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"i'm a bitch, i'm a mother, i'm a child, i'm a lover. i'm a sinner, but not a saint ... I've been where nobody else have dared. I am what no one dreamt of being.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Isang Gabi ng Parokya

Amongst the bands that went mainstream in the early 1990s, I think the only band that remained intact (except for a few years when Vinci took a 'leave') was Parokya ni Edgar (PNE).  And it's been, what, 20 years? If that is not enough to speak for the bond that vocalist Chito Miranda, lead guitarist Darius SemaƱa, rhythms Gab Chee Kee, bassist Buwi Meneses, drummer Dindin Moreno and back-up vocals Vinci Montaner, I don't know what else could. For the avids, it will be very noticeable that few of PNE's songs speak about their brotherly love for each other, Yes Yes Show to name one.

In their Wikipedia entry, the band' name is roughly translated as Edgar's Parish. Funny  enough, the throng of people that filled The Arena in Clarke Quay looked like a prayer rally (was also quipped by the night' host), ready to be moved by their witty, straightforward wordplay, and be blessed with good music.

Parokya ni Edgar's highly anticipated gig last September 2 was supposed to be a one night-only concert but due to overwhelming response, the organizers were pushed to open a Saturday slot. But, for those who were too eager to grab tickets for the Sunday event were in for a great night of music, bonding, fun and camarederie that only Parokya, as a band, can give.

A few front-acts revved up the excitement which included 2 dance groups (names slipped my mind), showband Stella's art, metal-trash sounding Tao band, and our personal favorite, reggae-sounding Ranara band (they were cool, really!).

Ranara Band pre-performance

The Arena was so jam-packed that the air-conditioning system turned out ineffective. But despite waiting in line for about two hours, and waiting a bit more for the front-acts to finish performing, everything turned out to be all WORTH it. 

just got in!

excited for the event to start

Chito's opening spiel was so warming it melted everyone's heart and surely set the pace for the rest of the night.

"... Kagabi nakasampung kanta lang kami. At balita ko, ito yung original date ng gig (concert) at kayo, kayo yung mga naunang bumili ng ticket. Dahil diyan, maraming maraming salamat pare. Request lang kayo ng gusto nyong kantahin namin. Enjoy lang tayo pare.."

Their first song was the classic Buloy. And just hearing the intro, the crowd went a notch wilder. All throughout the show, the echoing chants. singing and cheering were defeaning  and electrifying. Chito and Vinci's friendly banters were very entertaining, and made you remember again and again the years these guys have spent together as a band; made you feel how tight they are. Chito were coercing Gab and Darius to gang-up on Vinci but he found allies with Dindin and Buwi, who started the intro for Vinci's solo turn on the mic with Maroon 5's Moves like Jagger. Man, Vinci girating? That was hilariously entertaining. Ang so was his and Chito’s shoulder-twists during Mr. Suave.

Vinci, sporting the Mr Suave mustache and having been teased since the beginning as not being able to memorize any of their songs aside from Picha Pie, belted out Rivermaya's Elisi and Wonderful Tonight to the delight of the crowd as they chant his name after Chito's continuous teasing.

Chito: "talagang tatapusin yan ha?" (You really intend to finish that, huh?"
Vinci: "Syempre" (Of course!)

Vinci's one retort went like, "..Oh pano yan, ako pala gusto nila. Pwede ka nang umuwi."  (How about that? It’s actually me they want. You can go home.), which caught Chito off guard for a quick second, and gave the crowd the chance to joshed on Chito. Vinci even urged the crowd to shout his name even louder. This fired up the frontment’s jousting all the more, much to the delight of the everyone.

But before that, Vinci took the spot to sing Picha Pie - and I literally meant he took the spot as he chose to leave the stage for a while and walk along the divider in the VIP section. The people was in a frenzy.

Chito sang each of the songs with so much gusto and never fails to shout out his appreciation to the crowd. Vinci's equally passionate back-up vocals and making faces took the spotlight from Chito from time to time. He's just a delight to watch and listen to as well.

One highlight of the night was one girl from the crowd was requested on the stage to sing "Pangarap Lang Kita" with Chito. She looked, interestingly, prepared for that moment. She sounded nice, in all fairness, and look good as well. Dang, what would I give to be whispered on to by Chito, be hugged afterwards, sweat and all. Deym!

  Anyways, in anticipation, or probably I just miss their music, I listened to just PNE's songs for a few days priour to Sept 2, and it's so noticeable for me how much Chito's voice have changed a lot. It's more thick, manly, if I can use that description. Must be the change in his built.

Aside from what has been previously mentioned, they sang (at least as far as my memory serves me) Harana, Halaga, Sayang, Boys Do Fall In Love, Alumni Homecoming, Para Sa Yo, Your Song (My One and Only You), Muli, Elisi, Gitara, Silvertoes, Mr. Suave, This Guy's In Love With You Pare, Maniwala ka Sana, Sorry Na, Inuman Na. They ended the gig with Yes Yes Show, which I think beautifully sums up everything they made fun and talked about the whole night.

It’s so heartening to feel how much appreciation the band has with the love they are getting, not only from the people who filled up The Arena, but to everyone who has supported them all these years.

Parokya rocked Singapore for one night and that one night was how concerts are supposed to be - frantic, high spirited, communal, sublime, down-right fun, no-holds barred, honest, music filled. Seeing them in the flesh, a bit bulkier compared to their earlier days, made me realized they've aged. I've aged. But their music, their passion, their hunger for every chance of a good performance, and their love for those who have been at their backs lives on.

Hanggang sa muling bagsakan!

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