Story and photos by Tiffany Johnson
Among the many local bands on Guam, 4 Play is one of the newest to the music scene. The band performs nights at three of Guam’s music venues — Club Xscape on Monday, Santa Fe Beach Bar on Saturday, and Tumon’s Casa Nami on Tuesday.
4 Play delivers up good vibes wrapped in rock and reggae, including covers by Sublime, The Expendables, ACDC, Katchafire and many more. The group’s unabashed love for island music is well-known, especially when they cover island-influenced musicians such as Common Kings and Wooster (both crowd favorites).
Ironically, 4 Play consists of five members: Gabryel Vasconez as lead vocalist, Kenneth Blas on lead guitar, Anthony Babauta on bass guitar, Anthony Cruz on drums, and Elway Ikueda on keys. Ikueda is the newest addition to the group, with the other four members playing together for quite some time. Ikueda’s keyboarding prowess undoubtedly enhances the shows and dazzles his bandmates, who are nothing short of blown away by his abilities.
It just so happens that music runs in the family for drummer Anthony Cruz .
“I have an uncle that is musically inclined. His name is Carlos Laguana, locally known great bassist and former middle school music teacher. However, he did not influence me to play the drums, my mother is the one responsible for that,” he says with a grin.
According to Vasconez, the band plans on featuring more original songs.
“We have one song in the works and we hope to have more within the next month,” says the lead singer. “It reflects on the daily lives we live today and challenges that we take in the future, and also all the fun memories that we’ve had as a growing band.”
The band’s peers praise 4 Play for tight vocal harmonies and musical diversity. Though a few members of the band are accustomed to playing to small crowds, mostly to friends and family, they rock out like veterans of the stage. It helps that other band members are experienced in playing for a crowd (and a paycheck). 4 Play keep their fan-favorite status by taking song requests and staying open to constructive criticism from respected local musicians.
The sensational five have been playing together for as little as two months, yet have made a name for themselves by holding nothing back onstage. From moonlit rehearsals to countless set lists, 4 Play doesn’t take this whole music gig lightly. Fans are drawn to the raw energy the band exudes night after night. The quartet never shys away from an opportunity to play to a crowd and has rock star-grade confidence to spare.