Crowd: Group hug, group hug!
Ely: Kayo muna!
I am pleased to report that the band seemed in a much better mood at “The Final Set” last Saturday than they were during last year’s controversial first reunion concert. There are a lot of reasons to like this show better than the last year’s, beyond the obvious fact that this one actually made it through to the end. It was great that the other band members took on the vocals. I loved Markus’ reggae “Huwag Mo Nang Itanong” version. Ang kulit! The band members’ interaction was better; the pacing more, um, manageable, given what happened the last time; and even Ely’s occasional lyric flubs were charming.
“What happened the last time” was definitely at the crowd’s mind that night. “Okay lang kayo dyan?” Ely would say. “Whoooooo!!!” the crowd would answer, then some smartass would call out, “Ikaw, okay ka lang?”
There was still no group hug, but hey, there was a huddle, during the unscripted post-encore-encore, during which they apparently decided to sing “Toyang,” “Sembreak,” and “Ligaya.” The fact that Ely was feeling well enough to do an extra set, “three for the road,” as he called it, definitely added to the night’s feel good vibe.
At the end of the concert, we found ourselves in a sort of analytical/philosophical mode, marveling at the Eraserheads phenomenon. Their current individual bands never got anywhere this big, and even at the height of their popularity the Eraserheads never had a concert of such major proportions. The nostalgia is definitely a huge factor. Apart from the basic enjoyment of the music, it’s also all those memories attached to that music, attached to that era of their lives, that transports people. The band members would of course prefer for people to move on and also appreciate the new musical directions that they have charted for themselves, but it couldn’t be helped. The Eraserheads phenomenon has become way larger, gone way beyond than the band itself.