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.

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