the Eraserheads Reunion Concert was really not meant to be
from the very start, it seemed that the universe has deemed that the reunion of Ely, Marcus, Buddy and Raimund was not really meant to be.
from the very start, the Eraserheads Reunion Concert was already hounded with controversy.
first off, there was even the issue that each of the Eraserheads had received a huge paycheck for signing in the concert. then, the concert’s promoter, a tobacco company, received much flak from anti-tobacco groups who were lobbying against the promotion of the concert. read it here. the whole hoolabaloo even prompted the Department of Health to join the fray. there was also the promotional campaign that fans who wanted to go to the ‘then-free-invites-only concert’ had to sign-in at the tobacco company’s website so that they could get invites. and because the reunion concert was sponsored by a tobacco company, the audience had to be automatically ‘over 18 years.’ there was even word that the sponsor could not get a permit.
here is most of the gist of the most of the issues.
but still the concert had to push through. the anticipation of the event was a rollercoaster. the concert was said to be cancelled, then it would push through but people still have to wait for the procedures. it was a thriller, the whole experience of it.
and the concert did push through. despite all the glitches.
i don’t know if it was because of the profitability of the whole event or because of the countless prayers of the millions of Eraserheads fans did for heaven to hear. i guess, it was too much for heaven to bear.
the tobacco company sponsor had to back out. see the details here. even though they had already paid the Eraserheads members.
i believe that the Eraserheads concert was supposed to be the ‘concert’ of the year because of the band’s interstellar influence to the Filipino. but if one had been much aware of the media, there was not much marketing and advertising. there were no posters, there were no television ads. i don’t know if there were even radio ads. the issues that were covered by the local news did not even sell the event. viral word-of-mouth marketing was the means by which the news spread among the fans. this was true for my case.
the internet also had its share in breaking the news. i got my share of the E-heads gossip through a friend who is a music industry insider. she posted updates on her multiply account. word was passed straight from the band members through their official mailing lists. this proves true here. the website quoted Raimund Marasigan’s, the band’s drummer, statements through the mailing lists. read his anticipation here.
when all were settled, the people had to get ready. everybody was real excited. because the new sponsor had the reunion concert changed from being a ‘free-for-all,’ fans had to have tickets. read the clamor for tickets here. i experienced this first hand. i waited two long hours because the ticket distributor’s website bogged down.
friday, i had the tickets. i was real excited, i plurked out my feelings to the world.
then came, saturday, i had to do something so i almost came late to the event. but a friend and i managed to get there on time. we settled ourselves amongst the people cluttered on the open fields of The Fort. we did not have seats, food and drink. i did not mind the hunger (for i still did not have dinner then) and the stress for that day (i was running errands the whole day) for the Eraseheads were going to sing for me and all the fans, who have gone through hell for these rock legends.
when the 20-minute countdown flashed on all the field screens, all the fuss, the stress, the disappointment faded away. euphoria filled my systems as the first few notes of Alapaap rang the open air. for the next hour, i was singing my heart out. i was ecstatic. i was in rock and roll heaven. it was nirvana.
i have been to many gigs and concerts and all i could say is that i am thankful that this reunion gig happened. it will be forever etched as the best concert that i have been to.
i could not recall all the songs that band played. it was a blur. the whole concert was surreal. at least they played With a smile. it was all there was to it. there was Ligaya, Hey Jay, Kaliwete, Sembreak, Fruitcake, Shake Yer Head and all the other songs that made the first set. i was awash with nostalgia and this warm, happy feeling inside made me feel that everything was okay and that THIS experience was the best, EVER.
i was thankful. and very much happy that i was part of the whole shindig. it was history.
and after the first set. it was really history.
the band called for a 20-minute break because they have almost played for more than an hour. i saw on the screens that Ely slumped down after the end of the set. his drawn face was on the screens.
i had my dinner during the break. but the break continued on to almost an hour. then Buddy was on stage with a girl with hardcore bangs. he introduced her as Lally, Ely’s sister. they broke the news that Ely was brought to the hospital because Ely gave in to emotional and physical stress. to this, i could not argue because i knew that Ely’s physical condition was frail after last year’s heart attack and because word also got out that his mother died a few days back. the organizers called on everybody for a short prayer for Ely’s health and apologized that the concert had to be cut short.
i was not disappointed that the concert had to abruptly end. i believe that the pay was all worth it. though i joked to my friend Paul that the organizers had to refund everybody, especially those who paid huge bucks just to be there.
but i was really thankful. thankful that this concert happened in my lifetime. thankful that, somehow, the Eraserheads were able to play their hits for thousands of fans who were there.
i was also sad. gloom came to me after realizing that all the hardwork and dedication and prayers that made the concert true was put to an end by inevitable reasons that the universe only understood. from the very start, there were many obstacles that hampered the concert’s success. there were too many issues, there were too many controversies and there were too many problems.
then it dawned to me that this Eraserheads Reunion Concert was really not meant to be.
this made me really sad.
but it also made me hopeful that despite all the misgivings and the failure that have been borne out of this failed concert, there will be another Reunion Concert. one that is better. one that will be more organized. one that will be good for all the fans and all the people in the Filipino music industry.
it was fun reading this. it was fun to remember.
while doing this post, i ran through Eric Caruncho’s book, Punks, Poets, Poseurs: A reportage on Pinoy Rock & Roll. the book was printed in the mid-90s. Caruncho had an article there about the E-heads and their early beginnings. he said that the Eraserheads were the future of the Pinoy Rock music scene, then. Caruncho was a prophet for the Eraserheads are now icons of Pinoy Rock & Roll.
i quote Caruncho in his aricle that “God save the Eraserheds.” i also pray that “The Kids [will be] Alright*.”
*this was the title of Eric Caruncho’s feature on the Eraserheads, The Kids are Alright.” he called the Eraserheads ‘kids,’ then. When the Eraserheads played Toyang, Ely belted that ‘they tried to tell us we’re too OLD.’ how time passes. now, the Eraserheads consider themselves to be old.