A couple of side notes before going through my blog... First, I wasn't supposed to attend the event because I needed to stay home and look after our house construction. But thanks to a text message from my buddy Michael Ong (guitarist of progressive rock band Fuseboxx), he urged me to drop by, and so I did. And second, I only witnessed the performances of the drumset drummers. Though I stayed for awhile after the drumset performances, I didn't really watch the percussion performances. So, my apologies to Mssrs. Estrella, Gaspar, and Zialcita. I had to leave early too (but I did hear some cool live performances before I left, when I was still there elsewhere in the venue).
Vic Firth, Meinl, DW, and PDP (Pacific Drums & Percussion, a subsidiary of DW). Several accessories and instructional books and videos are also available.
Plenty of friends from the drumming and music community were present for the event, and it's always a blast whenever we are on drumming events like this. It's also great to see three great Pinoy drumming phenoms together in one drumming event. When I arrived, Franklin, Otep, and Bagets were warming up and preparing for their respective sets. Most of my attention was also focused on the three beautiful drumkits set up for the three masters. Franklin used a 5-piece, gold-plated DW kit with a simple cymbal setup similar to Steve Gadd's (one ride, two crashes, and a pair of hats). Otep was on a rack-mounted, 5-piece PDP drumkit loaded with effects cymbals and a second pair of hats on the right side, which was mounted on a DW remote hat, its pedal positioned on the left side of the bass drum pedal (!). Bagets was all out on a black, 7-piece DW set-up, which included a 10" auxiliary snare drum and a 14" brass snare drum. All cymbals are Meinl, mostly from the Byzance series.
Barbie Almalbis. Franklin played along to a Latin-style track for his first number, where the veteran drummer highlighted his Latin-style drumming skills. During Q&A, he entertained questions regarding his experiences performing with black musicians in the US. Franklin emphasized the importance of discipline, and how black American musicians are so particular with groove. One observation of Franklin is the playfulness of most Filipino drummers on timekeeping (ride/bell syncopations, for example), while most black drummers really mark the quarter notes on their grooves. Another observation he noticed is how dedicated several American drummers are. The great American musicians are really good, and they're really focused, pushing themselves to become the best they can be. He also cited how frank Americans are compared to Filipinos. While we Pinoys tend to be tactful and careful with our suggestions and criticisms to our bandmates, Americans would get to the point and work out things fast! I agree with Franklin's insights, and I'm glad he opened up those insights in regards to attitude. Later, Franklin shared some hand/foot combination exercises, and played a couple of drum solos, the last one accompanied by Otep and Bagets playing time on the PDP kit.
Gospelchops-inspired licks, which he shared to everyone. When a drummer asked Otep what he was thinking during his improvisational number, the latter said that he was thinking a lot about Bagets. Otep concluded his set with another impromptu performance, together with the next performer...
Mar Dizon, another Pinoy drumming great. Mar is credited for giving Benjie the nickname "Bagets" because of the latter already being a phenomenom at such a young age. Bagets has played and recorded with several local and foreign artists, and he is currently with top Filipino band South Border.
Vinnie Colaiuta to Jeff Porcaro, from Allan Holdsworth to Michael Jackson... Plus he puts his personality into it. For me, that's one huge factor among great musicians which I admire the most - personality. And there's so much personality in Bagets' drumming. It's so inspiring to watch and listen to artists who have that.
Bagets' first performance was an improvised 6/8 solo, based on his live performance on South Border's hit song Ikaw Nga, from the Mulawin soundtrack. Then, after an inquiry from a fellow drummer about shuffles, Bagets played several shuffle grooves such as Jeff Porcaro's Rosanna (Toto) and Bernard Purdie's Babylon Sisters (Steely Dan) grooves. Bagets ended his set in grand fashion, by inviting Franklin and Otep to jam and play triple drums. Watch the videos on Lyric's YouTube Channel.
I'm really glad that I showed up at Drum Day. I got several doses of inspiration, thanks to that. Great job, Lyric! Thanks for Drum Day!
* All photos by Anthony Dio, captured from his mobile phone.