Saturday, August 19, 2006

Music Keeps the Motor Running

The night was still young, and Descant Gott just finished playing as the sixth band of the Red Horse Muziklaban 2006 Eliminations round at Live Van in Marikina. The bar was quite huge, with a second floor reserved for the performing bands that night. We headed to that place after our set, and we got to see a nice overlooking view from the balcony, where the audience laced with black attire stared unto the stage, with Kevin Roy of Razorback leading the festivities.

I haven’t performed with the band for almost a month now because my work schedule would not allow it, and we held our practice a week prior to the actual event, but somehow, with all the people watching and the prize at stake, I wasn’t really nervous. However, throughout the duration of our set, I did fuck up a lot of notes, particularly my guitar lead from our first song, and I accidentally stepped on my distortion pedal on our cover of Sepultura’s song “Arise,” which made a sputtering clean tone from the amp. It’s a good thing I was able to react quickly as I stepped on the pedal again to turn on the distortion and get our shit back to normal.

My face was also sweating like a leaking faucet as it constantly washed my forehead and nose, and I was even able to taste my sweat as it ran through my mouth. Drops on the floor were visible from were I stood, and it was quite embarrassing for me to be seen by people sweat like a fucking waterfall. However, unlike your usual salty sweat after Gym class, my sweat tasted like water. This actually has happened before, whenever I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the band.

I actually miss playing with the band after my month-long hiatus. Playing our songs and hearing it from a live setting made me feel free and refreshed like breathing air from outside a packed moshpit. Even the mistakes I’ve committed with our songs didn’t matter because I was drugged by this music, making me feel insignificant over this massive sound lording me. Even the people who attended with the other competing bands showed their approval by flashing the devil’s horn and banging their heads as well. It is simply one of those things that you wouldn’t trade anything for, when people get floored by the music that everybody in the band crafted and created.

Even before this set, I was not intent in winning something like Red Horse Muziklaban or an musical accolade for that matter. I was contented in just playing in front of an audience, who would hopefully appreciate the shit we’ve been churning out for more than a year, sell the demos that we burned ourselves, and give them some reason that would make them live their lives to the fullest or something.

As it turns out, the band itself laid out plans for the five of us, plans that are far greater than I imagined before. No matter how we see it, the opportunity for the band to be bigger and better than it used to be was just around the corner, and it is up to us whether we should seize it or not.

By the time our name was announced as the first-placed band to advance to the semifinals that night, it was simply crazy! Some of the band members went wild as the spotlight slowly turned to us at the second floor. Others screamed and offered their well-wishes, while the crowd cheered in approval of our win.

But I, I raised both my fists and extending my arms over my head, sticking this moment in the air, where the sound enveloping my senses suddenly turned silent as I stood at the balcony, basking in this strange comfort. It was like I was expecting this win, and didn’t at the same time. But maybe I just needed an affirmation, a sign to tell me that our collective efforts with this band were not in vain at all. Well, this is that moment.

Then after realizing this a while back, I want to win this shindig, not because I want to get the grand prize of Php800K, but more importantly, after all the good times and the awful shit I’ve been through with this band, I want to give something back to the people who’ve made this possible for me. You know who you are (damned if you don’t). This one’s for ya, punks!


As of this writing, the band has advanced to the Final Round of the Red Horse Muziklaban 2006. My neck hurts like hell, but it’s all worth it…Congratulations, Descant Gott!


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