Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Arena, Clarke Quay Mar. 23, 2008 First Gig as a Drummer

How it started...

While me and my officemate were having a conversation after eating our lunch in Food Republic in Vivo City i mentioned that

i was a part of a band back in High School as a Guitarist and learned other musical instruments as well during those times

such as the Bass Guitar and Drums. I told him i learned the drums after our drummer taught me while in class just tapping in

the desk. Then my officemate told me that his housemate is looking for a drummer for replacement and it's just "jamming". So

i obliged since i really enjoy playing the drums although the only time that i got to play drums was way back in High School

and my "Despedida" last Nov. 5, 2007 in Roland's house studio. Then his housemate contacted me on Mar. 20 and we will be

performing in THe Arena on Mar. 23. MY instant reaction was "Say, what?!". I told him that i'm just a beginner and if they

don't like my performance they can just tell me directly and wouldn't feel bad about it. He assured me that there's no

pressure since this will be just like a jamming session. He e-mailed the final song line up so that i can listen to it. It

was all Beatles songs. I added those songs in my Ipod and from there listened to it everytime.

The practice...

We had a studio practice in Sembawang on Mar. 22 from 5pm to 8pm and there i met the band for the first time. We had a

keyboardist, bassist, 2 guitars and 3 singers. I made a lot of mistakes but i'm not alone. After the practice we requested

for another practice on Sunday before going to Arena. I didn't pay for anything. Sunday practice was a lot smoother but

we're still having difficulties in Here Comes the Sun.

The sound check...

This is my first time also to experience a real sound check. The sound engineer of The Arena asked each one of use to do

this and do that to check and adjust the sound accordingly. On my case he told me to hit the bass drum, then the tumtums,

the snare, the cymbals. On the guitar he would ask to play a high and low note, regular and with distortion effects.

The Arena...

Every sunday is PINOY SUNDAY in The Arena where Filipino gathers. I think it is organized by different Filipino Communities

here in Singapore. The place is great. I think it is one of the best looking bars i've ever been to. Sounds and lighting

makes you think you're in a mini-concert. The theme for that sunday is Beatles night that's why we only played Beatles

repertoire. Two of my friends came to support me and i'm very thankful for them for easing the pressure. Programs consists

of a Videoke singing. You can either choose the songs in the music sheet in fromt of you where you can find the lyrics also

or you can read off the lyrics in their laptop. Also when the band is playing anyone can freely jam and the best jammer of

the night will receive a price. The Arenam also welcomes other talents like dancing. It's like a stage for Filipinos to show

off their talents for free. Like an open mic or something. I'm not sure though about the procedure. The first performer is a

one man acoustic player. Very skillfull dude who admits to be a Beatlemania so he can play most of the Beatles songs with

his eyes closed. After that we thought it was our turn, but a band from Mauritius requested to play. Our singer said they

are mainstays of the bar. They didn't play beatles songs. They played 3 fast-paced songs. Their drummer is a showman so our

Singer keeps assuring me that they are professionals and telling me that i should not be pressured and just do what i have

to do.

The moment...

Our name was called, The Maharlika Band. The host ask our names and then i started signalling the guys to start with the

stick. At first my hands are shaking a little bit and quite stiff. Then i started breathing and relaxed myself while i

played. You can't see the audience while on stage because of the lights so it seems that no one is watching. After a while i

got used to it and hitting harder. After each songs the Singer would joke around and that relieved some of the pressure. I'm

amazed on how they handle the crowd. After the performance it was a good feeling. Although i made a lot of mistakes it

didn't matter to me. I said to myself "Ah...it's finally over". My friends congratulated me when i arrived at the their

table and teased me a little.

I just wished my other friends and my Wife could have been there but unfortunately she was in the Philippines for a

vacation. See our videos below. More to follow. I can't wait to hear myself (because i am hidden behind the drums).