Teeth reunion: grunge, nostalgia, and drunken days
For the past weeks, I’ve been looping some tunes from Teeth’s catalogue through various video and music streaming sites just to get through my musings of seeing them live. “Nope, I’m not going to miss this reunion concert,” were my exact thoughts as D-Day approached for the much-anticipated reunion concert of the legendary and perhaps, one of the most celebrated Pinoy grunge acts. To be honest, I’ve never had the chance to see Teeth live in action back when they were active. I only witnessed them thanks to old VHS-ripped videos uploaded on Youtube and clips from the legendary Rock Awards being showcased on UnTV during its “non-evangelical-all-rock-and-roll” run. This was going to be the first time I was going to see them perform their greatest hits in the flesh. Just like how their song goes, “minsan lang mangyayari sa atin ito,” there was no way I was going to let this pass. The day before the concert, the rock gods answered my prayers as I was able to score a ticket to one of the most memorable local shows this year.
A binge-drinking teenage tree all over again
By the time my group and I arrived at The Metrotent, a legion of Teeth fanatics were already swarming through the main entrance. I readied myself as I approached the entrance gate. With every step closer to the foyer, a strong nostalgic thought written in a hypothetical banner that read “LA105/NU107 circa 1994” kept flashing in my mind. The moment I stepped inside the venue, I was welcomed with a foggy scenery depicting a cut and paste snippet from the movie, Dazed And Confused. As if this whole shindig was a big Music Bureau and Empire Records fans’ soirée/high school homecoming. My imagination aside, I felt like I was being brought to my younger self when I headbanged to Teeth songs, but it wouldn’t happen just yet.
Side A – a nineties milieu
I wasn’t able to catch the first two acts, Kamikazee and Chicosci. Spinning duo, The Diegos was on its last few songs, busting out an all nineties playlist that included The Breeders, Pantera, Blur, and the likes. The pair slapped a big exclamation point to their set with a psyche-disco remix of The Wuds’ “Inosente Lang Ang Nagtataka.”
Then the stage lights dimmed.
A video changeover from the show WASAK beamed through the widescreen, featuring 3 of the 5 Teeth members being casually interviewed by Lourd De Veyra and Jun Sabayton. The montage ended with a scene where Jun loads an old cassette tape of Teeth’s first album, signalling the start of the show. A deafening noise builds up as the sea of ecstatic spectators affirms to the screeching feedback noise delivered by guitar phenom, Jerome Velasco, accompanied by Doc Sergio’s ambient synths. Suddenly, Pedz Narvaja’s bass came through, followed by Mike Dizon’s gut-wrenching drum beats. The melody builds up to a slow, thick intro of Tool’s Sober. The band’s first set – aptly named as SIDE A in reference to the glory days of cassette tapes – commenced seamlessly, transitioning to their first song, “Tugtugan Na.” Glenn Jacinto emerges in top shape, sporting a joker grin, greeting the crowd with the usual “anong balita? Okay lang ba kayo diyan?” with downright energy. Teeth’s Side A consists of early hits such as Galit Sa Mundo, Chicharon, Time Machine, Me, Epekto and Unleaded.
Side B – riding the time machine
Another WASAK montage served as an intro to the show’s Side B. This time, the band showcased its repertoire of hard, raunchy tracks, starting with “BMX,” “Dogs Can Fly,” “Gubat,” “Puwing” and “Phone Rings.” The band also proved to be in-touch with sentimental side as they play hits like “Darating,” “Tampo,” “Sorry” and the ultimate nineties rock ode, “Prinsesa.” Then, there was the no-brainer “Tsst… Tsst… TSST-TSST-TSST TUGPAK” hi-hat queue to the band’s notable and arguably the most popular booze-inspired anthem, “Laklak.” Of course, it had to be Laklak. After all, what a better climax can we get than to headbang, jump and body slam to this aggressive, alcohol-infused, full of angst exploit soundtrack of the Pinoy Gen X, right?
The highlighting moment occurred when someone from the mosh (I think it was Jun Sabayton) stage dived and crowd surfed in absolute rock and roll style, intensifying the already cool, flawless spectacle even more. Afterwards, a sudden delay came off when Mike Dizon’s drum kit experienced technical difficulties.
We are lucky to have seen you tonight
The night ended with an intimate encore of the band playing an engaging, yet wistful version of their 2001 hit single, “Shooting Star.” The band lined up center stage right after the song ended and took their last bow to their utmost gratitude and heartfelt thanks. It was well reciprocated, with the satisfied audience roaring and applauding. To sum everything up, Teeth’s reunion concert served as a night of looking back at the better days of Pinoy alternative scene: they recaptured those moments and put it in one awesome show for the fans to see. Most of all, it was the perfect night for this band to pick up where they left off. Perhaps, the best way to look at it is that this seasoned band gave justice to the term “reunion concert” with no side drama whatsoever. The five of them may have aged and their fans might have grown into adults, but their music still sounds as immaculate as the day Laklak went full circle 20 years ago. If I had to describe it in another way, Throwback Thursday has never been this grungy and loud.
As for the fans, this memorable night in Pasig will forever leave a bitemark to their music conscience.
Galit Sa Mundo
Take A Ride
Dogs Can Fly
Special thanks to Soupstar Entertainment *All photos were used with the kind permission of the said owners
*Teeth: The Reunion Concert was held at The Metrotent – Metrowalk, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Video clip from Pinoytuner’s youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBOw_Bjxf74#t=114
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