Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ear Health and a Concert

Updated 8/31/07

My first exposure to extremely loud music was during a Tears for Fears concert. They had massive speakers and I had ringing in my ears right after the concert and maybe the next day. I later learned that the ringing was symptomatic of tinnitus. I learned more about tinnitus and hearing loss through organizations such as H.E.A.R., which featured ads in a guitar magazine I frequently read:

There's also this article, which explains how hearing loss will likely be more prevalent today than before due to the use of in-ear earphones, loud concerts, etc. As expected, many musicians have suffered some form of hearing loss or tinnitus due to repeated exposure to excessive noise. These musicians include Pete Townshend, Sting, Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent and Mick Fleetwood. This Rolling Stone article lists some ways to prevent hearing loss (e.g. turn down the volume, give your ears a rest after exposure to loud noise).

Speaking of hearing music, I just came back from the Freddie Aguilar concert. It was great to finally hear Aguilar perform live. He sang the classics, of course ("Magdalena", "Ipaglalaban Ko", "Mindanao", "Bulag, Pipi at Bingi", "Anak", "Bayan Ko", "Pinoy", "Kumusta Ka", "Estudyante Blues"). It was pretty cool when he let the crowd sing along to some of his songs. And to hear him sing "Ang Bayan Ko", well, what can I say? Simply amazing.

Aguilar wasn't the only one to perform that night though. Comedian Ella V. and actress/singer Ara Mina performed for about an hour and forty-five minutes as the opening acts. As far as opening acts go, I think Aguilar should've had an up-and-coming Pinoy rock or folk band open up for him. I'm not saying Mina and Ella V. were bad. Mina was ok, I suppose. But I think she knew that the audience wasn't there to see her so she did her best to win them over by going into the audience while she sang a few songs. Gotta give her credit for that. Ella V..... well, what can I say? She basically did raunchy humor. If that's your cup of tea, then you might enjoy her comedy. But I also gotta give her credit for going up there to entertain the audience. Comedy is tough. As the saying goes: dying is easy, comedy is hard.

In addition to the above performers, Aguilar's two sons also performed -- his guitar playing son played two songs while his other son rapped two.... uhhh ... raps(?). His guitar playing son is a pretty good guitar player, but he did a bit too much showboating and posing a la 1980s hair band. Overall, the concert was great, but it would've been nice if Aguilar sang more songs. He only sang for a little over an hour.... a bit bitin, if you ask me. My one suggestion is that there be less of the other performers and more of Aguilar. That's who people paid to see, not the others.

Updated: Below are two (albeit not that great) photos I took during the concert:

Ara Mina goes into the audience and gets swarmed by folks with cameras:
Aguilar performing:


Technorati tags: tinnitus, Freddie Aguilar


bingskee said...

wow, ear health and a concert - great combination he he

the ear is one of those body parts that we have to take care very well. i should know, i had an ear infection before just because of my frequent cleaning with a cotton bud.

bet you enjoyed the concert. am not a fan of freddie but i love his songs especially magdalena, anak and bayan ko. one of his son raps? kakaiba ha, a rock singer who has a rapper for a son, not that i despise rappers but parang kakaiba ha ha

Bill Bilig said...

yeah, i think it is bitin if he sang for only about an hour while the opening act is more than that.
so did you get an autograph?

Wil said...

bingskee, oh, had no idea you can get an infection from frequent cleaning with the cotton bud.

Yeah, his son raps and well.... that's about all I'll say. hehehe

bill, he mentioned there would be an autograph signing after the show but I wasn't sure if there really was going to be one because everyone was just filing out and not waiting at some designated area for the autograph signing. So no.

Alternati said...

If I were to guess who invented the whole idea of "the opening act"... It would either be a diva-ish artist who hates being strained or a thrifty show producer wanting to save on lesser acts... either way, viewers are the ones who get screwed.

A rapping Aguilar jr.? Oh my... that is scary.

dimaks said...

i wonder what is the standpoint of the HEAR org regarding the use of earphones :) because in our lab, each and everyone has to wear one to listen to his particular music of preference.

glad the concert went fine :) must have been ecstatic to hear ka Freddie sing.

bw said...

It's high time that people realize that too much noise can damage the ear drums over a period of time :(

An hour and 45 minutes opening act? Now that's way too long man. I'll be bored myself ! I say 30 minutes is about the right length of time. Most of the time should be alloted to the star performer :)

A few years ago I watched Martin Nievera and Vina Morales for 3 hours ... inantok tuloy ang mag tao sa haba hehe.. subalit bawing bawi ang bayad :)

Major Tom said...

It would have been such a cinch to hear Tears For Fears f my all-time fave band.

I believe mas maaling talaa ang anak niyang babae sa pakanta. Sana siya na lan an nakasama...

Wil said...

alternati, yeah, I was somewhat disappointed I heard more of the other acts instead of the main act. But at least I got to see the guy perform which is good.

dimaks, HEAR has a brochure on their website called "Hip to Hear (2) Survival Guide" with some tips on using earphones: never turn the volume all the way up on any personal music player, as the sound can easily exceed 100 decibels (dB); pump up the “fidelity”—or quality of
the sound—without twisting the volume knob; and there's also special earphones that block out unnecessary outside noise. Also, over-the-ear earphones are somewhat safer than in-ear earphones according to the Science Daily article I linked.

yeah, i was psyched to see da master. :D

bw, you are correct. Hopefully, the dangers of hearing loss won't fall on deaf ears. hehe. sorry for the pun. couldn't help myself. :D

I don't really know whose idea it was to have the opening acts play for so long. I might have to write the organizers or Mr. Aguilar himself. hehe

Major Tom, the tour I saw was the Sowing the Seeds of Love Tour. I think it was their last album and tour.

Had no idea Aguilar also had a singing daughter. I probably would've preferred her singing to the rapping and the hair guitar. hehe

vernaloo said...

I thought you were gonna discuss ear problems or ear infections hehe

Anyway I can only imagine how bitin it was...I mean a one-hour performance is not satisfying but at least you get to see your idol so you know..okay na rin :)

Gypsy said...

Kaya di talaga ako madala sa iPod-iPod na yan eh! (sourgraping ba? Hehe) Great to know you enjoyed Freddie A...I am still scratching my head about Ara Mina's presence, parang di bagay..

Wil said...

verns, hehe. yeah, sometimes the topics in my post don't flow together. hehe. They're both related to hearing, but I couldn't quite make a smooth transition from hearing loss to a concert. :D

Bitin nga talaga. I'm disappointed and I'm afraid Aguilar is no longer my hero. I'll have to go back to my previous hero -- St. Thomas Aquinas. haha. Got that joke from the TV show Cheers. :D

Gypsy, i believe apple now offers a download so ipod users can limit the volume. There's a link on the HEAR website.

I think Mina herself was wondering why she was there. It seemed like she was self-conscious while talking to the crowd.

tutubi said...

i used to suffer from tinitus, that ringing in the ear, i got probably from listening to loud music

i no longer pump up the volume :)

Ferdz said...

Oh no! I always have my earphones pa naman. Hehehe. Pero as much as possible kailangan medyo naririnig ko parin ang outside noise pag naka earphones ako.

Good thing you enjoyed Freddie Aguilar! As expected, I guess I agree that they should have featured more on the folk side to become the front act for freddie. Like Noel Cabangon calibre or the newer young artist

Layad said...

Thank you for this article about Ear Health. I read the Rolling Stone's article and it was very informative.

I agree with Major Tom. It would have been better if Meagan, Freddie's daughter, joined the concert instead of Ara Mina or Ella V. She also sings quite well, and her kind of music is more like her father; parang contemporary version siguro. Better write the organizers of the concert! =)

Ka Freddie didn't sing 'Rosas'? Hehehe...

Toe said...

Oh, it's so cool that you got to see Freddie Aguilar. I really would love to watch him live too. So now you know who Ara Mina and Ella V. are ha. ;)

I've always thought that tinnitus was that silence you hear when you're in a place like Baguio.

Wil said...

It's the way to go, tutubi. :)

Ferdz, in-ear earphones are ok as long as the volume isn't cranked up so high. I think you also have to rest your ears every once in a while after listening to earphones.

Yeah, hopefully if they do another tour, they'll book a folk/rock artist.

You're welcome, Layad. :)

I'll have to figure out who's behind the tour first. hehe

Unfortunately, walang "Rosas." Pero ok lang. :)

Toe, yes, now I know who Ella V. and Mina are.... unfortunately. hehehe

Yes, tinnitus is more noticeable when one is in a quiet area. Who knows how much longer Baguio will be a quiet area so tinnitus may no longer be heard there. oops, I made a little social commentary there. hehe

Belle said...

Wil, he probably didn't have enough songs in his repertoire that night to last long.

did you take pictures? how old is Freddie now? he was singer already when i left the philippines 21 years ago.

i bet it was fun listening to Freddie sing. were there a lot of people who came?

my husband can't take loud noises as it hurts his ears. when kids sing their hearts out in the living room, he closes the door in his room.

Wil said...

Belle, Aguilar is a pro so I kinda expected a lot more songs out of him. He mentioned that he was 54 years old. I did take pictures but they didn't come out very good since I wasn't that close to the stage. The auditorium was near capacity, maybe 90% full. Not sold out. The high ticket price probably contributed to that.

Perhaps your hubby should build a recording studio to your house so your kids can sing to their heart's content..... or he can just close the door, too. :D

tin-tin said...

ear health... i'm conscious of that coz i admit somehow i'm a little deaf. that's why i have a loud voice. hehe.

and re opening acts, maybe it's cheaper for them to have those than have the artist sing more

DatuPanot said...


i asked the doctor once what he meant by "purriring". that's what i heard (or thought) he said on a routine medical check-up.
my query only confirmed that i have a "poor hearing"!


Wil said...

tin, you're a little deaf? Whoa, sorry to hear that. Hopefully that won't affect your videoke singing. :D

I can only speculate why Aguilar's performance was so bitin. Oh, well. Hopefully he won't do that the next time he tours the US. :)

Datupanot, hehe. Hopefully I won't have to ask the doc what "puriring" is. :D

Cheryl Daytec-Yañgot said...

Wil, Freddie used to have a restaurant in SM Baguio where excellent laing (This is gabi cooked in coconut oil, in case you are wondering) was served. In the evening at around six, there would be musical performances. Leandro and I - almost the screaming fans- would go there when Freddie himself was performing. Three times, we managed to have him sit with us, and that was how he got demystified. Ilocano pala siya. He is still one of the greatest folk singers of the Philippines.Good to know that you had a great time listening to him. My favorite song of his is of course, Bayan Ko (which was composed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel's wife during the martial law years.)

Wil said...

Mng. Chyt, wow, suerte ka naman. I didn't know that Aguilar had a restaurant in Baguio and that he's Ilocano. Pero it sounds like he no longer has that restaurant. Bakit kaya. Anyway, I didn't know that he wasn't the writer of Bayan Ko also. I assumed he wrote that. Still a good song nonetheless.

niceheart said...

It must have been a real treat to hear your idol sing those classic songs. I guess the high ticket price is all worth it. :)

Wil said...

niceheart, it was indeed nice to see him in concert. Although for the ticket price, I would've preferred to see less of the other acts (ella v., mina, etc.) and more of Aguilar. hehe