Chasing Ironies

Caught Up In The Eheads Hype

Posted on: September 3, 2008

( Listening to : With A Smile )

I’ve never been a true-blue, die-hard Eraserheads fan. I can’t say I’m familiar with all their songs (just the popular ones like Magasin, Pare Ko, Wag Mo Nang Itanong, et cetera, et cetera) or that I know every lyric by heart.

All I know is I like their music. Most of it. Heck, who doesn’t? They have this undeniably unique formula of songwriting, transforming simple words into strings of humorous and melancholic ballads that people easily relate to. Mix that with splendid stage performances, cool funky getups, and boy-next-door/rockista (hahahaha) appeal and you’ve got a Pinoy band destined for superstardom.

Remember their "totoy" days? hahaha

No doubt about it, they began a whole new era of music. They paved way for various Pinoy musicians and artists, opening doors and influencing others with their creative streak. They became a great part of the country’s local music scene. And even after they broke up in 2002, their legacy continued. You can tell. Kids today, who weren’t even born during their “reign”, are still familiar with their songs.

Yes, I’m not much of an Eheads fan. My early memories of them were confined to being amused while reading the lyrics of Ligaya and Toyang in tattered songhits I found lying around the house, back when I was in second grade. Of the four band members, I was only familiar with Ely Buendia because some of my female classmates (who were then sprouting estrogen we-like-boys hormones) found him cute. That includes my best friend Mhikky. I never collected their albums and just relied on the radio. Even when I heard about them breaking up, I thought “pity, they were good”, then eventually forgot about it. After all, they did go their separate ways happily.

My boyfriend is the Eheads fan. He’s the one who listened to them as early as his grade school years, and the one who collected their cassette tapes. The one who told me stories how he and his high school friends and bandmates scrambled up a roof just to see the band perform back in his hometown. The one who kept sending me imeem links to the band’s songs and asking “Alam mo to? Alam mo to?”. And he’s the one who made petiks at work just to read recent updates and blogs about the band (Hahaha, I love you very much sweetie).

He’s also the one who informed me about the band’s reunion concert. Starting from the blog rumors until it was officially confirmed by the members themselves.

)

Circus Album Cover (1994). Thanks to Caloy (the die-hard Eheads fan) for this. 🙂

So it happened. Unfortunately, we didn’t watch the concert for two reasons: 1) My tita‘s wedding and 2) the tickets were a bit too steep. August 30, 2008, while we were busy partying at my tita‘s reception, the band was rocking the Fort Bonifacio Open Field with at least 60,000 of their screaming fans.

the opening

the opening

From everything I heard (and saw on youtube), it was a blast. Ely, Raymund, Buddy and Marcus reunited, and performed beloved hits like Fruitcake, Wag Kang Matakot, Alapaap, Toyang and Ligaya.

Until tragedy struck. Halfway through the show, the band’s frontman was rushed to the hospital after collapsing from physical and mental exhaustion. Everyone knows Ely had two heart surgeries a year ago, and that his mom passed away two days before the show. These are enough reasons. People should have foreseen the inevitable, but no one did. Perhaps, they thought it was too-good of a time to think such morose thoughts.

Ely’s sister delivered the news to the shocked audience and his bandmates gave their sincerest apologies. The concert was cut, and the fans quietly filed out of the venue.

My boyfriend and I were busy celebrating at another party when my sister told me about the news. Of course we were stunned. So stunned, that we waited for the late night news just to find out if there were any new developments.

After the concert, I kept my eyes and ears out for any Eheads news—Ely’s condition, the band’s claims of having a part two, and the fans’ reactions. I know I was caught up in the hype, but my concern was genuine. No way can this kind of tragedy happen to a band so popular, so influential, and so well-loved. I believe their story isn’t over yet. No way can it end in just that night.

I viewed amateur videos of the band’s reunion concert at youtube, and despite the poor quality, I can tell the band rocked. The fans couldn’t stop screaming, cheering and singing along to the songs. From the countdown, up to the final moments when Ely already appeared to be exhausted, they gave the audience a glorious show. It was so euphoric I wished I was there with them.

Then I remembered the footages after the unexpected happened. The expressions on everyone’s faces. Shock, disappointment and worry all mixed. How they respected and understood the situation. How they bid Ely to get well soon and how they said it was a marvelous performance, despite being bitin. How they said that just seeing the four guys playing together on stage again was already worth the thousands of pesos they spent on the tickets.

And then I understood.

One guy being interview during the concert raved, “Hindi ka Pilipino pag wala ka dito.” Well, maybe we weren’t there to witness it. Maybe there won’t be another concert (Noooo) and we’ll never get to witness it again. Maybe we will. Hopefully we will.

I know one thing though: I respect this band. You don’t need to be a hardcore fan to do that. 🙂 I’m not a die-hard supporter, but I appreciate everything they’ve given to the Filipinos. All the lively music, the catchy tunes, the endearing and cool performances. I appreciate how they, for one night, reunited, and with them, reunited fans, music lovers, and Pinoys from all walks of life. It’s definitely historical.

So this is my Eraserheads story.

Long live the band. And their legacy. Thank you for bringing and breathing life into the Pinoy music scene once again. 🙂

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1 Response to "Caught Up In The Eheads Hype"

[…] Live! The Final Set. We didn’t see the first reunion concert, but we promised that if a second one happens, we won’t miss it for the world. And we didn’t. This is […]

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