Anberlin’s Farewell Concert in Manila: Goodbye, But Not Really
It was a night of feels on the night of Anberlin’s farewell concert in Manila last Saturday. While I cannot speak for everyone, it is quite clear that big fans of Anberlin, including myself, were excited about the concert and yet dreaded it because it would mean saying goodbye to one of the best and most inspiring bands in the universe.
Anberlin has played a big part in my life, providing musical feels from my years in college to my years in motherhood, and before the concert even began, I was reminiscing and listing down all of the songs that I really wished with all my heart and soul that they would play at the concert because, after all, it would be my last chance to actually hear them live. As God would have it, they played all of the songs that I wished for… but more on that later.
Anberlin came on-stage at almost 9pm, even though the concert was meant to start at 7, but nobody cared. The minutes the lights came on, everyone roared, screamed, sang and moshed like there was no tomorrow.
It wasn’t my first time to watch Anberlin live in Manila, but it felt like the first time. I found myself being in awe of how gracefully their lead singer Christian aged, how flawlessly he hit and held all of his notes, how energetic the entire band was and how hard they were still able to hit my heart with every single nostalgic song that they played – even though I had already experienced all of those same things at one of their pervious concerts. There is just something about Anberlin that I can’t quite put my finger on – something amazing, something that truly makes me sad to say goodbye.
Read more about my Anberlin feels here: Anberlin Live in Manila: 5 Songs That Will Make It Hard to Say Goodbye
There were many memorable parts during the concert, but one of the things that really stood out for me was how Christian made us all feel special throughout the night – and in the littlest ways, too. Between certain songs, he’d mention how glad he was to be back in Manila and how happy he was that we embraced their arrival with open arms. He also mentioned that they visited other countries once or twice, but that they came here THREE times. Booyah!
And then came the clincher: Anberlin played a series of songs that were especially chosen for Anberlin’s farewell concert in Manila based on their fans’ tweets before the concert. These songs included “Inevitable”, “Take Me (As You Found Me)”, and “Impossible”.
“If I could leave you with one song tonight, it would be this,” Christian said, right before they performed “The Unwinding Cable Car”.
The ultimate emo/hugot/feels/tearjerker moments for me, though, came when they sang “A Day Late” followed by “Adelaide” (two of the most important songs of my collegedom) and, of course, when they sang “(*Fin)” as their encore song. I really cannot translate into words how I felt when all of that happened, but if you were there and are a fellow Anberlin fan, I am sure you will understand what I mean… utterly and completely, for that matter.
It is evident by my Twitter feed that I am not the only one still nursing an Anberlin concert hangover. I have been listening to them non-stop on Spotify since the concert ended, semi-hoping that it was all a dream and that it wasn’t actually their final concert. As they say, though: all good things come to an end.
The good news is that ‘goodbye’ isn’t necessarily the proper word to use here because people are able to immortalise music by playing it, sharing it with the world and passing down the awesomeness from generation to generation – and that is exactly what I plan to do with Anberlin’s music. You will live forever with us, Anberlin. Thank you for the gift of your music.
All photos by Rachel Nocom.