Around five songs into Under the Glow of the Satellite, Sandwich’s 20th anniversary concert held on April 13 at the Metrotent Convention Center, vocalist Raimund Marasigan asked if everyone in the audience could put their phones down. He assured the crowd that Jason Magbanua was recording the show anyway, and invited everyone to remember the days when people went to concerts to actually have a good time—not to fuss over cameras. So for one night, the audience was transported back to the early 2000s: immersing themselves in the moment, moshing in the pit, and simply getting to know the band through their music.
While many of those who were there last Friday were undoubtedly most excited about getting the chance to shout, “Sugod!” “Selos!” and “Sunburn!” in unison, Sandwich reminded us—through a massive 38-song set—that a band is always so much more than the singles you hear on TV or on the radio. A band’s lifeblood is in their deep cuts. It’s these less radio friendly, often more peculiar gems that arguably give a studio album weight and make gigs really worth staying at. And Sandwich’s deep cuts are a particularly interesting collection to revisit due to the sheer number of styles the band has experimented with, while still maintaining a core sound.
From the grunge and punk of their 1999 debut album, Grip Stand Throw, to the more contemplative, slightly sadder tracks off of 2015’s Debris, the band potentially offers something for everyone. Fans of former Sandwich vocalist Marc Abaya will undoubtedly hear the beginnings of Kjwan in Sandwich’s first three albums. Fans of Eraserheads’ crazier, more playful songs will instantly recognize that same untamed spirit across all of Sandwich’s music. Anyone who likes rap, electronica, or even a bit of harmonica will find something to like. Theirs is a discography that brings generations of music fans together.
But even with all this experimentation, it’s like Sandwich hasn’t aged a day. Marasigan, bassist Myrene Academia, guitarists Diego Castillo and Mong Alcaraz, and drummer Mike Dizon are still some of the best performers you could hope to see live. After 20 years, their music hasn’t lost its energy and the band members still play like it’s their first, last, and only show. Sandwich is a band unweathered by age, incapable of pretension, and clearly in love with music. The local music scene is made more exciting by the knowledge that they’re still alive and kicking.
Below, we’ve curated a quick playlist to help newcomers and longtime fans alike reacquaint themselves with the other sides to Sandwich that go unnoticed—but are just as vital.