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I’ve had experiences of shooting gigs and see authorities waiting by the wayside while crowd control hangs on the edge of chaos. I never get to blog about them, most of the time the band is always able to contain the crowd, singing one or two more songs, with setlists cut short in half. It reminded me of the time I lived in Vietnam for a while back in 2008, there was a curfew. Midnight meant complete shut down as you see authorities smoking by the window, a stern reminder that whatever business you have, it must be over when they say so.

What’s exciting about the event last May 17 is that I have never experienced seeing sound systems unplugged in the middle of a musician’s set. Unlike me, the rock scene is all too used to this sort of thing way before I started documenting it. There could be many reasons, but most of the time they’re not the band’s fault. Yet this time around, it isn’t even the crowd’s fault. I actually have no idea what happened, except that the Cavite City police suddenly pulled the power off in the middle of Greyhoundz set, stating that it was the mayor’s instruction.

It was past midnight, and if you’re a rock fan who frequents rock gigs you always find yourself coming home at 4 or 5 in the morning, meaning these gigs start late and take forever. One of my theories is that the permit for the venue was only until midnight. You might say authorities could be a little sympathetic, I think they were, although rules are rules, maybe they didn’t like the drunk host who kept on saying bad words. I didn’t like him. Whatever his script was, it embodied everything that rock wasn’t, confirming that the scene is something people should be afraid of. People think it’s all crass, but what you don’t know is that local rock is such a sophisticated ecosystem completely overshadowing whatever this whole OPM thing is.

It just sucks for some of those who travelled from other cities to check out a gig which hasn’t happened in 15 years. Everyone could benefit from being a little more organized.

As I wrote in a Yahoo! article prior to the gig, there was one other Wolves, Boars, Houndz gig last December but Basti Artadi got sick so it was just Boars and Houndz. Everyone was really looking forward to this historical event. I have no idea why no one has organized this yet. There’s even a shirt made by Stitch Apparel in the trio’s honor. It’s difficult to get the three together and if it does happen next time, it will be even more epic with all the cancellations the past 6 months haha!

When it comes to brushes with authority, it’s all because of a misguided perception with rock. Whether it’s about the permit, or it could be the drunk host. All I know is that the main bands simply wanted to play.

Rumor has it that the Mayor apologized for what happened and that he’ll have the three bands over next month most likely. I

So my photographs from that evening are a bit of behind the scenes and half a set of Greyhoundz, haha.

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What? A concert without sound? Far from it.

Sony Philippines held the first silent concert in the country with performances by Bamboo and Ely Buendia at the Rockwell Tent last Thursday May 8, 2014. A historical feat considering that no one has ever done this in the Philippines before.

What’s a silent concert you ask?

In 1999, the Flaming Lips held the world’s first headphone concert in SXSW using radio transmitters and headphones so people can hear their music through FM channels. For the Sony Silent concert, their latest MDR headphones were given out during the event which people plug in on headphone amplifiers that were available all over the venue. The music comes from the performers were in a soundproof booth set up at the center of the venue, their music inaudible to those without headphones.

Music is personal and what makes the headphone concept so enticing is that it gives you exactly what you want. Imagine listening to a live recording in your living room, the difference is you’re actually listening to it as the show unfolds and seeing the artist interact with you. With headphones, you turn the volume up or down, sing mindlessly in tune or out and the best part about it being in a packed venue is that you don’t have to hear your neighbour while they overpower the actual music. I don’t want to hear you sing. I want to hear Ely and Bamboo. Haha

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“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find… you get what you need.”

L ast March, I went to Singapore with my mom so we could both watch The Rolling Stones gig. The band is extremely important to me, looking to them as inspiration during my days in fashion. There was no better way to spend that time but with my dearest mother who has been one of my greatest supporters in my journey working in the music scene.

My friends call her “Groovy mommy” and she’s beautiful, wise and a hippie at heart. She’s more ‘rock’ than I wish I could ever be and I’m saying that not only because I find my mornings with her listening to The Doors, or Iron Butterfly and hearing stories about my uncle telling me he used to borrow Black Sabbath records from her. She’s super solid in a sense that with everything she’s been through (and I’m not only talking about my extremely bratty teenage phase) she’s become an example of love and gratefulness not only in the good parts of our lives, but most especially during the challenging ones.

It’s my 10th year in the music industry and I wanted to celebrate it by showing her what it feels whenever I travel for work, seeing all these amazing musicians that one could only dream of. There were so many things I wanted her to experience on that trip, but not everything panned out.

She has never seen me work due to the fact that most of my days are spent sleeping and my nights are spent at gigs. Taking photos of The Rolling Stones was a far fetched deal since they’re legends that could level with The Beatles. I wanted to be able to do that because I’ve always looked up to Annie Leibovitz who started her career with them and share that with mom who is a HUGE Rolling Stones fan and maybe give her a photo that I took of Mick Jagger.

Rolling Stones Singapore photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Rolling Stones Singapore photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Instead, I was there just to review the concert and we caught a glimpse of the tiny tiny heads of The Rolling Stones as they appeared right before the show to greet the audience outside. (Oh my Keith Richards!)

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The first Ian Tayao frontflip I took was in 2006 during the Myx Music awards. It became the benchmark of what kind of photographs i wanted to take. Yet it was only six years later that I was able to take the next flip (after a year of following the band) and realized that in 2 years, I have quite a handful of shots from all those times.

There are more photos that weren’t included in this set, but these are the acceptable ones. 7 out of these 10 I think are decent, the rest I tell myself that with the numerous times I’ve seen WilaBaliW perform live, I should have more pictures. It’s not easy to take high action shots in low light, considering most of the time I use primes. There’s only one shot here that uses flash and I’m sure you’ll figure out which one it is.

Posted this because we always pray really hard for a Ian’s safe landing every single gig. The stunt is so crazy it makes for a heart stopping moment every single time.

Happy birthday Ian, from me and Niño. (He is helping me with this new site layout haha)

 

 

I‘ve been in love with Marshall headphones ever since they came out. I remember ogling them at HMV in Hong Kong before they were sold here years ago. When I finally had them I have to say that they suit me well. I love the whole Marshall look and in my opinion, the sound it produces balances all kinds of music. Of course I listen to rock primarily, but on the days when I’m on a bus or a plane going on a trip somewhere I’d like to have something that’s relatively compact, yet delivers.

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sunset

Around this time last Sunday, I was in Puerto Galera for work. I was doing a last day coverage of Malasimbo Festival when suddenly Niño Avenido walked into the balcony of the room I was staying and started knocking on the door. I never knew him as a spontaneous guy. He’s “Mr. Plans” to the point that if you think you’re good at planning and organzing, a single thought from him will just completely overshadow whatever you think you’ve got covered (in a good way of course).

I was happy that he followed to Puerto Galera, it was my first time there and he told me that he has been there multiple times. He would go there to escape with just himself and a guitar. I had no idea that the place I was staying in, Coco Aroma, also held a lot of good memories for him, as the owners Kuya Joel and Ate Cora would take him in like the beach bum that he was. I didn’t know these things because despite being friends for 9 years, Nino and I had only been together as a couple for a year. In the 15 years that Coco Aroma has been in existence, I was told that it has seen a lot of amazing moments from some our fellow musicians, making me realize with my love for music, that I ended up somehow, exactly where I needed to be.

Heck, my love for music brought he and I together.

 

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My name is Niña Sandejas. Duly educated in fashion but would rather take photos of musicians and go to concerts for a living.

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Rock & Roll Snapshots