Here are five coming concerts this February and March—all worth your time and money:
“Ely Buendia A Night at the Theater: The Repeat,” Feb. 20, Resorts World Manila’s Newport Performing Arts Theater
An offshoot of the musical “Ang Huling El Bimbo”—which featured Eraserheads songs as backdrop to the story of four friends looking back at their life as college students—“A Night at the Theater” puts Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia on center stage performing live concert-style with a band, and then slipping into a character as scenes from “Huling El Bimbo” are reenacted.
Newport Performing Arts Theater, L2, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay; tel. (02) 8891 9999;
Simpson, Joyner at Strumm’s
Brian Simpson and Jackiem Joyner, Feb. 24, Strumm’s
Contemporary jazz artist Brian Simpson is a keyboardist, composer and producer who has toured with the likes of George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Larry Carlton, Billy Cobham, and Gerald Albright.
He wrote the 1991 Billboard no. 1 hit “The First Time” for the group Surface. He had been the musical director for saxophonist Dave Koz for almost 20 years, and, for 10 years, was the musical director of “The Smooth Jazz Cruise.”
Jackiem Joyner was 21 when he played saxophone for keyboardist Marcus Johnson from 2001-2004.
In 2005, he released his debut album, “This Time Around.”
In 2010, Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse gave Joyner the symbolic keys to the city for outstanding achievement in Music along with the proclamation of August 5, 2010 as Jackiem Joyner Day.
Joyner goes on tour as a solo performer and as member of The Sax Pack with fellow saxophonists Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Cole.
Simpson performed live with an all-Filipino band last September at Strumm’s, and we found him a joy to watch. This new show with Joyner should be interesting.
Strumm’s, 110 Jupiter St. Makati; tel. (02) 8895 4636
Scorpions at MOA Arena
Scorpions, March 7, Mall of Asia Arena
It’s hard to imagine that German heavy metal band Scorpions has been around since 1965, but what’s great is that the group is equally adept in hard rock and power ballads (popularly called “slow rock” in the Philippines).
Back in college in the early ’80s, schoolmate Sunil Mansukhani would take us to his house where he’d play the Scorpions album “Blackout,” which Rolling Stone ranked 73 on its list of The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.
Mall of Asia Arena, Mall of Asia Complex, JW Diokno Blvd. Pasay
Stereolab at Samsung Hall
Stereolab, March 13, Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier
British-French band Stereolab stands out for its innovative way of incorporating weird sound effects into its music, which in itself is a wonderful mix of various genres such as funk, jazz, Brazilian, ’60s pop and more.
It’s one of the few bands we can enjoy listening to at any time of day, even at 3 a.m.
Stereolab, which formed in 1990, has been on hiatus for 10 years but reunited in 2019.
Samsung Hall, 6/F SM Aura Premier, 26th St. corner McKinley Parkway, Taguig; tel. (02) 8833 2131
Green Day at MOA Arena
Green Day, March 14, Mall of Asia Arena
American band Green Day is credited for leading the punk rock revival worldwide in the ’90s with its album “Dookie,” which Rolling Stone ranked 193 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Punk purists may scoff at Green Day’s pop-flavored music, but the band’s impressive staying power can’t be ignored. After succeeding albums failed to match the success of “Dookie,” in 2004 came the rock opera album “American Idiot,” followed by 2009’s “21st Century Breakdown,” a trilogy of albums, “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!,” and “¡Tré!,” released in September, November and December 2012, respectively.
Its 12th studio album, 2016’s “Revolution Radio,” debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200.