—This will always be how I’ll remember the Eraserheads—young, full of it, and still trying to carve their place under the sun.
Last Saturday’s concert will go down as one of those defining moments in Philippine rock&roll history, right up there with Joey “Pepe” Smith writing “Ang Himig Natin” in the toilet just 20 minutes before their big concert on an acid high, no less, and Teddy Diaz of The Dawn getting stabbed to death.*
The Eraserheads was a band that everybody loved. As Raimund said when he texted me the day after the concert, “”I felt the overwhelming love during the countdown before I even saw the crowd.” And so he should.
From around 3pm onwards, the crowd kept getting bigger and bigger. And during the 30-minute countdown before the show started, the crowd’s mood was exuberant and excited, with everyone shouting out the seconds as they passed. It was intense. There isn’t another Filipino band who can generate that big a crowd, that kind of excitement and, yes, love from all sorts of people. And from the first bass riff of the first song, “Alapaap” the crowd was theirs, as it has always been. I had goosebumps when they started playing.
After Buddy, Marcus, Raimund, and Ely’s sister announced to the crowd that Ely couldn’t continue the concert and was being rushed to the hospital, the mood of the crowd was overwhelming concern that he be all right. Everyone went home in a subdued but orderly manner. Name a rock band who can cut a concert midway and not have a riot on its hands. I can’t think of any. And before Saturday night, I didn’t think it was possible.
For me, Saturday’s concert was a farewell of sorts, a fitting postscript or closure to a band whose music was the soundtrack of my college years and captured so well the Pinoy’s trademark smart-alecky wit, humor, and sarcasm. On the way home that night, we saw sk8rboyz, punkilitos, the Cos-Play crowd, who might not even have been born yet when the Eraserheads started jamming in the dorms of U.P. And during our late dinner, the sound system at the restaurant played “Overdrive.”** Goodbye, Eraserheads, it’s been a fun ride.
[*the original entry said “shot to death” but a friend said he was stabbed. Edited it accordingly.]
[**Original entry said “Drive” but the correct title of the song is “Overdrive.” Mali ako.]