Five of the most notable modern OPM rock icons — Ely Buendia, Ebe Dancel, Rivermaya, Barbie Almalbis, and The Itchyworms — had Pinoy fans singing their hearts out during the “GetMusic: NU Rock Years” concert held on November 25 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
In true Pinoy rock fashion — raw, riveting, and unapologetically brilliant — the said acts conquered the Big Dome and performed anthems that defined a generation of OPM enthusiasts.
The Itchyworms are (L-R, back) Kelvin Yu, Jugs Jugueta, Chino Singson, and Jazz Nicolas.
Four-piece outfit The Itchyworms opened the night and set the electrifying yet nostalgic mood that resounded throughout the show. They entertained the audience with “Gusto Ko Lamang,” “Antipara,” “Ayokong Tumanda,” “Akin Ka Na Lang,” and “Penge Naman Ako Niyan.”
Barbie Almalbis, one of the most recognized names in the female OPM niche, performed next, hyping up the concert-goers first with a stunning guitar solo.
Before embarking on a solo career, Barbie Almalbis was the vocalist of Hungry Young Poets and Barbie’s Cradle.
The ecstatic crowd cheered on as Almalbis continued to perform “Money For Food,” “Just A Smile,” “Deep,” “Tabing Ilog,” “Limang Dipang Tao,” “Torpe,” and a medley of “Firewoman” and “Ambon.”
Rivermaya — whose current lineup is composed of founding members Mark Escueta and Nathan Azarcon, and second-generation members Mike Elgar and Ryan Peralta — followed with another segment of supercharged performances.
(L-R) Rivermaya’s Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar and Nathan Azarcon take turn to do the vocal works during last Saturday’s concert.
The band sang their enduring smashes, “Elesi,” “Umaaraw, Umuulan,” “You’ll Be Safe Here,” “Liwanag Sa Dilim,” “Hinahanap-hanap Kita,” and “Kisapmata.” They also dished out “Manila,” which according to Escueta, is the band’s “favorite song” from their newest record titled “Sa Kabila Ng Lahat.”
The evening mellowed down when Ebe Dancel, frontman of the now-defunct Sugarfree, took center stage. He delivered songs that earned him and his former band an elite status in the local music scene — “Kwarto,” “Prom,” “Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Nang Umiyak,” “Telepono,” “Hari ng Sablay,” “Tulog Na,” and “Burnout.”
Ebe Dancel tones down the show’s mood as he performs bittersweet tracks from the Sugarfree catalog.
He also sampled a stanza and chorus of “Bawat Daan,” the titular track of his latest solo release.
Meanwhile, Ely Buendia, best known as the eclectic vocalist of The Eraserheads, brought his greatest-hits-tour musicians to give delight to Eheads aficionados.
His set, which capped off the evening, included “Alapaap,” “Maling Akala,” “Ligaya,” “Shake Yer Head,” “Pare Ko,” “Magasin,” “Spoliarium,” “Superproxy,” and “Ang Huling El Bimbo.”
Apart from singing Eheads classics, Ely Buendia also performed his newest solo single, “Gabi Man May Araw Din.”
All five artists also paid tribute to NU107, the FM radio station that catered to Pinoy rock music in the 90’s until the 2000s.
“Get Music NU Rock Years” was presented by Smart Music Live and MCA Music.