Fans of the Eraserheads described last Saturday's reunion concert as a surreal moment. Right from the actual countdown signaling the start of the show leading to the distinctive intro of the liberating ditty "Alapaap" until the last strains of the poignant hymn "Lightyears"—thousands of loyal supporters of perhaps the most influential local rock band of all time cheered, clapped, and tirelessly sang along in unison to the tunes that defined the ‘90s and even beyond.
Frontman Ely Buendia has never been known to be much of a talker on stage, or a crowd-pleaser as they say, but he doesn't really have to be one especially if the songs being dished out are purely Eraserheads numbers. Just the sight of the four band members, namely—Ely, Marcus Adoro, Buddy Zabala, and Raimund Marasigan—sharing one stage again after six years of not playing together was enough to keep everyone spellbound that evening.
But the euphoria felt by the crowd suddenly turned to gloom when it was announced that the concert had to be cut short after Ely was rushed to the hospital because of chest pains. The enigmatic singer-songwriter, as revealed, was undergoing a lot of stress brought by the death of his mother two days before the concert. Preparations for the concert also went through a lot of glitches and the band had to attend to every detail while at the same time rehearse 30 songs in such a short period of time. Sadly, all the fatigue and stress caught up with Ely on the night of the concert itself.
The second set never happened and the fans were all left to savor the 15 songs they heard before the concert had to be discontinued.
GIVING HIS HEART OUT. In a recent message posted by drummer Raimund Marasigan on Sandwich's mailing list, he commended Ely for courageously pulling himself up to perform in spite of his condition.
"Ely was in no condition [emotionally] and [physically] to play but he did. And he gave it his all which is more than we could ask from him. Given the circumstances he was in," wrote Marasigan.
The hardworking drummer also did not rule out the possibility of a repeat, provided that Ely is healthy and fully rested.
"I promise to give you another Eraserheads show as soon as possible," he optimistically added.
"A NIGHT TO REMEMBER." Radiohead Media Solutions Inc. likewise issued an official statement following Saturday's big event. The said group obtained the rights to the concert at the last minute, after the original sponsor Philip Morris pulled out brought by legal impediments.
The full statement, as furnished recently, reads:
"The Eraserheads Reunion concert was truly a night to remember, finally another encore to the most successful, critically-acclaimed, and significant band in the history of Original Pilipino Music (OPM). It was the reunion of all reunions.
"The crowd cheered when the countdown started. As the band emerged from the stage, the whole Bonifacio Global City Open Field went wild. The E-Heads' first song was "Alapaap." Everyone was singing along as the band sang "Ligaya," "Sem-Break," "Harana," Toyang," and "With a Smile."
"After 15 songs, Ely Buendia, the front man of the legendary band, experienced extreme exhaustion. During the 20-minute intermission, Mr. Buendia had to be rushed to Makati Medical Center. He was later transferred to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City. He is now in stable condition but is still under observation.
"We are extending our gratitude to all the 20,000 plus fans who attended the show. Thank you very much for understanding the circumstances and accepting the situation.
"The rest of the band members are asking for continued prayers for the speedy recovery of Mr. Ely Buendia."
MTV and Radiohead Media Solutions Inc. head Francis Lumen accompanied the three other members of the Eraserheads, along with Ely's sister Lally, on stage to announce the unfortunate incident to anxious fans last Saturday evening.