Written by Yann Magcamit (@alltheloveyann)
Pound the fangirl alarm—the McDonough brothers are back! The trio Before You Exit, made up of Connor, Riley, and Toby, starts off their tour’s Asian leg with the Philippines as the first pit stop in support for their brand new EP, All The Lights. This isn’t their first time in the Philippines, but it sure does not make the concert last February 24, 2017 any less special.
I arrived in Kia Theatre at around 3:35, just in time to see the people with soundcheck tickets being let inside the venue. My ticket, however, came with the meet and greet passes and not soundcheck, and the supposed call time for it was at 4:15 pm – but guess what? The line was already long when I arrived. While waiting, the venue was playing Before You Exit songs that surely hyped the avid fans up and distracted us from the heat and smoke from outside.
Finally, at about 4:15 pm, we were asked to go inside the venue for the meet and greet. The moment the three boys got up on the stage, the whole theater filled with screams. My heart went crazy every time one of the boys would look at the crowd and wave in between the photo ops, and oh my goodness—when it was our time to take our photo, my knees were shaking. Getting up close to them left my thoughts scattered, and the first thing that I actually told Riley was, “Oh my gosh, you’re so tall!” I don’t know if I feel embarrassed by it, but he laughed, so I guess I shouldn’t.
The meet and greet passed by quickly, but oh man, it was worth it. I got to hug all three of them, and they all smelled SO good.
Although the show itself started at a bit past 8 pm, the gates had been opened at 6 pm for the people to get in the venue, and man, the moshpit got way crowded as early as that already. The pushing in the crowd was unavoidable, and I’ve even seen a girl who was behind me faint during the show proper.
The theater erupted in squeals and screams the moment the brothers walked on stage and started performing —which, by the way, was such a breathtaking sight. Riley, Connor, and Toby emphasized all throughout the show how much they loved the Philippines, and even jokingly said that they had actually decided to stay here for good (we wish!!). Toby almost didn’t make it to the show due to appendicitis and had spent the last few days in the hospital prior to the show. Thankfully, his surgery was successful and he had felt well enough to push through with the performance! This didn’t go unbeknownst to the fans too, and many had called the night “Toby Appreciation Night” to show their love and wishes for a speedy recovery for him.
The trio performed their hit singles from the EP, such as Model, When I’m Gone, and Suitcase, and everyone was so psyched to hear the songs live. They also sang old favorites, like Soldier, Three Perfect Days, and I Like That and covers of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud and Maroon 5’s Don’t Wanna Know.
Things got a little emotional though when they performed Clouds—a song they dedicated to their close friend Christina Grimmie, another artist, who had passed away. Connor, especially, got teary-eyed during some of the performances as well, which made the crowd chant his name repeatedly to cheer him up, and he always returned it with a smile.
The show was a blast—judging from the grins on the faces of both the fans and the guys at the end of the show. The three promised to come back again next year, which the fans know in their hearts would definitely happen, and that they look forward to seeing the lovely Exiters again soon.
Were you able to catch them live? How was your own #BYEinManila2017 concert experience? We’d love to hear it!