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Nostalgia isn’t just for those yearning to have blast from the past but for people who want to rock out

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For years, U2 avoided the nostalgia circuit, believing they’re still as relevant to today’s audiences as, say, Beyoncé or a Taylor Swift.

The performers of the ‘The 90s Live!’ concert

Well, they finally capitulated. Ongoing is “The Joshua Tree” Tour, which is the band’s way of celebrating their landmark album of the same title from 1987.

While many rejoiced with the mere thought of hearing the band plow through some of the more memorable tunes of their youth, there are some who deem it like cheap trick, just another way to milk the cow, so to speak.

So, who’s right? And does it even matter? Indeed, in the words of The Cranberries, “Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t we?”

We thought about this with some of our youthful idols Jett Pangan, Dong Abay, Cooky Chua, Wency Cornejo, Medwin Marfil, Paco Arespacochaga, Perf de Castro, Naldy Padilla, and Lei Bautista doing the same thing. They come together for “The 90s Live!,” a concert on July 22, 8 p.m. at Solaire Resort and Casino.

In an interview, Wency divulged it was his idea and, no, it is not just about the money.

“I thought it would be fun, simple as that,” he said, relating how he had long envisioned jamming onstage with old friends all of whom he used to hog the local charts with.

“I go a long ways with these guys,” he shared. “Like si Paco, ’yung mga banda namin pinag-aaway dati ’yan. Si Cooky naman, siya nagturo sa akin uminom.”

How does it feel going the nostalgia circuit, we asked.

“Ayos lang,” he intoned. “Nag-uumpisa pa lang ako alam ko naman na darating at darating ang time na lilipas ako, well, kami. Sabi nga ng iba, parang ang lungkot naman niyan, depressing. (Pero) siguro kasi, hindi sila realistic. Ako, umpisa pa lang alam ko na darating ang time na mag-iiba ang taste ng tao. So, nu’ng dumating ’yung time na ’yun, okay lang ako, tanggap ko na.”

Wency believes, though, that they are still pertinent to the times.

“Kasi it boils down to the music,” he explained. “Our era was very special, kanya-kanya kaming tunog at style.
’Yung ngayon (na generation of musicians), I’m sorry to say this, pero parang wala lang, parang pare-pareho sila ng tunog.

“Kaya nga I think we need to have these kinds of concerts, para makita ng mga baguhang musikero what they need to do to create timeless music, music that will last beyond their careers.”

Lei agreed, going on to cite how her song “Cool Ka lang” with Prettier Than Pink, still resonate with today’s youth.

“‘Cool Ka Lang’ was a song I wrote 20 years ago based on personal experience and I’m so proud that it still touches people’s hearts today, they could still relate to it,” she said.

“Bottomline, magaling kaming sumulat, and we don’t just write songs we interpret it ourselves too so may personal touch,” Wency added.

Come to think of it, they could be right. Before they came, most of the artists like Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez were mostly just singers with a large team of production people churning out hits for them.

“Nu’ng time namin kasi parang source of pride ’yun, to create originals,” related Paco. “So ang pagsulat parang naging necessity, hanggang sa nahasa kami ng nahasa.”

“At dahil personal ang approach sa songwriting, there’s a certain sense of individualism, unique sa isa’t-isa ang bawa’t banda,” Medwin chimed in.

But why Solaire of all places?

“Bakit hindi?” intoned Dong. “Aminin na natin, lumipas na ang panahon at ’yung mga kaidaran namin noon na nanonood sa mga bars at clubs dati ay may mga pamilya na. So, maganda na dalhin namin itong musika namin sa isang lugar na pampamilya. Para naman ma-introduce nila ang mga anak nila sa music na kinalakihan nila, na hindi lang sa YouTube.”

“No offense meant sa mga gumagamit ng mga social media platforms, our music talaga is best experienced live eh,” said Cooky. “Diyan kasi talaga kami nahasa sa pag-perform, ’yung live so I think mas maganda talaga siya pakinggan live.”

Speaking of social media, we asked Cooky how she feels about music now being served piecemeal via streaming or download.

“Okay ’yan sa akin,” she said. “Dati kasi hirap kami to find an outlet for our music so madalas tumutugtug kami kahit saan. Dahil sa social media naging mas madali para sa ibang musikero makahanap ng audience at maganda ’yan for OPM. Sa akin nga, sana bumilis pa ang Internet natin para mas marami mag-enjoy.”

Dong said, “Kagandahan ng Internet pati ’yung ilan na ayaw ng dumaan sa mga record companies pwede na mag-release ng album. At pwede ka pa mamili kung saan at paano mo ilalabas.”

And how about radio?

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