPST share more memories with more Pinoy L’Arc~en~Ciel fans in our events to come! 🙂
#LArcMNL all the way!
Photo credits to Therese Gabriel and Yours Truly. For the videos of the L’ArCoustic covers and more photos, head over to the #LArcMNL Facebook Group and join the fun!