This year’s stage was set with a centuries-old walled fort as a backdrop, making it the perfect venue for the battle-ready bands who performed at the 16th Muziklaban finals held last Friday the 13th at Plaza Maestranza in Intramuros.
The Muziklaban Rakollision was an intensely intimate event as the five camps from Nobela, Blood Over Matter, IKACO, Ex-Manager Band and Through the Waves put their skills to the test. The finalists performed with their respective mentors — a part of a week long preparation as a gauge if they can live up to the standards of being a Red Horse Champion.
This year’s journey is not only memorable for the competing bands, but for their mentors as well. Greyhoundz, WilaBaliW, Slapshock, Kjwan and Razorback all rallied for the finalists. Taking pride in being mentors, they placed their bets on being the winning camp creating this friendly competition between bands.
The show opened with the Red Horse Beer vocalists sing the Beatles’ classic “Come Together” with the finalists guitar players showing off their solos. Pepe Smith led the number, ultimately schooling everyone younger than him how the classic song should be performed. When it comes to rock and roll and Pepe Smith, we all have so much to learn.
More photo highlights from the Red Horse Beer Muziklaban below:
Vernon Go of PULP Live Music was one of the judges that evening (which confirmed the rumor that yes, Red Horse Beer is back with PULP Summer Slam!) also Andre Nieves of San Miguel Brewery, Ely Buendia (because we know all of the songs he wrote), Francis Guevarra of MCA Music and Neil Fernando of WOO Consultants.
The “Building A Rakista” program was a dream come true for the finalists. IKACO told Greyhoundz the first time they met, “Sir dati rati 100 meters kalayo ko lang kayo nakikita, ngayon 1 meter nalang.”
Through The Waves is one brave band to join Muziklaban as an purely instrumental band.
“From the moment our mentor spoke and gave comments on our song arrangement up to the Red Horse drinking session–man, there was no empty moment! Lahat masaya. Every minute ng kwentuhan eh kulitan. Lalo pag nagkkwento sila tungkol sa mga gigs at history ng banda–lahat nagtatawanan na parang matagal na kaming magkakaibigan!”, Ex-Manager band said of Razorback.
Blood Over Matter shares mentor Wilabaliw’s wisdom, “Ang pinaka mahirap na goal is yung sa attitude ng buong banda. Lalo na yung advice nila tungkol sa call time at sa mga late. Working attitude ang pinaka-challenging na goal.”
Kjwan-mentored NOBELA from Cagayan De Oro won the night as the 2014 Muziklaban Champion. The band’s ability to ride with Marc Abaya’s showmanship is something that needs to be commended. If Marc makes a move on you on stage and you can still play, then that’s a big step for you as a musician.
The amount of knowledge and help the finalists received including the friendship they built with their mentors are priceless life lessons that made everyone winners. For any good musician’s weapon — more than his skill — are his experiences.
This year’s finalists can never be any luckier.
My photos were taking using Sony Philippines A7r with 24-70 2.8 and 135 1.8 Zeiss lenses.