SuperSession Concert--The Golden Era of Pinoy Rock

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 by Rom in Labels: , , , , ,

October 25, 2008, the 45th anniversary of DZRJ via the concert dubbed as SUPERSESSION in A. Venue Hall in Makati. It was the night of fun and reminiscing, the era of Pinoy Rock as well as the classic rock of the golden era of music—the 70s.

We were there so much early as we travelled 64 kilometers from our place just to be there on time and witness once again the culminating event in the history of Philippine music. The event ain’t so much of a Woodstock or anything like that of love, peace and music for three days but anything close to that would merit my attention in this rap stricken-shallow fad country of ours.

The stage resembles the humble beginning of DZRJ 45 years ago, when Ramon Jacinto put up his first radio station in his Dad’s garage. The stage is an 18-wheeler flat bed trailer truck, a makeshift reminiscent of my Mendiola days where we held most of the theater and band performances during the demonstration. I remember Noel Cabangon and Chikoy Pura, as we used to perform together on top of the flat bed truck in Mendiola during Cory Aquino’s State of the Nation Address many years ago.

It has been a while since I’ve attended such a concert, and I tell you the crowd is much different ever since. Though they are not that stage-diving-slam-dancing people, they know how to appreciate a good song when heard. Most of the crowd age ranges from 25 to 60, I guess.

An hour before the show people started pouring in. You will immediately notice the absence of the slam-banging teenagers in Punk get up, Poseurs and other wannabees. However, my attention caught an old man in his 70s I think, in white ponytail, beard and long hair. The old man is a frail looking rock n’ roll veteran wearing a reporter’s vest tattered with button pins complete with wrist band and other paraphernalia except for the microphone and guitar. I’m glad I didn’t wear black shirt that day—as everybody does, complete with huge print of different bands or personalities of rock music, a cliché during concerts like these.

Beside the 18-wheeler flat bed truck-cum-stage is an old automobile, a 1940 limousine where the VIPs of the show wallow in their wine and songs. The lighting is great as it gives justice to an improvised look, but the sound system lacks luster. The organizer could have surrounded the place with good speakers instead of putting it only in front. The vocal sound suffers quite a bit and being overshadowed by the instruments.

Joey “Pepe” Smith brought the house down with his own antics. Joey is a legend on his own when it comes to Pinoy Rock music scene. The 65-year-old ex-detainee and a veteran musician come in sober in a leather suit and sporting a clean cut hairstyle. The crowd suddenly rush near the stage as Joey belts out songs from his legendary JUAN DE LA CRUZ BAND.

Marc Abaya of KJWAN gave justice to the seminal song Stairway to Heaven as Cookie Chua sings out with him in the last part while Tirso Ripols of RAZORBACK axed down the road with his Peavey Guitar. Chikoy Pura of THE JERKS was the busiest among the performers; he was almost always present in every set and sessions doing vocals of DOORS’ Light My Fire, STEELY DAN’s Reelin’ in the Years and ERIC CLAPTON’s Sunshine of your Love, and Layla along with Ramon Jacinto and Pepe Smith.

The finale was awesome; the makeshift stage was full of Pinoy talent. Pure music at its best as the crowd was misty eyed in between riffs of 13 guitarists all session and seasoned musician. Two hard pounding drums set left and right, percussion instruments and keyboards in the middle. The musicality was so thick and the fusion of the American-born and Pinoy-bred music can’t be distinguished.

All artists played their own original piece in between covers and the fusion was good, in fact, it was great. The crowd isn’t that much frenzy back in the old days of Pinoy Rock era, maybe it comes along with age. But still, the passion can’t be denied. It was still there that evening; burning as soon as the event started with the national anthem played in a bluesy-passionate guitar while the crowd raised their fists.