Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I remember the first time I saw Bamboo, the band, perform live. It was at a Chippy Gimikada Campus event sometime in '04 at Lyceum of the Philippines back-to-back with his former band, Rivermaya.. a live broadcast over Campus Radio, the usual skinny, hosted by Joe Spinner and JB.. I was there as spectator, looming in the wings, waiting for Bamboo. Rivermaya, by now a cocky, well-oiled outfit, their precise Pop machinery efficiently functioning, warmed up the crowd with old-time faves, playing on their own gear they dragged with them; like I said, cocky. When Bamboo strode onto the stage, using the rented equipment, and not Maya's, that first chord rang way louder than their predecessors, with a performance that just blew me away. It was at that gig I got to see a totally different Bamboo from the one I remembered in Rivermaya.. more confident.. still foreboding yet with a certain quality of innocence his music seems to bring out from within him.. his by-now signature leaping kicks and the mike punches.. The music, too. That initial sonic salvo of Mr. Clay was the money shot right there. It all made me believe.

The next day on my radio show, I played Rivermaya's Liwanag Sa Dilim, and began adlibbing as the song was about to end..

"Rivermaya and Liwanag Sa Dilim on Campus Radio 97.1 WLS-FM.. this band may be a light in the dark, but here's the new Banda ng Bayan.. Bamboo, and Noypi.."

segueing into Bamboo's anthemic tip-of-the-hat to all us Juan De La Cruzes; it's an adlib that sent coldwater shivers through my bones and hopefully through my listeners' spines as well. Fast forward to the here and the now, Bamboo still illicits that same feeling from this writer. The band's definitely got their shit together. Truly an electrifying experience!


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