Time To Pull The Plug: Admit One Production’s Sad Yet Glorious Goodbye

“We decided to pull the plug habang lahat masaya pa, at hindi yung kailang sawang-sawa na kami lahat sa isa’t isa,” Vin Dancel said in a gig last Thursday…

…Or at least that is what I remember him saying.  I cannot be sure.  Blame it on poor memory.  Blame it on weak ears.  Or blame it on the hordes of people who flocked to Freedom Bar and depleted the whole place of necessary oxygen! It was crammed and extremely hot; despite this, people remained steadfast because they wanted to see their favorite bands.  Because they wanted their musical hunger to be satiated. And because they wanted to savor the last few moments of another music institution going six feet under.

Same as before, they held two gigs to celebrate the event, which was just usually known as Admit One Parts 1 and 2.  This year however, was different as its anniversary celebration was also its last.  After 10 years of providing music to hungry ears, Admit One had decided to call it a night.

I was able to attend the finale gig (Part 2) last November 24, and I have my friend slash gig buddy to thank for.  It was through her that I learned about the event.  My primary reason for going that night was actually not for Admit One.  Initially, my friend called me up the night before and told me that a band to which we gotaddicted sometime ago, Dicta License, would reunite for an Admit One gig.  “Reunite” – it was enough a word for me to throw all of the plans I had made for the following day out of the window and say, “LET’S GO!”

I was told that some of the bands that would play there as well would be Fatal Posporos and Twisted Halo.  This intrigued me since these two bands no longer exist and then add to the list Dicta License, which had already disbanded in 2007.   I decided to search the net for some more information about the event and that was when everything became clear – it was Admit One’s farewell gig and it had gathered its core bands to play at the bar where it all started.

It was just strange that a couple of weeks before, I remembered some of the Admit One gigs that I had attended some years back and wondered when this year’s anniversary celebrations would be.  Strangely too, I kind of missed Dicta License and started playing their CD again.  Little did I know that it would all culminate to this.

Admit One Part Two had 8 guest artists on their list (as written on the poster) plus Ebe Dancel, who was the night’s surprise guest.  He played acoustic and slower renditions of “Burnout” and “Mariposa.”

For me the memorable parts were the performances of Happy Meals, Twisted Halo, and of course, Dicta License.

It was my first time to watch Happy Meals and “Smoke n Fly” sent me back to my college years.  I particularly enjoyed bassist Niño Avenido’s performance.  As always, I was simply amazed when I watched him play.  Twisted Halo on the other hand, performed a personal favorite – “Miron.”  They also played, among others, a very passionate and intense rendition of “Brad” and “Hiram.”

Another reason why Twisted Halo’s performance became more special was that Vin Dancel asked the people who were seated to stand up and then asked everybody to jump and bounce to this particular song.  He said he used to remember Freedom Bar as a very lively place, people were jumping and bouncing to the rhythm of the beats.  It was not as if people that night were unresponsive and sluggish, because they were in fact enthusiastic.  Probably, he just wanted to extract every ounce of energy from the audience, at least for the very last time.  The crowd then willingly obliged. Soon, the crowd bounced as one and threatened to bring the second floor to the ground.  It was a remarkable feeling!

The moment for the band that everyone had waited finally arrived. It was past two in the morning when Dicta License owned the stage.  By this time, the crowd swelled even more, making Freedom Bar look like the MRT at 7 in the morning.

The last time I saw these guys perform was in the summer of 2007 at SaGuijo.  Five months after, news of their break-up completely surprised everyone.  A farewell letter sent to the band’s mailing list simply invited their fans to join them for their “last dance.”  No reason was given, which was odd because merely a couple of months back, they even told the fans that they would soon launch their second album.  And then, bam – disbandment!  (I should probably write a separate entry for this one, no?)

boogie romero on guitars

Seeing them all together on the same stage was great. The sound check sent chills down my spine. They kicked off the set with “Sugat” – [isang awit tungkol sa kasaysayan ng ating bayan (Yes, they still have the same spiel!)] followed by (no longer in order): “The Enemy,” “DOTFB,” “Daloy ng Kamalayan,” “Alay Sa Mga Nagkamalay Noong Dekada Nobenta,” and “Ang Ating Araw.”

kelly mangahas on bass; bryan makasiar on drums

Though they were the only band to sing more than four songs, the crowd was still not satisfied and demanded for an encore. (Besides, we could see their setlist lying on the floor near their microphones. We knew they were supposed to have seven songs, and not just six!) The band gladly gave in and gave us “Undiscarded.” It was wonderful to hear this song played live, sadly for the first and last time.

pochoy labog on vocals

It was really a thrill to watch Dicta License again after four years!  I definitely missed their high-energy performances!  I wonder if it would ever happen again…

Though Admit One no longer exists, it is good to remember that its death does not merely necessarily mean the end.  Its influence and impact will always remain in the hearts and minds of whom it has touched – from musicians to all of the people who supported their gigs in the past.  Who knows, some future Twisted Halo, Fatal Posporos, and Dicta License may follow the footsteps of Admit One and put up their own production that in turn will help nurture and enliven further the local music scene.  For all we know, Admit One Productions Part 2.0 is not far behind.

To see a brief history of Admit One Productions, click here!

To see Dicta License’s reunion gig, follow this link!

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