It’s not easy to watch a rock concert. It involves things that no delicate soul could ever tolerate. The music itself is not exactly ear drum friendly and it’s a lot worse when you hear it live. But that’s the least of your concern, what you should be ready for really is the crowd. Rock concert goers are usually characterized by the all-black outfit that they don, the dark make-up that they wear, the menacing inks on their bodies, the scary piercings, and the angsty attitude. Most of them hardly care about fashion and look like they could use a bath. They curse, they jump, they scream, they spit, they thrash things, and act like they’re possessed especially when they hear their favorite song. Even so I won’t pass up a chance to go to a rock concert. Because rock, no matter how complex and regardless of its association with drugs, sex, death, and violence happens to be my type of music.
My friend surprised me to a rock concert access last week. On the 15th of October 2010, we attended the Tanduay Rhum Rockfest Year IV at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Pasay City. Unlike the SMB Oktoberfest, this concert is purely rock. The country’s best rock band/artists were invited to perform like Bamboo, Rico Blanco, Rivermaya, Kamikazee, Chicosci, etc.
The grounds were divided into three sections: the SVIP where the performers, members of the media, Tanduay Distillery personnel and their special guests stayed; the VIP, for the people who got their passes from buying 3 pieces of Tanduay 5 Years 750ml or 3 pieces of Cossack blue 700ml (or combination) in one single receipt from 7-Eleven stores; and the General Admission area which was the farthest from the stage, meant for the patrons who bought one piece of Tanduay 5 Years 750ml or one piece of Cossack Blue 700ml.
There were booths that offered free Tanduay mixed drinks to people. The grub, you had to buy, from any of the food stands that you could find within the concert ground.
The friend who got us the ticket works for a newspaper, a fact that got us the access to the back stage. Just like when we attended the Oktoberfest, we had a perfect spot right in front of the stage that allowed us to watch the performers up-close.
The show had started an hour before we arrived so we missed some of the bands. The first one that we saw perform was Siakol, made famous by their catchy songs “Peksman,” “Bakit Ba” and “Lakas Tama.” By the time we got near the stage, Markus Highway was already on. It is fronted by former Eraserheads’ lead guitarist, Markus Adoro. They were playing one of Eheads’ hits, “Wag mo nang itanong” in reggae which I got to say, sounded real weird to me. Next band onstage was the Tanya ni Markova, a band known for their white painted faces and weird costumes. They were followed by a much louder band, Protein Shake.
Huge screens were displayed at the back and each side of the stage. They helped me catch the moment whenever somebody blocks my view but they gave me confusion when I get a full view of the performers.
The people got real excited when I heard the name of the next artist. It was the former Rivermaya’s keyboardist and lead vocals, Rico Blanco. It was my first time to see him perform live and I got say I was mighty impressed. In fact he was the only one who delivered a memorable routine. He was oozing with what you call a rocker attitude; crystal clear voice that didn’t go off key, high energy, cool moves, and great music. I was totally mesmerized, but apparently not as much as my friend who told me over and over again that she had fallen in love with Rico and would love to have his babies.
My grumbling stomach though pulled me out of the Rico Blanco trance. I haven’t had dinner yet and I seriously needed to eat lest I’d pass out.
After a quick dinner we returned to the concert and watched performances by The Dawn, Razorback, Gloc 9, 6 Cycle Mind, and Yeng Constantino. As much as I wanted to stay and finish the concert, my body was no longer cooperating. I could barely keep my eyes open and my legs and my back were hurting. I didn’t want to ruin the moment for my friends but I was too exhausted to stay.
I feel sorry that I was not able to see other bands perform. Even so it is, without question, the best rock concert I’ve ever been to.