Everything to know about Eraserheads’ Huling El Bimbo reunion concert: date, venue, tickets and more

Tickets to the reunion concert on December 22 at the SMDC Festival Grounds are on sale now – here are the latest updates

Filipino rock icons Eraserheads will stage a reunion concert this December.

In mid-September, members of Eraserheads took to social media to post cryptic images of an inverted E, a symbol long synonymous with the band. And on September 19, it was announced that the band’s line-up of Ely Buendia, Buddy Zabala, Raymund Marasigan and Marcus Adoro would stage the Huling El Bimbo reunion concert in Metro Manila. The announcement was met with elation by longtime fans – and later prompted controversy over the involvement of guitarist Adoro.

Here’s NME’s guide to the upcoming gig including date, venue, ticketing info and more, updated as more details and info roll in.

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When and where is Eraserheads’ Huling El Bimbo concert taking place?

The Eraserheads Huling El Bimbo concert is set to take place on December 22 at the SMDC Festival Grounds at Parañaque City.

The concert will mark their first as a band in eight years. Eraserheads initially reunited for a single reunion concert in 2008, before medical emergencies stopped the performance midway. The band reprised the performance in 2009. Sporadic appearances followed, with world tours between 2012 and 2014.

How do I get tickets to the Eraserheads reunion concert?

After officially selling out tickets to the Huling El Bimbo concert earlier in October, Eraserheads announced additional tickets and a new GEN AD seated section for the upcoming showcase on October 27.

The announcement was followed by an update on November 9 revealing that the venue had been expanded to accommodate increased demand.

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Prices of the new tickets have yet to be mentioned but those wanting to purchase the passes can buy them at SM Tickets Outlets and its website. “You asked, we listened. We’re making the venue bigger,” the opening texts of the video read.

The concert organisers previously revealed that only 50,000 fans will be able to attend the concert. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to advocacies for marginalised women and children.

Will there be a livestream of the Eraserheads Huling El Bimbo concert?

Yes, a livestream of the Eraserheads reunion has been confirmed. In a September interview with Bandwagon, drummer Raymund Marasigan said that “hopes” that there will be an official livestream of the concert to allow the band’s overseas fans to catch the show.

That has since become a reality, with I Want TFC announcing the global livestream schedule and prices on social media. However, the livestream will only be available to viewers outside of the Philippines. Tickets are now on sale and can be bought here.

In order to view the livestream, fans will have to subscribe to I Want TFC, as well as purchase the livestream event, which they will be able to access for 48 hours.

Are there plans for additional Eraserheads Huling El Bimbo concerts?

On the September 21 episode of his podcast Offstage Hangs, Marasigan did not discount the possibility of dates elsewhere in the Philippines – namely Visayas and Mindanao – or even the USA, Singapore, and Europe.

“Hopefully, if this is successful maybe. We still don’t know at the moment because I do not talk directly to the showrunners, the promoters, I do not talk directly to them,” he said.

“Unlike my normal bands, you know what’s happening at all times. The only thing I can control at the moment is the drums and the setlist… other things I don’t have any say on it yet.”

What will the setlist and guestlist be like for the Eraserheads reunion concert?

Since the concert is named after a 1995 Eraserheads song, it’s probably safe to assume that fans can expect to hear ‘Huling El Bimbo’ live at the reunion concert. Though details of the setlist are unknown at present, other Eheads hits audiences may hear include the songs ‘With A Smile’, ‘Ligaya’ and ‘Pare Ko’.

A preview from the rehearsals of the concert by ABS-CBN News reveals that some songs have received a slight rework, with the outlet mentioning “modifications” to the way the songs were first written and performed. No further details on the setlist were shared, but an ad-libbed chorus from John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ was mentioned –though it is unknown if the chorus will make it into the final set.

When asked on his podcast how Eheads will decide on the setlist, Marasigan said the band discussed a setlist in between takes during a recent photoshoot, but it has yet to be finalised. “Of course, we don’t want to redo the last show, so there are different ways to present it, like how deep are going to go with the not-so-popular… the album cuts and how you want to present the obligatory songs.”

As for whether the upcoming reunion concert will feature special guests, Marasigan said it had yet to be confirmed: “At this point, there is no [actual] show yet. We will start to meet next week about the show proper. We have a few [acts] in mind that talked about a few days ago, there is nothing concrete.”

Marasigan told Bandwagon that he hopes the aesthetics of the Huling El Bimbo concert will be “simple but stunning” without the flair of fancy stage props: “It’s always been like that for Heads shows, because they don’t move around. They’re mostly stationary.”

Eraserheads
Eraserheads in 2016. Credit: Eraserheads Official Facebook

What can fans expect from the show?

Producer of the Eraserheads reunion concert Francis Lumen has shared that fans can expect a visual extravaganza, with fireworks, a drone show and even a hologram appearance from the late Francis Magalona.

Magalona, a long-time collaborator with Eraserheads before passing away due to leukaemia in 2009, will appear as a hologram on the first song of the concert, Lumen told ABS-CBN News, adding: “I always get goosebumps or sometimes get teary-eyed whenever I talk about this. As we all know Francis M is the fifth Eraserheads and he was suppose to perform with them 13 years ago. A few days before the concert, he passed away. And because of technology, through hologram, we are going to bring him back to perform with the Eraserheads.”

The producer also revealed that some songs will feature backing from an 18-piece orchestra.

A preview of the concert by Bandwagon Asia revealed that Eraserheads will be joined by several musicians from other major Filipino bands at the show. Jazz Nicholas of The Itchyworms, Mikey Amistoso of Ciudad and Audrey Dioniso of General Luna were revealed as some of the sessionists who will appear alongside Eraserheads at the show.

What are the band’s preparations prior to the show?

In preparation for their December show, Eraserheads were documented during their first rehearsal held on October 13. In a series of photos shared by photographer Kuhafoto and Ely Buendia, it showed the members’ activities behind-the-scene, including shots of the artists in their respective instruments and images of the band and the production team in discussion.

The band have held four rehearsals as of November 9, and are set to showcase some variations on their iconic tracks. Speaking to Bandwagon, Zybala explained, “We don’t have a particular sound in mind, it just so happens that we’re older now, we play differently when we recorded the [songs] so it sounds a bit different too. Ely is singing it differently; we’re playing differently. The thing with the sound is what you hear is what you get so that’s why we’re practising more. We hope to sound as best as we can. That’s the goal.”

Marasigan has also hinted that the setlist will contain an “Easter Egg” that hardcore fans will be able to recognise instantly.

Will there be official merchandise available?

Yes. The organisers revealed on October 13 that official merchandise will be available at the concert, encouraging fans to avoid unauthorised merchandise sellers. No further information on what merchandise will be available has been released as of the time of writing.

Does the Eraserheads Huling El Bimbo concert mean the band are back together and making new music?

The answer to this million-dollar question – whether a reunion concert means Eraserheads are active as a band and making new music – is, unfortunately for fans, still unknown and possibly leaning towards unlikely.

In an interview with Rappler, Buddy Zabala indicated that the reunion show does not necessarily mean the band are back together again: “It’s so easy to forget we’re not a band anymore. We are a broken up band. We’re all contacted individually, so when I’m invited to do a show with the Heads, for the Heads, ang trato sa’min paisa-isa [we’re dealt with separately].”

And while responding on his podcast to a fan question about possible new music, Marasigan replied in the negative: “I’ve only met [the other members of the band] during the meeting and the photoshoot… we’ve only been complete and I’ve only talked to them [then]. The concert is the priority.”

However, Marasigan noted that new music is “not off the table” although it hasn’t been discussed yet: “I’m always ready but I cannot speak for all four of us.”

Is Marcus Adoro involved in the Eraserheads reunion concert?

At the time of writing, there are no indications that Marcus Adoro has been removed from the Eraserheads reunion – so yes, the guitarist is involved in the Huling El Bimbo concert.

His involvement became a topic of discussion after the concert was announced, when abuse allegations against the guitarist first made by his ex-partner Barbara Ruaro and daughter Syd Hartha in 2019 resurfaced on social media. This led some on social media to call on the other members of Eraserheads to remove Adoro from the reunion.

On September 26, Adoro issued a statement addressing Hartha, asking her for a “second chance for redemption” and fans to “continue to support the E-Heads reunion”. A representative for Hartha declined comment to NME.

Following outcry from fans, Ely Buendia’s manager Diane Ventura said in a statement to NME on September 21 that “one of Ely’s non negotiable conditions” to participate in the Eraserheads reunion “was precisely that Marcus resolve his issues otherwise Ely would not work with him.”

Ventura also said claims of the band “enabling” an alleged abuser by having Adoro involved in the reunion were “categorically false and absurd. We do not condone abuse that is absolute. We acknowledge the pain and suffering of the parties involved and we seek accountability.”

Following Ventura’s statement that Adoro was working on resolving his issues with Syd Hartha and Barbara Ruaro, the two confirmed in separate statements to NME on September 21 that Adoro had not made any attempts at reconciliation or apology.

A rep for Hartha told NME that Adoro had yet to make “attempts to reconcile or resolve anything prior to the concert teasers and announcement. We are also not inclined to accept any apology knowing its sincerity is questionable”.

Ruaro told NME: “Since 2019, neither Marcus nor any of his representatives have reached out to me, Syd, and our respective families. No apologies were made.”

In Adoro’s September 26 statement, he claimed that he had recently attempted to reach out to Hartha via her manager, but was unsure if his messages had gone through.

Eraserheads bassist Buddy Zabala has also commented on the controversy, telling Rappler on September 23 that he had agreed to the reunion under the assumption that his bandmates had settled any past issues: “I figured, he straightened things out, the ones that needed straightening out.”

“I joined in good faith knowing that everyone else will do the same. Sadly, that was not the case,” he said before telling Rappler that the decision to include Adoro in the band’s reunion concert was out of their hands.

“It would be easier kung ako lang ‘yung makakadecide [if I’m the only one who decides], but I’m not the boss here. It’s an ongoing thing. Whatever the results are, I will have to abide by that, what the [producer] decides to do with the Marcus issue,” he said.

“It’s so easy to forget we’re not a band anymore. We are a broken up band. We’re all contacted individually, so when I’m invited to do a show with the Heads, for the Heads, ang trato sa’min paisa-isa [we’re dealt with separately]…. So when some fans ask us to make a decision on Marcus, it’s hard to explain that we’re not a band anymore,” he added.

Zabala also expressed his sympathy towards Hartha and Ruaro, saying: “I can’t imagine the pain and anguish that Syd and [Barbara] have gone through. I express my solidarity with them. I know that when people are hurt, my fervent wish is for them to get to a place of healing. I sincerely hope all parties start processing what they went through and receive the help they need. They have my support.”

Ventura – Ely Buendia’s manager – similarly said in her statement to NME on September 21: “We will do what we can to encourage peace, resolution and will never get in the way of possible reconciliation or second chances between families. We are hoping for good to come out of this.”

Eraserheads drummer Raymund Marasigan said on his September 21 episode of the Offstage Hangs podcast: “I honestly – in my heart – want them to resolve it and have peace. Peace of mind and of heart.”

Additional reporting by Surej Singh and A. Azim Idris

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