|Rivermaya in Concert|
Come evening, another special treat awaited guests at the Clark International Hot Air Balloon Festival - a free concert by the Filipino rock group Rivermaya. Formed in 1994, Rivermaya was one of several bands which spearheaded the 1990s Philippine alternative rock explosion.
Rivermaya, the 14th biggest-selling artist/act in the country, is currently composed of Jayson Fernandez (lead vocals), Mark Escueta (drums, percussion, occasional guitar), Mike Elgar (keyboards), Ryan Peralta (drums, keyboard, percussion) and Norby David (bass guitar). Through the years, the band underwent 4 line-up changes. Former members included Rico Blanco, who had been the original songwriter of the band, and vocalist Bamboo Manalac, who later formed the band Bamboo.
Jayson Fernandez, who replaced Blanco in 2007, was the newest member of the band, having won over 400 contestants who joined auditions for a new vocalist. I admit that some of the songs performed that night were unfamiliar to me but I did recognize a few, notably their signature hits Hinahanap Hanap Kita, Himala and Kisapmata which greatly elated the sizable crowd.
On August 28, 2011, after months of speculation, Jayson Fernandez left Rivermaya after 4 years with the group. After Fernandez's departure, Paolo Valenciano, the son of Gary Valenciano, and Vinci Montaner of Parokya ni Edgar have simultaneously filled in as temporary lead vocalists for some of the band's occasional gigs. Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar and Norby David have switch over the lead vocal duties.