Back To Barracks – State of Mind Productions – September 16, 2017

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I don’t know what excited me more, the prospect of having my band on TV or the chance to play on the same bill as 2 of my favorite Davao bands. At this point, you’re probably thinking, is there any band I don’t like at all in Davao City?
Hmmm, good question, I can’t think of any. I like the musical diversity this place offers. It reminds me of the music scene in Tacloban City. There, anything goes. If you’ve put in enough practice time and confident enough, you get to go up onstage and earn the admiration or displeasure of the people watching you.
So, you better not mess up.
This is probably what shaped me into the musician I am today.
False modesty aside, I am not the best guitarist in town. Neither am I the best singer. As a frontman, I still lack a few necessary qualities to make me truly stand out. Knowing all of these flaws, I continue to work on those areas for improvement and put my trust in my bandmates that they’ll cover my weak spots when needed.
I know that our performance at State of Mind’s Back toBarracks last Saturday (September 16, 2017) will uncover a few of my, let’s say, weaknesses. Eh, it’s a live performance, mistakes are bound to happen. The important thing is you had fun.
And man, I had a blast!
With that being said, here are my thoughts on what happened last Saturday.
We shared the bill with Die Glocke, Side Of The Moon,Taliban and State of Mind.  Excellent!
This opportunity came about after Sir Young and I discussed the prospect of us performing for them on the said date. I was introduced to him by Amana’s vocalist Dat-Dat after a performance at Zero82Lokal (another great place to play in)
I of course, said yes.
And the waiting period of more than a week for the official news to break if we’d be included in the lineup was a torment.
So when Saturday came rolling in, I told my band to be in the venue at 7:00 sharp. I hate being late. It’s very unprofessional. If you wanna be a professional musician, you better get your act together and act professionally.
7 sharp and the sky was threatening to open up and rain on our parade and I was the only one there. The rest of my band was in Ilustre. Eh, stupid miscommunication.
I didn’t know at that point so I just asked if I could do a sound check while waiting. State of Mind’s guitarist/ blues maestro was also doing his soundcheck at that time and I probably messed up his soundcheck because of my eagerness to see how the Line6 Amplifi amp sounded.
We traded a few licks. Well, I tried my best to show him I knew a few but I eventually ended up asking him for a few lessons.
Not a bad deal. A soundcheck and a quick guitar lesson from a pro heheheh.
I had to leave to pick my band up from Ilustre which really ticked me off because I hate leaving a venue once I’m already there. It makes promoters nervous. It makes organizers nervous. And it really takes a lot of my energy to go from one place to another instead of just lounging around backstage and relaxing.
Still had to do it though.
We came back right in time for the rain to start.
Soon, the other bands arrived. The first one on site was Taliban (although I didn’t know at that time that they were already there), then followed Side Of The Moon and finally Die Glocke.
Time to get the show on the road!
I exchanged a few pleasantries with the other bands. Hehehe I guess I turn into a fanboy when great bands are around. I asked Side Of TheMoon’s vocalist if they were playing Tool songs and he said yes. That got me excited, I was secretly hoping they’d play Soundgarden songs again but hey, Tool songs are just as great as Chris Cornell’s ditties.
 Like a social butterfly, I flitted over to Die GLocke’s side and asked them what they’d be playing and they said compositions. Great! I get to hear DimeBag inspired riffs again.
This was beginning to look like a really good night.
And man, I wasn’t disappointed.
State of Mind’s set up was perfect. The amps were setup to provide enough sound to fill the small space the bands were going to play in without making us all go deaf. There was a Marshall Solidstate amp assigned for the main guitars and the Line6 Amplifi for the second guitarist. Studio quality mics were also in place, I didn’t get a good look, could’ve been Shure SMs. I failed to take note of the drums too but it was nicely set up for a small room. A small kit just big enough to provide the right sound. I wanted to try the bass amp too but I didn’t have my bass with me so, I didn’t focus on that as well.
A small mixer was in the corner of the room and a widescope Zoom recorder was strategically located to capture the room sound for the performers right in front.
State of Mind also brought out the cool toys and provided lights to make the performances of the bands more exciting.
Perhaps the only thing that kinda looked out of place where all the cameras setup to capture live footage of the bands as they played. That worried me a bit because I hate standing around onstage while playing. I was afraid I might knock them over unintentionally. I placed a mental note to remember where each camera was and make sure I have a few feet of free space to move around in. Cumbersome, but a necessary evil to help Davao’s music scene grow. I would’ve placed the cameras in safer places though to avoid accidents from happening.
What worried me a bit was how the sound would bounce seeing as there were 2 open doors to the side and stairs located at the back as well as a small hallway leading to the comfort room. We were plugged into the mixer though but I was just wondering what the room sound would be like on the raw audio.
Enough with the technical stuff…
Side Of The Moon went on first.
I think I remember messaging one of the members, asking to join their band in the past. Seeing them again live and in that setting gave me the answer: They don’t need a 4th member. These 3 can manage everything on their own.
Most 3 piece bands I’ve seen usually have something lacking in their sound.  Not this band.
They blew everyone away with their powerful performance and set the bar really high for the others who were going to follow them.
I love Tool and their renditions captured the dynamics of the songs perfectly. At one point they can come off as sensitive, on another they can provide the intensity needed to fuel the rage Maynard James Keenan’s band is known for. The hypnotic bass lines provided by Jonars lull you into a trance.
Junax, the main man delivered a great performance as usual. His powerful voice rising above the din coming out of their individual musical instruments. A look at his very basic setup, a guitar straight into a Zoom G2nu made me miss my G2.1nu. Maybe someday I’ll get one again for logistical reasons. I was trying to determine if he split his guitar sound over two amps to get a fuller sound but upon closer inspection I saw he was basically just using the Marshall amp.
So, I guess, State of Mind’s sound engineer did a really good job to create a full sound for the band much to everyone’s enjoyment.
To end their set, Side Of The Moon played Sepultura and showcased their drummer BJ’s powerful driving force.
We went up next and had a fun time trying to match the power and intensity of Side Of The Moon. We played Sa Ilalim ng Buwan, Kung DI RIn Lang, Fuel Drive, One Moment Please and Waraynon Ako.
After that, we had to go get our pictures taken and straight up for our interview. Amay missed it because he had another gig to go to. His other band, Kargador Jr., was slated to play at Pete’s Point that night. Side Of The Moon was also going to play there and I bet they played even more Tool songs there. And I missed it… dang.
The interview went well with Mac, DUroy and I answering very basic questions about the band. I would’ve wanted more energy during the interview but we were tired after giving our all during our performance. I could also hear Die GLocke’s performance while the interviewer asked us her questions. I really wanted it to end quickly so I could head back down and catch Die Glocke’s performance.
After a few false starts we were able to get through the interview. We thanked them for the questions, shook hands and took a few pictures then headed back down. Sadly, Die GLocke was done by that time.
State of Mind went onstage after them and I happily sung along to their Police covers. Sending out an S.O.S.! Sending out an S.O.S.! To the world! They sounded amazing. All guitars balanced sonically providing a great soundscape to get lost in. I’d like to see more of them. Hmmmm… maybe next week.
Last but not the least, Taliban!
I was waiting for this band because I wanted to find out who they were and what they sounded like. At this time I was hanging out with Altason Quatro (the guy who provided my power supply unit, check it out, it’sreally good! Locally made in Davao and most bands already use his products), Kiel Enciso and the rest of the Conclave Music Prod crew and we were treated to some Juan de la Cruz songs.
The kid playing the Yamaha AES6 looked too young to be playing these songs, coming from a different generation and all that but he played like a pro! Perhaps even better than most guitarists older than him by 5 years.
I wonder what he’ll be like a year from now…. I wonder what he’ll be like 5 years from now… that kid’s gonna be a monster on guitar if he keeps it up.
Taliban is a fun band. They were obviously having a lot of fun. The crowd was having a lot of fun.
It was a perfect way to end the night.
All bands came on time.
No egos.
No bull.
Everyone played their best and I’m sure the crowd was treated to a great night.
I hope they’ll feature more local bands in the near future.
Thank you State of Mind Productions and more power!
(Yeah, I’m kissing your ass right there.)
(gah!!! I overshot my thousand word limit again!)
Thanks for reading!

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