2011 has definitely been one of the best years in recent memory as far as live music events are concerned. A good number of international rock acts went to the Philippines much to the thrill of the local fans and a lot of Filipino-bred talent also pushed the development of the Pinoy sound by releasing their new albums. Here’s a monthly set of events that has shaped 2011.
January¬† – Bamboo and Sugarfree both disband.
Few bands ever got the same level of mainstream awareness, critical acclaim (at least from music award-giving bodies) and commercial success as Bamboo.¬† Led by their charismatic front man who lent his name to the band, Bamboo was in advertisements, headlining major concerts and winning awards left and right. It was a sad day when the band announced that they will be parting ways. The original members of Bamboo sans Bamboo Manalac ended up forming Hijo – with Nathan Azarcon doing the vocals.
Sugarfree fans also had to go through a tough time when they found out that front man Ebe Dancel wanted out. The band revealed that they will only be playing through their already scheduled gigs through February but after those dates, the band would cease to exist as the scene knows it. Sugarfree was together for well over 11 years and it was a shock to a lot of fans.
February - Deftones rocks Manila with a 25-song set.
For many people, the Deftones concert would probably be the best concert for 2011. The band played a very long set in front of a rowdy World Trade Center crowd in Pasig. The mosh pit was appreciative from start to finish whether the song was from Adrenaline or the new album Diamond Eyes. Splintr released an interesting behind-the-scenes article on what transpired before and after the concert. Slapshock and Urbandub primed the crowd before Chino Moreno and company ripped through what was a mammoth playlist.
March - STP brings back grunge in a big way.
The Stone Temple Pilots were one of the biggest names in the grunge genre and in their current form, they are quite possibly the strongest one of the original bands from those eras. The news of STP coming to Manila kicked up a lot of interest. The band played 17 songs in the premiere performance in the country (the Araneta Coliseum) and had Sinosikat as front act. There’s an STP album full of photos on Splintr’s Facebook page.
April – Urbandub sends a very strong message.
In a nation starved in terms of major concerts by its¬† biggest rock bands, Urbandub sure did its share in making sure that its fans got the high profile show that they deserved. Set in the hallowed halls of the Music Museum in Greenhills, the band ripped through hit after hit that they have amassed throughout their storied years in the music scene.
May - Taken By Cars’ “This Is Our City” goes up on Splintr.
Taken by Cars went with a very soothing and cool track to serve as a teaser for their second album – Dualist. Interestingly, the album would be hailed as one of the best albums of the year. It’s quite a great gesture on the band’s part to let fans in on the new songs for free via the Splintr website. Taken By Cars would later launch a music video later into the year in Splintr’s yearender party.
June -¬† 3 Headed Dog shares their EP with Splintr fans.
The band 3 Headed Dog is certainly a rock supergroup. Razorback’s David Aguirre and Wolfgang’s Wolf Gemora need no introduction while Danny Gonzales sure did hold his own in Lokomotiv. 3 Headed Dog brought to the forefront of the scene the classic rock sensibilities that could be best experienced live – it was rock in its raw and unadulterated form.
July – Incubus comes back for a third time. 30 Seconds to Mars makes a stop in Manila
Incubus has always been warmly received by Filipinos and the third time was no different. The band earlier went to the country to promote A Crow Left of the Murder and Light Grenades. The latest album was clearly more melodic and far removed from the earlier sound that Incubus went with during the start of their career but the release was still well-received by the packed Araneta crowd. Franco warmed up the crowd with their rock ditties before Brandon, Mike and company hit the stage.
It was a great concert that started off with ‘Wish You Were Here’ and closed it with ‘Nice To Know You’ – both from the album Morning View.
Thirty Seconds to Mars was well on their way to setting a world record when they passed by Manila. By the end of the year, they got to 300 shows promoting their current album – This Is War. The Tri-Noma parking lot sure was a great venue for thousands of 30STM diehards.
August - Korn finally plays a set in Manila.
Given how much Korn influenced a lot of bands more than a decade ago here in the Philippines, it’s surprising that the band has never done a show in Manila. The Korn concert while not happening at the peak of the band’s popularity was still more than a welcome development given the sheer amount of fans they have in the country. As expected, the show whipped up a crazy mosh pit that few concerts could probably top in terms of sheer volume and adrenaline factor.¬† Jonathan Davis promised that they will be back. You have to wonder how long Filipino fans would have to wait til the next time…
September - Happy birthday Mr. Jack!
It was the birthday of good ‘ol Mr. Jack [Daniel's]! This great show at Handle Bar during the end of September combined the Chosen 7 – Blue Boy Bites Back, Kelevra, Paramita, Playphonics, Mr. Bones and the Boneyard Circus and Stories of Now in an unprecented number of collaborations and jamming experiments. It was definitely a unique show!
October – Supergroup Kapatid reunites for one night.
Local rock supergroup Kapatid re-united for a one-night only gig at B-Side – a venue that is fast becoming one of the most preferred rock venues in the metro. The band infused the scene with a good helping of funk-infused rock during the early part of the decade but have fell into inactivity in recent years. Just the same, the band proved why they were one of the most sought after live acts from back in the day. With a line up can consisted of Karl Roy (P.O.T.), Nathan Azarcon (Bamboo), J-Hoon Balbuena (Kjwan) and Ira Cruz (Bamboo), how can you go wrong?
November – Slapshock releases their seventh album in 15 years.
Love ‘em or not, there’s no denying that Slapshock is an enduring force in the local rock scene. Few bands can stand next to the band in terms of dedication to create albums year in and year out. The band released their seventh studio album in 15 years of existence Kinse Kalibre during the month of November. Slapshock’s first single ‘Ngayon Na’ was also well received.
December – Splintr ends the year strong with Eat Your Beets!
By the end of December it was sure clear that we all had a great year of music! Starting from the excitement brought about by the Deftones concert that were carried through the Korn, Incubus and 30STM shows, Filipinos sure had an awesome 2011. Splintr capped off the great year with an undeniably strong yearender – Eat Your Beets. Along with sponsors who have been very generous throughout the year, Splintr put together a show that combines the biggest names in the rock scene as well as the up-and-comers.
Judging from the intensity of the performers it sure looks like it was a great party! [photos by May Arguelles]
So there you have it 2011 in just a few words and images. Hopefully you enjoyed the past year as well as we here in Splintr have and here’s to an even more rocking and awesome 2012!