Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Balot's Ozbound Gig...

Thursday (May 15, 2008) finally came around to bid farewell to our drummer Balot in traditional SunDownMuse fashion. What better way to send off Balot to the land down under, than to hold a kick-ass gig, along with other bands that he has grown to love. Despite the added stress of organizing the gig for Balot, I was glad that we finally pulled it off and the very night has arrived.

Most of the pictures here were taken by my good friend Saira. Aside from having a very nice SLR camera, she definitely has a good eye when it comes to taking photos.

Milagros Dancehall Collective

Milagros, or MDC, has been a favorite of ours eversince most of the original members from Brownman Revival broke away to form this dancehall band. Although, Brownman has continued their music and has thrived in their own right, we, personally, loved the new direction that Milagros has taken with their music.

Macky, the bassist, was typically awesome as usual. I just love the fact that his playing style is completely different depending on which band he is in. He also dons an equally different bass guitar for each band. In Milagros, he employs a more Gorillaz-esque bass style which still maintains his melodic signature upon close listening inspection.

They were missing Sappy again during this gig. So the much loved Shaggy-esque vocals was sorely missed. Regardless, MDC's overall performance made everybody bob their heads in sync. That's definitely a true testament of how good their music is, when the crowd feels "the riddum" (as always Robert puts it).


As this was our production, we kinda took our time setting up, which was extremely nice. Playing in other productions are usually on some form of loose schedule. When it's your turn to play, you have very little time to set-up because most bar sound techs don't know that they need to kill the dead air between bands with music. And dead air in gigs usually results in losing the crowd's attention.

We got to run a rather lengthy sound check jam. Hearing Charles, our guitarist, do his thang on guitar never ceases to amaze me. Although he has the skill to finger-tap and shred like the best of them, what I like the most about his style is the very well thought-out melodies that he comes up with on the fly. His adlib almost sounds written. That guy is just too good.

We let Balot pick out the set list for that night since this is one of his last gigs. Expectedly, he picked out our "Greatest Hits". Yes, we haven't released even one album yet. It's just a term we coined for the songs that we always automatically play on gigs when we haven't had the time to practice.

The highlight of our set for me is playing a cover song called "Smooth Operator" by Sade. Balot requested if an Australian counterpart of his in his company can join us to sing back-up vocals for the song. So Briggs called her out to join us on stage. The lady was a little shy and hesistant, saying that she doesn't know all the words to the song. But we're just jamming anyway. She can always just sing the chorus along with Briggs.

The best part of playing that song that night was the Santana-esque jam that we always tack to the end of that song. Balot was surrounded by friends and co-workers. So it would actually be a surprise if he didn't strut his stuff that night. And he did exactly that, in true funk drummer style fashion. The jam was fun because Balot and I were rhythmically flirting with each other. Engaging in percussion coitus with Balot has always been fun. But that night, it came together like it did back when we had a gig in Bar 42. I love it.

I posted a few more pictures of us playing in the SunDownMuse Website.

Goodbye Tracy

Goodbye Tracy came up next. We had to bump Liquid Jane down to the 4th slot in the band line-up because the boyz from Goodbye Tracy had work shifts starting by 7:00AM that night. This band's music is geared more towards mass appeal. It's the kind of music you'd hear as the soundtrack of Smallville, which makes it catchy. Gigo was pretty good that night. But I think a different type of music would really showcase how good that guy is on guitar. It was unfortunate that I do not have any pictures of them that night to post. I thought Saira was still around taking photos.

Liquid Jane

Liquid Jane showed up only as a 3 piece band. Erwin, their keyboardist was currently in the States, and Chad and company didn't want to miss Balot's despedida gig.

Drew, the drummer, was tight from beginning to end of their set. It's uncanny to see Drew do beats in 32 with such relative ease.

Gino, the guitarist, had to warm up a little. However, after the first song, the dude was amazing for the rest of the set. After they finished playing their song called "Hollow Tree", Balot stood and walked near the stage, and yelled at Gino, "BABAGEE!", with an accompanied "we're not worthy!" bowing motion.

Chad's (bassist and vocalist) banter between songs are always entertaining. He's good at injecting tasteful humor to keep people engaged during the set.

The night ended with most people trickling out already. SunDownMuse and a few others remained. Balot thanked everyone for a kick-ass night and a befitting send off for his Ozbound migration. I was so glad to see him very happy about his despedida gig. It made all the trouble I had to go through to make the night happen well worth it.

Surprisingly, I didn't even mind dragging all my heavy percussion gear upstairs to my appartment after getting dropped off. I was just generally content, with a smile on my face due to a very enjoyable and drunken night.


No comments: