A quick first glance at the lineup of Joshua Six might make fans wonder why Barbie Almalbis, the rose among thorns of big-name U2 fans, was included. Yet, seeing her perform at a packed 12 Monkeys bar last Nov. 25, with Rico Blanco and other mainstream rock luminaries at that, erased any doubt possibly raised.
It felt like everybody was awed watching her play guitar solo and sing one of U2’s most recognized tunes: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Barbie had been tagged as a rock princess for a reason and that night she somehow reminded everyone why she earned that monicker. Besides, why would her mates in the one-time supergroup allow her to share the stage if they felt she was an oddball for the night’s purpose?
“Idol ko silang lahat, especially si Francis Reyes whom I saw perform with The Dawn when I was in high school back in Iloilo,” she told the crowd of select invitees and lucky fans.
Of course that prompted Francis Brew to react with a grin. But she sounded sincere to inform everyone how she felt playing alongside two former members of Eraserheads(Raymund Marasigan and Buddy Zabala), two ex-members of Rivermaya (Rico and Japs Sergio), and the guitarist who ably replaced the legendary Teddy Diaz. It was by all means a group of somebodies.
“Kung nag-e enjoy kayo dyan, 10 times kami dito,” expressed Rico of his take on what was happening.
The man of the hour was in his element all night, cooly asking everyone “Why so serious?” upon hearing silence before the storm. He later inserted the first verse of Rivermaya’s “Shattered Like” before singing the opening lines of U2’s signature hit “With Or Without You.”
The art of self-deprecation was around on a star-studded classic rock night. Rico joked, “We’re better performing our own songs.” Francis was more blatant, “Does this make you want to watch the real thing?”
Kidding aside, the group did justice to U2 songs in a memorable gig titled Prelude to U2 The Gig presented by Smart Music Live. Everyone was being professional in doing their respective roles. The group synergy was instrumental for Barbie to shine the way she did.
Thanks to the likes of Barbie, the present rock music scene is favorable to women shining. The band She’s Coming Home, formed in 2015, has Karla Pauline Macatlang to boot, with her strongly emotive vocals necessarily tightening the grip felt in the ensemble playing of her band’s instrumentalists, namely, guitarists Robert Besana and Ron Padilla, bass player Vladimir Besana, and drummer Justine Omac.
The group released their fourth single “Try” last month, after “Pleasure,” “Feel Me,” and “Kahit Saglit.” Listening to their songs will make you agree that they write alternative rock songs with a kick of blues and punk.
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