July 02, 2019 – Ally Soriano
To a lot of people, Mayonnaise is the chill but hard-working older brother that you can always count on. For fellow artists and fans alike who have looked up to and followed the band over the years, seeing the band perform in their own concert after 17 years felt like watching your sibling walk the graduation stage after years of study. You can't help but be filled with unbridled joy and pride at what they've accomplished.
When people filed into the Music Museum on the night of June 29 for “Akalain Mo ‘Yun,” it felt like a gathering of friends and family at your college graduation. Even with a sold out venue filled with hundreds of people it felt intimate. The moment the band step foot on stage, the room erupted in applause. The band even fondly pointed out and bantered with members of the crowd they knew personally.
With this the concert kicked off in high spirits with “Bangin” off their most recent album “Gusto Ko Kasama Ka Palagi Pero Hindi Pwede.” The song’s jaunty melody set the tone for the rest of the night, a promise of an experience like any other with a stacked setlist of 23 songs and special guests The Manila String Machine, Agsunta, I Belong To The Zoo, Josh and Kai from Autotelic, and Sharlene San Pedro.
“There’s a lot of opportunities like tonight that only happen so often in a musician’s life. So the fact that we have with us the people that we play with in gigs at bars, schools, and fiestas is such a big thing. The fact that they set aside time to be a part of this special night,” Monty shared.
After Bangin, had lead vocalist Monty asking the audience what they wanted to do with life because they frankly just wanted to play music. And their album’s title track “Gusto Ko Lang Kasama Ka Palagi” had concertgoers wistfully wishing for a love that cannot be. Next up was something from their earlier days, “Eddie Song,” which is about the band’s old driver. Monty expressed how they’re astounded that songs about such nonsensical things could be so beloved by fans. But even so, he played on with “Kung Di Rin Ikaw.”
Song after song, the band rocked the house. The first mash-up of the night came with the entrance of Josh Villena and Kai Honasan from Autotelic as well as the Manila String Machine. Their performance of “Paraan” showed us another side to Mayonnaise’s regular style. The beautiful addition of the string quartet, Kai’s sweet vocals and Josh’s intense singing gave a multi-layered feeling to the classic. The way the audience sang along to the gentle beginning of the first few verses was enough to bring tears to your eyes.
“When we were rehearsing, as usual I was late and they were already playing this song. The first thing I said afterwards was ‘Is this my song? They did it so well.’ People who have gotten used to our bar gigs, the Mayonation, they’re used to us being rugged and simple. So I hope people savor this song [in this way],” Monty mused.
They followed up with another song from their 2014 album “Tayo Na Lang Dalawa,” the bright and bouncy “Porta.” Though many of the songs they perform have been out for years, each performance feels fresh and uplifting like with “Panaginip” came next.
“Sinungaling” had the seated crowd wishing they could stand up and jump to the music as Monty sang with all the rage of someone crossed one too many times. Spongecola’s “Huwag Kang Bibitiw Bigla” was also thrown into the fray which had the entire audience headbanging and singing along like it was the band's own song. This continued with “Kapag Lasing Malambing” which had some lines of B.o.B’s “Nothing on You” tossed in.
The tenth song had I Belong To The Zoo come in for “Patawad, Paalam.” His slow soulful singing turned down the dial and filled the room with sentimentality. “I want to thank Mayonnaise for showing me that I can be a rocker even while letting out your feelings…” Argee shared before playing what he called the theme song of his childhood, “Bakit Part 1” then afterwards his own song, “Sana.”
The next few tracks had the crowd in an emotional rollercoaster with the Manila String Machine joining in for “Synesthesia,” the thoroughly hard-hitting “Parang,” and the cheesily romantic “Dear Classmate.”
Things took a turn back to the sentimental as Mayonnaise invited their friends Agsunta on stage. As peaceful piano music filled the hall, Jireh Singson belted out a few lines of “Here In My Heart” before dueting “Sana Kung” with Monty in beautiful harmony.
The band revved things back up again with one of their longest running hits, “Ipagpatawad Mo” remixed with Shanti Dope's “Nadarang,” after which was “Kathryn.”
Finally they called on Sharlene San Pedro to sing with a rendition of “Silid” together, originally by Rugis. Sharlene's voice cut through and blended well with the band through the music. Her vocals were then given center stage in “Stars & Caramel Bars.”
The band played some of their best tracks in what felt like one of their best performances as the concert drew to a close. It was easy to see how in the element they were as they performed “Tayo Na Lang Dalawa,” Nirvana’s “All Apologies,” “Bakit Part 2,” and “Jopay.” They commanded the stage in its entirety and every single museum patron along with it.
At the end of the night, Mayonnaise did what they do best: Laying their hearts and talents out on stage to give us the best show possible. They delivered. There are no doubts about that. What has to be one of the most long anticipated concerts was one that left fans singing all the way home. It’s an experience that isn’t likely to go away soon. We can definitely say it was worth the wait.
Photos courtesy of One Music
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