Last Saturday, November 25, veteran rock band Sandwich celebrated their 25th year as a band and launched the vinyl edition of their 1999 debut album Grip Stand Throw with a show held at 123 Block in Mandaluyong City. Many of the band’s longtime friends, peers, and fans were in attendance, looking to score a copy of the classic record and enjoy what the band promised to be a long set of their most enduring songs.
At the end of it, everyone left satisfied, including the members of the band — singer Raymund Marasigan, guitarists Diego Castillo and Mong Alcaraz, bassist Myrene Academia, and drummer Mike Dizon — who showed up early to sign records and watch the opening acts, and mingled with the crowd after their headlining set.
The evening began with a blistering performance from pop-rockers ONE CLICK STRAIGHT, who turned their amps up to 11 on numbers like “Wake Me Up,” “Hahayaan,” and “MRT,” before leading the crowd into a sing-along with “S.S.H.” Afterwards, DJ Medmessiah led the Davao-bred hip-hop collective Morobeats onstage, who proceeded to amaze the audience with hard beats and deft rhymes, especially when Miss A and Fateeha traded raps like fire jugglers. This eclectic selection of openers definitely reflected Sandwich’s diverse musical tastes, as well as their preference for showcasing younger, rising acts.
After a brief break, Sandwich opened with “Food For The Soul,” the rap-rock classic from their 2001 sophomore album, Four Track Mind, setting the momentum for what would become a memorable set of anthems that spanned the band’s entire career thus far — including “Butterfly Carnival,” “2 Trick Pony,” “Back For More,” “No Goodbyes,” “Ibang Araw Na Lang,” “Sugod,” and the immortal “Betamax.” The band also engaged with the crowd at different points, making jokes about their age relative to their younger peers in the audience, including members of bands like HEY JUNE! and St. Wolf, who Marasigan spotted in the crowd.
DJ Diego Mapa (Tarsius, Pedicab, Eggboy) closed the night with an all-vinyl set of classic hip-hop, new wave, and indie rock tunes that had members of Morobeats breakdancing to the delight of everyone who stayed.
The vinyl edition of Grip Stand Throw was co-produced by both Backspacer Records and The Grey Market Records. Both pre-orders of the album and the extra copies that were on hand at the show sold out that evening, and if the long lines for the autograph signing before and after the show were any indication, the vinyl release was very, very highly anticipated indeed.
“It turned out better than I thought it would, from the packaging and Erwin (Romulo)’s beautiful liner notes to the fidelity of the album,” says the band’s resident record enthusiast Castillo. “I’m not a vinyl audiophile in terms of the fidelity aspects like how some can be, but this one sounds great to my ears, at least.”
When asked if the rest of Sandwich’s catalog would be reissued on vinyl, the guitarist adds that 2004’s Thanks To The Moon’s Gravitational Pull “might be out next year.”
If you missed out on the vinyl release, you can stream Grip Stand Throw below: