Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Eraserheads Reunion Concert: Sa Wakas!

It took everyone six long years of waiting for this remarkable and seemingly impossible reunion to happen. And it did. And perhaps, that was the best reunion to ever happen in our generation. If there’s one common thing that could be observed during the Eraserheads Reunion concert last night, that would be the magical spark of excitement shown in the eyes of 20,000-40,000 people who graced the event. Never mind if we have to come as early as 3pm to the concert venue (the concert started 8:15pm) just so we’ll be ensured of a good spot inside, or if we have to stay under the scorching heat of the sun and seat on the grass and most often, big bits of stones, while waiting for the much-awaited to commence. All for the glory of the Eraserheads!

Ten minutes before the concert starts, a timer was shown on the large video walls. Just the timer alone already made everyone in the venue scream in super excitement. Nine (9) minutes and everyone was counting their hearts. And finally, the timer showed 00:00. And yes, no other band or performer had ever made my heart beat that fast because of overflowing excitement, than the Eraserheads. I’m pretty sure, 99% of the audience last night did feel the same way, too.

Sa Wakas…

The first two words shown in the main video wall after the timer stopped to zero. Those two powerful words seemed like the entire definition of all the fans’ feelings that night. Then old pictures of the Eraserheads were shown on-screen. That was the first time that night that I felt super nostalgic that I just let tears fall from my eyes. And finally, the much awaited opening number.

“May isang umaga, na tayo’y magsasama..
Hayaan at halina sa Alapaap
O ano’ng sarap, haaa…

Hanggang sa dulo ng mundo
Hanggang maubos ang ubo
Hanggang maubos ang luha
Hanggang mahulog ang tala…..”

Cliché as it seems, but really, words aren’t enough to explain my exact emotions that very moment Eraserheads showed on-stage and Ely Buendia started singing his most favorite E’heads song—Alapaap. Everyone was in high spirits and you could feel the sudden rush of energy in every soul inside that big concert venue. We all jumped for joy and gladly and fufillingly sang our hearts out and join E’heads in the singing.

No single moment could see the crowd passive or subdued during the Eraserheads performance last night. Even if we don’t exactly know the lyrics of some of the songs, everyone still joined in the singing. The feeling was so wonderful and intense.

Hearing the Eraserheads song again, not to mention being performed lively by no other than the icons themselves, I was like thrown immediately into the nostalgic field. I was like brought back to my good old elementary and highschool days when even at a young age, everyone was already singing to the tunes of the E’heads songs. For that very moment, I felt like a free-spirited highschool girl again. Add that to the fact that I saw some of my highschool schoolmates in the venue that night. That made me ratify that indeed, Eraserheads was really the most favorite band of Generation X and Y—the children of the Baby Boomers. In fact, most of the attendees last night were yuppies—those ranging from ages 20 to mid 30s. Only few teenagers were spotted during the night. It was like putting a big banner outside saying, NO TEENS ALLOWED INSIDE.

The Eraserheads belongs to our generation—and this I strongly claim. When our generation would think of the sunny summers of the 90s, the music of the Eraserheads will definitely be a part of our every trip. Their cut-throat music accompanied us in all our barkada outings, our class get-togethers, our after school practice for a certain project, our open forum moments, etc. Their songs comforted us during our ‘feeling down and out’ times in our teenage years. And yes, when we think of our generation, we think of the glorious days of the Eraserheads.

And then the band broke up in 2002. And all of us fans were like crashed in shock and desperation.

Six years after, we, unmoved fans of the Eraserheads, saw ourselves browsing in the net for news or update on whether the so-called Reunion Concert of the Eraserheads will push through. And when it was confirmed true, we searched and searched and waited for the final news on where to get the tickets when it was told that the concert will no longer be free. Three days before the concert, the news was published in various broadsheets and tabloids and even the net, stating the final venue of the concert and the ticket prices and where to get it. Thanks to my friend, Em, who didn’t bother asking me what ticket type do I like to purchase—Gen Admission or Patron. She just told me that she’d already brought a ticket for us for the Patron seat worth P1371.50. Oh well, I was just supposed to get the P800 + one since I was really on a very tight budget this month. However, it’s E’heads and there’s no way I should not have a budget for thisJ

Imagine, three days before the actual concert date for the announcing of the ticket prices and where to get it, and yet, the whole Fort Bonifacio Open Field was fully-loaded with solid E’heads fans. Indeed, the Eraserheads had never really lost their charm after all these years. They remain and will always be the ‘band that started it all.’

After performing their 15th song, we noticed Ely Buendia sat in slow motion. We thought then that it was just part of their performance or he’s just making some ‘moments.’ Then the timer was shown again—20:00.

The crowd patiently waited, still in super high spirits. Just then, the lights on the stage turned on. Raymund Marasigan, Marcus Adoro, and Buddy Zabala came in with some other people. Buddy introduced his name again and so were his other former bandmates on the stage. He then introduced the lady beside him who was actually Ely’s younger sister, Lally. Raymond asked for complete silence and uttered ‘we know you will understand.’ That made me nervous already. That somehow answered my uncanny thought on why was Ely not with them on stage. And then Lally read the short note, breaking the news that the concert will be cut-short because Ely was rushed into the hospital for chest pains. If I could just record in video the reaction of the thousands of people in the venue, you could see, like a flash, the smiles were like shut off our faces. Me, I felt like nailed into my position. I didn’t know what to think of. I was afraid that something bad may happen to Ely—that which I could not bear. I just prayed hard that Ely will be well again and that nothing serious happened to him.

Then, one of the executives from Radiohead (the events organizer/producer of the concert) stepped in and apologized for what happened and humbly asked everybody to pray in silence for a few minutes for Ely’s recovery.

Ten years ago, that scene could have resulted in to throwing of plastic mineral water bottles, boohs and waaahs. But that moment, like a Divine intervention, the whole place who was a couple of minutes roaring with excitement, was suddenly shut in great silence as everybody bowed their heads and prayed sincerely for Ely’s health. After that complete silence, those thousands of people slowly filled out the concert venue. The feeling was indeed weird as here we are, walking out of this concert venue, down-hearted for the sudden conclusion of our much-awaited reunion concert, while just a few minutes ago, we were all in ultra-electro-magnetic energy. But I know for sure, that even if we were partly disappointed with the conclusion, we were more of hoping and praying for the good health of Ely Buendia.

Walking along the street in Fort Bonifacio, my friend and I heard the song Alapaap playing in one of the cars parked along on the sidewalk. We can only sigh. *Sigh*

True, our generation might be the cohort of people, whom most old folks think as those who don’t really know what they want and what to do with their lives. We may be the worst for them. But really, while we were in complete silence last night, praying for one of our favorite vocalists health, I could feel from my very heart, that indeed, we are the generation who’s compassionate and who knows how to give due respect when needed.

As of this writing, reports have already circulated all over that Ely is already in a stable condition. I hope he will be in good condition for a long, long time. I could not bear losing Ely Buendia and the rest of the Eraserheads for good. Truly, there will always be one and only ‘Eraserheads.’ And I feel so grateful that I belong to the generation who put the E’heads into where they are now—silently residing into the very deep part of our hearts.

Rock on E’heads!

No comments: