Behind the scenes: Melt’s Artists on Virtual Gigs

By TJ Delima

Melt! Melt! Melt! In Your Home Artist Lineup | Melt Records | Virtual gig, online show, stream series
Here’s what our artists had to say about the experience of “virtual gigging”!

Pre-pandemic, the process of planning and organizing a live performance in person is known to be time-consuming and difficult. There is a great deal of logistics and management to be done. Artists and bands are also expected to practice and prepare their shows ahead of time.

So we tried to get a sense of how all of the artists that played for Melt! Melt! Melt! In Your Home, prepared for their acts in this new virtual space. Especially as the pandemic has greatly impacted how we all experience concerts and events, it was fascinating to hear insights on what they enjoyed & hated about playing on virtual gigs!

On preparations for the virtual gig

Here’s what a few of the artists felts about the preparations they needed to make for the virtual show!

UJU | Melt Records

It’s our first virtual gig so we didn’t really know how to prepare. We prepare just like how we prepare for a live gig, which is to practice! It’s also great seeing the band again.

Kenanaiah Jo, UJU
KC Salazar | Melt Records

We made sure to find a day where all of us are available. We also had to try to find a place big enough for us to practice social distance. And prep of gear before the actual gig, which is usually done by Francis.

KC Salazar, KRNA

On the best and worst of “virtual gigging”…

All of the artists in the lineup found time to prepare their songs beforehand and although some chose to perform their music live with the band, others chose to do so digitally. There were also challenges when it came to setting up their setup, such as Lynel‘s effort to set up his camera for recording and editing the video without the appropriate equipment. Here’s what everyone had to say!

Coloura | Melt Records

Having a virtual gig means that I won’t have to travel anymore, and I don’t have to go home in such a hassle, but for me that’s the spirit of going to live gigs. As much as you see it as a flexibility, I really think it is not the case. It’s a different challenge to have a virtual gig rather than live. One challenge that we encounter was the the deadlines.

Robert Lim, Coloura
Lynel | Melt Records

It was challenging to set up the camera and edit the video without proper equipment. It can also be lonely playing alone but the advantage is I can edit severe mistakes. Like time travel.

Lynel

…the advantage is I can edit severe mistakes. Like time travel.

Lynel
Chelsea Dawn | Melt Records

I like how you can enjoy virtual gigs in the comfort of your homes! But I hate it when a set freezes during a live stream. Live performances (face to face) don’t have that.

Chelsea Dawn
Francis Cang | Melt Records

I’d say we were pretty fortunate to have friends with recording gear. Personally, it was a little tough for me to “get in the zone”. Playing in front of a camera doesn’t have the same energy as playing in front of a few people and we can’t do all the usual gig shenanigans that we’d get ourselves into. No crowd interactions, no post-gig tambayan, no post-tambayan batchoy, no post-batchoy tambayan. Virtual gigs are a different experience. The biggest plus would be that it’s added quality content to our social media pages.

Francis Cang
Kenanaiah Jo | Melt Records

I think it’s harder to form a connection with the viewer/crowd when you can’t see them. But despite that, with virtual gigs, It’s easier to get the sound you want. We still do miss everything about live gigging – the noise, the audience, and the overall vibes that you can only feel during a live gig.

Kenanaiah Jo, UJU
Sunday Sunday | Melt Records

Logistics was a bit of a challenge. Do we have the equipment to pull it off? If not, can we rent a studio for that? And how much are we paying for? Face to face bar gigs are a whole different experience. And it’s not just being able to play music live, it’s about being there physically and mentally in the moment collectively with other people as well. It’s always felt like a community. That’s something a virtual gig can’t replicate. Nevertheless, virtual gigs gives you the opportunity to redo the take when you mess up haha.

Cortz Cortes, Sunday Sunday
Honeydrop | Melt Records | cebu, indie rock, math rock, post rock

It was challenging to do remote collaboration. It really took our time. Nevertheless, I like how virtual gigs gave us an ability to able to control our sound better, even if we do not have our choir boys to sing “Mirage” with us. Kidding aside, that band dynamics that we have on live sets, [it’s] something that virtual gigs don’t have. Rak.

Debb Acebu, Honeydrop

…that band dynamics that we have on live sets, [it’s] something that virtual gigs don’t have.

Debb Acebu
KRNA | Melt Records

On virtual gigs we get to control the environment and everything that will ultimately make it to the final video performance so that takes away the pressure and anxiety a little bit. But there’s still nothing like the rush we feel during a live set. The hanging out and making conversation with the community in a gig. And just being in the moment. I guess that’s what’s missing in virtual gigs for me.

KC Salazar, KRNA
Manic Mundane | Melt Records
Photo by Abril Lebanan

I think the fact that you can customize your playing, especially with the post prod is something I enjoyed in this gig but the downside of it is that there is no physical presence. It still feels different when there’s an audience right in front of you. Most challenging to do for me while preparing was the fact that I do everything solo, especially with the filming part. It’s mental that I do ten things all at the same time!

Kath Dizon, Manic Mundane

We recognize that obstacles will always exist in any aspect of event production, but this experience has definitely helped the artist to gain new abilities, such as making DIY recordings and becoming more comfortable in front of the camera. The challenges though definitely did not detract from anyone’s desire to record a set for their show. And we thankfully got the opportunity to all enjoy it!

Thanks again to GLEAM Skincare Cebu and Heavenly Goodies Cakes & Pastries Cebu for sponsoring some freebies and treats for our audiences! And, of course, to our media partners, The Rest Is Noise PH, JLE Music, and IDCB for helping spread the word.

WATCH: Relive the moments and watch the event playlists on our YouTube channel below!