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.

then the new sponsor made ‘a few changes’ with the event. see it here and here. when the change of hands happened, the lobbyists were happy.

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.

this is the latest about Ely’s condition. they also had this.

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.


18 comments so far

  1. Thumbbook on

    On the contrary, I think it was really meant to happen. Nothing stopped them from pushing through with the concert. It didn’t rain last Saturday night, but it’s raining hard today! 🙂

  2. peachybree on

    I agree. It was meant to happen. If only for them to see that they need to set aside their differences. They are still a powerful force, together.

  3. akira on

    i have that caruncho book 🙂

    nice article 🙂

  4. James on

    Hey guys!

    Some pictures of the event can be seen here:

    And a video of the intro here:

  5. el pistolero on


    the title might be misleading but the eraserheads’ concert did happen. as i have said, there were many glitches and roadblocks along the way, but Ely, Marcus, Buddy and Raims were able to share their love. 🙂


    amen to that. 🙂


    thanks. 🙂 though it was haphazardly written.

  6. aLjI on

    I’m an Eheads fan in denial.
    And I thought I’ve succeeded.
    In trying to outgrow them.
    Denied that they even existed
    In my somewhat blurry past.

    But when I heard ‘Shake ‘Yer Head’
    In the concert that never was
    Everything rushed back.
    It was still crystal clear
    I still love them.
    My fascination with the band remained.
    It never left.

    When they announced that Ely wasn’t alright.
    I feared for Ely.
    We all know he wasn’t in the best condition.
    But we kept pushing him to come back.
    To sing the old songs once again.
    Songs that feel good, but hurt good at the same time.
    Like all memories we hold on to.

    He made this ultimate sacrifice.
    To sing. To be branded a sellout. To open up old wounds
    That only he knew if it did heal or not
    Even if he also knew it might hurt. Deep.

    Do the fans really care?
    Do the fans really feel
    What he feels right now?

    Sadness for happiness.
    Sacrifice for music.

    Play your songs
    Till you bleed.

    For the fans.
    For the past.

    For things that we miss.
    And things that will never come back.

    No matter what.

    Ely, be well.

    For the rest of us
    It’s best to let go

    Leave the Eheads alone.


  7. solo on

    yep, i really agree that it was meant to happen
    coz after what happened, fans are craving for another reunion concert, which I THINK will really happen.because for a long time, they(eheads) saw all their fans again. and i think they loved it. this was really the proof that they really are THE best band EVER! they really are the beatles of the phillipines! eheads!!!

  8. ryan on

    i agree, the show was indeed not meant to be.. a weel prior to that big day, major revamp took place, which lead to other unavoidable circumstances..

    overall, the concert was superb.. mid july i was ok with the 45-minute show.. the 15 songs(an hour and 10mins?) was more than enough for me.. anticipated them to play pare ko, huling el bimbo, which i believe was supposedly part of the 2nd set.. the best concert i’ve attended so far..

    i will never forget that one memorable night.. years back, was priveleged to see them perform “ligaya” live! during their album launch.. the 30th of august was a dream come true for me..

    ely is the best, eheads is so far the only band who deserves that reunion.. their music influenced a lot, they are just simply enchanting..

  9. paul on

    oo nga. nag-l-look forward nalang ako sa isa pang reunion. this time, everything will go ismutly na.

  10. Richard Bolisay on

    i have that caruncho book which i bought for 50 pesos in national. brand new! hehe. great stuff there.

    and i was also in the concert.

    rather disappointed, huhu. and to think of how i got home after that night, waaah umulan ng todo di ba? at walang taxi? hehe.

    but having thought of it for two days, i realize that’s the most we could get.

  11. el pistolero on

    thanks, ryan and solo.

    sana nga. sana.

    ows? ako rin, i got my copy cheap. mga ganung price range din ata, sa vibal ko ata nakuha yung akin.

    oks, lang yan, kahit ang hirap ng lahat. at least meron di ba? haha.

  12. thumbbook on

    Sana pala tumuloy ang fans sa Saguijo that night, kasi for just 150bucks you can jam with Buddy, Raimund and Marcus. I saw the video sa youtube

  13. siliman823 on

    The euphoria, the chills before the start.
    I knew that the concert would be far far different from any Philippine made concert!
    The vibes in the long queue at the general patronage was phenomenal. Everyone was happy. Thrilled and excited. I came in just in time when they flashed the 10minute countdown.

    And the band emerged. We were far away but we could feel this rush of emotions when the four finally appeared. The lights, wow the lights! Nothing like i have ever seen before.
    This concert was meant to give us the rarest sight in the Philippines. The Erasereads together again complemented by a most spectacular play of lights and video.

    What is meant to be is that it was short and sweet. Any longer we would have noticed Ely clearly out of breath or that the further fireworks would have been already too much or the band would be out of sync. I am not saying Ely’s collapse was meant to be, i’m just saying fate played a role that we got what we deserved. A mere few moments with the biggest band in our lifetime. Hanggang dun na lang talaga.
    It was still worth it to be alive in this lifetime.

  14. mandirigma on

    i would like to get a copy of that book
    i would like to get original cds of all their albums.
    i would like to have a copy of every publications that were written about them


    i don’t have money when i was in grade school
    i was only able to save a few bucks from my high school baon so i can only buy casette tapes
    and then i can only afford articles in songmags and i don’t have internet access then.
    i’m a fan since grade 2 and i never wavered even after the disbandment. i still remained a fan.
    BUT i was really broke then.
    WHILE i’m quite well-off now, i have my source of income.


  15. LJ on

    at least you have seen the concert even just half of it
    my God had I known na may reunion concert sila
    I would have flown to the Philippines even for just that one day, just to watch their concert
    you are still very lucky guys to have access to tickets of that one very special night
    naiyak talaga ako when i just stumbled on eheads videos in youtube and it said “Eheads reunion concert”
    i was like “What???” and then nag nostalgia ang lola
    kaya sana naman sa susunod na concert nila
    sana ma advertise all over the net weeks before
    and to Ely, he’s still the best and so the rest of the band
    sana makarecover sya fully
    love yah Ely, more power, stay alive okay?!!!
    Eraserheads forever!!!
    by the way meron ba silang reunion concert DVD?or album?
    I dont care if they’re just “half-the-concert”
    I still love the band pretty much

  16. Nat on

    Do you think that it is possible for them to have a 2nd reunion concert? and do you know the original playlist of what songs should be played during the concert?

  17. sonny on

    it’s 4am here in saudi arabia and by the sudden strike of homesickness, i googled pinoy bands during my college days. Rivermaya – Bamboo (was not in my college days), and then Ereserheads. I remember my co-worker mentioned to me in passing a few days ago that Ely had another heart attack. I suppose it wasn’t anything major because that mention was the short of it and I thought he was playing for his band, Pupil when my co-worker added the incident happened in a concert. i only said, “hmm, uh… ok…”

    I was really left out. you see, i don’t have cable tv/tfc channel here, not because i cannot
    afford but because i chose not to have. anyway, there’s internet. but the nature of my job puts me into long hours of work that i seldom have the time to check the web for news and what not. when nostalgia kicks in is the only time that i trace back through the things of my past – particuarly music.

    (this is a long comment/reply already, more of a blog in itself, but please allow me, i have mixed emotions now that i need to let out)

    at first i typed in “eraserheads” and links that are months old appeared with a sprinkling of music videos from youtube. i was a member of a yahoo circular for eheads fans before, so i can have a fresh update of whatever is happening to the rest of the band after the split. at one point i decided that a reunion would be a far-fetched fantasy of fans like me and i let it go. i unsubscribed from the list and never really thought that somehow some people or a kind of force would be there to make that seemingly unrealistic dream come true. whatever the reasons, the motives, the persuasions, the story behind the reunion concert is beyond me. i stopped… what the hell did just happened? a reunion concert and i wasn’t even aware??? even if i was miles away and no possibility of ever being there, I WOULD’VE WANTED TO KNOW!!! i can’t tell you how lost i feel while writing this. maybe im typing words nonsense already but what the heck…

    and the reaction i gave when i learned of Ely’s heart attack was just like that? im so pathetic


    i don’t have powerful words to express my feelings and thoughts at the same time. im utterly confused. but after the long intro, here’s the heart of it.

    i commented because you said the concert was not meant to be. I am not so sure. i think it was meant to be because it happened already. if it wasn’t, there would have been no concert at all in the first place. but it could be true that it wasn’t meant to be, “yet”. u mentioned the train of events prior to the concert which supports your argument. but i dont think it is the right time. i don’t think the band is ready yet, Ely most of all. It must have been very hard for him. i could only guess.

    maybe the concert wasnt meant to be because it was not for the best reason. note: i am not saying it was the wrong reason. only, some reasons are not acceptable to some people. i was hoping that they’d be back together again not to become a band that they were once before – it may not be possible, but to be friends who play music together for the love of it and for the people who loved them. to settle their differences and close what seems to me an unfinished chapter in their e’heads life. a closure. one final act.

    but it was not the one that just passed. even if it takes another 10 years to wait. as soon as they are ready to play, and i will be there to listen to them.

  18. The Eraserheads Reunion Concert Album | ah! on

    […] the Eraserheads Reunion Concert was really not meant to be « Blasted! […]

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