The band that started it all
The band that started it all
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - May 29, 2006 - 12:00am
A few columns ago, I featured the observation of a Filipino resident of Ontario, Canada, who wondered about what he perceived to be the fixation of Filipinos on old foreign singers and old songs. He was concerned that the trend is not healthy for the fans and might affect the progress of the music industry. I replied that although I am not certain if the trend is healthy or not, a lot of people enjoy listening to the classic hits of the ’60s and ’70s and are enthusiastic about watching the original singers perform these live.

Now comes an observation from concert promoter and RJ 100 FM DJ Steve O’ Neal, who explains that this revival mania is unique to the Philippines and it is not taking place with the same intensity and magnitude in other parts of the world. O’Neal says that this is because the foreign artists who have been coming here with almost monotonous regularity this past year belong to another era and had retired from performing or in the case of groups, had already disbanded. In fact, they have been virtually unheard of until they were rediscovered by Filipinos.

Thanks to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of local concert producers, the dormant careers of these artists are getting a second wind in this part of the globe. Therefore, it is accurate to say that it was the efforts of the local promoters that helped revive or rejuvenate the careers of these foreign acts who are now making successful comebacks for the benefit of their Pinoy fans. This is the main reason why they have endeared themselves to local music lovers and have no second thoughts about performing here. A very good example are The Cascades who are returning for the nth time in June for a series of shows that will launch their 2006 world concert tour.

O’Neal mounted The Cascades’ first concert at the Araneta Coliseum in April 2005 and their return engagement in September. It is now widely believed that the success of those shows was the catalyst that awakened the moribund concert scene featuring foreign acts and triggered the revival trend now being enjoyed by the music industry. Because of this, there is a show by a foreign artist scheduled almost every other week not only at the Big Dome but also in other major venues in Manila and in the provinces.

In the wake of The Cascades came other Steve O’Neal Productions like Peter and Gordon, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Pat Upton of the Spiral Staircase, The Zombies and Rex Smith. Other promoters who jumped into the bandwagon brought in The Beachboys, The Lettermen, Andy Williams, Gregg Rolie of Santana and Paul Anka.

The Cascades, the group that started it all, will be back in town to kick off The Cascades 2006 World Concert Tour. This visit will mark the fourth time for the group to perform in the Philippines. The first time was during the height of the group’s popularity in the late ’60s. The concert series starts on June 15 with a dinner show at the Manila Hotel. This will be followed by the grand concert at the Araneta Coliseum on June 16.

The tour also includes performances at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City on June 17; Iloilo City on June 18, Bacolod City on June 23, Singapore on June 25, Hard Rock Café Makati on June 28, Davao City on June 30 and Cagayan de Oro City on July 1. From there, the tour will go to Hong Kong on July 7, and Bangkok on July 19 before moving to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Texas and New Jersey in the US on August.

According to O’Neal, The Cascades chose Manila as the initial leg of its concert tour as "a token of appreciation and affection for their Filipino fans who showed their unwavering support and loyalty to the group during its two sold-out concerts last year. "Filipinos have a special place in The Cascades’ hearts," explained O’Neal. "That’s why the group has prepared a special, totally new line-up for this concert that the fans will long remember, especially those who were not able to watch the past shows and only learned how great they were from other people."

The present Cascades is composed of original members John Gummoe (lead vocals, percussion and keyboard), Gabe Lapano (vocals and keyboard), Tony Grasso (vocals and bass) and Chuck Crews (guitar). The group is known for memorable songs like Rhythm of the Rain, Shy Girl, Angel on My Shoulder, Let Me Be, Dreamin’, Lucky Guy, First Love Never Dies, Good Day for the Blues, Lisa’s Eyes, I Just Came by to Get a Smile, My First Day Alone, Punch and Judy, There’s A Reason, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Was I Dreamin’ and many more.

Tickets for The Cascades 2006 World Concert Tour at Araneta Coliseum are priced at P2,500, P2,000, P1,800, P1,000, P600 and P300. They are available at Ticketnet outlets at all SM Department Stores and at the Araneta Coliseum ticket office. For inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-5555. For the Hard Rock Café show, call 893-4661 to 64 for reservations.

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