I have been a fan of The Dawn since I was in grade school. The first The Dawn album I had was Puno’t Dulo but I knew that their older songs such as “Enveloped Ideas”, “Love Will Set Us Free”, “Iisang Bangka” and “Salamat” were already hits before my adolescence years. Those songs also became my favorites until now. The Dawn was like The Eraserheads of my generation. If I was born earlier, probably I would be one of the fans who would frequent the bars where they have gigs. When I had the opportunity during my grade school life to watch gigs in bars, they weren’t as active like they were before.
It was just this year when I had the chance to see them perform live at the Rock Bosch gig in Big Sky Mind last January. Seated in the couch, this was the first time I heard Jett Pangan’s voice live, Francis Reyes fantastic guitar styles and JB Leonor’s energy-pounding drum playing. Well, I’ve heard Buddy Zabala play the bass a million times, but it was my first time to see him live with The Dawn. He had a different aura.
Then I was able to catch them at another gig at the Checkpoint Bar in Parañaque however, Francis Reyes was already replaced by Kenneth Ilagan. I know that there were misunderstandings between the band members and him so let’s just leave things among them and just continue to rock with their new guitarist. The band still pursued to record their new album “Sound the Alarm” with Kenneth in guitars.
I have just recently added myself to The Dawn mailing list and I’m not quite familiar with the people there. When they announced that they will be having their Listers Night on August 20, I really wanted to be there. I just wanted to experience how The Dawn is with their listers. I’ve been a member of the Eheads Mailing list for a long time and was able to attend the Listers Day that they organized when they were still together. I know that it will be different but I just wanna experience it. The Listers Night was also to celebrate the death anniversary of Teddy Diaz, the original guitarist of The Dawn who was stabbed to death by a merciless killer.
Karla and I were early, we arrived there at 9 am. We got a table right at the middle and infront of the stage which was a good view of the band. It was actually my first time that I got the chance to sit in Club Dredd because usually it would be packed with people before I arrive. The listers were coming in and I’m not familiar with them. I’m just a lurker at the mailing list and even at Club Dredd. I’m glad that I’m with Karen Gino (of the Eheads Mailing list) and Ces, a long time friend who I didn’t know was connected with the management of The Dawn.
The opening act was Squeezers, a new band which plays original songs. I just felt that they sounded very Eheads-like. Their lyrics are witty and very catchy although I could hear the near resemblance of Eheads in some of their songs. Here’s one song I recorded entitled: Helmet
The Squeezers, “Helmet”
Next band that performed was Tredstone. They play classic rock. It was a powerful performance. Kinda reminded me of Basti Artadi of Wolfgang. They actually had a song wherein it sounded like Wolfgang, everybody just sang the Wolfgang song because of the same guitar riffs.
Then here’s a kid who showed his beatbox skills. His name is Pikoy (I’m not sure if that’s the correct spelling). He’s a human beatbox and did his stuff for more than 5 minutes. I’m just imagining how hard it is and most like the mic is full of saliva. Eww. But he was good.
Pikoy, the Human BeatBox
Then the main act, The Dawn, came to the stage. Everybody was delighted to see them and of course I was excited to see them again onstage. They performed their new songs from Sound The Alarm with Buddy Zabala. After that, Carlos Balcells, the original bassist of The Dawn came onstage and performed old school The Dawn sounds! Isn’t that cool? I haven’t seen him perform live yet so this was a good opportunity. Here were the songs he performed:
The Dawn, “Dreams”
The Dawn, “Little Paradise”
The Dawn, “Between Shadows”
The Dawn, “Salimpusa”
The Dawn, “I Stand With You”
The whole set was awesome! I’m glad that I was able to see them perform their old songs, it’s really like a blast from the past! Of course they performed “Love Will Set Us Free” and “Salamat” as their finale. Man, it was the best “Salamat” I’ve ever heard in my life. It was breath taking, everybody was standing up holding their beers and proposing a toast to the band. Well, I didn’t have my beer anymore, hehe.
I know this is a super late post, imagine I wrote it only after more than a month. Hehe, but nevertheless, it’s still a worthwhile experience worth sharing. 🙂