IV Of Spades have spent a huge chunk of the year all over the world on their Sweet Shadow Tour.
Despite their demanding schedule, they're able to deliver top notch shows to their audiences, never letting fatigue and lack of sleep get in the way. And on top of all that, they even manage to squeeze in recording time while on the road. That's life for them now, and nothing is going to slow them down.
Bandwagon tagged along with IV Of Spades and Shanti Dope from Manila to follow them around Singapore to get a glimpse of their touring lives backstage.
7 November 2019, Thursday
5:45 PM: Meet me at the check-in counter.
Badjao de Castro rolled into the airport with IV Of Spades' manager Daddy A just before the check-in counter opened. But where were Zild Benitez and Blaster Silonga? Nowhere near the airport. Why? They were recording new material.
A swarm of passengers lined up as quickly as they could moments before check-in time. Of course, that included the hardworking crews of IV Of Spades and Shanti Dope. But as soon as they got that over and done with and walked through immigration, it was all a huge waiting game for the rest of the touring party.
8:30 PM: CLAPCLAPCLAP! It's time to board the plane to Singapore.
Zild and Blaster caught up with Badjao past immigration, and were immediately met by fans who asked for selfies with the group. "Sayang yung opportunity," one of the fans said when she came back for another picture.
IV of Spades on performing live: It’s not just about the music
8 November 2019, Friday
12:15 AM: Touchdown, Singapore!
Our plane landed in Changi Airport 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Everything flowed pretty smoothly and the excitement of getting to Singapore kept everyone awake through the walk to immigration.
TLC Festival co-headliners IV of Spades talk about their best live music experiences
2:00 PM: Sound check at Gateway Theatre.
We all met up at the hotel lobby before heading out to Gateway Theatre for soundcheck.
It's a massive venue, and IV Of Spades looked a little overwhelmed by the size of it when we took a turn around the block to the backstage door.
After dropping off their things in the dressing room downstairs, IV Of Spades walked up straight to the stage to kick off with sound check.
The crew set up a makeshift cover for Zild's keyboard, but the black cloth covering it wasn't enough. Daddy A went on to design it with the IVOS logo with blue tape.
4:00 PM: Break time backstage.
Finally, late lunch! There was a selection of Singaporean delicacies, chips, and milk tea waiting for them in one of the rooms backstage.
5:00 PM: Pre-show duties #1—Poster and CD signing.
Signing countless posters and CDs is all part of the rockstar life. And for IV Of Spades, that meant putting gold ink to 80 posters for their show.
Badjao took a well-deserved break after fulfilling his share of the posters and then some. It was Blaster's turn to have a go at it.
While Blaster signed the posters, Zild and Badjao stepped out of the dressing room to talk with Shanti Dope about doing a special number together.
Thing was, Zild wasn't sure if he still had the backing track they used for their collab 'Sa Kahapon' in his laptop. He laughed at himself as he searched and searched, learning the importance of properly naming your files the hard way.
Thankfully, they found the file.
It was finally Zild's turn to sign the posters, and he wanted to challenge himself by signing all 80 posters in 2 minutes.
He didn't make it.
6:00 PM: Pre-show duties #2—Meet and greet with the fans.
IV Of Spades and crew took the lift for the meet and greet session with their Singapore-based fans.
A bunch of fans got pictures with the band, offered personal gifts, and even had them sign guitars, picks, shoes, and a sheet of Paracetamol.
7:00 PM: Officially time to get ready for the show.
It had been a long day, but it was time to hit the showers and get ready for their headlining concert. As soon as they suited up, Blaster groomed Zild with a quick haircut.
Once they were ready, some VIPs and official photographers entered their dressing room for a quick photo op with IV Of Spades and Shanti Dope.
It was almost time to finally hit the stage. One last prayer was shared before their performance.
9:00 PM: Show time.
It was the moment everyone was waiting for. IV Of Spades kicked off their set with an explosive performance of 'Sweet Shadow.'
IV of Spades and Shanti Dope wow at debut Singapore concert – gig review
9 November 2019, Saturday
2:00 PM: Travel to Changi Airport.
It was almost time to say good-bye to Singapore. Everyone was packed and ready.
Except for Zild and Blaster, who requested to extend their check-out time at the hotel. Why? Because they were recording again.
En route to the airport, IV Of Spades did a special interview about their favorite live music experiences.
Since IV Of Spades and their crew had a lot of bags and gear to check in, it was another big waiting game for them before they could go through immigration.
At one point, they got tired and were all on the floor.
3:30 PM: Good-bye, Singapore! Off to Manila.
It was an excellent 48 hours of tailing IV Of Spades from Manila to Singapore, but it was time to part ways. Badjao even dubbed their recently concluded show one of their best shows together. "Surprised ako kasi ang daming nagpunta kahit nasa abroad," he said.
And it was then they waved good-bye to Singapore.
IV Of Spades and Shanti Dope live in Singapore was presented by Bandwagon Live.