Excursion 2 in 22 Days

ExcursionI miss writing. The past 2 months have been very busy and passed like a blur. Before you know it, it’s 2013 already and January is ending. So, hello there February. Please be good to us. No more visiting hospitals. Please.

One thing to look forward to in February is the coming gig of Pedicab, Dong Abay and the Tanods, Flying Ipis, The Diegos, Gaijin and Team Manila DJs. Last year’s Excursion was fun. This will surely be a party again. Pedicab’s amalgamation of dance and punk will surely keep the kids dancing. Dong Abay and the Tanods will play their own brand own brooding rock, deeply rooted in the pinoy experience. Flying Ipis and Gaijin will be ripping their sets with their brand of punk cum new wave songs. Lastly, to keep the kids dancing and mellow out the end of the show, The Diegos and DJ Mon will be showing off their DJ skills.

Tickets are dirt cheap at 200pesos. What? For five bands? Yep, you better believe it. Don’t miss out on a definite maximum-rock n’ roll-beer drinking  (beer tab’s on YOU!) filled night on Feb. 22, 2013 at Sales Bar, Sales St., Davao City.

Durian City’s home for booze & rock n’ roll: Sales Bar – Tekanplor

These are good times for rock n’ roll in Davao. Bands are playing and original music is at the forefront. It’s getting heard in what I consider the home of rock n’ roll in Davao these days, Sales Bar – Tekanplor.

What started as a place to jam for friends turned out to be a melting pot for Davao’s original music to be heard. Various organizers have been producing shows every weekend for a number of months already at a steady pace. It also brings together the rock scene. Gone are the days where I would yearn for a place to drink, unwind and hear my kind of music. Well it’s here and a few minutes away from my place, Davao Imperial Hotel to boot!

They are also looking for people to gig during weekdays as their new place can accommodate these and they also have a roof deck for those who just want to unwind under the starry sky.

I got to take some pictures of Kwatro Medya and Jad Montenegro last weekend. Kwatro Medya has a fresh take on post-punk while Jad Montenegro has this ethereal sound  that tugs your heartstrings and makes you smile. Both bands rock in my book. Check out Sales – Tekanplor, Sales Street to experience rockin n’ rollin, Davao style.

Tanduay and Rock n’ Roll

Davao isn’t really a favorite destination for Manila based bands.  Logistics and economics dictate that the only way a promoter can recoup expenses is that the public would be willing to pay a premium for a concert and I am not sure if people are willing to do so, what with limited disposable income and all.

But thanks to Tanduay Rum Rockfest 2012, we get to see premium bands with an ex-deal.  Buy your rum and get tickets.  Getting drunk and watching a concert is always a good deal in my book.

Getting to Crocodile Park was a pain.  It was a snail’s pace at Circumferential Road and bumper to bumper upon reaching Diversion Road to the venue.  Walking to the gate, I could hear 6 Cyclemind playing.  No big loss missing them as I don’t really think much about their music.

And just in time as I went in, Dong Abay took the stage.  He greeted the audience and started to play.  In between songs, he was cajoling the crowd to let loose.  As usual, the Davao crowd was insipid.  Yes, they sing but not much motion comes out.  I don’t know if people just don’t know how to behave in a rock concert because of the lack of it, or that they know that it’s ok to wave  hands in the air to show love or bobbing heads or hopping or dancing is completely normal in a concert.  But as always, I suspect that we’re always too cool to do silly things for performers.  Going back to Mr. Abay, he sang with his usual ferocity and antics.  He was backed by drummer extra-ordinaire, Mark Escueta and Imago’s guitarist and Gaijin’s singer-guitarist, Tim and Jessie respectively.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember who the bassist was.  Going through traffic for Dong Abay’s performance was completely worth it.  I will forever admire this guy for his songwriting and performance.

After the set, the Dawn played which I didn’t bother to see because it’s not the same without Francis Reyes.  My friend arrived, got some drinks and was just chilling as Wency Cornejo and band played.  Nostalgia effect for Next In Line.  It still is a good song.  More drinks as Urban Dub was playing.  Again, the crowd in front was too cool to show love.  Sorry Urban Dub.  Damn, I remember seeing them at Saguijo a few years ago, the whole venue shook like a motherpunker while they played First of Summer.

I think Rico Blanco played next.  He has gone theatric and electronic.  Cool versions of Yugto and some old song I couldn’t remember.  He is another performer I really admire.   Always with much energy and gusto even with a stale crowd who somehow managed to show a bit of love.

I don’t know who played next but I remember Franco with a new backing band.  He played new and unfamiliar songs.  Sounded rockin’ but crowd again was lethargic.  He played Song for the Suspect last and somewhat managed to liven the crowd up a bit.  I think Gloc 9 played next, I didn’t really pay attention as more drinking ensued.

Then Wolfgang, oh lord, they bust balls completely.  Sanctified was like a wash of rock n’ roll energy to the crowd.  Maybe we’re just too picky eh?  Silly dancing and head banging reserved only for choice bands.  I couldn’t remember the other songs, I think Mata ng Diyos and Halik ni Hudas were also played or could it be a memory from other Wolfgang concerts I’ve seen?

Let me jump to Parokya ni Edgar.  These guys have re-earned my respect for them.  The crowd was now ecstatic while they played.  Chito masterfully played the crowd.  And he might  be the only person who can convince Basti to sing “Boys Do Fall In Love?” with them.

By the time Chicosci played, we were too tired to stand or watch.  We then decided to leave the venue but got stuck.  Vehicles were parked on the road and there was no way to go out.  Ended up sitting at some curb till Kamikazee finished playing.  Dang, I was dreaming of ice cold beer to cap off the night at Saless Diner, where a burgeoning Davao rock scene is being nurtured and where Dong Abay incidentally turned up after the Rockfest.

Now I begin to think that people’s interest in music is not as diverse as I would have thought. Judging from the crowd reaction, people came to see Wolfgang, Parokya and Kamikazee. Some dug Urban Dub and Rico Blanco.  But acts who don’t get mainstream “I-memorize ba yan” radio airplay like Dong Abay and Franco who in my opinion are just as talented in another genre of rock barely got any love.  That was my perspective from the Press/Sponsors crowd though.  Who knows what mayhem happened at the back.  Still, I know there were fans in front, but the too cool to show love won over.

Anyhow, it was fun.  I so missed rock n’ roll.  The rock scene is the only thing I miss about Manila.  I hope more concerts can be done here.

Urban Dub at Abreeza

One really has to wonder why seats are placed in a rock gig.  I don’t understand why organizers don’t get that rock gigs are supposed to be watched while standing.  Rock music should move people.  And standing is the best position to rock out!  Bands love it when people react to their music.  How dull would it be the head-bang sitting?

Case in point was the show by Urban Dub a few hours ago.  The band gave their everything and delivered an intense show despite the awkwardness of having a sitting crowd.  Gabby, the singer asked the crowd to engage with the music and come closer during the 1st song.   Much to the delight of the elated kids, they stood up and went near the stage.  But here came the overacting event security and  cock blocked kids half their size.  I mean, what the fuck? What the hell could they do to ruin the show?  Kids were just dancing.  Last time I checked it wasn’t a crime. Then the overbearing event security ordered them to sit down after the 1st song.  To Urban Dub’s credit, they were forthright that they weren’t used to their crowd sitting down while they played but respected the venue’s stand on keeping the crowd to sit still.

Security was a bunch of killjoys.  I think they need to learn some tips about proper crowd control.  There are accepted norms of enjoying a show and if you invite a rock band, let them and their fans rock.  I don’t think anybody has died of dancing yet.

SM Lanang Premier

So I was able to finally  go to SM Lanang Premier last Saturday.  It looked impressive and the mall was massive.  People were everywhere which never fails to prove the point that SM really appeal to the masses.  There were still a lot of restaurants that hasn’t opened yet so there was really not much of a choice to choose from where to eat.  Forever 21 has opened already so I bet all the women are happy now. I checked out the shoe section of the department store and there were some interesting dress shoes that don’t cost an arm and a leg to buy and Nike’s field trainer was available there too.  I then headed to the tech area.  Samsung tabs looked awesome and I may want to get one.  After sometime, I got bored after walking around within an hour and opted to wait for my sister’s family to meet me at Green Coffee before Taken 2 starts showing.  Taken 2 was good.  It set a steady pace of action and thrilling sequences. Liam Neeson was still deadly and killed everyone.  I also got some pics of SM.  Not much to look at though because I just took it with my crap fone cam.