US group Movements ends world tour with intimate concert in Manila


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American group Movements performs at 123 Block. Author’s photo

MANILA – Movements, one of the hottest American bands in the world right now, put on an intimate show last Sunday at 123 Block in Mandaluyong City.

The four-man group from Rancho San Margarita, an hour and a half outside Los Angeles, were brought to Manila by independent promotion group Sleeping Boy Collective and their local show was the last of their two months. European, Australian and Southeast Asian tour that saw them perform in 15 countries.

Movements’ extended play album, “Outgrown Things,” released in 2016, and their debut album, “Feel Something,” released in 2017, became bestsellers, making it to the music charts. Their videos, especially for the single “Daylily,” are hailed for their gripping nature and willingness to deal with issues such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease. In two years, they’ve been included in the main stage of the Vans Warped Tour and have been invited everywhere.

As the opening acts captivated the sold-out 300 spectators, singer Patrick Miranda, drummer Spencer York, bassist Austin Cressey and guitarist Ira George each passed the time in their own way. George had his headphones on and was checking messages online. York and Cressey were playing video games on a laptop, while Miranda agreed to do an interview.

I speculated to Miranda that the band as well as “Feel Something” – in my opinion – reminds me of the San Francisco band Third Eye Blind and their self-titled debut album. 3EB, as they are abbreviated, was signed by a record company just a few gigs. Their first album came out in 1997 and had all kinds of hit songs that sang about depression, suicide, drug addiction, etc.

“It’s a compliment I would happily accept,” said Miranda, who now wears a crew-neck cut after cutting her long mane. “I’m a fan of Third Eye Blind and the music they make fantastic.”

“The tour went very well and we are delighted to be in Manila,” Miranda summed up. “We hope the show will be a memorable way to cap off the tour.”

The tour was a revelation for Miranda and her band mates. More than sold-out concerts, the band understood the power of their songs and experienced new cultures.

“None of us expected to be able to do what we did in a short period of time,” said Miranda. “We had a good feeling, but we didn’t expect this success. Last year we toured with Good Charlotte. And now we’re on tour with bands like Simple Plan and all these amazing artists. Being able to be accepted as a peer is a great feeling.

“The tours of the past two years have been a lesson in humility and openness. We see that our music has an impact on people all over the world. That’s all we ever wanted to do – play our music for those who appreciate it. “

The story of Movements is how they signed a recording deal after giving a live show. It’s a story Miranda told us. “We played our first show after creating some hype about our band and our songs. Before playing our first gig, we pushed our band really hard on social media. We opened for this group, Have Mercy, and all of our friends came. Add to that some 60 random people who only knew us through our music online showed up and now there were around 150 kids singing and jumping up and down. It turned out that there were a few scouts in the audience and they were like, “Let’s keep an eye on this group. And the rest is history since we signed with Fearless Records.

The album hit the Billboard charts, the barometer of popular music in the United States. “Feel Something” also received positive reviews and was named as one of the best releases of 2017.

“I get a lot of people who come to me and say, ‘The music you make has saved my life,’” Miranda said when asked for the answer to the very personal songs.

“I don’t take this lightly. I really feel every time I hear that. A lot of people have told me that they could have killed themselves at some point, but the music we make tells them that there are others who are going through the same thing and that there is hope. It is overwhelming. It is a heavy weight to carry but it is also an amazing and beautiful thing. It’s all I ever wanted to do.

“Half of ‘Feel Something’ was written about people I met through this band, whether it was my girlfriend when we were making the album. If I hadn’t toured or with this band, I wouldn’t have met these people. All of these songs are personal.

In “Feel Something,” Miranda repeatedly uses color or mentions it in songs. For “Daylily”, it is about having “summers of pink clouds”. There are other songs such as “Colorblind”, “Deep Red” and “The Gray”.

The singer is happy that we caught this “pattern”.

“It’s a way of describing how I feel about the world – to paint them in different hues to convey emotions. As we end the tour, I can say that my world is colored with a mixture of yellow and orange. It’s because I feel overwhelmed. The culture here is Southeast Asia is different from home. The shows, the city life and the atmosphere are different. We come from a quiet suburb off the beaten track. It’s an hour and a half from Los Angeles. Seeing all these cultures is overwhelming, but we are happy to be here. It got a little overwhelming. I need to disconnect because of the sensory overload. But again, I wouldn’t trade this for nothing.

The folks at 123 Block also didn’t sing, jump, clap, and body surf throughout the group’s 45 minutes.

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About Joan J. Hernandez

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