Worried about the rainy season with a concert a few hours away? You think people won’t show up to show their support for bands that they love? Heck, no. When in Manila, trust that the rain can never dampen the spirits of the filipino people who live for the thrill of adventure and last night’s concert by 30 Seconds to Mars became quite an adventure in the rain indeed.
Armed with a raincoat purchased minutes before the concert and our silver passes, my friends and I made our way to the concert grounds and within minutes received a text from my cousin-in-law that gold tickets were waiting for us at the entrance, ah, I thank God for miracles that can only help raise my excitement to even greater heights. While waiting for the concert to start, the rain poured like crazy and umbrellas, hats and raincoats were all around. But despite the crazy downpour, the air was charged and everyone could feel it, and we all knew that this was going to be one heck of a concert.
When our very own Kjwan opened the show, we all showed our love and support by cheering to our dear hearts content. I thought it was pretty cool how their lead vocalist Mark Abaya and Jared Leto have two things in common, they’re respected tv and film actors in their own countries and they both are lead vocals in a band and they do a darn pretty good job at it (well, more than just pretty darn good for Jared Leto really, I mean, the guy is not only hot, he’s got some mad vocal skills I tell yah!) . Now I wonder if those two things had anything to do with Kjwan being chosen to open the show? Nonetheless, they did hype up the crowd with their performance and it was great to hear the crowd sing along with the band when they sang their popular songs lifeline and daliri. After about four or five songs, Kjwan left the stage and the concert crew prepared the stage for the set of 30 Seconds to Mars. It took them a while to get everything ready, the stage clearly needed to be mopped and wires here and there protected as that tent did little to protect the stage from the heavy rain. We were all getting pretty antsy, i mean, we did come to see 30 Seconds to Mars perform live and with this rain, we all wanted to see them perform ASAP. Sure the rain made us feel like we were pretty hardcore but hey, we came here to see a show.
At around 9:30, there they were, 30 Seconds to Mars, right before our very eyes. I have to be honest and say here, I was screaming my head off when they came on stage and I now, for the life of me, can’t remember what the first song was but yes, it was amazing! The band sure knew how to get the crowd going, we were singing, bobbing our heads, swaying, screaming and getting pushed and pulled in different directions. It was a mob and I was right smack in the middle of the adventure. And then my iphone 4 was stolen. You can imagine my horror at the realization that my phone was stolen, right from my pocket, all in less than a minute. I immediately looked at the person to my right and asked him if he took my phone, and in my distress, frisked him without asking permission and found none. I wanted to frisk everyone in the area and yell, but in truth, i felt pretty helpless. I was surrounded by so many people, it could have been anyone and hey, the concert just started so I couldn’t really do anything else because the crowd was going crazy over the performance on stage. So like a true filipino who never lets stress get the better of me, I said a silent prayer asking God to just allow me to let go of the anger and just breathe in the wonderful experience that here, performing a few feet away from me, was 30 seconds to Mars, one of the bands that I, like many, truly admire. And that was that. With my stolen phone at the back of my mind, the rest of the night pretty much rocked.
Thanks goodness 30 Seconds to Mars sang songs almost all of us knew and loved. Imagine being in a concert where people couldn’t sing along with the band, that would be disappointing wouldn’t it (Yes, I’m talking about a specific concert earlier this year)? One of the songs that I could remember was “The Kill” off their album “A Beautiful Lie” from the year 2005 which they won a few awards for during the MTV Video Music awards in the years 2006 and 2007. I really wasn’t too familiar with this particular song to be honest, but instantly fell in love with it last night and immediately listened to it as soon as i got home. Off their most recent album “This is War,” the band performed Hurricane, Closer to the edge and Night of the Hunter. The whole time, the energy level of the crowd never went down. At one point big balloons filled with confetti were thrown into the crowd and as the balloons bobbed slowly up and down, i felt like I was watching everything in slow motion, and with the rain pouring against the bright lights and the band giving their all while they performed, I felt like I was part of an MTV video. Pure rock bliss.
Jared Leto definitely knew how to keep the crowd going, he asked us to sing with him, jump with him, raise our fists with him and yes, scream into the night and go crazy with him. And who was I to resist? Heck, I did all that and more. I just love how music can move you, how it can pull together a big crowd and for about an hour, it can let us all take in the experience and allow us to drown in our own euphoric state. Beautiful Madness. My colleague and friend DJ Chloe of Mellow 947 told me how she was so moved by the music that yes, she cried at one point, when the band sang This is War. I on the other hand have a personal favorite from last night’s performance, when the band sang Closer to the Edge, we all raised our fists (mine in defiance) and screamed into the night “No! No! No! No!” “This never ending story paid for with pride and fate. We all fall short of glory, lost in our fate…””NO NO NO NO! I will never forget. NO NO, I will never regret. NO NO! I WILL LIVE MY LIFE.” and in those moments, in the middle of a huge crowd, I felt like I was truly living my life.
When the band said good night, as expected, the crowd cheered “More! More! More!” and we yelled even louder when the band came out again and gave in to our request of performing Kings and Queens. What’s even better, Jared pointed out to people in the crowd to come and join him on stage for their last performance and to my surprise and delight, DJ Chloe was up on stage inches away from my beloved (yes, I believe you can claim him to be your beloved in your own blogs too ;)) and you’d think I was jealous but I was ecstatic for my friend. As they all screamed and yelled on stage, we couldn’t help but be happy for them too so yes, we all joined in the screams and yells and we all sang loud and proud to their last performance for the night. Chloe later on tells me that she even got Jared’s guitar pick. Lucky girl!
The concert ended and as fate would have it, so did the rain. Minus the fact that my phone was stolen, the concert was more amazing than I imagined it would be. And if I walked in ignorant with a few of their songs, I now plan on getting their albums on my ipod and memorizing it so I could finally sing to all of them and reminisce about how wonderful the night of their concert has been.
So When in Manila and want to party like a rockstar, attending a concert could definitely help make you feel like one. And the next time (and I do pray there is a next time) 30 Seconds to Mars comes to Manila, let’s all go again and let their music take us to a distant planet far far away.