SM Group sprucing up 50K-capacity Eheads gig venue

Organizers of the Eraserheads concert dubbed Huling El Bimbo on 22 December said only 50,000 ticket-holders will be admitted to the venue, the open-air SMDC festival grounds in Parañaque.

A post on the Facebook page Huling El Bimbo on 29 September began with a line from the Eheads song “Huwang Mo Nang Itanong”: “Parang sweepstakes?”

Ely Buendia

And then it continued, that from the millions of Eheads fans, only 50,000 will get to watch the show, followed by the announcement that tickets start selling on 5 October.

That’s a pretty big figure, though it had been claimed that the second major Eheads reunion concert, held on 7 March 2009, drew 100,000 fans — perhaps the largest number of people ever to watch one Filipino band, which remains the country’s biggest and most influential to date.

Raimund Marasigan

There have been a number of Eheads reunion gigs after its breakup in 2002. The first one, on 30 August 2008 at an open lot in BGC, was stopped midway when Ely Buendia fell ill and was rushed to Makati Medical Center, where doctors said he suffered a minor heart attack due to stress. (His mother died two days before the show.)

Buendia underwent angioplasty, quickly recovered, and played with his bandmates Marcus Adoro, Buddy Zabala, and Raimund Marasigan in the 2009 concert.

Buddy Zabala

The other gigs that followed were held in smaller venues abroad.

The promoter of the 22 December concert is Francis Lumen, who also mounted the first two reunion shows.

Lumen owned FM radio stations City Lite 88.3 and Radio High before running MTV Philippines and promoting local and international concerts.

Marcus Adoro

“I’m doing it with some friends,” Lumen told Daily Tribune about the coming show by phone recently.

Asked why he’s doing it again, Lumen said via email: “Having done the first two reunion concerts, I felt it was natural for me to consider putting it together again.”

What was it like to negotiate with four individual musicians who’ve had a history of animosity at certain periods in their relationship as a band?

“Having the experience of negotiating with them in the past, we had mutual trust and went for a win-win scenario. It was not difficult at all,” said Lumen.

It seems there are a number of people bankrolling the concert, including Alden Richards who said his newly formed company is part of it. Does that mean it’s an expensive show to mount?

“Yes, it is an expensive show because we want to make a statement and be proud of Filipino music.

“But it will be all worth it.”

Why hold the concert in a grassy, rocky lot that may be uncomfortable to the audience?

“The SMDC festival grounds is being prepared and upgraded to make it an ideal venue for open-air concerts and events.

The SM Group wants it to be a venue of choice. You will be pleasantly surprised.”

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