A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend shared a link about Ely Buendia’s greatest hits tour. Four hours later, I checked SM Ticket’s website, saw that the concert was already sold out and panicked. I informed Dai and slept. The next day, I received a message from her saying she was able to reserve two VIP tickets from Music Museum. The concert was last November 17 and it sort of cut our Mindanao vacation short. But then again, it’s Ely Buendia my ultimate crush, Mindanao can wait.
We went to San Juan straight from Manila Pier because our ship was delayed for four hours. Heck, I didn’t even take a bath because we were afraid we’d miss the first few songs. The ticket said 8 PM but we should have known better. Thanks to Filipino time, 8 became 9 PM.
Since we hurried, we weren’t able to grab dinner. By 8:30, we were starving. Music museum served food and drinks but they were very expensive. Expensive as in a glass of mango shake costed us 148 pesos and it wasn’t even delicious. A platter of finger foods was close to 400 pesos so no thanks. Dai and I subdued our growling tummies and looked forward to our meal after the concert.
After seeing advertisements for Sun Broadband and Red Horse on loop for an hour, the audience was happy when the backdrop changed to the chord E flat, obviously implying Ely Buendia, made by Ely’s daughter Una Aurea. Cool.
When Ely came out, Dai and I literally squealed and screamed like the fangirls that we were. Oh my, I couldn’t believe I was seeing him in person. Plus he was wearing his signature Ray Ban aviator shades.
All in all he sang 17 songs in the following order: Alapaap, Higante, Ligaya, Maling akala, Santo, Overdrive (which reminded me of our Pagadian roadtrips), Wag mo nang itanong (I still like Marcus’ version during their Final Set concert better), Lightyears (goosebumps), Wanted Bedspacer (simple lyrics, quintessentially Ely), Over 18, Wag Kang Matakot (my song to Trix who is a thousand miles away), Magasin (The song started with violins and ended with a bang. In Ely’s words, epic.), Maselang bahaghari, With a smile (which put a smile on my face), Wasak Waltz (When Ely said the next song was co written with Francis M, I was expecting Superproxy. Nonetheless, this was good), Tikman (which made me want to run on stage and hug him), and Ang Huling El Bimbo.
Meanwhile, here’s my wishlist (the songs I hoped he sang): Toyang (because I wanted to hear the Ilocano lyrics so badly), Kama Supra (my current LSS), Trip to Jerusalem, Fine Time, Spoliarium (one of my all time favorites) and Minsan (which was played in the radio on our way to Music Museum and again on our way to Robinson’s Manila the next day).
What can I say? I was starstruck. I know he’s already in his 40s but his age only increased his appeal to me. I was surprised though because he had such thin legs. I don’t know, maybe I was expecting him to be meatier. Oh, and he was wearing dental braces.
Before his last song, Ely called his “guitar hero” Nitoy Adriano on stage. I don’t know why but heroes in any form makes me smile. As expected, his finale was his greatest hit, Ang Huling El Bimbo. The five of them plus the orchestra owned the stage. It wasn’t hard to understand why Ely have such respect for Nitoy for he played the strings so effortlessly it made me want to listen to Pinoy rock bands of the 80s.
In one interview I read, Ely said that he didn’t like anything “trying hard”. Watching him on stage made me realize that he really does not try too hard. He did not please the audience too hard. He did not crack jokes too hard. He was just his typical sort of snob self. While other performers would be all smiles when a fan approaches them while they are seated on the steps of the stage for a photo op, Ely stood up and moved away leaving the girl behind, embarrassed. Still, he knows how to connect with the audience. At one point, his cellphone rang and he said “Sorry. Alarm ko yun pang 9:30” and we responded with laughter (heck, I’m not even sure if he meant it as a joke).
For about five to ten minutes after Ely left the stage, no one left their seats and we chanted “Ely” and “more” alternately because we just couldn’t get enough of him. We were wishing he’d come back on stage and play three or even one on the road but he didn’t. When the crowd realized he wasn’t coming back, we dispersed, happy yet wanting more. After all, it was Ely and we can’t bend him to do our will. And I don’t know if it’s just me but elusive people exude some sort of charm.
Overall it was a fun night though I was hoping I’d go home with a picture with him (maybe it was a good thing because I didn’t take a bath. haha). The next day I had a hangover which materialized in the form of Googling anything about Ely and listening to his songs all day.