By Nickie Wang
Call it loud, call it noisy, or call it whatever you like, because no matter how you label it, rock music is here to stay. It’s no longer necessary to check the pop charts if there are any songs from rock bands landed on the list, the thing is, it’s not the only way to determine whether rock music is thriving and if it is in perfect shape.
With the use of musical instruments, creative lyrics, and some visually arousing performances, music can create something more than just an experience. In most part of the world, people no longer treat music as just a form of entertainment, it’s already part of their lifestyle. As a powerful medium of communication it triggers powerful emotions that are enmeshed in everybody’s experiences.
Seeing people in black shirt, trucker hat, black nail polish, skinny jeans, and skater shoes are not the main indication of the prevalence of rock music in the country. But seeing a multitude of people clad in this very same fashion in one same venue is a whole different story, just like the recent Muziklaban event.
“Rakistas” trooped to the open parking lot of Metrowalk in Ortigas, Pasig City to witness the grand reunion of some of the country’s biggest names in the world of local rock ‘n roll.
Muziklaban, an annual search for the country’s promising rock bands has evolved from just a band search into a completely grand rock music event where every “rakista” has something else to enjoy apart from seeing their favorite bands perform. And that gives us an idea how events like this gradually shape the future of rock music in the Philippines .
Defining how vibrant rock music is today, Muziklaban ended on a high note with a grand gathering of the biggest names on the rock music scene and a showdown of amateur bands. Overflowing beer, loud and head banging music, edgy personalities, interesting sights and booths, and everything that is associated with rock music were present at the grand finals of the much-anticipated affair.
This year’s theme “Iba na ang Labanan,” lived up to the expectations of every person who attended the day-long occasion. Aside from its tradition of discovering the country’s most promising and talented amateur bands, it also included the Art of Tattoo, Popular Extreme Sports and Independent Film Making in the roster of activities. They were represented through lifestyle hubs put up around the venue. There were also some installations that chronicled the significant events that took place throughout the eight-month search of the best local band.
Some of the show’s highlights were the explosive performances of prominent bands like Slapshock, Kamikazee, Greyhoundz, Radioactive Sago Project, Kjwan, Intolerant, Kapatid, and rock music legend, Pepe Smith.
The much-awaited event sponsored by the country’s iconic malt drink Red Horse Beer is almost a year-round affair for rock music aficionados. It was officially launched in May last year through a media extreme sports challenge held in San Miguel training camp in Tagaytay and stretches up to the last day of January.
Winning the bragging rights for outshining other amateur bands in this year’s competition was a group from Valenzuela City called Hatankaru. It went home as this year’s grand winner and walking passed other rock bands with two other special awards namely, Best Live Act and the Breakthrough Performance Award. Apart from a P500,000 cash prize, the quartet went home with a record deal as well. Other finalists were Kukumban from Naga City, 2nd Squad from Baguio, Cambronero from Bacolod, and Hoodswhite from Cagayan de Oro City.
The bands that made the whole event even more electrifying were Kadangyan, Zach Lucero and the Action Pack, Kapatid, Franco, Typecast, Music Hero, Chongkeys, Dogfight, Boy Elroy and COG. Also present to entertain thousands of fans were Muziklaban former champions Mayonaise (2005), HardboiledEggz (2006), Gayuma (2007), and Even (2008).
As a sign that the event is much bigger and actually a much-awaited music festival, fanatics event started queuing at the entrance as early as 12 noon, but the program didn’t really started until it was 4:30 p.m. The program proper started when the sun went down and the real atmosphere of rock music filled the air. As expected the program ended at 4 a.m. with everyone looking forward to the next year’s another explosive rendezvous of rock music personalities and supporters.