After the announcement of the Eraserheads‘ final reunion concert dubbed Huling El Bimbo, Pinoy rock fans just knew that the answer to Alapaap‘s timeless line “Gusto mo bang sumama?” is a resounding “YES!”
Now that we’re just a few days away from the much-awaited concert which will happen this December 22, 8:30 PM at the SMDC Festival Grounds, Parañaque City, fans across different generations are sure filled with excitement to see frontman Ely Buendia, drummer Raymund Marasigan, bassist Buddy Zabala, and guitarist Marcus Adoro back together on stage.
But given Eraserheads’ legendary status in the OPM scene, this reunion concert is sure to deliver more than just the performances that we all missed and love. Alongside concert producer Francis Lumen and director Paolo Valenciano, the band joined the recent press conference for Huling El Bimbo where they shared some of the things we could expect from the once-in-a-lifetime concert happening this holiday season.
Nostalgia meets modern technology.
Eraserheads would surely evoke nostalgia in many fans, reminding us of everything “old school” through their timeless hits, but the concert also elevates this experience through modern technology.
Aside from drone shows, the band will also be joined by the late King of Pinoy rap Francis Magalona through hologram technology. Francis M was regarded as the fifth member of the Eraserheads and was supposed to perform alongside the band in their reunion concert in 2009, but the OPM icon lost his battle to leukemia before the concert happened.
“On December 22, we’re going to revive [Francis M], and you will see him perform with the Eheads through the technology of hologram,” producer Francis Lumen told the press. “That alone my friends, that is something that would give you goosebumps.”
On rehearsals and an orchestra playing with the band.
Asked about how their rehearsals are going for their upcoming concert, Raymund Marasigan shared how it was a far cry from how they did it back in the day.
“Rehearsals are weird, because we haven’t played in a long time, but we’re getting the hang of it. It’s different because when we started, we rehearsed in a little studio beside our dorm in Molave in Diliman, we probably paid P80 per hour and it’s just the four of us.
“But now you know, we’re playing with a real sound system, real crew, real amps, a good theater, nice equipment, nice guitars, and we’re working with really professional people,” explained the band’s drummer.
Buddy Zabala agrees, stating that “Playing together is like riding a bicycle. You just get on the bike and pedal, and if you get enough momentum I think you’re okay… So right now I think we’re finding our momentum. We’ve removed the training wheels, we’re going fast– we hope to go faster, we hope to go in one direction all the way to December 22.”
“I think the stuff that we’ve learned the past 30 years on our own with these little detours, we’re going to bring it on December 22. I think we’ve grown as musicians, I think we’ve matured as performers. This is the first time we’re going to be doing this. We hope to keep it fun, to keep it light,” added Zabala.
But the band members aren’t rehearsing alone. It has also been revealed during the press conference that they are already rehearsing with the orchestra that will back up their classic hits during the concert. “Even though we’re a small band from Diliman, we have punk roots to begin with, most of our songs kasi super layered talaga… I think this is the first time, that we’re gonna be able to play the songs as we intended,” shared Ely Buendia.
More surprises to look forward to.
Aside from these arrangements that promise to blow us away come the 22nd, the band also teased an Easter Egg for the hardcore Eheads fans out there.
“There’s actually a Hidden Mickey sa buong show,” said Marcus Adoro. “Only the hardcore fans ang makaka-decipher. Nakita namin kanina yung preview presentation ni direk, we’re like ‘Wow!’ sa maliit na screen palang nakakamangha eh, mind-boggling.“
Of course, there’s a lot more that attendees could expect when the beloved band finally steps into the stage after so many years. As director Paolo Valenciano put it, it would be something that Filipinos could really be proud of.
“I really feel, in terms of like, the global stage, what we put together for the band is something that I feel you could really be proud to know that it is Filipinos that are putting this show together,” shared Valenciano. “I’m just really excited because it’s very personal for everyone involved.”
Ely Buendia also talked about the experience: “For the most part, there are no tears, only, probably tears of joy because this is such a mindblowing experience even for old geezers like us who, we thought we’ve seen it all. Sometimes we just have to pinch ourselves na ‘Are we really doing this? Can we really get this for the show?’ It’s like a genie out of the bottle. It’s such a great experience for the band.”
Producer Lumen also teased that fans will get a closer look at the making of the concert through a documentary that they plan to roll out in cinemas, cable TV, and streaming platforms.
With all the hype and excitement, many fans are probably wondering, would this really be the last for the Eraserheads? While Huling El Bimbo is dubbed as their final concert in the country, producer Lumen also confirmed that they are discussing plans to hold a world tour next year.
Eraserheads’ Huling El Bimbo is surely one for the books, and fans of the band and OPM, in general, would not want to miss this event. With the venue capacity expanded at the SMDC Festival Grounds after the high demand from fans, you can now purchase tickets to the concert via SM Tickets, with ticket prices ranging from P1,222 (Angkas) to P17,260 (Moshpit). The concert will also be streamed via iWantTFC for Filipinos abroad.