Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Awesome Week Part 2: Urbandub Live in 19 East

Friday came around and I was still high from the Stone Temple Pilots concert the past Wednesday of that week. I was excited to go watch Urbandub again, one of my favorite local bands in the scene, at a venue that has one of the nicest sound and lights set-ups compared to most other venues in Manila. I ended up flying solo that night because people either had work, other plans, or didn't respond to my invitation. But I was determined to enjoy Urbandub's musings no matter what.

I arrived at 19 East a little early than music start.  But I found that most of the venue's tables were already occupied except for the ones further down back. I was by myself. So instead of hogging a whole length of a table closest to the stage, I decided to go way at the back where most people would probably not want to sit at. It was also situated nearest the stairs down to the bathroom. So it was convenient for me, aside from not disturbing anybody if I had to go take a piss.

I'll briefly glean over the few bands that played prior to Urbandub. Once again, when I comment about bands, it's only based on my opinion and is not meant to offend anyone. I apparently encourage some considerable flamage from some people with my comments about different bands' music. If I'm not a fan of a certain band, I'm sure others are because they have a different perspective. Enough with the disclaimer, I'll just get right to it.


I brought my cheapo iSpan DDV-995 video camera aside from my iPod and Belkin Tune-Talk this time. But cheapo doesn't even begin to describe how crappy it is when it takes pictures and even video. So my apologies if the pictures of these bands are seriously lackluster.

Now this band is definitely current in its style. It minds the Emo, semi-Screemo of the scene today. The band was alright. Although I thought the vocalist had just a tad little more confidence than he really should've. But then again, for the kind of music they played, his vocals had power behind it. The band overall seemed pretty tight. So I can appreciate how this band's music came together. It was definitely not a throw-away band.


Curbside for me is a sleeper. The physical appearance of this band really doesn't do the band justice. The best I can describe this band's music is a mixture of Deftones and KoRn. The vocalist made all the difference actually. His vocal style was leaning towards Deftones when singing. But obviously had a Rage Against the Machine/Zack Dela Rocha vibe when rapping. The band seemed pretty tight and I dug the heavy riffs.

The only gripes I had was that their songs were either written with rapping or singing only. So the band kind of came off not fully forming their musical style because of it.

The other gripe I had was that the vocalist was way too shy. I wasn't sure whether that was because of his heft or some other reason. Between songs, he would introduce the next song, but have his back facing the audience. With such a powerful voice, he could use some of the confidence of the Jejaview vocalist.

December Avenue

As I mentioned previously, my crappy video camera takes lousy pictures in low light situations. So my apologies again because the picture above is the clearest one out of the bunch of pictures I took of December Avenue. (Either that or I'm a lousy shot.)

Any band with the word "Avenue" in it for me has always leaned towards pop in my opinion. So this band came onstage and I had a cynical ear put on by default. The vocalist/guitarist had a "singer/song writer" vibe given that he was sporting an acoustic guitar. It was a pleasant departure from the usual bands that SonicBoom normally showcases. The only minor gripe I had was that given that they played after 2 bands that were heavier, the band's onstage presence seemed way too toned down even for their musical style.


The critique bias obviously starts here. I fired up my iPod/Belkin Tune-Talk to record the audio while the band was being announced. I also wanted to get that out of the way so I can focus on watching.

The first song was "Alert the Armory" which kicked off the awesome set. I pulled out my crap-ass video camera to take a video of their second song, "Gravity". The video was so awful. But like what I did with my Stone Temple Pilots video, I ended up completely replacing the audio with the bootleg recording I made.  The resulting video is below.

I hated the fact that the waiters just squarely plant themselves in my video camera's field of vision while taking orders from other customers. But I was all the way at the back. So I couldn't complain really. I chose the spot so.

The bassist had such an allure about her solely because she rocks at bass guitar, aside from the fact that she can sing really well. She does back-up vocals. But there are so many instances where you wouldn't even consider her as just back-up.

The entire set was filled with selected songs from each of their albums; from "Soul Searching" of the first album, to "Evidence" from their second to the last album. I was surprised as to how many of their songs that they played that night that I absolutely loved. It was obviously very entertaining for me because I got decently drunk that night all alone.

Good fun considering I ventured out on my own. I think this is the start of some Lone Ranger trips to good live bands over the next weeks/months. But I seriously have to buy a decent video camera. I need one that's compact enough to fit in my pocket. But has good quality even in low light conditions.

There's a 3rd part to these blog posts. And what's funny is that the 3rd part begins literally 2-3 hours from when I got home from this Urbandub gig. LOL!


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