13 awesome bands, only 1 named as the winner and would represent the country abroad. This was what happened at the National Finals of Global Battle of the Bands (GBOB) 2011 held at the rooftop of Starmall, Alabang. The finalists of the competition were Anhura, Circa, Final Vow, Penguin, Jeepney Joyride, Pancake80, Roots of Nature, Slash N’ Burn, Thy Holy Water, Wilabaliw, Lowela, Hatankaru and Light of Luna.
It was a night full of hard-rockin’ performances that started in the mid-afternoon by Indiepinoy artists – independent bands who are making waves in the music scene. It was then followed by the main event which everyone’s been waiting. It was a showcase of talent with each performing at their highest level and the crowd so pumped up and already intoxicated with alcohol.
The competition was stiff as it went along, but at the beginning, before the main event began, showed a sign of a sure winner. Crowd favorites Wilabaliw was the top choice among the audience, mainly because the members of the group came from famous mainstream acts like Cheese/Queso. Having a great drummer and a charismatic frontman in the lineup, they were on the verge to grab the crown. A walk in the park perhaps.
But with great talents among other competitors, even these guys were on a 50/50 chance. Sudden rain kept the contest at bay, and after it stopped pouring, the show continued. After the 13 finalists were through displaying their stuffs, popular local rock group Slapshock performed as the main act and the crowd went nuts, just like they did on Shock’s peers, Wilabaliw.
Then came announcing the winner. Judged by senyor guitar players Noli Aurillo and Sammy Asuncion together with one of GBOB’s guys abroad, they cited five bands who did well plus the lone winner. The five bands named were Slash N’ Burn, Pancake80, Wilabaliw, Penguin and Hatankaru. So it only meant one thing. There was a big upset!
And they named Roots of Nature as the winner! Majority of the crowd were definitely surprised about it but not me, the group truly deserved it. Before it started, I had a gut feeling that Slash N’ Burn, Roots and possibly Pancake80 could wound up winners aside from the heavy favorites. Slash N’ Burn were heavy 80s glam rock inspired group with tenacious lead guitarist in the mold of Paul Gilbert. Pancake80, meanwhile, were veterans in a contest format – they had won earlier contests and that playing together for such a long time had their sound intact. Roots on the other hand, had this unique type of heaviness, a cross between Days of the New acoustic style and Sevendust. Only drawback I thought then for Roots was if the frontman would perform less because we all know how good this other band’s famed singer is and if the guitarist, on that night, plugs his acoustic guitar on this big Kustom amp which sounded like a custom Raon, by the way. Boy that amp was so tempting to use because of its size and the hype it brought but heck, all those who used this didn’t sound better. I actually used that amp when we did the front act and it killed my playing, suddenly I screwed up big time hahaha. Anyway, back to the Roots’ performance, they did well, so well they got the nod of the judges. They were my bet to win and I was glad they made it.
In winning this year’s GBOB, they only proved to the public that there are groups who are as good or even better than those of what they constantly see on tv and hear on the radio.
Congrats to Roots of Nature, and to all the finalists as well!!!
Will be posting the pics soon.