I have been willing myself to write about my Eraserhads : The Final Set experience, but I’ve had so many false starts in the past 48 hours. I had a very good time and I don’t regret the money spent for the Silver tickets. I had enjoyed the experience even though I didn’t see the band up close and had to be content with the big screens setup all over the place. But I also could not help but wish I had the money to spend for VIP passes (@5k each); no matter how much I had been looking forward to this event, I just couldn’t justify the expense. 🙁
I don’t have spectacular photos of the event. I guess I didn’t have the patience to work with my camera to get good shots out of the lighting that was there. Plus, there was no chance to get photos of my idols anyway, so why bother? I did attempt to take some shots of the boyfriend and even of us together, but as usual, I’ve never had much luck in taking my own photos.
We were supposed to meet up earlier on the afternoon of the seventh so we could see a movie and have dinner before the show. But I had spent 14 hours at work (12am to past 2pm of the same day) and I just couldn’t bring myself to leave home so soon after hitting the couch. Besides, there were showbiz programs showing their tribute to The Man from Manila, and I had wanted to see some of those.
So it was already 630PM when I finally met up with the boyfriend at the MRT Taft station. We took a jeepney to MOA (my first jeepney ride in a long time, how sad), and ended up not stopping for dinner. We had anticipated a long queue to enter the concert venue, but there wasn’t any. Most of the people were just milling outside the gates, or were already inside. I secretly wished that Alfred would want to hangout by the VIP gate, not to ogle at celebrities who were sure to be there, but to be on the lookout for any VIP pass doleouts. But being the non-eHeads fan that he was, I was asking for too much. Haha.
There was food inside the venue, but silly me, I had decided to forego any food and drinks. This meant I was famished by the time the show ended, but let’s not talk about the end. Yet. So here’s Alfred, anticipating the start of the show. Press release: he’s not really interested. He was never really into Eraserheads. Even as he adores Sandwich, he didn’t want to see the ‘Heads even just for Raimund. It took so much coaxing on my part before this actually happened.
Was I imagining it or does he look like he was eagerly anticipating the start of the show? 😉 Now here’s a glance at the Silver A crowd, near the middle. We’re very close to the grills separating us from Gold. I must admit, when I saw the screens up front, my heart sank as I realized how far we were from the stage. But it didn’t dampen my spirit that night.
I tried out my camera to see how much I could zoom in to see a glimpse of Ely B. I could go this close in this shot, but when they were actually performing and I was trying to get a few good shots, I was nowhere near:
If this was how far we already were, I couldn’t imagine being at the Bronze section, though I bet that was where the crowd was the happiest! Here’s the rest of the Silver A crowd behind the boyfriend’s (semi)bald head, and a view of the distant screen that the Bronze crowd was possibly watching from:
By the time 8PM rolled by, people were starting to get restless and the appearance of the four MTV VJs (though Kat Alano and Anne Curtis were among them) did not make matters any better. I mean, go ahead and do an intro but that wasn’t what it was. We heard nothing but the list of sponsors mentioned over and over and over again, it wasn’t like the screens and the PA system had just reminded us of those same sponsors during the entire time we were waiting for the show to start. People would probably not mind too much if the concert was a free one and we were completely indebted to the sponsors, but we did pay too right? It’s jus that the four of them up there was nothing but a reminder of the contractual obligations of the show’s organizers to how many times each sponsor’s name would be mentioned for the night. I felt about Anne and the rest when they were being booed at already. I mean, they were so hyper at the beginning and the loss of enthusiasm was so tangible towards the end. It didn’t help their case that none of the girls sounded credible when they were talking about their most favorite E-heads tunes. At least the guy VJ was believable. But the show wasn’t about them…
The show was about a band’s grand gesture of thanks for all it’s fans whose love for them never waivered, through all the years that they have played both together and apart. It was a reunion not just of the band we so loved, but of a generation who felt their songs, who had dreamed their dreams.
The first three albums – Ultraelectromagneticpop, Circus and Cutterpillow – these were the best ones for me. I had played all three over and over and over until I had memorized almost all of the songs. How many times had I been with friends on our front yard strumming these songs on our guitars and singing on the top of our lungs? The year they played at the SJC fair was the year Cutterpillow was released. I was so paranoid that I may not be able to sing along because the album had just been released, haha. But sing along I did. You betcha.
And I was ecstatic to hear the opening riffs to this song that I so so loved (pardon the quality of the sound in the videos I’ll be posting):
(I hope I can upload the vids, their taking so long to upload, I’d probably add them here at a later time.)
And when they played Waiting for the Bus right after? Heaven. Haha. I could have played Name That Tune all night. And I’m pretty confident that I’d have scored really high too 🙂
When Marcus held the spotlight with his reggae-ish arrangement of Wag mo nang itanong, then Raimund performed the songs that was uniquely his in the Eheads repertoire, the deal was sealed for me. I hadn’t yet heard all the songs I loved, but I knew that I was already walking away from the venue a very happy girl. Everything that followed was just a bonus.
The second set – the acoustic one, was priceless. It felt like they were just jamming with a small crowd. Something you’d expect from a set at 70s Bistro. Ely singing Kailan – who wasn’t transported back to their highschool or college days when they were swooning over this rockstar? Seriously, in their heydays I fantasized about getting to know them personally, of jamming with them, and just connecting. In those days, when I still had ideas of the type of person I wanted to end up with, I had thought about a guitar toting guy who could play and sing songs for me (and with me) all day. Just like the ‘heads, he didn’t have to be dashing and beautiful.
We finally heard Pare Ko on this set, their very first single and their biggest hit in my book. It may be Huling El Bimbo that took them to the MTV awards, but it was Pare Ko that propelled the young band to superstardom. And like I’ve said so many times to whoever cared to listen, it was the first ever song I played on the guitar.
There were two Encores for the show. Everyone was expecting the FrancisM tribute, what with him being good friends with the band (not just Ely, but Raimund too). They had sang Minsan, the song that probably identifies them most with the UP crowd, for all college crowds actually. They had sang the chorus of Kaleidoscope World. There was El Bimbo too, and then there were the fireworks. They were saying goodbye. They had said thanks (we are the Eraserheads), bowed and had as close to a group hug as we would get, and finally walked off the stage. Three minutes later, the crowd wasn’t budging.
And then the best part – we heard Raimund’s voice – bitin ba kayo? Bitin ba kami? The real Encore – three for the road.
It’s going to be a long road. No one knows if there will ever be a next time, though the band said it themselves, no one ever thought there’d even be a reunion concert. But The Final Set is enough to feed us for the next seven years.
I can’t wait to get a DVD of the concert so I can finally seat myself on our couch (not very bad for a home theater seating substitute) and see the concert up close while relishing the memories over and over – I was there.
Oh, and I just have to say this – there were this two guys behind us who were so annoying. After the first they were saying that that was exactly what happened when the first reunion concert was cut short back in August. It’s like they were willing this concert to be doomed, and like wishing ill of Ely at the same time. They were even saying, wag naman, sayang ang 1300. Hell, if they were going to be so negative, why didn’t they just opt for the cheapest tickets, or better yet, why didn’t they sit this one out? They were wearing Eheads shirts pa naman. They are not true fans. Eck.