The Filipino-British songstress rocks the New Frontier Theater in her first-ever show in the Philippines
Beatrice Kristi Laus is no stranger to our archipelago. She was born in Iloilo City and, even after immigrating to London, regularly traveled with her family to her hometown. She deems her first official trip home as Beabadoobee (thanks to the Manila leg of her Beatopia Tour), as an experience that's a mix of nice, weird and sad. In an exclusive roundtable with the press, she divulges, “It’s just really strange that I’m coming back and I can’t hang out with my family as much as I could, or just be. But it’s cool, and I’m really excited to meet the fans and talk to new people. It’s just different.”
When asked about her attempts to reconnect with her Filipino roots, she replies with a nonchalant, “I’m super Filipino, man.” So while she proclaims that her Tagalog is “konti lang (just a little),” the 22-year-old understands the language fluently. Growing up with her parents, the songstress still had the universal experience of watching teleseryes with her mom, listening to APO Hiking Society, eating local cuisine and knowing how strict Pinoy parents are all too well.
Between stories about her spontaneous photoshoot at a jeepney garage, checking out EDSA and haggling along the kiosks of Greenhills, the singer tells us she’s thrilled to meet her Filipino fans. When asked about the song she looks forward to singing for the crowd waiting outside, she points to the smooth bossa nova track, the perfect pair.
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Fast forward to the show, where the crowds waiting for Beabadoobee to appear is an incredible sight. Crowds of teenagers, 20-somethings and people of all ages flock to the barricades and populate the balcony. Everyone waits around in excitement to finally rock and rage with a singer they only knew through screens and apps. After finding solace in her lyrics virtually, they now get to enjoy her tunes with their all their senses. As the lights dimmed and the rest of her band occupied their spots onstage–donning long-sleeved driver jerseys—everyone’s excitement doubled.
Armed with her guitar and sweet voice, Beabadoobee finally enters the stage in an angel-sleeved Barong Tagalog and proudly proclaims, “I’m back, baby!” She begins with Worth It, a track from her debut album, Fake It Flowers. The New Frontier Theater immediately fills with euphoria, an evident shift in energy as they jump and sing with her. When the song bleeds to Together and Beabadoobee’s sweet lilt harmonizes perfectly with the instrumentals provided by her band, it’s official: We have arrived at Beatopia, the singer’s dazed and dreamy pop universe.
You see, having a Beabadoobee playlist on loop for days is one thing. But to hear her music come to life is a different experience altogether because her live band breathes new air into everything. With Jacob Bugden on board for guitar, Luca Caruso on the drums and Eliana Sewell on bass (AKA the major inspo for She Plays Bass)—the show transforms into a freeing experience for everyone present. Each song gets accentuated by fiery guitar solos, smooth basslines and booming drums, whether it’s the contradicting infatuation of Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene or the almost petulant pop-punkness of 10:36.
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Beabadoobee exudes this casual cool when she takes the stage. Not pretentious and most definitely not obnoxious; but there exists confidence with every guitar string she strums and shreds, and each lyric she sings. The entire crowd, those who came to share their feelings of alienation, dreams, infatuation and heartbreak with her, reinvigorates the singer. So whether it’s the liberating rock chorus of Charlie Brown, the dizzying shoegaze hooks of See You Soon or the smooth, bossa nova verses of the perfect pair (she called it!), Beabadoobee and her audience sing their hearts throughout the show.
In each quiet moment where Beabadoobee talks to the crowd, she beams. She glows. The encore, made up of the sweet acoustic version of Coffee and a stripped-back version of Cologne, marks a bittersweet end to an hour-long set. It makes sense that she does it alone—it’s an intimate conversation and thanks through song. After making waves worldwide—signing to Dirty Hit Records, releasing two full albums and even performing for big music festivals—Beabadoobee’s homecoming is extremely precious, and it’s an honor to witness it.
Check out the full setlist right here:
- Worth It
- Charlie Brown
- Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene
- He Gets Me So High
- See You Soon
- Perfect Pair
- Sun More Often
- She Plays Bass
- Dye It Red
- Back To Mars
- Last Day On Earth
Special Thanks Amplified Entertainment
Art Macky Arquilla