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PhilMusic Update - February 11, 2000

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Two Generations Team Up at the Nescafe OPEN UP Parties 

story & photos by Candice Lopez

The Apo and the Eheads share one stage and rock the Fort.
The Apo and the Eheads share one stage and rock the Fort.

Last Saturday, January 22nd, 2000, fans made their way to the Fort at the Bonifacio Global City for Nescafe’s Open Up concert. It was one part of a four-city simultaneous production held that night in Baguio, Cebu, Davao and Manila.  Baguio featured RiverMaya and Mike Hanopol; Cebu had South Border and Hotdog; True Faith was with Sampaguita in Davao. And in Manila, we had the Eraserheads with the Apo Hiking Society, who were backed by Ugoy-Ugoy.

The idea, as it presented itself, is a night of bands jamming, crossing boundaries, musical genres and age. The bottom line was real, honest OPM, as we know it, and as it could have been. Word was, the paired bands were to perform covers of each other’s songs.   

The Heads party like it's Natin99.
The Heads party like it's Natin99.


First Act: The Eraserheads. 

Favorite tunes and current releases filled the Eheads’ set list.  Eliciting appreciative shrieks from the crowd were songs like “Ligaya”, “Alapaap”, and “Ang Huling ElBimbo”.  From the onset, it was an evening animated with people who’d been waiting for the show to start and were looking for the best view. Adrenaline levels were intense enough to smell by the time the Eheads stepped up to the stage. The crowd cheered and sang along. And that was just the beginning.

The Apo rehash their "Lumang Tugtugin". 
The Apo rehash their "Lumang Tugtugin". 

Second Act: The Apo Hiking Society. 

I must admit, I had doubts about how the Apo would pull this one off. Could young crowds still relate to them? Well frankly, the trio delivers—no matter what the demographic of their audience! Injecting their distinct flavor into entertaining medleys and classic Apo songs, they bowled the people over with their signature wacky humor and nostalgia trips. (Although, admittedly, there were some recycled spiels, but no one seemed to mind.) A sentimental moment was hearing the favorite “Batang-Bata Ka Pa” sung with Danny Javier’s own teenage daughter. Backed by the Ugoy-Ugoy’s outstanding ensemble, the Apo was in terrific form.



It was a big historical moment. Contemporary masa-loved Eraserheads paired with the veteran Apo Hiking Society. Definitely a curious concept.

First off, the Apo Hiking Society and the Eraserheads jammed together onstage. They went through segments of each others’ songs – the Apo covering the Eheads’ “Ulan”, “Overdrive” and “Toyang” and the Eheads covering the Apo’s “Panalangin”, “American Junk” and “Pag-Ibig”.

Later on, proving that there were no boundaries in music, they performed each other’s songs in each other’s styles.  As Jim Paredes put it, “Parang kami yung nagka-plaka.”  Eraserheads, Apo style;  Apo Hiking, Eheads style.

Both generations start to wonder why the air balloon man behind them is singing a Mariah Carey tune.
Both generations start to wonder why the air balloon man behind them is singing a Mariah Carey tune.

Apparently, the Apo and the Eheads re-arranged and rehearsed the selected songs independently of each other. Anyone observing them would have noticed the look of amazement on their faces while the members of one band listened to their song being sung, adopted and owned by the other’s distinct style. 

On the Apo’s list of Eraserhead songs were “Pare Ko” and “Magasin”. It was like being transported back to the 1970s and hearing those songs if they were released then. It was almost – almost – surreal. The Eraserheads, in turn, brought their own brand of OPM rock into the Apo’s “Pumapatak ang Ulan” and “Blue Jeans”. Fascinating interpretations, to say the least.

Impressive fireworks shooting up in the sky marked the end of the show. But as far as most were concerned, the more spectacular show was onstage that night—and the people watching agreed that good Pinoy music is simply good music, regardless of time, generation or form.  

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