Sunday, January 11, 2004

Wild Thang, Old Thaaang

Give society the finger and catch Philippine rock, er, icon Romeo Lee in one of his shows. He's old and decrepit and horizontally endowed but he's still as charismatic and as spunky as ever. He sings off-key sometimes, but his sessionists more than make up for it with polished instrumental virtuosity-- their setup times are still waaay below that of the newer, younger acts.

It's absurd, seeing a geriatric contemporary of the famous (and necrotising) Joey Pepe Smith, grabbing his crotch and flinging beer at the front row. But when he's up there, singing classic rock 'n' roll, you forget his age. Even how ridiculous he looks ceases to matter. He radiates a presence that is felt on multiple levels, feeding off and giving back the energy of his audience. He bothers to interact with his audience-- something the newer acts are often too timid to try.

Love him, hate him-- you decide. But see the old geezer first before he dies of a stroke.

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