Words by Meg Abuan

B-Side at The Collective was once again filled with music enthusiasts on December 2 as Red Ninja Productions brought together 21 solid acts, from rising artists to legends, for a 10-hour show of pure eargasm: Red Ninja Year Ender 2017. Despite what the music scene has faced this past month, the crowd still displayed an overwhelming response and overflowing support for this event. It goes to show how the scene has turned from more than just a go-to-place to a community.

Fans came in as early as 3PM, despite the usual heavy traffic on a Saturday afternoon, to witness the performance of one of the most awaited bands in the lineup, pop-folk band Ben&Ben. Following them was indie sweetheart Reese Lansangan, who performed songs from her new EP. TheSunManager accompanied her as she sang “St. Petersburg”.

Moonstar88 stirred feelings when they played on the stage, it was one nostalgic set for they played songs like “Gilid” and “Migraine”. Technical difficulties didn’t hinder the set because the crowd sang along to almost every line of their songs. It became more intimate when vocalist Maychelle Baay came near the crowd while she was singing “Torete”. TheSunManager then serenaded us with her songs, leading to the set of Peryodiko. Suman, Vin Dancel’s little boy, showcased his drum skills during the first two songs of the set. They ended with a cover of UDD‘s “Indak”, from which Vin Dancel got the idea for his song “Tayo Lang Ang May Alam”.

Keiko Necesario, one of the solo artists in the lineup, surely captured everyone’s attention with her powerful voice and relevant songs. She surprised the crowd with a duet featuring her good friend Quest, with a song they performed during the ASEAN summit.

This was followed by Run Dorothy, then Cheats, who promoted their upcoming album launch Before the Babies. They ended their set with the song “Accidents” with Raimund Marasigan, who also produced their album.

Riot Acts and The General Assembly gave the crowd an awesome performance from two diverse genres. Hale, being one of the legends in this lineup, brought throwback feelings when they performed onstage. The audience sang their hearts out to “Blue Sky”, “The Day You Said Goodnight”, and more of their hit songs. Hale was followed by Sandwich, who undeniably rocked out that night. They performed songs from their old albums and ended their set with “Sugod”, for which the boys of Cheats jammed with them.

Everyone enjoyed the sound and the vibe of IV of Spades. Carlo Castaño with his full band returned after a long hiatus and gave an unforgettable performance. Rob and the Hitmen kept the crowd dancing even after a long day of standing. Tom’s Story, Tonight We Sleep, and Runaway Crimes kept the energy up for the rest of the night. The show ended with Lions & Acrobats, and despite setting foot onstage at almost 3AM, the crowd’s excitement remained unwavering.

This year, Red Ninja introduced the Ninja Christmas Crate, which includes albums, band shirts, stickers, and gifts from sponsors. Attendees had the chance to get their hands on the crate by joining the raffle for only 20 pesos. The sole winner, who also happened to attend the show via a free ticket courtesy of Billboard Philippines in partnership with Red Ninja Productions, brought home the much sought after merchandise package.

Even after a long and tiring day, the bands, the organizers, and the crowd surely had a wonderful time. It was a night filled with amazing music from diverse genres. Red Ninja Productions once again proved that the local music scene is very much alive and will continue to live on. The Red Ninja Year Ender Fest is definitely one for the books.

Here are more photos from the Red Ninja Year Ender Fest: