On the Radar

Eraserheads reunion redux

RIOT OF JOY - Ramon De Veyra -

And so another chapter closes in the saga that is the Eraserheads story.

On March 7 they played a much-delayed second set to a packed crowd that was left hanging from the unfinished reunion gig of last year.

Billed “The Final Set,” it really was its own gig, with a handful of favorite songs getting repeat performances.It shared other things in common with last year’s reunion gig. They were joined once again by their “secret weapon,” Jazz Nicolas of the Itchyworms!

They were spaced apart on the huge stage, which made it difficult to get a picture with all band members in one shot. They didn’t move around much. But best of all, they were in top form and sounded tighter than ever. Things changed when, in a welcome detour, other band members besides vocalist Ely Buendia got to sing songs, with accompanying new arrangements.

Both guitarist Marcus Adoro and drummer Raimund Marasigan, who now front their own bands, got turns at the mic.

Adoro did a reggae-inflected Huwag Mo Nang Itanong, followed by Marasigan taking his turn with renditions of a not-so-slow Slo Mo and Alkohol.

Marasigan, with the freedom of not having to play an instrument while singing (Nicolas took over on drums), was able to move around the stage, darting in and out between the other ‘heads, spurring the audience to join in on the festivities.Another new feature was the acoustic set that followed the band’s first intermission. Tikman and Pare Ko, among others, comprised the set that culminated in a sweet, minimalist take on Kailan featuring Buendia and Nicolas onstage.Things turned solemn when they returned for their encore as Superproxy was played, a song that was supposed to have featured the participation of Francis M. who passed away the day before the concert.

Footage of their late friend played on video screens as they performed.

Later, in further tribute, the band played part of Kaleidoscope World before launching into their concluding song Ang Huling El Bimbo.

During the song, Buendia set their famous Sticker Happy piano (or at least a close copy) on fire, toppling it and kicking its insides out.

The message was clear: an era had ended.

Though the long-rumored bad blood seemed to be gone for at least these two reunion gigs, and with all members now busy with their respective bands and lives, there was no chance the Eraserheads were going to get together again as an active band.

It was still a treat, nonetheless, to see them play as the Eraserheads one more time, at a point where their skills have, if anything, improved beyond the state they were in when they were still the Eraserheads.

Their near-group hug at the end — something their audience has been clamoring for since last year — seemed to inspire hope that the possibility of another reunion gig exists, though one would be wise not to hold his or her breath.A surprise came in the form of a second encore, and for this I must confess I was already out of the concert grounds, headed for the parking area. Instead of rushing back inside like many others we decided to watch instead the many monitors around the area, as they sung songs from their first album, with Ely Buendia now descending into the crowd in front, letting fans sing occasional lines.The only thing that wasn’t stellar was the sound quality. I could tell the band was playing well but the monitor wasn’t always alert. Levels would go up and down abruptly, and for several songs Marcus Adoro’s guitar was very difficult to hear.

Still, it couldn’t put a damper on things. The crowd singing as one, the smiles on faces, and good vibes in the air made for a very memorable evening, one that we hope doesn’t need another 10 years to repeat.











  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with