A hard day's (Beatles) night
MANILA, Philippines - Music fans braved the rains brought by typhoon Ofel to watch the latest edition of Beatles Night at 70s Bistro last Thursday, October 25.
Local artists’ tributes to the Fab Four held in different bars and venues across the city have been a staple in the gig circuit for years, but there’s something about hearing the songs of arguably the greatest band the world has ever known in the familiar walls of the Quezon City music landmark.
This year, the lineup consisted of a cross-generational mix of veteran musicians and talented young upstarts.
As the rains lashed and threatened to drench smokers outside, indie rocker Yosha got things started with a slow and steady set that included “Eleanor Rigby,” “Helter Skelter,” “Good Day Sunshine” and “Oh Darling.”
Her backing band included Kakoy Legaspi on lead guitar, Clementine on guitar and backing vocals, Chong Tengasantos on drums, Karel Honasan on bass and Rey Abella on keyboards. Guitarist Nitoy Adriano later joined the group onstage.
Wearing sunglasses onstage, the diminutive Yosha also crooned fan favorites “Across the Universe” and “Here Comes The Sun.”
Cookie Chua was up next. She was joined onstage by the Villegas brothers Mike and Angelo, while Kakoy, Chong and Rey were pretty much glued to their places and played during the entire show.
The long-haired vocalist of seminal 90s band Color It Red was tasked to sing “Til there Was You,” “I Will” and “Twist and Shout.” Her gruff, throaty vocals sounded a bit strained on some of the numbers but still very potent.
She laughed and joked around with the audience and even called onstage folk singer Bayang Barrios for a duet on “The Long and Winding Road.” Audience gave the duo an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Aiza Seguerra — who has successfully transitioned from being a child star into an accomplished singer and musician — climbed up onstage in a black shirt, jeans and flip-flops and sang some of the Beatles' most memorable hits, including “Come Together,” "Blackbird,” "Yesterday,” “When I Saw her Standing There,” “We Can Work It Out,” “Fool On The Hill” and my personal favorite, “Here, There and Everywhere.”
She injected just enough passion and soul into her set that she played a couple of encores before the next act allowed her to exit the stage.
At past 1 am, indie pop stalwart Clementine and former Twisted Halo and current Peryodiko frontman Vin Dancel teamed up for the evening’s grand finale set.
With a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand and giving out shots all around, Dancel was the consummate frontman who urged the still thick crowd to not be afraid to stand up and dance as they delivered all the big numbers.
Clem did vocal duties on “Hey Bulldog,” “She Said, She Said” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” while Dancel took the reins on “Dear Prudence,” “I Am The Walrus” and “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Taxman” and “Daytripper.”
In all, around 60 songs were played in a rousing tribute that had most everyone there moving, clinking glasses, embracing, tapping their fingers and feet, dancing and singing along.
Seen in the crowd that evening were actress Alessandra De Rossi, newspaper columnist Conrado De Quiros, torch singer Skarlet (aka Myra Ruaro) and acoustic pop sensation Johnoy Danao.
The music of the Beatles lives on. With any luck, we’ll have more tributes like this in the years to come. - Rappler.com
Paul John Caña is the managing editor of Lifestyle Asia magazine and is a live music geek. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @pauljohncana