Daniel Caesar’s awaited return to Manila has finally come to fruition, captured through a one-night celebration of his discography. After a five-year hiatus from the Philippine stage, fans of the Canadian singer-songwriter flocked to the World Trade Center in Pasay last Wednesday, July 19. to preview the Superpowers Tour, organized by Karpos Multimedia.
With clips of his set on social media, his return saw his fledgling Filipino fanbase echo his music inside the 178,000 sq ft hall. Complex Philippines attended the festivities, with a recap of Daniel Caesar’s set in Manila.
Xavi: Daniel Caesar’s NEVER ENOUGH delectably describes his set, with the Filipino fans in attendance uttering their need for more. Familiar with his founding titles, his 2018 Wanderland performance seemed like a lifetime ago as Superpowers provided an optimal refresher of his musical excellence.
James: News of his return sparked my interest after coming across previews of his international leg with anticipation of being immersed in the dreamy and eccentric sound. Jason Dhakal laid the groundwork, as Daniel provided the cherry on top—seemingly more comfortable and unhinged compared to his previous visit.
Xavi: Braving the familiar Manila traffic coupled with rain showers, fans were in dire need of parking, having to settle for around a 10-15 minute walk to get to the venue.
The event featured tenants of food and beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), as well as coveted Superpowers-themed merchandise, which drew scarce after the Jason Dhakal opener. Similar to any concert/event-goer experience, the lines to enter the vicinity were a pain, though drastically lessened before Daniel took the stage.
James: Jason Dhakal perfectly commenced the night’s festivities, embracing a neo-soul sound that subtly complements the likeness and melancholy of Daniel Caesar’s persona. Jason serenaded the crowd with favorites: “Manila,” “Body & Soul,” and “can’t get enough” before teasing an unreleased track of his upcoming album. Never a dull moment when Jason dons the stage.
The atmosphere was electric as a whimsical Daniel Caesar emerged from the blue setting with a vintage camcorder in hand to capture the Manila crowd. He decided to open with “Ocho Rios,” as the rest of the setlist majority featured his latest studio album. Proceeding with favorites, “Always,” “Valentina,” “ENTROPY,” and “Let Me Go,” the crowd ushered their approval through howls, “awooos,” and barks.
Xavi: After the first couple of tracks, Daniel asked the crowd for assistance in performing due to “tiredness.” As intriguing as it is to have a performer interact with their audience, it seemed as if his Filipino fanbase overpowered the R&B artist, making it seem as if it was a karaoke-structured set—most especially during familiar hymns such as “Get You” and “Japanese Denim.”
As delectable as the energy was throughout the entirety of the night, there were lapses in the crowd as Daniel ventured towards his lesser-known compositions, reintroducing 2015’s “Violet,” previewing an unreleased track (“Indecision”), as well as covering Coldplay’s “Sparks.” Nonetheless, the beautifully choreographed set encapsulated changing gradients and backdrops, which captured the development of his artistry.