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Rex Orange County Serenades Manila with His Signature ‘Bedroom Pop’ Sound

Rex Orange County
James Francisco

A gathering four years in the making, English singer-songwriter Rex Orange County finally makes his Philippine debut, appearing in front of the sold-out Smart Araneta Coliseum last October 8, 2023. Alex O'Connor draws deep into his discography, serenading the 10,000 in attendance with staples across his seven-year narrative.

From the stomps echoed across the stadium to the cries for more, it’s safe to say that the ‘Bedroom Pop' connoisseur has found a home in Manila—promising his return for more. Complex Philippines attended the awaited premiere, providing a recap of Rex Orange County’s performance delivered by Insignia Presents.

Instagram: @insigniapresents

Setting foot in Araneta’s sold-out Big Dome, the atmosphere filled with anticipation as the familiar sun-moon solstice draped over the stage. Scheduled for an 8:00 pm start, Filipino-Australian Grent Perez emerged 30 minutes prior, providing his unique Western Sydney sound, albeit proudly Filipino-made. He continued with staples “Clementine” and fan-favorite “Cherry Wine” to culminate his set. The cheers from Rex’s local fanbase were the cherry on top for the 21-year-old’s reunion in the Philippines, thanking the crowd and shouting out his lola (grandmother) in attendance before leaving the stage.

As the clock struck 8:30 pm, warm tones engulfed the stage as the main event sat comfortably behind his keyboard, commencing through 2016’s Bcos U Will Never B Free opener “Rex (Intro).” Rex Orange County followed with three succeeding odes across his titles, providing live-renditions of 2017’s Apricot Princess’ “Television / So Far So Good,” 2019’s Pony’s “10/10,” and 2022’s WHO CARES?’ “Amazing.”

Copy of WorkbyIyaForbes INSIGNIA PRESENTS Rex Orange County 20231008 IF409799 Enhanced NR

Iya Forbes (@eggcakes), Insignia Presents

The rest of the evening was a delightful blur, with O'Connor spreading his notable tracks across the hour-and-a-half performance. Standouts include “Sunflower,” “THE SHADE,” “Always,” and “Happiness,” as the roars of those in attendance succeedingly grew louder. More than halfway through his set, Rex Orange County motioned to the audience, asking for their energy throughout “KEEP IT UP” and “IF YOU WANT IT,” before he petitioned to switch off their devices for an intimate ground-shaking “Best Friend” showcase.

Supplementing the energetic environment, the 25-year-old debuted his 2017 classic “Loving is Easy” and “It’s Not The Same Anymore,” placing the final selection up to his Filipino faithful. His cover of Alicia Keys’ “No One” would’ve been a personal preference, as the fans unanimously decided to go with “Pluto Projector,” as the encore couldn’t last forever (as much as we wanted it to).

O’Conner reintroduced his ensemble once more and promised his return before finally departing.

Iya Forbes (@eggcakes), Insignia Presents

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