by Marj Casal
PASAY CITY – I was a 24-year-old in a crowd of 50 to 70-ish cliques. Clearly, that night, I was the uncool girl in the sea of Mary Knollers and Kulasas giggling as they enter the Plenary Hall inside PICC to witness the legendary Pinoy band, Hotdog, perform on stage again.
The seats inside the hall were quickly filled as the booming and quirky voiceover announced: “Mahilig ka ba sa hotdog? ‘Yung may cheese o onions? (To which a lady from the crowd responded with “onions!”) The show is about to start in 10 minutes.”
Probably to appease the sons and daughters brought along by their parents, the show was opened by one of today’s most sought after bands, Up Dharma Down (UDD) who shared being good friends with Paolo Garcia (aka PG or Pasta Groove), son of Rene Garcia, one of Hotdog's founders. “Kinakabahan kami, syempre Hotdog ‘yan,” Armi Millare said as bassist Paul Yap was fine tuning his guitar which he said kept going out of tune “baka dahil sa aircon” but which they would later on reveal that it must be because they were opening the show for THE Hotdog and were playing in front of all their parents who were present that night.
PHOTO: Up Dharma Down opens Hotdog's 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
After playing a few of their new songs and the UDD favorites “Tadhana” and “Oo”, the voiceover teased the audience with a burning question, “Ready na ba kayo sa Hotdog?!” to which the crowd of moms, dads, titos and titas loudly responded with “Hotdog na!!!”
The band wasn’t quite ready to cut the suspense just yet as the lights dimmed and a video about the Hotdog’s history and an introduction of their new members was first played in the three huge screens. While clips of Hotdog’s past performances were being shown, the audience couldn’t help but clap and gush with excitement. And as the video faded out with the classic song “Annie Batungbakal”, the song fades in, but this time, sang by the Hotdog members themselves live and on stage. The crowd couldn’t help but squeal with delight as nostalgia wafted through the speakers surrounding the hall.
After an astounding performance of “Annie Batungbakal”, Rene formally welcomed the fans who flocked to PICC to celebrate Hotdog’s 40th anniversary, “After 40 years, meron na ‘kong rayuma, gout, at saka masama na ang likod. Pero we love you. We love to perform for you.”
The band went on to bring the crowd down to memory lane with their greatest hits including “Pers Lab”, “Bitin sa Iyo”, “Bandang Pinoy”, “Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko”, “O Lumapit Ka” and “Panaginip”.
In between the classic songs and theatrics (Beautiful ladies in long gowns cat walking to the tune of “Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko” and kiss cams that tried to ask couples to indulge the audience with a smooch during the rendition of “O Lumapit Ka”) Hotdog also performed a couple of covers and new songs entitled “Panaginip” and “Kamatis”.
Flaunting his mad skills in plucking strings through the years, Rene did a guitar solo to transition to some of Pinoy bands’ hit disco songs, “Beep beep” by The Juan dela Cruz Band, “Bonggahan” by Sampaguita, and “Sumayaw Sumunod” by Boyfriends.
PHOTO: The crowd couldn't help but dance to Hotdog's hit disco songs!
And of course, no Hotdog concert is complete without “Manila” and “Bongga Ka Day” which sent everyone rising from their seats, and grabbing their partners to dance the night away at which point we also found ourselves putting our bags away, standing up, and joining the party.
Indeed, Hotdog is a legendary Philippine icon that encompasses generations. Their music is not something that you would only hear blasting from the car stereos (or now, in mobile phones) of fifty to seventy somethings but anyone who wants to have a good time. Indeed, the only gap that night were the low walls separating the levels of seats inside the Plenary Hall in PICC.
Watch the crowd dance to "Bongga ka day":
Iconic band Hotdog today held their 40th anniversary reunion concert at PICC. Among the attendees were personalities including Senators Grace Poe and Bongbong Marcos, and Eat Bulaga host Joey de Leon.WATCH: People dance to Hotdog's classic "Bongga ka day!"Posted by adobo magazine on Thursday, December 3, 2015