REVIEW: Greenwood Sessions – The Showcase



Greenwood Sessions is a cover band composed of UofM students who specialize primarily in OPM or Original Pinoy Music. While a niche, OPM is one of my favorite genres of music, mostly due to my half Filipino identity, and huge in the Philippines (of course since pinoy refers to someone from the Philippines). What this means is that you know that Greenwood is a group with a deep love for the music that they perform, something made obvious in their showcase. With their swaths of adoring fans (me very much included, love ya guys), the experience in the audience listening to their renditions of Filipinx/Filipinx American artists’ songs was adoringly fun.

The start of Act I came out with two of my favorite OPM songs, “Come Inside of my Heart” by IV of Spades and “Raining in Manila” by Lola Amour. Each instrument is showcased with intense skill and harmony with each other with these two songs, and one thing I have to highlight about “Come Inside of my Heart” is the guitar solo which resonated within my very being. While “Raining in Manila” has become a constant mainstay of Greenwood’s setlist, it by no means lessens the performative value of it, as the Taglish song gets better with each iteration.

Though, right after the intermission was my favorite moment of the night. Getting right back into it, the boys (+ Angeli) showcased their vocal skills with the most streamed OPM song of 2023 on Spotify, “Pasilyo” by SunKissed Lola. “Pasilyo”, meaning “aisle” (especially one that leads to a wedding altar, has a chorus that can only be described as magnificent. As they reached the amazing “ikaw at ikaw” (meaning you and you, which, since it references a wedding altar, is like the officiator declaring two people’s love), everyone in the audience held up green hearts holding the iconic lyrics with their phone flashlights out. simply great.

Anyhow, I can go on and on about how amazing this group is and why you should support them, but if I *have* to conclude, I absolutely have to provide shoutout to all the performers in Greenwood:

Angelica Alpas, Mateo Gonzales, Ashton Nunez, Catrina Cagalawan, Rafael Esteva, Angeli Fandino, and Andrew Ramirez you guys are all amazing performers (and multi-instumentalists what???). Congratulations on an amazing show, I can’t wait for your next performances, and when are you hosting your next open jam-session??

REVIEW: Sugartips Acoustic Duo

There isn’t nearly enough gentleness in the world. Everything is so loud all the time, the noises conflicting with one another and the angry fractures clashing. Background motivations seem to ruin the chance at pure intentions of bringing about joy. No one person or group or ideology is really blamable, though it would be easier if there was. Luckily we all have the opportunity to be soft and kind–we simply have to take it.

Even though Sugartips Acoustic usually does not deal in gentle tunes, the ambiance they create in every establishment they visit is one of fine relaxation. They play the classics, things everybody would know and feel comfortable singing along with a roomful of strangers. The experience is kind of like attending the wedding of a third cousin: maybe you don’t know many people, but you do know you’re somehow related to them all, however superficially. Also a lot of people are tipsy, and singing off-key to “Sweet Caroline.”

The pair performing in 2011.

Sure, Greg (the lead vocalist) could be a little flat, and he sometimes struggled to hit the higher notes, but perfect tone and pitch isn’t really the point. Greg and Ryan play music for the sake of it: to entertain, to enlighten, to fill a room with bubbling melody. Since the beginning of all music, this has been what it’s about. It is gentleness that drives them, and what has made them successful since their beginning way back in 2009.

It would be nice to see them perform a greater range of music, and maybe some more of their own compositions. I was excited to hear that their first ever original EP will be released this month! I’m glad that they are finding their own sound after such a long time experimenting with the music of others. This certainly isn’t easy to do; although I’ve been playing piano for years, the mere thought of composing anything myself is incredibly daunting. In all this time I’ve written almost nothing, even though I’ve played everything from Chopin to Adele and consider myself a creative person. There is something in all music makers that makes us immediately compare ourselves to the greats, even though they started from similar positions. I wish the Sugartips duo the best of luck in the next steps of their careers.

You can check out their music on Soundcloud, Youtube, or Facebook.

PREVIEW: Sugartips Acoustic Duo

Weeks can go by so slowly in the dead of winter (although Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog told us we’ll see an early spring!). Let’s go listen to some music together.

MASH bar (located below the Blue Tractor restaurant, 211 E Washington St) is hosting infinitely cool acoustic duo Sugartips tomorrow night at 8. Order a whisky, rest your arms behind your head, and relax to some smooth acoustic hits. MASH also offers delectable snacks like nachos and sliders.

So come on down, everybody. Life is too short to not enjoy Wednesdays at least a little.