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Ahhhh…. Gio’s Crib!

One of the best places to play in for a band in Davao City.
I still remember the first time I went to Gio’s Crib back in October

2016. 3 Fold Section was playing onstage and I was basically scouting for a place to play in with or without a band. I’d heard this was where all the rockstars went to hangout in.
So, I went there to check it out.
I liked the venue. Cozy enough for intimate interactions between the band onstage and the crowd.
So I asked the woman manning the bar how to play there and she pointed me to this rather intimidating looking guy with long hair and tattoos. Yep, this guy must be into metal. Ok, well, I’m into Iron Maiden and Megadeth so maybe that’ll count if I strike a conversation with him.
I quickly finished my beer and with extreme care not to be obnoxious or too brash, I approached Mr. Giovanni Gaite and asked him in the most straightforward manner I could muster “If I had a band, can I play here?”
He looked at me and said “Contact this guy. GC Productions.” He proceeded to give me a name and a number which I dutifully wrote down on a piece of paper.
Sigh…. Yes, I wrote it down.

I didn’t save it on my phone like you millenials. I’m an old Gen X-er. We write things down.  I can hardly figure my smartphone out anyway and in situations like that, the trusty old pen and paper works best.
We shook hands and he went back to what I know now as the sound engineer’s room and I continued watching 3 Fold Section play.
I eventually tracked down GC Productions on Facebook and got to know Givanne Canuday, the owner and operator. I told him my plans to play. He said contact him again once I get my band together.
A few weeks passed before we spoke again. This time, I had a band in tow. Basically AcidRadio version 2.0. We’d already played at Zero82 Lokal (Formerly Z Leaf Bar) a few times. So I thought, time to bring the band to a venue where we could see if we can basically hang with other legit rockers.
The first time we played at Gio’s Crib was kind of a quiet night. Not a lot of people were there but hey, whether there’s only one person there or a hundred, you play like you’re in an arena filled with thousands of people.
People came to see a show and you better deliver.
So yeah, we gave it our best that night despite it all.
After we wrapped up and went offstage I immediately went looking for Sir Giovanni and asked if we did ok by his standards. Luckily, he gave a thumbs up and said it was ok. Sheesh, a man of very few words. But I’ll take that compliment over nothing. I asked again if we’d be allowed to play in the near future and he nodded. So, yeah, we were basically in.
The next time we played was about 2 weeks later and we debuted a few cover songs since that seemed to be the trend there. Mix it up with covers and compositions so there’s a fine balance of songs the crowd can appreciate. I guess we did better than the first time we played since we now had lights while we played. So, yeah.
And as a kicker, we were invited back for the Year Ender Epic Night event they were holding. With heavy hitters on the same bill, of course I said yes! Tamad Si Juan, Three Fold Section, Toad River, Induce, Project Satellite… those are just a few of the names on that poster. Oh it was epic all right!
But we were still basically outsiders in this brotherhood they’ve fostered within the walls of Gio’s Crib. S’ok, at least we get to play. There’ll be more chances in the near future. Or so I thought….
It took a long time for me and my band to play at Gio’s Crib again thanks to some internal conflicts….
Finally on September 9 we got our chance to play again. We arrived on time as we were slated to go on at 9PM. I went to the backstage area (well a little off to the side of the stage, but let’s just call it the backstage) and told Sir Giovanni we were here and ready to go at 9PM.
I was disappointed that there was no one onstage yet when we got there. Dro Escandor asked me if we’d be willing to play first, I said no problem. We had 15 minutes to burn so my band mates hurriedly ate while I went onstage to prepare our stuff.
I double as the band’s roadie… sheesh.
At exactly 9PM we were onstage. While my bandmates were busy setting their individual instruments up, I was out front singing along to Pearl Jam’s “Black” and that was the start of a very fun night with HH and Wrong Children. More about that on a separate post.

It wasn’t the fact that it seemed like a triumphant return to the stage for my band at this point that made me happy. What made that night really great was that I got the chance to hang with the close knit group of Gio’s Crib’s inner circle. I just thought “Well, it’s now or never” and dove in, joining in the conversation and basically having fun backstage while the other bands were playing.
And I wasn’t shunned or anything. They probably just got used to me being there and all.
So am I in the club? Nah, I don’t think so. That’s an impenetrable family that you’d need to hang with for a couple of years before being accepted. S’ok, I’m not planning to leave Davao anytime soon.
So, what’s my point here?
Well, for starters, Gio’s Crib is an excellent place where you can showcase your talents and see if you can hang out with the big boys.
Second, I really like the place. Nice stage, nice proximity to the audience and because it’s built like a tunnel, the sound really travels nicely from the stage to the back of the crowd.
There’s also a sound engineer manning the board at all times and if they like you enough you’ll also have someone doing the lights to add to your stage performance.
Lastly, the beer is motherlovin’ cold. I drink mine real fast as soon as it’s in my hands. No ice for me please.
Here’s hoping I still get to play that venue in the next few years with my band.
Anything else?
Hmmm… I’m thinking there should be a moral to the story somewhere here….
Let’s see….
Oh yeah, for bands, never be afraid to ask. Go up to club owners, promoters, anyone tied into the music scene and just ask. Be honest and direct. This is how you can get more gigs. Fear will only hold you back from achieving greatness.
Two, visit clubs, bars and other venues in your area. It doesn’t matter who’s onstage. Just go and support that venue. Buy food. Buy beer. Buy more. if the band onstage has merchandise for sale, buy those too. Your money keeps venues and musicians from going hungry. Be a hero, spend some money.
Lastly, if you’re ever slated to play, never, ever, ever cancel. Be there on time and on schedule. It should only happen if someone’s confined in the hospital or on his deathbed. I’ve played with broken hands, burns, black eyes, fever and other things before. Once you’re  onstage, all those little aches go away. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Also, make sure the promoter or whoever’s in charge of the event knows you’re there and be ready to go onstage when they ask you to.
Don’t be a rockstar.
Or be one, but only when you’re onstage and never when you’re off it.
Oh and Sir Giovanni, if you ever get to read this… AcidRadio Calamares.  

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