I’ve been a Beatles fan for more than a decade. It was the influence of my father who’d sing their songs when we have power outages in the province during the 90s. He even semi-forced me to watch some of their films. Because seeing all four of them them play together is impossible, I thought the second best thing was to watch others pretend to be them. I did watch and it was tons of fun (read: The Bootleg Beatles).
But a gig I went to more than two months ago proved that watching fellow fans pay tribute to them by playing the songs in their own style was even more fun!One of the things I’m thankful for for Facebook is the way it notifies me with events it thinks I might be interested in. When I saw an invite for A Hard Day’s Night (The Beatles Night Vol. 3), boy was I excited! To manage my expectations, I searched for clips from the previous installments of the gig. It turns out Vol.1 was held at the now defunct Sev’s Cafe while Vol.2 was in some bar along Espana Blvd. How could I have missed those two??? It made me want to go all the more. I went with a fellow fan, Emman.
I was only familiar with B-Side when it came to live music within The Collective so when I arrived, I unknowingly went there only to realize that there was a different event being held. After asking around for Aloha Bar, I was directed to the farthest corner of the building and there, I saw a small and almost empty place (only two occupied tables). In my mind, I was asking, “Eto na ba ‘to? Meron ba talagang gig? Bakit parang walang ganap? Baka mali ako ng napuntahan.“. Then I saw Emman who arrived first and also confirmed with the waitress that it was, indeed, the venue for The Beatles Night. After eating (food was forgettable, go elsewhere), we waited and waited but were not disappointed!First performer of the night was Howard Luistro of Oh, Flamingo! He brought a songbook with him that looked familiar because my father has the exact same thing! He then shared about how he learned all the songs from cover to cover when he was younger. I believe he set the ambiance for the whole night, telling the audience that it wasn’t about technicalities but rather about enjoying the music together. In his words, “Hindi naman kailangan professional dito diba?“. I think the set list he prepared was not followed (actually parang lahat sila di ata nasunod) because the crowd kept requesting songs even teasing him to perform Revolution 9 HAHAHA!
My favorites from his set are: Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) because after he sang “I once had a girl, or should I say” the crowd followed with “She once had me” as if on cue, Anna (Go To Him) a song about infidelity which stuck like glue I listened only to it and nothing else for a couple of days afterwards, and Happiness Is A Warm Gun because again, the crowd perfectly sang the bang bang shoot shoot and oh yeah parts. Other songs I remember him singing were And I Love Her, No Reply, Blackbird, Fixing a Hole and You Never Give Me Your Money.
Howard (yuck FC) was followed by Benny Giron of the BennyBunnyBand. His set was short I was sad when it ended. The only instrument used was a Ukelele (a tambourine and an electric guitar in some songs) and if ever I learn how to play one in the future, he’s definitely to be credited for it. He started his set with a powerful rendition of Why Don’t We Do It In The Road and we all laughed when he said the next song is I’m So Tired. He played the happiest rendition of I Will I’ve heard and also sang Something, Yer Blues, and finally, While My Guitar Gently Weeps which I recorded on video and have watched more than a hundred times since!After Benny (again, FC), it was Jeremy Lopez of KISSLING. He’s the first performer with a full band backing him up and just like what he said, he liked playing the lesser known songs of The Beatles. I’m glad to discover Please Mister Postman (was captivated by the first 22 seconds of this song + the “you gotta wait a minute 2X oh yeah” part it’s been on-loop for the last couple of days), The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, and of course, In Spite Of All the Danger which is technically by The Quarrymen. Thanks to him I was encouraged to watch the Eight Days A Week documentary which I want to write about in another post but don’t think I’ll be able to so I’ll just say it was an emotional 2 hours for me 🙂 Other songs played by the band were Rain, Revolution, Can’t Buy Me Love, I’m Only Sleeping, Here There & Everywhere, and Day Tripper.
Next up was Ian Penn who played the gentlest set. Armed only with an acoustic guitar and his voice, he sang songs like Here Comes The Sun, Dear Prudence, Across the Universe, In My Life, and my favorite which he introduced as The Beatles’ saddest song (to which I super agree), For No One *insert heartbreak emoji*.The last performer before the encore was Johnny Moon of The Strange Creatures. He told us that for some reason, Sgt. Pepper’s is his least favorite Beatles album (I have a love-hate relationship with SPLHCB but it’s mostly love) though he played Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Most of the songs are, I believe, staples in a Beatles tribute night because they’re some of the more famous ones like Ticket To Ride, Eight Days a Week, Strawberry Fields Forever, Two of Us and If I Fell. My favorite was the Encore because (1) except for Howard who left early and was bullied for it, they all played together (2) everyone was singing/shouting with them (3) they sang the always present Hey Jude (they were singing the tagalog version Hey June HAHA), the complementary tracks Golden Slumbers and Carry That Weight, the lively Twist and Shout, and of course, Don’t Let Me Down!!! (4) the Facebook event page states the event will only be up to 12 midnight but there were shouts of “MORE MORE MORE” it actually ended close to 2AM 🙂
I enjoyed the gig so much I still have a hangover after two months and always find myself smiling whenever I recall that night. Never thought I could appreciate the songs of The Beatles more and I can feel that the band is an integral part of their lives too! I realized no matter how hardcore of a fan you think you are, there’s someone even more hardcore but it doesn’t mean that you love the Fab Four with less intensity. I was glad to discover new songs, to hear about old songs in a new way, to listen to the performers’ anecdotes and side comments and jokes, and of course, to sing along. YES GUYS YOU PASSED THE AUDITIONS!Here’s a picture of myself I found on the internet. I think I was smiling the whole time hehe.Emman and I were already out of the venue when we realized we both wanted to have a picture taken with the performers (nagkahiyaan pang umamin). We debated about it and tried to suppress our desire so we continued walking up to the nearby 7eleven. We’d normally just shrug it off and go home but the urge was too strong we went back and had a picture with Ian and Benny even though we were super shy.<3 Sobrang kinilig ako kbye!ANG SAYA KO PLUS I WAS WEARING THE RIGHT SHIRT PLUS MUKHA AKONG PAYAT SA PICTURE NA TO LELS! Looking forward to Volume 4! 🙂