Saturday, August 2, 2008

Awesome Gig...

We didn't gig all of July. So you can imagine the gig-tigang-ness my bandmates and I were feeling by the time August 1 rolled over. The gig was at the back of my mind all week, generating more and more anticipation for it. After a good practice at Pipeline last Thursday night, I was more psyched than ever for Friday's gig.

Friday at work was long and arduous. Although I wanted the day to fly by quickly, seconds, minutes, hours seem to be moving at crawling snail speed. When I left the office, it was pouring rain. And cab drivers seem to prefer female passengers over male ones for some reason. Eventually I got a cab ride home after 45 minutes of standing out in the rain flailing my arms up and down like a gorilla to catch cab drivers' attention. I was starting to think that I need to grow my hair long and grow a pair of knockers before I can get a cab ride home that night.

When I got home, I had about 5-10 minutes left before my suki-text-a-cab arrived to pick me up. So I threw on some shirt and packed my gear up. I bought new percussion toys the past two weeks but I forgot to think about where those toys would be injected in our songs. So I decided to just bring my regular set of percussion gear. Not gigging for an entire month made me forget how annoying it is to painstakingly lug my gear downstairs. I complain but I shouldn't really because it is I who wants to lug a pair of congas and have a number of percussion toys at my disposal at gigs.

I loaded my gear in the cab and headed to Briggs' flat. Briggs wasn't there yet. But her trusty sidekick Dennis was. So Dennis let me in while we waited for Briggs. He just finished cooking food. So he offered if I wanted any just in case I didn't have dinner yet. Between work, the rain, horny cab drivers that only want female passengers, and rushing to pack up my gear, I really didn't have time to think about dinner. Dennis cooked Nilaga, which was most delictable. I hardly get to eat home-cooked food these days. So that was a treat all on its own.

Briggs arrived after a while and found Dennis and myself staring at the TV watching some MTV dating show. I don't have cable TV at my place by choice, so you can imagine the interest I had watching TV even if it was some stupid show. The chick in the show was hot that's why. I'll just come right out and admit that. LOL!

Liquid Jane

We then loaded up Briggs' car and headed to Mag:Net in Katipunan. Our guitarist, Gino, had a gig there with his other band Liquid Jane. We wanted to catch their set anyway aside from picking Gino up. The crowd was pretty tame at Mag:Net considering it was largely a collegiate crowd. Liquid Jane was awesome as always. But I especially felt Drew's pain (Liquid Jane drummer), because the drum set was just plain crappy. The thing looked like it was about to keel over and die any second. Although Drew did fine during that set, people definitely couldn't see and hear how good Drew really is as a drummer.

It was nice to watch Liquid Jane with the full band line-up. The last few times I've watched them, there was always one band member missing. When Erwin, the keyboardist, is not present, the band's rock sensibilities go on overdrive. When Gino, the guitarist, is absent, the band veers towards acid jazz. Throw them all in the mix and it makes for a great eclectic rock experience.

After Gino packed up his gear, we then proceeded to 6Underground in Ortigas; the venue of our gig. Club 6Underground used to be located in C. Palanca St. in Makati a few years ago. We used to play there every Saturday for an entire year, which was awesome. So it was definitely going to be an interesting night to gig at 6UG again after so long.

When we got to the place, the old familiar, huge ass, WWE wrestler-esque bouncer was there. We were surprised to see him still "bouncing" for 6UG even until now. And the dude recognized us. He came up to me, shook my hand, and muttered in a Terminator-like voice, "Come with me if you want to live". No, he didn't say that. But that was what was going through my mind when I saw him. LOL! He actually was glad that we were going to play at 6UG again after so long.

I saw Allan, vocalist and bassist of Mobster Manila, when I stepped through the doors of 6UG. We gave each other a high-five and talked for a while. Apparently, they were next to play and then we get to play after them.

I was surprised at the new 6UG. The stage was a large spacious square right smack-dab in the middle. While there were couches all around the stage with a lot of people sitting on them. The band gear on the stage sounded great in true 6UG-fashion. I especially like how the drum kit sounded. Coming from hearing how crappy the drum set was in Mag:Net, that brand spanking new drum set in 6UG sounded awesome. It was well mic'd and the sound tech obviously new how to play with the volume levels of the drum set to make the house sound clear.

There were a few bands that played before and after us. But I'll just talk about the ones of significance from what I remember in my drunken stupor last night. LOL!

Mobster Manila

We've gigged with Mobster Manila a number of times. I love how Allan really commits to his Mobster Manila comestic look; with his slick-back hair and garb that looks like it came straight of the old TV show "Happy Days". If you don't know about the Fonz and the show "Happy Days", you're seriously missing out on a great TV series.

Most people chalk Mobter's music to likes of Ska or maybe even Reggae. But their music is best described as Rocksteady, a precusor to Ska and Reggae. I might be wrong but it's the closest description I can think of at this time.

I love the way Allan manages to play complicated and fast bass riffs while singing at the top of his lungs. That really takes some skill to pull off. Allan is awesome.


The unfortunate thing of not having a girlfriend is that you can't ask someone to take pictures while you play. Although I usually manage to get a few snapshots in of my bandmates when we play at gigs, I was way too under the influence of alcohol to even think about taking pictures, while setting up my gear and my iPod to record our set.

Below are the bootleg recordings I made from our set last night using my iPod recorder. I love my Belkin Tune-Talk. The stereo mic on it captures sound better than most recorders.

Each one of us in the band was so psyched to play, that it exuded a confidence to the audience. The band banter in between songs was hilarious, and the crowd seemed to love it too because they would laugh along with us.

Jerold's drum work blew me away since this is about only the 4th time I've seen him play. His heavy hands provided some extra "umph" in the band's music. He surprises me at times at some of the licks he pulls that he never pulls at practice. UP Music has done well to teach him the ways of drumming. Well done UP.

Gino's guitar work was just simply amazing. Mid-song, I'd get caught just listening to him rather than paying attention to what I was playing. The guy sure knows how to hit the accelerator when he adlibs. He's currently studying in UP Music as well. Our band line-up really got beefed-up because of Jerold and Gino.

I personally liked playing our song "Burned". I found myself bobbing my head while solo-ing during the middle part of the song. I'm no learned musician at all compared to my bandmates. But I just love it when I feel in the zone when it's my part of the song. I actually felt goosebumps while solo-ing. That was wild.

My only regret during the set was that I didn't have a beer onstage. Briggs kept taking swigs from her beer bottle after every song, which made me want to have a beer all the more. I more than made up for it after our set anyway. LOL!

It was to my surprise that a number of people in the crowd came up to me after the set paying me and the band numerous compliments about our music. Although, that's happened many times in the past, I still am not used to people coming up to me and saying "Ang galing mo tsong!". It felt great to be complimented like that.

We hung and drank at 6UG for a little while just to wind down after playing. It was funny that the sea of strangers were now our instant friends, especially at the smoking area right outside 6UG. Oh yeah, they don't allow smoking inside the place. So you really have to step out just to have a cig.

Gino, Briggs, and I proceeded to BigSkyMind to drink some more. It was uncanny at how much alcohol we consumed that night. Most people would've been done at 6UG. But no, we just had to down more beer elsewhere. The highlight at BigSky was when I asked Gino if he ever tried BigSky's "Cobra". Apparently he never even heard of it. So I got all excited about getting him to try it. I offered to drink a shot myself so as Gino doesn't feel too intimidated with the drink.

To this day, I actually don't know what's really in BigSky's Cobra shots. A picture of the bottle it comes in is below. My hand was obviously shaking so you can't really see the little cobra that's inside the bottle. When I first tried Cobra, I had a slight concern that I'm actually drinking some form of cobra venom.

We gorged on cheese sticks, and a whole slew of standard BigSky pulutan. Everything tastes great in BigSky. Either that or I am always too wrecked at BigSky to know any better when I eat there. LOL!

I like the buzz in BigSky. Everybody was enjoying themselves and at times friendly banter are thrown across tables of people even though they don't know each other. It was funny that people would react to the old school music Cindy was putting up on her CD player. She always does that around 3:00-5:00AM in the morning at BigSky. You gotta love Cindy. It makes for great laughs because even though you find the music extremely corny. You can't help but sing along because innately you know the lyrics to all the songs for some reason. LOL!

When we had our fill of alcoholic beverages, we decided to call it a day and head home. We dropped Gino off first. All of a sudden, Briggs still felt hungry so she asked me if I wanted to eat at North Park right before I got dropped off at my place. North Park, the food is always good there in all its MSG glory. I love it.

I slowly lugged my gear back up to my appartment as my vision was in a blurry haze. I didn't realize it at the time, but I actually took all my clothes off right beside my bed like I was a snake (pardon the Cobra pun). I passed out almost immediately. It was already past 5:00AM then. I only know that because I apparently texted people right before hitting the sack.

That night was definitely fun. Haven't had that much fun in a long time.


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