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August 31, 2008

Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia is now in stable condition assures manager

The much anticipated one night reunion concert of the Eraserheads was cut short when legendary frontman/lead singer of the group collapse during a 20-minute break of their first set performance.

Ely Buendia was reportedly rushed to the Makati Medical Center around 10:00pm and transfered to the Philippine Heart Center at 1:00am the next day, Sunday.

Latest update reports that Ely Buendia is now in a stable condition… Here’s what we read:

Ely Buendia is in stable condition and fans of the legendary Eraserheads frontman can now heave a collective sigh of relief.

“He’s ok. Please don’t worry,” assured Pupil co-manager Day Cabuhat to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a short text message sent today, August 31. Buendia was rushed to the Makati Medical Center last night, August 30, after reportedly experiencing chest pains while in the middle of the Eraserheads’ 20-minute break during the band’s highly anticipated reunion concert held at the Fort Bonifacio Global City open field in Taguig City.

Before the break, the phenomenal ‘90s band played 15 of some of their most memorable songs straight out, with Buendia—sporting a pair of dark shades almost throughout the show—characteristically delivering only a few remarks to the crowd. The band’s first set consisted of some notable singles like “Alapaap,” “Ligaya,” “With A Smile,” “Fruitcake,” “Toyang” to some unreleased singles like “Hey, Jay,” “Shake Yer Head,” and “Kama Supra.”

The Eraserheads finished their first set with the poignant “Lightyears” taken from the quartet’s concept 1996 Christmas album, Fruitcake. The band was supposed to play 30 songs, covering a bulk of their entire catalogue.

STRESS AND FATIGUE FACTORS. According to some of the accounts given by close friends who were present backstage, Buendia reportedly collapsed and had to be put on a stretcher.

In a TV interview after the concert, bandmates Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, and Marcus Adoro said that they saw Buendia being attended by paramedics with his blood pressure being checked. Minutes later, they saw the singer-songwriter being rushed to an ambulance.

Without their main singer, the three remaining band members accompanied by Ely’s sister, Lally, were left with no choice but to face the thousands of fans who were anxiously waiting for the second set. They announced the concert’s cancellation and asked everyone to offer a minute of silence for Buendia.

Ely had gone through heart surgery early last year after suffering a heart attack in an out-of-town gig with his current band, Pupil. But his recent health dilemma was being linked to stress and fatigue factors. Two days before the reunion concert, Ely’s mother, Lisette Buendia, passed away. That combined with all the stress and pressure leading to the actual concert apparently took its toll on the enigmatic frontman. Also, on the same day of the event, the Eraserheads went to the venue to conduct a sound check and a final rehearsal which reportedly lasted until 3 a.m.

A close friend of the band theorized that Ely’s unstable emotional state combined with the stress of having to deliver in front of rabid fans perhaps overwhelmed Buendia causing his health to breakdown in the face of gnawing pressure.

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