Words and photos by Meg Abuan

On October 21, for the first time in OPM history, Rockford Productions brought together the biggest and most iconic names in Pinoy rock music for a once-in-a-life-time concert at Cuneta Astrodome, Pasay. This was Full Blast: Pinoy Superbands.

The audience, mostly from the 70s and 80s, were exhilarated to experience this phenomenal show, having been waiting for this reunion to happen. It’s been a while since all these names have come together for a solid rock out concert.

Opening acts such as indie pop band SG Band started the night, followed by Hilera, who made everyone’s energy more hyped. Alternative pop band Banda ni Kleggy came in next, succeeded by hard reggae band Chongkeys, making everyone dance and join their groove.

The first set of the show started with Juan dela Cruz band with original members Mike Hanapol, Wally Gonzales, and Pepe Smith, who sang “No Touch”, “Beep Beep” and many more. The band showed that they are truly an icon of OPM Rock, especially as lead guitarist Pepe Smith rocked out that night, giving the audience throwback feelings for their songs have been part of everyone’s lives. Their set ended with the song “Rock and Roll sa Mundo” featuring Razorback vocalist Kevin Roy, leading to their amazing set which showcased Tirso Ripoll’s authentic guitar style.

The Wuds performed “At Nakalimutan Ang Diyos” to which everybody sang along. The first set ended with nu metal band Queso. Cuneta Astrodome was full of rock fans so it wasn’t a surprise that the audience were collectively unleashing their inner rockers by this time. Their energy did not subside even after a long set of pure rock and roll and they were all thrilled for the next set.

After a 15-minute break, Lolita Carbon, former vocalist of Asin, started the second set with her new band members. She began with the heartwarming song “Kapaligiran”. She also sang “Himig ng Pag-ibig” and more as she danced to her performances. Lolita Carbon is still considered to be one of OPM’s goddesses. Shortly after was Maria Cafra’s set which was on fire, literally, as vocalist Rusty Fabunan, entertained the audience well by setting his guitar ablaze as he began to breathe fire onstage.

Soon after, The Youth, who sang “Dance with Me”, kept the audience’s heads banging through the night. Basti Artardi, former vocalist of Wolfgang, came up next and was the rock legend he has always been. And even after a facial tumor operation, he still gave the audience a performance for the ages: a true rock star, indeed.

The night ended with Dong Abay, who is known for performing barefoot on stage and dancing as though he is one with his music. It wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t take off his shirt to showcase his amazing tree tattoo while singing “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo” and “Tsinelas”. He also sang songs from his new album Humanidad.

Full Blast Pinoy Superbands certainly is a success, not just because it brought these OPM geniuses on one stage, but it also brought generations together. This was not just a concert, but also a reunion of family and friends and a celebration of how Pinoy rock music was and is still is breathtaking. The songs of these amazing musicians will continue to live on in the hearts of the Filipinos. Their music has always been a part of everyone and we are all excited for the next rock concert to happen. We are never too old nor too young to still rock on. So, as Juan de la Cruz said in one of their songs: “Rock and roll to the World!”

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