Arnel Pineda – The beginning
We are four in a brood and Arnel heads the crew, being the eldest. As in his earlier testaments, life indeed was tough but it was bit manageable when our Ima (mama in capampangan) was still around. Mother was headstrong, feisty, straight-forward and a strong resolve.
I can say that our mother still wields a greater influence on Arnel compared to any other personality that he had encountered. He takes after her resiliency and courage; the traits that guide him to this day. Her ability to blend well with people was also instilled on him, in preparation for his future dealings with people of mixed culture and orientation. I marvel at his disarming humility, which erases any more reason not to like him. And all these good things about him were not learned easily; Arnel travelled a long way prior to his long-delayed arrival.
We started counting the seats, adding up the number of utilitarian molded, scarlet plastic chairs in one ring of Birmingham’s NIA. Phil used a logarithm to deduce the numbers. I guess it’s like the number of beans in a jar. Maybe I’m not hungry, or it’s simply that it’s more than meets the eye. It looked to me like 5,000 was more like 12,000, so math tells us. Maybe it’s just that we are not used to these places Elton frequents. The big time. This is it!
It’s a hell of a stage. The whole thing looks like a huge dark slide. Imagine looking downhill on black ice that’s slanted just enough to let you push a snowball down and watch it tumble into a snowman. I feel a pang of guilt as my clunky soles scuff the slightly sticky, sheer black vinyl surface, a floor so shiny you can steal a glance at the formidable lighting rig overhead as you reach to tie your laces.
Despite longtime AC/DC fans’ immediate acceptance of replacement singer Brian Johnson (resulting in one of rock’s all-time best sellers, 1980’s Back in Black), there was still demand for Bon Scott-era unreleased tracks. Several of their early albums in Australia and Europe (such as T.N.T.) were later combined together for their first U.S. release, 1976’s High Voltage, while several tracks were cut from the original versions and never issued stateside. 1984’s five-song EP, ’74 Jailbreak, features these forgotten tracks from the band’s early days. “Jailbreak” automatically became a concert standard when the EP came out, and it remains a mystery why it wasn’t released earlier. Also included is the largely
Every year it seems as if we get more and more big-name acts in our backyard. That was blaringly obvious this year with traffic jams in Sullivan County, courtesy of the Jonas Brothers, Rascal Flatts and Maroon 5 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Other huge acts that graced the HV with their presence included Blondie, Tony Bennett and Todd Rundgren.
1. The Jonas Brothers, Aug. 14, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel — The most anticipated concert for the tweens and high school-aged girls this summer, the Brothers Jonas had girls and their parents standing outside early in the morning and caused a bit of an uproar when they started later than expected. The sold-out concert came equipped with pyrotechnics and levitating platforms, and the trio of heartthrobs didn’t disappoint their adoring younger fans. The night ended with stage sprinklers going off on the band’s instruments, which cut the encore short but didn’t dampen the vibe.