[ Note : Maraming, maraming salamat po sa Western Union at Ginoong Gene Orejana for helping make possible the experience below! ]
I’M CONFIDENT most of us have heard of the term comfort food, the food we grew up with and cherished, the food we crave for in our vulnerable and low moments, when we feel down and need a picker-upper, when we just need a poke from the well-loved and familiar, something that reminds us of our beloved youth, when we’re older; or of homeland, when we’re far away.
But what about comfort music? Music that you happened to listen to and and enjoy during the happiest times of your life, music you remember during your high times and low times, music you want close by when you’re doing everything or doing nothing, in short music you love listening to while you’re living life as you know it (or maybe as you don’t), and need we add, music that makes you comfortable.
I blush a bit when admitting that quite a few songs that make up my imaginary comfort music playlist, I don’t even know the title to, owing to my congenital cluelessness and gender-based laziness (beyond a certain age, men more than women are predisposed to wallow in the mud). But I do know of, at least, the fabled bands that are behind those catchy tunes, and the name that resonates the most in this blogging moment is Rivermaya, who together with former front man Bamboo, rappers Gloc9 and Loonie and local Kiwinoy talent, made our November Sunday just past a memorable one.
The common thread with the rappers was the edge to their lyrics, the slight nod to social realities and the exquisite devotion to rhyme and measure. I saw/heard a bit more of Loonie than Gloc9, the latter probably more mainstream based on his YouTube hits. But both were crazy-good, and correspondingly drove the Kiwinoy crowd crazy.
Loonie told me later that his rap lyrics in Sinungaling could apply to any aspect of Pinoy society, but the words he used reminded me eerily of politicians, media personalities and opportunists in business and government :
sinungaling ang simbahan / sinungaling ang gobyerno / sinungaling pag sinabing di to galing sa kwaderno / sinungaling ang radyo / sinungaling ang dyaryo / baradong inidoro / sinong galing sa banyo / mahirap malaman kung sino sa atin ang tapat / sapagkat para sa akin sinungaling ang lahat/
It was hard to capture the social commentary in Sinungaling mainly because Loonie was going 500 words a minute, everyone was delirious with delight, and frankly, his barrage of rapping lyrics were freakin’ entertaining. It was only while talking with him a bit later that he revealed his earnestness in trying to reflect the social riddles of inequality, poverty, and untruths peddled by those who seek to control the masses through deceit.
But the performance that truly got our attention was Rivermaya, right after the rappers. Their massive talent exceeded only by their humility, the band opened up their set with a couple of Eraserhead standards, which in our book is the best way possible to pay homage to their contemporaries in greatness.
After that, hit after hit after hit was played by Rivermaya, without whom the last decade of 20th century OPM wouldn’t have been the same. Kisapmata, Himala, Umaaraw Umuulan, unforgettable in their melodies, storytelling and showmanship, the Rivermaya signature splattered all over the songs despite the constant reinvention through the years in personnel.
Easily the star of the show was Bamboo, who ironically opened his set with Adik sa Yo, which he popularized while still a lead singer with Rivermaya, who played just moments before he started.
Unfortunately, we had to start acquainting ourselves with his colleagues Loonie, Gloc9 and Rivermaya, so we missed a good part of Bamboo’s performance.
Our night ended soon after that, and before long the Wellington Pinoy community would bid goodbye to the Prince of Rock, the once and future kings of alternative Pinoy rock, and the two best Pinoy rappers, but the music they provided would, for sure, forever remain in our souls.
Thank you Western Union NZ, Emerge Entertainment and everyone else who made the event, a three-leg tour (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) possible !
Mabuhay OPM !
- chismis, pakisama & bayanihan : what pinoy migrants will & will not do for each other (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- anniversary thoughts of a former pinoy smoker (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- missing mangga, snubbing progessive lenses and saying hi to an honored NZ guest (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)