IN PHOTOS: Teeth Reunion concert
MANILA, Philippines – It's been almost 20 years since the song "Laklak" intoxicated the Philippine airwaves. The song, which became the anthem of every booze-loving Pinoy, catapulted the band Teeth into the mainstream.
The members of Teeth go a long way back. Vocalist Glenn Jacinto, guitarist Jerome Velasco, bassist Pedz Narvaja, and drummer Mike Dizon were all childhood friends. Japs Sergio, ex- Rivermaya bassist and younger brother of Narvaja's replacement Dok, says the band (along with the Sergio brothers) all went to the same school – Manresa. They were all bound by their love for music, and forming a band came naturally to them.
The boys from the southern suburbs of Metro Manila formed Teeth in 1993. Less than two years later, they had a deal cut out for them. Since then, Teeth became a fixture in the Philippine rock scene. Over the years, its sound evolved from high-strung and gritty to reverb-laden and melodious, with Jacinto's rich baritone serving as the constant variable.
But times weren't at all easy for Teeth. Jacinto was diagnosed with cancer in 1996, causing the band to take a break until he was put on remission. Not long after, Narvaja had to migrate to the United States, prompting Dok Sergio to take over bass duties.
Jacinto relocated to the US, too, during the early 2000s. He had been in and out of the country, but their 2003 album Dogs Can Fly became their last – so far, that is.
Years passed, and the rest of the band became busy with other musical projects. Sergio continued to collaborate with brother Japs for the dreampop group Daydream Cycle and is also the bassist of Pupil. Dizon continues to pound the skins for Sandwich and Pedicab. Velasco is a producer and audio engineer for production house Creative Portal.
One night in February
The rest – minus Jacinto – would get together every now and then to perform old songs, asking friends like Ebe Dancel to provide guest vocals. Teeth, as most people knew it, was on hiatus, and there's no telling when the entire unit was getting back together.
Until that one night in February when, without warning, the remaining members of Teeth walked in Saguijo, to the surprise of many. They took the floor and performed one of their more recent hits, "Shooting Star." Days later, word was out – Glenn Jacinto was back in town.
More than a decade since their hiatus, Teeth performed in a reunion concert on Thursday, May 15, at Metro Tent in Pasig City. Jacinto is back for a long vacation, and Narvaja is also in town. Unlike other bands, there was no hatchet to bury, because there was no acrimonious breakup to speak of.
They were all still the same old childhood friends.
At the concert venue, the air was thick with anticipation. However, there were hardly any rowdy teenage rockers going over the barricade. The crowd was noticably that of an older demographic, with quite a number of rolled-up sleeves and leather shoes in the audience.
Even the performers showed palpable restraint. There were no onstage histrionics, no beer-guzzling. They were all cleanly-shaven. Jacinto was dapper in a suit jacket. Dizon did away with his outlandish long hair.
The boys – performers and audience alike – have clearly grown into men. From the rawness of "Bumsquad," to the all-too familiar rock serenade "Prinsesa," Teeth – Jacinto in particular – was conserving energy more than expending it.
But not until Velasco played the unmistakable riffs of "Laklak" towards the end of the show. At that point, the head-banging, body-slamming ghosts of their Club Dredd days surfaced, and possessed what musician Adrian Arcega calls the Tito Moshpit. Somewhere in front of the stage, thirty – or was it forty? – somethings jumped to the song and belted out the chorus in unison while Jacinto fed them the microphone from above. In the middle of it all, TV director and satirist Jun Sabayton dove right smack into the crowd without his T-shirt on, and crowdsurfed like it was Club Dredd in 1995.
Old habits die hard. – Rappler.com
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