Hardcore fans of Pinoy rock icon The Dawn came in droves to witness the band relive the songs that catapulted them as a legend in the Philippine music scene in their “Landmarks” concert held at the Music Museum on August 8.
Anticipation and excitement were in the air as the fans waited for the show to start and the band members to come out on stage. And when the first few notes were heard and the spotlight was on Jett Pangan (vocals), Buddy Zabala (bass), JB Leonor (drums), and Sancho (guitars) with Leni Llapitan of Identity Crisis (keyboards), the crowd knew that they were in for a nostalgic ride back in the ‘80s.
The audience was never disappointed from the moment The Dawn opened the night by singing “Alam Ko, Alam Niyo,” from their 4th album “Heart’s Thunder” released in 1990. Listening to the first few lines of the song, everyone knew what the concert was all about – that more than a trip down memory lane is the resounding fact that the band, its music, and the fans are still together in this great musical journey almost three decades after.
“Halika’t ating balikan noong tayo’y bata muli,
magkasamang naglalaro, walang alinlangan,
halika’t ating balikan noong tayo’y tumatakbo
at sa haba ng pinagdaanan tayo’y magkaakbay.
Hindi mapantayan ang ating samahan
O kaibigan ko, walang magbabago.
Alam ko, alam niyo habambuhay kayong ‘di mag-iisa
Alam niyo na ako’y lagi niyong kasama.”
After the opening number, the band played “Love Will Set Us Free” and “Change is Breaking Us Apart” which was followed by “Tulad ng Dati,” that had fans screaming in delight. “Tulad ng Dati” was made into a film in 2006 directed by Mike Sandejas based from the band’s story.
The band also gave an intimate rendition via an acoustic set singing “Give Me the Night,” “Hey Isabel,” and “Beyond the Bend.” It was a display of vocal power for Pangan who now dabbles in theater while Zabala and Sancho played using acoustic guitars.
The whole Music Museum was also treated to a handful of great songs such as “Babaeng Mahiwaga,” “Saw You Coming In,” “Harapin,” “Runaway,” “Little Paradise,” and “Dreams.”
The band also introduced their newest single “Habulan” from their soon-to-be released album which was penned by Pangan himself along with Peryodiko’s Vin Dancel.
And then one by one, the band started playing the all-time favorite songs that had the crowd clapping their hands in the air, raising their fists, even banging their heads and singing along to songs like, “Salimpusa,” “Talaga Naman,” “Hatak,” “Magtanim ay ‘Di Biro,” at “Iisang Bangka Tayo.”
The crowd was up to its feet and at its noisiest when the band played their signature songs “Salamat,” and “Enveloped Ideas,” their first single in their eponymous debut album written by one of its original members Teddy Diaz who died in 1988.
“Enveloped Ideas” started it all for the band when they entered the music scene in the mid-‘80s; it’s an enigmatic song that encapsulated a certain kind of freedom which was suppressed during the Martial Law years.
As the band bowed down which signaled the end of the concert, the fans stood there in awe asking for more. They obliged by singing “Aboy Kamay” and “I Stand With You” and their renditions of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside.”
They’d say that when you talk about the music scene in the ‘70s, the Juan dela Cruz band will always be the first in mind, there’s the Eraserheads in the ‘90s and then The Dawn has the ‘80s all to themselves.
The most important thing is that despite the changing times and the numerous young bands that entered the scene, The Dawn will always remain as one of the best bands that the local music industry has ever produced.
And their classic music will forever haunt the hearts of their avid listeners.