Concert recap: UDD, Cigarettes After Sex end Karpos series on a sweet note

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Nov 18 2018 08:43 AM

MANILA -- American ambient pop band Cigarettes After Sex and local indie darlings UDD teamed up for a fittingly sweet ending to the year-long Karpos Live Mix series.

UDD takes the Karpos stage. Jeeves de Veyra

With a packed ABS-CBN Vertis Tent for Karpos Mix 3.3, UDD came to the stage amid cheers from the crowd.

It was a classic UDD show. Led by their vocalist Armi Millare, the band showed the crowd exactly why they, after 14 years in the business, remain one of the top indie acts in the country today. It was a laidback affair -- there were no theatrics nor acrobatics involved in their set, and the band simply let their songs shine.

The band formerly known as Up Dharma Down played their hit songs like "Oo," "Indak" and "Luna," which had the crowd singing along happily. They got the crowd dancing and grooving in songs like "Tayong Dalwa," and "Turn It Well," and also treated the crowd to an “old-new-song” (as per Millare) like "Anino," which was featured in the current movie "Kung Paano Siya Nawala."

UDD ended their set with a new song, "Sigurado," which featured a heady '80s-esque sound, and thanked the crowd for their continued support.


If you listen to Cigarettes After Sex, you would wonder how their music would translate live. Their music can evoke both feelings of anguish and “kilig.” It also has a deliciously languid quality to it.

Live, that languid quality was fully exploited in many ways during the show, but it never got boring though.

Cigarettes After Sex kept things dramatic. Jeeves de Veyra

Following suit to UDD, the band didn’t interact with the crowd as much during the show beyond the occasional hello and thank you. It felt like vocalist Greg Gonzalez with the rest of the band decided they would remain in a “lovelorn/sad” headspace to milk all the emotion out of the songs -- which worked!

They were stoic after songs like "Crush," "Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby," and "K." among others, had the crowd singing and cheering loudly, although one was hard-pressed to sing along, lest they not fully enjoy Gonzalez’s beautiful vocals.

Lighting also helped in keeping things dramatic. The band was always either backlit or shadowed, and they used white lighting mostly used during the set. Different graphic backgrounds of either crying women, burning houses, or trails of smoke were projected at the LED behind the band, which matched songs perfectly, and adding to overall evocative effect of the production.

Their 14-song set also included songs like "Sunsetz," "Affection," and "John Wayne" -- all well-received, especially their cover of REO Speedwagon’s "Keep On Loving You."

The crowd clearly enjoyed Cigarettes After Sex. Jeeves de Veyra

After singing "Apocalypse" and exiting the stage, the Karpos Mix 3.3 crowd noisily asked for an encore -- and they got it, with Cigarettes After Sex praising the crowd for “being amazing” and playing two more songs -- "Please Don’t Cry," and "Dreaming Of You."


And so it ended, a great run of 2018’s Karpos Mix Live series. What’s next?