The Ely and Bamboo Experience
For those who were aware of the Original Pinoy Music (OPM) scene during the 1990s, two of the bands that resonated through the ears, minds, and hearts of the kids and teenagers who grew up during that era were the Eraserheads and Rivermaya.
Fast forward to two decades later: the frontmen of both bands — Ely Buendia and Bamboo, respectively — did the unthinkable years ago by coming together for an intimate, one night only event to give a handful of people a chance to listen to some of their past hits in the way that they intended for them to come out on the album during the Sony MDR Live “silent” concert.
As compared to conventional concerts where the band plays inside the same hall and blasting the sound from their instruments to the speakers, the audience gets to see the musicians in virtually the same setup as they do when they lay down the tracks inside a soundproofed room inside the studio and listen to the music through the same studio headphones used by professional sound technicians to adjust the levels accordingly.
During the entire night, from the opening act performance of Jay Durias, to Bamboo and then Ely Buendia, the night was a barrage of nostalgic songs from all of their respective bands — from Southborder, to Rivermaya, then Bamboo, and finally the E-Heads.
What was different about this concert was the intimate feel that you got when you actually get to listen closely to the music — from the tones of the keyboards to the heavy distortion of the electric guitars — as compared to the loud, unintelligible blasts from concert hall speakers. Every single musical note and almost every lyric sung by the iconic frontmen came out crisp and clear, just like their album recordings made years ago.
The chilling part of the concert was during Bamboo’s turn, when he decided to dust off his former band’s hit “Hallelujah” as part of his set. I took off my headphones during the chorus and heard the audience sing along inside the near-hush silent Rockwell Tent, sending shivers down my spine.
To cap the night off, both Bamboo and Ely Buendia played their rendition of The Beatles’ “Come Together” as an encore outside the confines of the sound-proofed room to give the crowd the real concert experience.
True to their word, it was a concert experience like no other.