Held last September 11 at B-Side (The Collective) in Makati City, Nagmamahal, BennyBunnyBand EP launch was really one of the most memorable gigs I have ever attended in 2015.
Apart from being a huge fan of the band, I enjoyed the show because I found it truly inspiring. To me, it was not only a mere EP launch; it was also a realization of a very talented group’s dream. After all, BennyBunnyBand had gone through a lot before getting this far. Vocalist and songwriter Benny Giron, bassist Ess Bobadilla, and drummer Jhenico Dela Cruz had to really exert effort so their talents and skills could push them forward. No wonder, this night was one of the most important moments in their career as a band.
It was some sort of a costume party, too. Performers and attendees were encouraged to dress as their favorite fictional or nonfictional characters.
To open the show, Austin came up on stage and performed suave yet highly emotional songs. It was a perfect beginning. What could be better than starting your TGIF gimmick by listening to this kind of music while drinking beer and eating some barbecue? Plus, vocalist Dave Jimeno’s raspy voice was also something anyone could never say no to.
The next band to perform was Sentido. Its sweet music gave way to people’s hugots, which I believe was a perfect preparation for what was about to unfold that night. Sure, the audience could not help but sing along to some covers and faithfully listened to some originals.
To reinforce the emotions everyone was having, members of the White Wall Poetry delivered pieces that were also filled with hugot lines. Their works talked about love, relationships, poetry, and even injustice. The wide range of emotions involved in their pieces were testaments of how complex the human experience was and would always be.
The Ukulele Philippines Ensemble was next in line. Using different kinds of ukulele, its members were again able to produce music that was simply exceptional. In fact, the group was able to give some popular songs a twist. Just imagine hearing Sandwich’s Sugod being played using ukuleles.
Oh, Flamingo was the next band to perform. Perhaps believing that nothing was ever too early in life, the group drove the crowd crazy with its music. By the end of its set, people were already dancing wildly. I was surprised; the event wasn’t even halfway through yet people’s energy were already of that level!
The Putings was able to sustain the crowd’s energy as it performed. Full of energy and enthusiasm, the group’s music provided a great warmup for BennyBunnyBand’s nearing performance. Its songs, particularly the one entitled Craziest Feelings, made people really excited for the things that were about to take place.
Motto Stella came up on the stage next, stunning everyone with its fresh-sounding and energizing music. In fact, its songs reminded me of spontaneous road trips and really fun out-of-town vacations. It was the kind of music I would love to listen to on bad days for I was sure it could make things look brighter.
To completely set people’s emotions ablaze and in preparation for the night’s main event, members of Words Anonymous performed their pieces that were also charged with intense emotions. Spoken word about love, sex, and social issues provoked people’s thoughts.
And to end the series of raffle draws, where special prizes were given away, a brand new ukulele was raffled off.
Before the main band’s much-awaited act, a surprise performance commenced. It was from an earlier version of BennyBunnyBand! Benny’s brother Alfdor started the madness using his powerful voice, killer dance moves, and unmatched energy. His performance made everyone crazy, unquestionably ready for the night’s main performance.
And, finally, there was the performance of the BennyBunnyBand. It began with Benny running from the venue’s entranc then eventually going up on the stage to show the crowd what performing was all about.
Ess and Jhenico were in full force, too. They energetically banged their heads with every note, making the crowd even more hyped. The band performed the songs included in the EP, such as I’m Coming, Ikaw Na (Ang Anghel… Bow), Dear Laarni, and PS Laarni.
Since it was also Benny’s birthday, he was given a birthday cake after the band’s performance. Before blowing the candles, he was asked to give a short speech. It was the most touching part of the show. Benny sincerely thanked everyone who have become a part of their journey, particularly their loved ones. He also expressed his gratefulness towards Burn Mercado of The Putings, the manager of the band.
“Grabe, pangrarap ko lang to dati pero ngayon natupad na!” Benny ended his speech. “Maraming Salamat!”
But it did not really end there, with the crowd still agitated and asking for more. And of course, the band could not say no to its fans. Instead of ending the show right then and there, it performed an additional song. It was called the Forbidden Song No. 2: Kamandag (Pogi Problems).
Indeed, it was a great night not only for BennyBunnyBand, but for everyone who has always loved and believed in their music. It also made me realize that, really, dreams to come true. With all these, I am sure I would never forget about this EP launch.