Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Hello dear readers, It’s June and half of the year is almost gone. But we still have rain at times and it’s good for the grass and all the plants in our garden.  Although lately, it’s been getting to more sunny now, I’m sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors. June is a very important month for [...]

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The Dawn’s Ascendant

The Dawn’s Ascendant thumbnail

By Erwin Maramat

Sentences such as the following should be at the end of the article, but it’s just way too good to be a conclusion so here it is; the Dawn gave everyone a stellar performance.

As a band, they have so much to boast for the innumerable milestones they have accomplished over the extent of time they have been around. They are considered as a juggernaut of the Filipino music industry transcending genres and audience preferences. They have inspired countless musicians and have been an element of change in the local music scene since their inception. The Dawn also had its share of personnel transition over the years as they have seen some members come and go, one in particular was Teddy Diaz a guitar virtuoso and co-founding member of the band whom they and we have lost many years ago; however, the current line up is as solid as ever, Jett Pangan who is heralded as one of the best frontman in the Philippines along with mainstay drummer JB Leonor, regarded as one of top guitarists and core member of the band Francis ‘Brew” Reyes is also in the mix, Rommel ‘Sancho’ Sanchez who is equally adept in playing the guitar as he is as a producer and of course Wolfgang’s former bass master Mon Legaspi adds raw power to the band’s music. Albums later they are back with no signs of slowing down.

Earlier, I found out they were going on a Canada tour in support of their latest album ‘Ascendant.’ I was more than ecstatic to go see them live so I immediately got in touch with my editor-in-chief in hopes that she may grant me an audience. A day before the concert which is to take place at Thorncliffe Greenview Community Centre in the Northwest quadrant of Calgary, I was invited to join DJ Obi and DJ Connie on Pinoy Times on Air 94.7 FM where I met the group in person. Every one of them were very accommodating and unlike some Filipino rock icons I have managed to have interview the Dawn is a class act. For a span of more than three decades, this prolific band has been mesmerizing generations of audience, so when I asked how they remained relevant, Jett Pangan, their charismatic frontman implied that it was the love for the music. I likewise inquired on how their new album was different almost in unison they stated that they crafted the album freely without considering commercial success. Sancho and Kiko also told Pinoy Times of their collective input to come up with the album. I would love to elaborate on the details of that interview, unfortunately due to overwhelming bliss, I actually forgot to turn my recorder on. Tragic really.

After the local talents, the Dawn took the stage by storm playing ‘Segurista’ to open their unforgettable set. People were drawn to the stage, unsure of what was happening, they can’t believe the infectious groove leaking out the speakers.

Up next was ‘Love (Will Set Us Free)’ from their sophomore album ‘Stand with You.’

Nostalgia was in an all time high as the band played one of its catchy number ‘Talaga Naman’ from their sixth album Puno’t Dulo. The enthralled crowd found themselves singing along as Jett belted out the words to the chorus, “Kay dami ng nangyari., Kay dami ng naganap, ikaw pa rin ang aking hinahanap-hanap, talaga naman. Kay tagal ko ng inaasam ang ating pagkikita, talaga naman.”

Hardy was delighted as the band played ‘Made of You’ from their new album ‘Ascendant.’ If you don’t have the album yet. It’s available on Spotify and trust me this album is packed with so much energy, it’ll instantly jump on your favorite list.

Acknowledging one of the OPM greats, the Dawn blazes the stage with Juan Dela Cruz Band’s ‘Beep, Beep.’ The song’s punch was driven further as the band injected their technical skills giving the original work a new feel.

The minute this song enters your eyes ear canal, you’ll be instantly hooked. Merry-Go-Round was next to be played on the list which easily showcases the band’s far extending sound. “Riding the merry-go-round in your head,” it just sticks there on and on.

The band kicks into overdrive as they play “Salimpusa.’ This edgy song demonstrates how true to the Filipino rock roots is the band and how after all these years, they can still certainly rock.

For me at least, ‘Totoo’ totally caught my attention. This one instantly became my favorites. The lyrics seems to drift on the surface of the enigmatic backdrop coming from the guitars which leads into one powerful crescendo to cap it off.

“Tulad ng dati’ was next on the list. The Dawn certainly nailed this one hard as they had the audience all fired up. It was safe to say that a lot of the concert goers I know were eager to hear this masterpiece live and the guys didn’t disappoint.

More sentimental memories flood in as the group does a cover of the Alarm’s ‘Absolute Reality.’ With this song, the group goes back to basic once more, touching their roots and turning a power chord driven song to sheer thing of beauty.

Of course, one of the major highlights of this affair is the anthemic ‘Iisang Banka Tayo.’ Not only is the song catchy, but it will be forever linked to the Filipino’s favorite beer as it was the brand’s official jingle to capture the sensibilities of a whole nation. The wailing guitar duo of Brew and Sancho added intense emotion to the moment.

Then there was the immortal ‘Enveloped Ideas.’ Who could forget the operatic intro which sets to usher in a hall-of-fame riff that will eternally stick in a fan’s mind. Everybody who was still not standing was brought to their feet and reminiscent of the 90’s, many started jumping up and down.

This is it, the finale. Jett thanks everyone and they proceeded to play one of the most recognized and sang song anywhere in the Philippines. From an intimate barangay drinking spree to a lively session of karaoke, It’s utterly incomplete with ‘Salamat.’ Who won’t? It captures the heart of anyone who ever belonged to a barkada. This truthfully is one of the best shows I have ever gone to in recent memories and chances are it will stay that way for a while.

I cannot wait for these guys to return. These guys simply are a true definition of premium Filipino music.


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