I’ll start with Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad concert, #Mandiriwa2017 this time around. Had some hiatus from writing for some reason. I think it’s practically normal for people like me who feels tired at work and has no aptitude to write and generate new content. Now, I’m trying again.
I should be proud to show up and share with you this engaging concert by a music hero whose music saved his life. Joey Ayala with his band Ang Bagong Lumad just performed at the Music Museum for the first time in 25 years. “Mandiriwa: Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad (The Concert)” is presented by Vandals Entertainment and Gabi Na Naman Productions.
Popularly known for his environmental ethnic folk genre, the legendary singer-songwriter proves his music is still relevant, insightful and ceaseless in giving us hope while encompassing many different styles.
His faithful admirers jam-packed the venue to listen a concert with distinct Filipino sound and to watch the interaction of instruments ranging from traditional kulintang ensemble (a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums) to hegalong (a two-stringed lute also known as kudyapi) merged with modern instrumentation of drums, bass and guitar. It’s a fusion of contemporary and indigenous musical orchestration.
Joey Ayala’s perceptive and humorous socio-political commentary is also impressive, youthful and relatable. He is the Mandiriwa, a warrior of truth through the power of his diverse thoughts and artistic words.
He even provided helpful background information about his songs. And as an audience, even without knowing anything about its history, one would still have had a wonderful time enjoying such brilliantly played music. Alternating between two instruments with his four-man band; improvising new song arrangements and whipping up surprises of delicious music.
In every beer bottle cheers from him on stage, I find it amusing how he intimately interacts with his audience. The concert’s simple visuals and the play of lights are both feast to the eyes.
One song to another seems to melt seamlessly into the next. The remarkable hegalong playing might follow a duet or collaboration with respected local music acts like Gloc-9, Bayang Barrios, Dong Abay, Bullet Dumas, and Juan Miguel Severo. The experience was innately breathtaking.
Joey Ayala’s career-defining classics like “Karaniwang Tao,” “Walang Hanggang Paalam” and “Tabi Po,” are my top favorites.
#Mandiriwa2017 presents a hot jam of Joey Ayala’s signature style—from folk, hip-hop, to rock, and spoken word art: “Ania Na” and “Walang Hanggang Paalam” with Bayang Barrios, “Machine Answering” with Bullet Dumas, “Balita” with Gloc-9, “Magkabilaan” with Dong Abay and “Ikaw na May Baril” with Juan Miguel Severo.
Mandiriwa Set List
1. Pagdiriwang – Overture
2. Magandang Gabi
3. Karaniwang Tao
5. Machine Answering – with Bullet Dumas
7. Simpleng Yaman
8. Tuba or Not Tuba
9. Balita – with Gloc-9
10. Ania Na – with Bayang Barrios
17. Ikaw Na May Baril – with Juan Miguel Severo
18. Magkabilaan – with Dong Abay
19. Banal Na Aso – with Dong Abay
20. Wala Ng Tao sa Sta. Filomena
21. Walang Hanggang Paalam
22. Dumaan Ako
23. Tabi Po
24. Basta May Saging
25. Barangay Combo
The founding member, songwriter and lead vocalist of Yano band, Dong Abay, performs “Banal Na Aso” at its heart but also with elements of Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad that instantly get the audience clapping in rhythm. There’s also Gloc-9 rapping for the songs of Joey Ayala, that’s a bit of a surprise as it evolve into a more colorful and passionate production piece.
Joey Ayala is dressed in a neo-ethnic trademark, just like his songs. For me, the Mandiriwa will always be relevant. The uniquely Filipino elements of his work and his songs’ purpose are significant enabling meaningful interaction to reach the modernizing culture.
This iconic legend has given us full of goosebump moments as he keeps the crowd mesmerized through absolutely breathtaking performances. He promises to continue to create music movement, to preserve the most vital music of his lengthy career and to transcend indigenous elements to perfectly compliment the music of today’s younger generations.
In Photos: Mandiriwa: Joey Ayala at Ang Bagong Lumad (The Concert)
As I started another blank page, courage is what I have in mind. I am thankful for this concert that serves as an inspiration and that I’m able to compose again. I am motivated with its distinct essence and sensibility. I am back on my blogger’s journey. I took a deep breath and think about the things I love about music photography and music blogging. It’s time to embrace and continue blogging again.