A friend of mine pulled out a disc and waved it in my face. “Our pictures….!” of course in her usual flirty fashion. Finally! I have been looking for those old photos and files to add to my collection of memorable events in my life. That was last month and it’s just now that I remembered to take a look. At the old files I mean. Typhoon Ondoy took away everything I had including my collection of music magazines with my column in it. I had forgotten all the words I said in those write-ups but I am happy some of it were saved in this disc.
Here’s a sample:
A FIREWORK OF ROCKERS
While we indulge in heaven’s sporadic tantrums, let us relish summer’s best explosives, at least in Luzon – from the bands, to the venues, to the minuscule details that some of you might think are worth missing.
Putting on the amateur airs every time we go to rock concerts and special performances serves as our pass to getting along with the nicest people we can pick in the ‘backstage environment’. While the show was busy annihilating the dangerous minds, we sat in one corner surveying the bands, bands’ friends, band managers, sponsors, representatives, and groupies of the bands while they indulged in Psychedelia. As “The Enemies,” we were settled on delivering the highlights of the game. Some of the people offstage were quite aware about it as our kind came in numbers.
The up-and-coming and underground bands were the first ones to rouse the afternoon, joined by a couple of popular names like Indio I, Juan Pablo Dream, and Jeepney Joyride. Among the new artists to really watch for, we would rank Saydie as the biggest surprise. Beneath the pretty face and demure bearing were collective angst of the young and the old that found a way through vocalist, Kat whose unmarred cries were like that of a weeping goddess, violent enough to hurt a man, or awaken a sleeping mind, let alone the brittle melody.
Kamikazee was another attraction with their quite quirky behaviors and no-holds-barred lingo. Frontman, Jay Botox, whose character can pass for Peanuts series, tactlessly stripped down to his shorts, daring enough to go all the way if not for the censure, while the audience watched in thrill. His contagious energy was one helluva kick that left the toughie taguros on the edge. The intoxication intensified Botox’s innate humor granting everyone his fair share of unreserved fun.
The Late Isabel was one of the last bands to show off, only to prove that the contemporary crowd is not yet ready for goth music in pop culture. If they’re making waves in more intimate sessions, the big stage wasn’t theirs. Wawi, that petite femme fatale frontwoman, felt the rush inside her and finished a three-song deadlock turn. During the band’s feat were hisses and mockery and stoic reception from the Lilliputian sons and daughters of whatever.
But then again, the whole show could have been one of those if not for these newbies and wacky old-timers. So far, we have found a reason to ignore the monotony of other turns.
Sharing tall-tales in between tipples is the best closing scenario for anyone to see. It’s when your favorite personalities show hard-core camaraderie after the pressure and tension that live performances brought along the show.
THE HORSE KICKS SOME BUTTS AT SUMMER SLAM (I think the word ‘ass’ before was not allowed but I would have preferred it)
There was no exact plan about attending the recent Pulp Summer Slam, but alas, two free tickets courtesy of Red Horse Beer landed our hands two days before the event. “What a luck,” we thought and whatever action awaited us that time, we didn’t know. We were half-excited-half-over with joining the crowd and rubbing elbows with bands but hey, like the cliché, “no two persons are alike”, no hundred events are the same. Besides, what’s the worth of being ‘rakista’ without a raket?
So off we went to another till-dawn gimmick-cum-money-making-coverage with my comrade’s unwilling camera and my shrinking pen and paper. The volume of people was still surprising, mainly due to Pinoy rock’s soaring fame nowadays, and we wonder how long it will last. Add to it the popularity of Red Horse among those that consider it can’t-do-without in concerts like that. Literally everyone was carrying cups or cans, boys and girls, to prove that grand party chooses no age.
Familiar names in the scene consisted the line-up, some of them still giving us fever; some can be copped-out when showmanship becomes the issue. Among the performers were Kamikazee, Kapatid, rising alternative act, Mayonnaise, Imago, and the rest, I don’t remember. We missed a lot in much-awaited performances that even the townsmen-turned-penny-pinching-concert-cranks came against their parents’ will for. What really made most of our night were topless, stinking earthlings partying in dust-ridden turfs with cups of Red Horse Beer, one after another. Watching good boys and bad boys, uncaring punk and Goth fashionistas, and those crossover babes, was our main business let alone thinking of other ways to describe how the rush of dust makes that event special. Thanks to the beer, we felt cool with it.
Of course, the hot-blooded taguros were present, those stoical men in black you can never dare unless you have a whole battalion in khakis with you, and tanks, and machine guns. These merciless sentinels of right conduct have pledged honest reinforcement of the bouncers’ golden rule: fend off violence; prevent gate-crashing, and stop pushing.
The loud banners curling over the air were another eye-catching piece. Held up by the seemingly arrogant fanatics in black shirts, hip hairdos and piercing and tattoos, these symbols of brotherhood work for all of them especially when they get acknowledgement from the performing bands on stage; like narcotic eulogies that give the crowd a shot of freedom in the land hiding behind the name Amoranto Stadium.
Wang Bu’s flag was the most conspicuous among the packs. Theirs was woven out of high-quality fabric, much more fastidious compared to the ‘whatever’ gonfalons we were chasing around. The 8-year-old group from Taytay Rizal is headed by Rodel Angeles. It began in 1996 with only a few male members always in for fun. Now, with the explosion of Pinoy rock into fame, the body grew to 300, 250 of them are boys and 50 of them are girls. And as we can see, Angeles has no plans yet of disbanding, so long as Quezo screams its lungs out.
The soft-core-hard-core experience eventually led us to finding out some common yet exciting reasons, this time, why young ladies enjoy the riots as well. Apple Shier, 14, said she was gravely inspired by Avril Lavigne, the famous ‘rock chick’ who also commercialized skateboard, studs, and jackasses (excuse me). Her rocker brother and friends were the ones who dragged her to concerts like the Summer Slam, where she caught her idol, Kamikazee.
Meanwhile, Sonia was a strait-laced gal from CCM, who started attending gigs last year. In this whole shebang she has rediscovered, with a little help from her cousin, the value of what her parents told her noise in her life, especially if the ones making it are from her favorite, the Typecast.
After those separate, very brief pep talks with the offspring, we stayed a little and had fun watching the horde that have fallen to the lure of the mighty horse – Red Horse it is.
This was the time some kid approached me for an autograph, to whom I quipped: “Kid, I am just a bystander with a pen and paper.” He said: “Even so! You might become famous someday!” So my ego gave in to this gung-ho’s ‘trip.’ By the way, this was the first autograph request i got. I got another last 2012 (and my humble ego can still remember) LOL!
Anyways, reading this, I thought “Man, I was young, creative, and not boring!” 😀 There are times when I find myself wishing I still have the same knack and panache. And if I didn’t write this article, I would think it was too pretentious and wordy. But since the feeling while writing this stuff is still fresh in my memory, I thought it was well-done and very honest. It made me miss the mob now although whenever my age pops up in my head, I go nuts! This is not my idea of a Friday or Saturday night anymore. I would still love occasional visits at acoustic bars and rock concerts though they do not appeal to me as much as it did when I was 22 or 25 (although I still feel 25).
My friend told me if I had not relinquished my passion, I could have gone a long way. I answered: “I did not. I just grew up.” That said, we can assume that my next pieces would be about issues that really matter. There is a social responsibility that I want to take on in order for me to find this life’s meaning. For sure I was not born to just exist. If I wait for signs, it is possible that I would die a loser. I would hate that.
Based on how I lived my life, it is reasonable to say I am not a good person like everybody else thinks. I have made a lot of mistakes in the past that I still feel guilty about. Until now, I treat every single day as another chance to do good and love more. Apparently, these chances will be pointless if I do not go out there and let everyone know that chances are free of charge. They are all for the taking if you are willing to reach out. It is a Divine gift, unless you will be dead tomorrow.
And again, I went off topic. I just came here to brag about my awesome column. Sorry, I get to emotional when I am unhappy. 😀 Here is another:
ANOTHER ROUND FOR THE RED HORSE MUZIKLABAN ROCK CHALLENGE 2005
They made a rock star out of Fuseboxx and Mayonnaise, produced promising acts like 18th Issue, Join The Club, and Mom’s Cake. Now they create a five-star groove in Sunflower Day Camp.
According to some bitter rock concert frequenters, the recent Muziklaban has been a bit stale compared to the previous Red Horse fests. As for me, it’s an overstatement. Although this time, there were limited bands in the showdown, the line-up did not fail to equal the hysteria that used to stir the mosh pit.
One impressive thing about the event was the consistency in the show’s time chart. The audience was so lucky to not have to bear the painful reinforcement of Filipino time as it started at 6 pm sharp when the former winners of the Muziklaban Challenge rolled out their stage smarts once again, one by one – 18th Issue, Fuseboxx, Mayonnaise.
Following were the competitors from all across the country vying for the much-coveted title. Some of them tried their luck for the second time around like Sunflower Day Camp, who eventually emerged as champion despite Mom’s Cake’s winning charisma. As a friend mentioned, Mom’s Cake’s stage antics would strongly remind one of Kamikazee or Jeepney Joyride, talk about entertainment and showmanship.
In his hilarious Tinker Bell costume, wild maneuvers, and Mr. T haircut, the vocalist proved to be a total blast, while the other contenders kept theirs neat and simple. Sunflower Day Camp sauntered off with the privilege package – a year contract with Station 1, Php 50, 000, and the Red Horse Muziklaban Champion title.
The end of the show was just the beginning of the mania. Offered were steaming hot feats from the country’s most popular rock icons today. The dusty grounds and blinding stage lights set Greyhoundz, Kapatid, Quezo, Imago, Kamikazee on fire as they performed their hits. The Houndz men broke in with Hole, and some stuff from their new, soon-to-be-released album. Karl Roy impatiently signaled, “Go, go, go!” to his band mates right after a song, while Jay Botox’s resolution that night was to stay sober. Thus, Kamikazee’s performance had been calmer yet astig.
Security was more intense, perhaps due to an early tragedy. Shit happens, but what misfortune ensued prior to the party proper served as a warning both to the defense and offense. There will always be the men we call “kill joy” and those we consider “victims of the hype.”
It was only past midnight. Everyone seemed only half-sober. That’s what we thought. There were commotions beyond the rails, fuelled by indulgence in the hard-kicking, nevertheless, sweet sensation of Red Horse beer, widely distributed in the audience area.
An audience of over 4,000 is not easy to please, given that they have diverse preferences. For the Muziklaban finals, 860-1300 cases of Red Horse beer were provided, just enough for the non-stop arrival of spectators. Strolling along, we witnessed how the hard-core community pressed (sellers) for a cup or two. And we wondered what runs the hoopla. Ralph, a 22-year old fanatic answered, “Lakas ng tama eh!”
But didn’t he ever want another brand? “Ok lang, pwede rin kaso iba kasi ‘yung Red Horse eh.” One also commented, “Ok ‘to! Doesn’t give you beerbelly, kasi lakas ng tama. Solve ka na in a few bottles. Saka malambing sa panlasa.” These are teenagers by the way. MINORS.
Thus, the craze. Red Horse and rock make a good tandem, don’t they?
FYI, I have also written articles about a skateboarding event and a cycling event. This was the time when emo music was on the rise and I felt really embarrassed talking to those hunky skaters and cyclists. This was also the time when all we had was a film camera with which we had to wait a week before we could see the pictures. What have I gotten ourselves into? Nothing, my friend. Nothing.
I would have been really happy if WHO hired me as a janitress now but they just turned me down and it’s really excruciating. My life anyway is still unfolding before me. Who knows what or where I will be a year or two from now?
Take note, I am still on topic. This is about reminiscing.