QUEZON CITY – This July 6, 2019 Callalily hosted “Callalily Unplugged”, a free event at Jess & Pat’s, Maginhawa Street to celebrate the band’s 14th anniversary.
The promotional poster for the event announced that the event would start at 7:00pm. To little surprise though, by 6:00pm the outdoor area of Jess and Pat’s was already over seating capacity. Walking around the area you could hear the eager anticipation of the fans, as well as an odd mixture of acoustic guitars with people familiarizing themselves with their personal favorite Callalily songs. The band earlier this week announced casually for people to bring their own guitars for a chance to come up on stage and jam with the band, and the fans clearly did not disappoint.
By 7:00pm the doors of Jess and Pat’s opened, and the place was instantly filled. In fact, the door itself could not be closed due to an overflow of eager fans wanting to be up close and personal with Callalily. Anyone who has been to Jess and Pat’s would be familiar with exactly how intimate you can actually get with the performer, especially with a packed house. The show coolly started with guitarist Ken Tiongson calling for fans to jam on stage. After a few shy moments, a couple of fans took the stage and performed their own versions of “Pansamantala” and other popular Callalily songs.
After a few performances from the fans, Ken then took the stage himself solo and played fan favorite “Magbalik” with his finger style. Singing though wasn’t a problem with Ken performing solo, the audience saw to that. Audience filled the cozy space with the chorus of their own voices. Then just after the second solo song of Ken, the band started to arrive one by one starting first with their newest member Nathan Reyes who downed on his electric guitar. Soon after Callalily mainstays Aaron Ricafrente on bass and Lem Belaro on drums joined in the jam. Only one member was missing, and it was obvious that people kept their heads on a swivel anticipating his arrival. One would expect an uproar once front man Kean Cipriano would arrive. But instead he was met with high-fives and taps on the shoulder.
It was as if everyone there was a friend welcoming Kean to the party. One fan even jokingly exclaimed, “Late ka nanaman! Traffic ba?” to which the crowd and Kean laughed to as he gave the guy a high-five followed by a shoulder bump. Once Kean was able to wade through the overflowing crowd in Jess and Pat’s to get on stage, he took the microphone and calmly said – “Happy birthday guys!” to which the crowd responded to with the usual screams and applause that would normally be heard whenever Callalily takes the stage.
One would expect the usual high energy and high impact performance from Calllalily to celebrate their 14th year anniversary.
But it was nothing like a typical performance of Callalily. It was intimate and very personal. The music was there, but the energy was much calmer and more relaxed. At one-point Kean narrated to the audience how each member came to be part of Callalily. After the quick story, there was a moment of awkward silence as if everyone was reminiscing their own Callalily memories. The silence was broken though when a random fan yelled out, “Iiyak na yan!” to which everyone including the band responded with a hearty laugh.
Later that night, Kean decided to surprise those in attendance by playing their “first-mix” of their upcoming single “Reserba”. Despite the song still being unreleased and only heard of during their recent gigs, the crowd mildly sang along as it played over the speakers. Immediately after, the band performed an acoustic version of the song to everyone’s delight.
The night wasn’t all just Callalily though. At one point, Chen Pangan of Unit 406 joined the ensemble to perform “Susundan”. As the night neared its conclusion, the band called to the stage Arthur Nerry, Dionela, and Martin Riggs to play an impromptu mashup of different songs. To close out the evening, they performed crowd favorite “Magbalik” to which friends, fans, and fellow artists in attendance all joined in singing.
All in all, it was an intimate, informal, and personal experience for everyone; band and audience alike. After 14 years of entertaining audiences, and creating music Callalily has solidified it’s roots in the Philippine music industry as one of it’s greats, and from the look of things, like their new single “Reserba” which could turn out to be the another hit song, Callalily will continue to push and create ear catching music for at least another 14 more years.
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