Lungs were thoroughly exhausted by the time the weekend of Wanderland 2023 was over.
The beauty of live concerts and festivals is that you never know what to expect. Sure, you can come in hoping for certain things to happen. But once the show starts and the performer connects with the crowd, it can make for some unexpected magical moments. And during Wanderland’s long-awaited return over the weekend of March 4 and 5, the festival played host to those exact moments. It made for experiences that got the crowd screaming and memories that permanently entered the brain. Here are some of those moments during Wanderland: The Comeback that had us wanting more.
YLONA GARCIA DEMOLISHING SPACE
We been knew Ylona Garcia was going to eat in the vocals department. But hearing her do what she does best live felt like the best of blessings. Her first performance in the Philippines in years was a vocals showcase that was seen when she sang Space. Not only did she flex her iron pipes, but Ylona also bodied with her bars during the rap. And to make it even better, there was a harmonious back-and-forth between Ylona and the crowd as they sang the chorus.
MEN I TRUST KEEPING THE CROWD IN A TRANCE
If there was a fan favorite at Wanderland 2023, Men I Trust would be near the top of most Wanderers’ lists. By the time the Canada-based band performed in the late afternoon on day one, they had a captivated audience who were ready to cocoon themselves in their music. While relatively low-key compared to other acts of the festival, Men I Trust still delivered a performance that made many Filipino fans happy.
RAVEENA SINGING IN HINDI
From her makeup to her dress, Raveena looked like the embodiment of euphoria. Her entire set was about that loving energy that speaks to the soul. Raveena often turns to spirituality and her own culture for inspiration, which is why it was a nice treat when she brought out her guitar to sing a Hindi song. She brought her roots to Wanderland, and the crowd ate it up.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN TAKING OFF HER JACKET AND HOLDING A DIAMOND SWORD
CARLY RAE GOT OUR SWORD I REPEAT CARLY RAE GOT OUR SWORD YES PO SA GROUP NAMIN YAN DHDJDKDK pic.twitter.com/bFnz0NqxCd— violent chachki (@VlOLENTCHACHKI) March 4, 2023
Carly Rae Jepsen was very much the highlight for day one to many as the Canadian pop star entertained the crowd with a string of her pop classics. She looked like the queen of the disco with her pink and purple sparkly dress and jacket. But after a few songs, Carly took off her jacket, which got the crowd screaming. And if that wasn’t enough, she also had an outfit change into a light blue top and high-waisted pants halfway through the set. To top it all off, as Carly performed the last song of the night, Cut To The Feeling, someone handed her a diamond sword from Minecraft that just completed the fantasy.
RICO BLANCO PERFORMING HIS TIMELESS HITS
Wanderland: The Comeback had its fair share of international acts that had us grinning from ear to ear. But there was nothing like when Rico Blanco rocked day two with his hits. Rico and his band, which included IV OF SPADES’ Badjao, took to the stage to expertly jam to some Filipino music. From Your Universe to Yugto, Rico delivered the OPM classics that just hit differently. It’s a whole kind of experience to be in a crowd of thousands as an OPM rock legend sings some of the genre’s most well-known tunes.
FKJ AND ((( O ))) PERFORMING TOGETHER
When we saw that FKJ and ((( O ))) were on the lineup, we hoped that they would share the stage even though they’re performing on separate dates. And those hopes were fulfilled when during FKJ’s set, O surprised the crowd as she and her man perform together. It was the definition of a gag to see these two share the same stage.
DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL PERFORMING BELLE OF THE BOULEVARD
The nostalgia was real when Dashboard Confessional took to the stage for their set. They brought out all the old hits with the crowd singing every word. But a moment that will live rent-free in our minds was when the band decided to treat the audience with a rare performance of Belle Of The Boulevard. It should be noted that they rarely perform the song in shows. So, the fact that he did so for the Philippine crowd was extra special. Pinoys stay winning.
PHOENIX’S THOMAS MARS CROWD SURFING
Phoenix were true rock stars at Wanderland. The French band had the festival in a vice grip in an epic performance that had no dull moments. And what’s a rockstar show without a crowd-surfing moment, right? This is why Phoenix’s lead vocalist, Thomas Mars, took a leap of faith and jumped into the crowd. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, spectacular, and so much more. It was an amazing way to end Wanderland’s return.