The fans may have just had a glimpse of why the group broke up.
Iconic OPM band Eraserheads once again proved that its magic and legacy live on as fans could not get over its successful reunion concert “Huling El Bimbo.”
However, just as fans look back the concert highlights, they are also feasting on what seems to have been an actual disagreement on stage between the band members.
The tension, or so it seemed, stemmed from confusion about their setlist.
It happened right after the guys performed their timeless barkada classic “Pare Ko.” At this point, frontman Ely Buendia heightened the nostalgia feels when he said, “This has been an amazing journey for us. Thank you very much for making it happen.”
He then went on to say, “It’s time to look at the future, honor the past. Let’s look at our friends and say, ‘We love you, I love you, peace be with you’.”
However, it was followed by dead air, which prompted the audience to think that something could be wrong. Because of this, the fans who wanted to see the four reunite could be heard in the background shouting “group hug” while cheering.
Thereafter, drummer Raimund Marasigan started to bang his cymbals while Buendia strummed the intro to the song “Alapaap.” However, the group members looked as if they were at a loss and stopped playing, although the crowd still kept on singing the song.
As confusion set in, Buendia cheered the crowd for still singing.
Bass guitarist Buddy Zabala then spoke on the microphone and said, “It’s time to look at our setlist.” Also on the microphone too, Marasigan said, “This is so professional… My setlist says that song” while showing off his copy of the setlist.
Calm but charged, Buendia said, “Kahit kailan talaga ano, nangyayari pa rin,” as if giving fans a preview of the long-held disagreements within the band that could have been among the reasons for their disbandment.
This was answered by Marasigan with, “I quit!” which induced a laugh on some people but had the rest of the audience concerned. The scene among the guys had the fans asking if they were actually witnessing the infamous Eraserheads squabble right before their eyes.
To ease out the tension, Marasigan shifted gears and said, “Wait, wait, wait! I’d like to introduce the band. Give it up for Mr. Buddy Zabala on bass.”
“We have Marcus Adoro on guitar,” he continued as we went on to introduce the rest of the performers on stage.
“Make some noise for Mr. Ely Buendia,” he said as the crowd exploded.
Buendia started strumming his guitar after he threw his bottled water to the audience.
Thereafter, Buendia began singing the hit “Minsan.” This was followed by Marasigan saying, “We’re getting back on script!” while raising the setlist and then throwing it into the air.
A song from their second studio album “Circus” and not released as an official single, “Minsan” still gained popularity due to its sentiment and theme of friendship.
Written by Buendia, the song references the Kalayaan Residence Hall at the University of the Philippines Diliman where three of the four bandmates stayed during their college years.
While the song was about friendship, Buendia denied that it was ever about his bandmates. A revelation he made last year at a podcast episode about the real deal among the guys broke the hearts of many fans, yet again.
“What fans didn’t know, what the public didn’t know [is] we were never — okay, I don’t want to break any hearts again… We were never close, we were never friends, as in tight friends. That’s why we broke up,” he said.
He, however, clarified that the Eraserheads had “a very, very good working relationship” and their run “was good while it lasted.”
Some fan theories on social media said that Buendia actually wanted to skip the song again because of his relationship, or the lack of it, with his former band.
After “Minsan,” the Eraseherheads belted out the crowd favorite “Alapaap” which showcased a more energized Buendia.
Ely’s “It’s time to graduate”
Despite its success, the Eraserheads, whose career soared internationally and paved the way for various alternative rock bands that followed, decided to call it quits in 2002 for still unknown reasons.
One thing was clear though, the relationship among the four guys was clearly strained.
In a 2020 MYX documentary titled “Gusto Mo Bang Sumama,” Zabala described Buendia as a very musically talented but silent person.
Zabala recalled that Buendia would always come in and say “Uy, may kanta ko,” and then the rest of the group would praise his work.
In the same documentary, Marasigan, who was said to have clashed with Buendia, agreed and also credited their frontman for his songwriting skills.
EHeads producer Robin Rivera said he saw firsthand how the band members, in their 13 years together, outgrew each other and had to part ways.
“Ely had a flashpoint much earlier, (after) which he wanted to just have nothing to do anymore with the band,” Rivera said.
Zabala was said to be the one who tried to keep the peace within the band. Buendia, however, clarified that the tension was never as heated as it seemed.
In 2002, the end came for the fab four when Buendia sent a text message with the words, “It’s time to graduate.”
After more than a decade, the band members reunited for a last hurrah for their fans who never left them. The concert was filled with a 75,000-strong crowd who were dying to see all the four guys back on stage once again singing their generation’s mega hits.
Video by: John Gabriel Malinab via YouTube
Photo credit: Eraserheads Forever Facebook