I grew up hearing the band “Eraserheads” and the words “manager” mentioned a lot around my house but my mind never really listened in on the conversations enough to understand what was being said.
I was about 14 years old when I first heard Magasin from my friends. I didn't listen to OPM growing up, because, well, I never really intentionally listened to any music other than Taylor Swift’s, so it’s safe to say that Magasin was my introduction into the world of OPM music as a whole.
After hearing the song for the first time, I spent the next few weeks listening to it every day as I got ready for school. I then got hooked on their greatest hits Ligaya, With A Smile, Pare Ko, and Tindahan Ni Aling Nena which blasted in my earphones daily on my morning commute.
Imagine my surprise when I found out a few weeks after that the words “Eraserheads” and “manager” were part of a conversation about how my mom was actually the Eraserheads' first showbiz manager!
Fast forward to a few days ago when my mom told me she was given VIP tickets to watch their reunion show, Eraserheads: Ang Huling El Bimbo Concert 2022.
Arriving at SMDC Festival Grounds itself was an experience. I walked in to see the biggest stage I’d ever seen with massive LED screens and thousands of people jumping up and down singing to Back2me (I missed the first song which was Superproxy!) as the stage lit up with every color imaginable.
One of the best parts of the whole concert was looking around and seeing people who were there during the prime of Eraserheads wholly enjoying themselves and reliving what were probably the best moments of their lives. You could feel the nostalgia in the air as everyone sang and danced their hearts out to these songs that have been playing on the radio for longer than I’ve been alive.
About halfway through the performance of With A Smile, everyone around me started cheering and I turned around to see a proposal! The guy was on his knees, visibility nervous, and the girl looked like the happiest person alive and gave him what was probably the easiest yes ever. The crowd was ecstatic for them with everyone taking videos and shouting their congratulations for the newly-engaged couple.
All I could think about was how significant that song must have been in their relationship for him to decide to propose during it and I’m certain that every Filipino has similar sentiments toward at least one Eraserheads song. That just goes to show the impact they’ve made, not just in the music industry, but in the lives of every fan.
As they closed off their concert with Ang Huling El Bimbo, the most beautiful fireworks dazzled the sky. Yellow confetti shot out from under the stage and covered everyone in the moshpit. The band did a huge group hug onstage and that was it.
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I found out about Kat’s Eheads song anecdote when I told my kids about the concert tickets I had. I didn't think any of them would be interested in watching the show. But then there was a 'mine, mine' thing and a few whys in our family GC before the tickets found their users.
After the concert, enthusiastic Kat threw me back 30 years in the past with her stories.
One of my most memorable shows was in UPLB—1994, if I remember right. It was the first full concert of the band. The venue was an old auditorium. The sound system was basic: mics, amps and a drum set. I could not recall if the stage had a backdrop at all. We were very excited for this, thinking of all kinds of gimmicks; and for me what we pulled off that night was unsurpassed.
With brains fueled by Red Bull, the band decided to open for themselves behind masks! For whatever reason, they had rubber masks on hand. Backstage, the energy was so high that when they got on stage, everyone had a blast with The Ramones playlist. The audience kind of knew it was them, but no one confirmed their suspicion.
For the main Eheads set, the crowd was ecstatic. People even went up the stage causing it to give in.
That show was followed by hundreds more. From full gigs in provinces all over the country (read: OVERDRIVE) to guestings in Sharon Cuneta Show, NU Rock Awards, 5 & UP with the young Atom Araullo, the field trip to the Philippine Senate, Multi-Platinum Record Awards, Music Video Shoots, Boom na Boom, product endorsements and a whole slew of activities. Thus the album title and in-lay card of CIRCUS.
Despite the variety in every show, the songs took over. It was a sing-along from start to end.
I recall the epic launch of Cutterpillow at the UP Sunken Garden where 20,000 people knew every song of the then unreleased album.
I knew then that whether they're performed in an old rundown venue or in a space as massive as the SMDC Festival Grounds, the Eraserheads' music will always resonate across generations.