If you had the opportunity to do something good for someone else AND could have an awesome time, you’d take it, right? That’s exactly why I couldn’t pass up the “Fil-Am Bands Join Hands for Franz – A fundraising concert for Franz Pantaleon,” at Fontana’s, NYC on Eldridge Street. The event was hosted by Poptimes Magazine and his family here in the United States. Franz is an 18-year old Filipino teen diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Extraskeletal Ewing’s Sarcoma. The $10 donation served as the cost of admission, 1-hour open bar and an evening’s worth of entertainment. Talk about great, I seriously don’t remember the last time I’ve been to a gig with such a power-packed line up: Gates of Era, Wallows, Sodapop Suicide, P.I., Run Robot, The Happy Analogues, The Kuwagos, Qwadra, Apriori and Blue Mellon Pop. It was literally a feast for the mind, body and soul.
This was also a big night for Run Robot, the band formerly known as Then Again, as they made their debut with a new drummer and a new sound. While I do miss such power pop classics like “Grammar School Blues”, “Density” and “Little Star”, it’s good to see that the band is still about fun songs and addictive melodies. Word is they’ve been practicing very hard…and it shows. Even though this was their debut, I was already asking the guys of Run Robot when fans could expect another performance and better yet, an album! Will they be spotlight performers at Five Points, NYC any time soon? Only time will tell but you know I’m totally there…and who knows, theirs may be one of the albums I get to review in the near future!
The Happy Analogues (THA) went on immediately following Run Robot and opened with a classic from their first album, “Jellybeans” which definitely got the crowd going. Their set felt like a mini-concert as the band showcased songs off of their latest album, “School Tales” which was just released earlier this year. The guys even came out donned in outfits reminiscent of school uniforms complete with white-collared shirts and ties! As an audience member, you got the sense that each song was selected and played for a particular reason – and their planning paid off because it seemed as though they were able to perform more songs than any other band that night. The highlight of the evening, for me by far, was not only hearing them perform some of the songs from the new album live but also scoring a copy autographed by band members Ted Reyes and Ronnie Lao (proceeds from THA album sales also went to benefit Franz). My review of “School Tales” will be coming soon to Born In Chinese!