Eraserheads turns back the clock
It was exactly 33 years ago when Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala, Marcus Adoro and Raimund Marasigan formed the band Eraserheads. Who would imagine that the Eraserheads will become the most iconic and influential band of all time in the history of Original Pinoy Music (OPM)?
Seeing the Eraserheads perform live in a concert for the first time was the most memorable experience for us in 2022. My girlfriend, daughter and I were lucky to witness the Huling El Bimbo 2022 reunion concert at the SMDC Festival Grounds in Paranaque City last December 22.
Growing up as an E-Heads fan
I can still remember vividly when I was young during the 90s, listening to the Eraserheads’ songs. “Pare ko” was one of their songs I learned when I was starting to play the guitar. The song was a big hit at the time. Why? Because a young guy like me can really relate to the lyrics.
Back then, I was not able to buy any cassette album due to budget constraints (I was only a student at that time and my school allowance was only enough for my meal and fare in jeepney) but I memorized their songs from Ultraelectromagneticpop!, Circus, Cutterpillow, Fruitcake, Bananatype EP to Sticker Happy. Most of their songs were played in the radio and listed in “Song Hits” (a magazine that feature mostly song lyrics and chords) so it was really easy to memorize the lyrics of their songs. I did not follow much the albums Natin99 and Carbonsterioxide because I tried to focus on my studies when I entered college.
I can 101% say that I learned to play the guitar, ukelele and piano because of the influence of Eraserheads. I know many people can relate because in the 90’s, most young guys were inclined to being a “rockstar” (being part of a band, playing an instrument) or a “baller” (basketball player) or billiard player.
You have all inspired us during the darkest times of the pandemic,
and we're very honored that this song was chosen as an inspiration to everyone."
Huling El Bimbo 2022 Reunion Concert
The Eraserheads reunion concert was full of “feels”. I agree with my daughter that this experience definitely is part of our core memories. Imagine, there were 75,000 people in attendance according to the organizers and sang along with them. The Eraserheads truly wrote the soundtrack of our childhood. My “Team Bahay” friends who wasn’t able to attend the concert said that they had some booze while watching the livestream on TV.
It was nostalgic… the Eraserheads’ Huling El Bimbo 2022 reunion concert spectacularly took us back to the 90s!
The Eraserheads proved once again that the E-heads mania is still alive!
Our Concert Experience
Going to the concert
We were anticipating that the traffic would really be bad on concert day so we decided to book a hotel room so we don’t have to travel all the way from Pasig City. It was difficult to book a hotel near SMDC Festival Grounds but we were lucky that we got one in Hotel 101 which is around 2-3 kilometers away from the concert venue.
We left early from Pasig on December 22 as we were planning to stay in a coffee shop so I can still work before going to the concert, and also to secure a parking slot at the hotel. We reached Hotel 101 at 10:30 AM and we did not expect that the hotel accepts early check-ins so we availed it for only Php 500.
A walk to remember
Since the organizers were expecting a huge crowd, they opened the venue at 2:00 P.M. to fans who braved the Christmas rush to watch the Eraserheads live on stage. There were ushers who were ready to assist the concertgoers along Diokno Boulevard and Aseana Avenue.
We walked for about 30 to 45 minutes from the hotel to the concert venue because we took the wrong route. Hahaha! From Hotel 101, we went to SM Mall of Asia then SM MOA Eye. We walked at Seaside Boulevard and Coral Way, and passed by Conrad Manila. We turned right to Diokno Boulevard where we saw E-heads fans walking towards the concert venue.
When we reached the Platinum gate, they checked our tickets and bags, and asked me too to fill out and sign a waiver because I brought my daughter who is a minor.
Compared to the past few days when it was raining in Metro Manila due to the northeast monsoon, the weather was nice on the concert day. The sun was up, the sky was blue – similar to the famous line of the song Dear Prudence by The Beatles.
We arrived before 4:00 PM, too early for the concert but many concertgoers were already there.
Some already secured their place by sitting or placing a mat. We were able to get near the fence that separated the VIP and Platinum sections however, people already stood or sat by the fence, blocking off the front of the Platinum section.
We knew that the concert would start late so we did everything we can to kill time by eating merienda, emptying our bladders, buying merchandise and of course, taking photos inside the concert venue.
The Diegos, the DJ duo of Sandwich guitarist Diego Castillo and Pedicab frontman Diego Mapa, opened the night by playing foreign and OPM songs in the 90s. The fans sang along to songs like “Halik ni Hudas” by Wolfgang, “Tsinelas” by Yano, “Manila Girl” by Put3ska and of course, “Laklak” by The Teeth.
They set the tone for an evening of nostalgia. I had a hint because the songs played by the duo were commonly played on air by radio stations during my high school days. I shared this realization that night to my girlfriend that these guys were on stage to tickle our brains before showtime… and I was correct!
There was darkness after The Diegos played and then the countdown began. The countdown was quite unique. Videos of old gigs, random shots from Eraserheads’ college days and photos of UP Diliman were played in the billboard or big screens surrounding the stage.
The stage was also unique. It reminded me of an MTV stage back in the day. The screens served as a huge backdrop displaying a kaleidoscope. The stage was also lit by different lights that seemed to dance depending on the song that the band was playing. Each song had a dedicated visual display to set the mood. There was also a big glowing inverted letter E, the symbol of Eraserheads, in the middle of the stage.
True enough, the band started playing and I’m sure I was not the only one who had goosebumps. Seeing them play again together was a combination of eyecandy and eargasm. The reunion concert put us in a time machine and traveled us back to the 90s!
A little rant with a smile
When the Eraserheads 2022 reunion concert started, I rarely used my phone to take photos and videos because I wanted to enjoy and cherish the moment that my favorite band was playing together once again on stage.
Maybe it was just me but I was annoyed when I saw people lifting their camera phones every time (if not all the time) the Eraserheads played their songs. I just wanted to enjoy the moment and concentrate on watching the band play on stage while singing along with their timeless hits.
I intentionally did not to take more videos and photos from the concert because I knew I could watch the replay of the livestream in YouTube anytime.
Overall, I truly enjoyed a lot during the reunion concert even though my toes and back were aching due to walking and standing for a long time (we were there since 4:00 PM!).
Huling El Bimbo 2022 Setlist
from the year 1995 to set up the Cutterpillow set"
In the first set, there were flashing symbols in the screen hinting about the next song that the Eraserheads will be playing in Cutterpillow album. The Eraserheads also made some tweaking on their intros that made the crowd guess the next song they will be playing.
First Set: Cutterpillow
1. Superproxy (with Francis M, Elmo Magalona, Arkin Magalona & Eon Buendia)
3. Waiting For The Bus
7. Slo Mo
9. Huwag Mo Nang Itanong
10. Paru-parong Ningning
11. Walang Nagbago
12. Poorman’s Grave
14. Fill Her
— Break —
UP Pep Squad
1. Pop Machine
6. Saturn Return (with Arkin Magalona & Eon Buendia)
7. Maling Akala
8. Tama Ka
9. With A Smile
11. Christmas Party with Gary V.
— Break —
1. Pare ko
4. Ang Huling El Bimbo with fireworks
The second act opened with the song Pop Machine from album Natin99 after a 30-minute break. Various artist like Gary Valenciano, Jazz Nicolas from Itchyworms, Mikey Amistoso from Ciudad band, Audrey Dionisio of General Luna band, the Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino (A.M.P.) Orchestra Band conducted by Mel Villena also joined the Eraserheads to give more flavor to their hits.
The most popular songs of the band were played in the final act. Tears started to flow for some of the fans as they know that this could be the last time they will see the four E-Heads members playing together on stage. It was full of emotions when the Eraserheads played “Pare Ko” and “Minsan”. They reminded us about love, heartbreak, friendship that most can relate to.
Everyone adored the interaction between Ely and Raimund. When Raimund left the percussion duty to Jazz Nicolas, he was walking around the stage with his action cam and wine (?) to film the moment on the stage. Ely urged Raimund to sing a few lines of “Pare ko”. It was indeed a cute and genuine moment!
Ang Huling El Bimbo was the parting song of the band for the crowd. There were fireworks at the end while everyone was singing along with the band. I saw that the band on stage was also enjoying the moment. The mood was light and happy.
The Final Bow
I was happy when I saw them standing on stage to make a final bow in front of thousands of fans in the venue and those watching the stream online globally while Salsa was playing in the background. The photo of the 4 ‘Heads on stage was a night to remember because the most influential Filipino band ever once again reunited in a fabulous fashion.
The Huling El Bimbo 2022 concert was a night of full of fun and me, my daughter and girlfriend were proud to be part of this one-of-a-kind concert experience. I will forever cherish that moment.
Thank you Eraserheads for a wonderful concert night. Truly legendary. *teary eyes*
World Tour 2023 Coming Soon
Ely Buendia, frontman of Eraserheads, teased the fans about the World Tour happening in 2023 by posting it on Instagram.
Watch out for it! Eraserheads music will live on! Happy holidays everyone!