Unleashing the Wolfpack: A Review of Wolfgang at the Met

It took place in the beautiful city of Manila on the evening of June 18, 2011. A huge pack of wolves gathered in a historic building to howl, scream, sing, and move to a crushing wall of sound. And amidst this splendidly fierce group were four of the top wolves, leading the pack and providing the monstrous musical rampage.

This is Wolfgang, a Filipino band that, since the 90s, has been creating some of the most intense heavy music the Pearl of the Orient has ever experienced. The event was “Wolfgang at the Met”, and, as the title suggests, it was held at the Metropolitan Theater in the city of Manila. Wolfgang consists of Basti Artadi on vocals, Mon Legaspi on bass, Manuel Legarda on guitar, and Francis Aquino on drums.

Wolfgang on stage during their concert at the Met

The Wolfgang Gig in a Nutshell

The show started at around quarter past 8:00 pm. Wolfgang began the long night of heavy music with “Sanctified”, a classic taken from their Wurm album. Continuing the rampage, Wolfgang spewed forth bestial creations such as “Left Alone”, “Mata ng Diyos”, “John of the Cross”, “No Falter”, and the smoldering “Halik ni Hudas”. They even did what Basti called a mini opera, a string of Tagalog songs telling the story of a man and the cruel fate bestowed upon him. This string of songs can be found in the “Serve in Silence” CD. The band was also generous enough to share a track from their upcoming album. In addition to their songs, they also did a number of Iron Maiden covers. The crowd showed its venomous appreciation by responding to Basti, screaming, clapping, and singing their lungs out with each song. I think the band unleashed more than 20 musical beasts.

Here is a video of Wolfgang performing “Natutulog Kong Mundo”. This was of course taken during the gig.

Between most of their numbers, Basti was interacting delightfully with us in the crowd. This guy was hilarious during the gig! I appreciated how he’d tell a few nuggets of information about their songs and how he’d encourage the rowdy audience to get even wilder. The celebration culminated with “Arise”, which was obviously a crowd favorite and one of Wolfgang’s greatest masterpieces.

A Blind Wolf’s Visions of the Historic Event

The band was absolutely awesome, no question about it. And apart from Wolfgang, the people who worked on this event were marvelous. I appreciated how the lady who was selling Wolfgang shirts made an effort to describe to me the styles and designs of each shirt. I’m also thankful to the staff who managed the audience’s entrance to the actual theater. Seeing that I was blind, they called me and my friend’s attention and allowed us to be the first in line. Although I was happy to have stayed in the current spot where I was, I nonetheless greatly appreciated what they did.

Julius standing beside life-size cutout images of the members of Wolfgang

I sure as hell can’t comment on the visual aspects of the event. But I can tell you that a huge amount of effort was put into the concert. The sound system was terrific. You not only could hear the songs, you could actually feel them! Portable air conditioning units were installed, which ensured that the band and the audience were comfortable. Without those units, we would’ve perspired like pigs. We are, after all, not pigs for we are wolves! Also, the place felt and smelled clean, from the restroom to the actual theater.

From a long-time fan, I thank the band and all the staff for organizing this monumental event. I respect the hell out of you guys even more after the concert.

Truly, you do not need eyesight in order to enjoy music provided by Wolfgang and our other Filipino legends. Let’s continue supporting Filipino heavy music!

Check out Wolfgang’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/wolfgang.music.

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