I recently encountered a witty comment from Parokya Ni Edgar frontman Chito Miranda over someone’s post asking when his band would do a “reunion” concert. He said they needed to disband first.
Well, the poor person who had the audacity to ask such a question must be living hiding under a rock not to know that PNE is still an active band. In the aftermath of Eraserheads doing their latest big stage reunion last week, such a netizen’s misfire led me to thinking that hardly anyone is disbanded.
At least in the local band scene, many of the biggest bands coming from the pool that emerged in the 1990s remained intact. The word ‘intact’ is debatable because most of them aren’t the same as when they hit it big. If some people salivate at the idea of a Rivermaya concert with Bamboo Manalac and Rico Blanco on board, they’re thinking of the classic line-up that scored the group’s first three albums.
Rivermaya was highly visible during the run-up to the national elections earlier this year. Drummer Mark Escueta has somehow succeeded in keeping the band, pun-intended, steady even with the departure of the group’s acknowledged main men. I recall he once implied that a band’s life is about those who stay. There’s simple logic to it.
True Faith is still in the game with Meds Marfil being the lone soldier from the “perfect” lineup. Hard to resist that play on their signature hit. But yes, Meds has done a good job keeping his band on the road.
While the Eraserheads made headlines 20 years ago for calling it quits, most of their contemporaries are celebrating longevity. But they can’t do what an ultraelectromagneticpop group does.
Eheads in a way showed everyone that knowing when to leave the party should do you more good in the long run. Had they kept themselves intact, and continued releasing albums after Carbon Stereoxide, they wouldn’t have been missed.
Mick Jagger, however, pointed out that The Beatles weren’t able to experience state-of-the-art stadium shows because they ceased to tour early on. Can’t deny that his own Rolling Stones is still a crowd drawer to this day.
Whether or not a famous band should retire while still at the top can’t really be answered by just a yes or no. It has been proven that a group without its biggest draw can still fill venues. Queen, who lost perhaps the greatest frontman ever way back in 1991, has shown that. It’s their great music that draws people in.
I’m not surprised that an Eraserheads fan is declaring on social media that he’d follow the group on their apparent world tour next year. Some fans don’t need to get a life because for them being a fan is “the life.”
At the end of the day, it’s the members of a successful band, or whoever is left, that have the final say to determine what works for them. I found it classy that The Beatles didn’t do one show without John Lennon and only reunited for two tracks by way of advanced technology, both featuring the assassinated rock star on lead vocals. Yet, there’s nothing I could have done had they decided to enjoy the big money being offered to them in exchange for getting back together on stage.
Every critic may argue that Ely Buendia and boys should have informed promoters that they already had their final set in 2009. They went with the offer and delivered a relatively memorable spectacle, performing tracks from their biggest album in their proper order. Truth be told, nothing is being taken away from their legacy even if they reunite every once in a while. Such is the power of beloved recorded music.