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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Off My Bucket List - Smashing Pumpkins In Manila

At the risk of being branded insensitive and apathetic (considering the tragedy caused by Habagat to our country), I would like to report that last night was just a BLAST! Yes, I got the chance to cross one off my bucket list.

I reckon if melodrama was human we are probably twins. I live for it. I write better when I'm at my saddest. I get more inspiration listening to sad songs. This is probably why I am drawn to Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan writes the saddest (and some angriest) songs I've ever listened to. They reek of emotions and spot on honesty. Any teenager carrying a bucketful of angst with him would easily relate to their songs. 

The minute I got the hubby's permission to go and see them, I set out to familiarize myself with the band's latest album - Oceania.  I thought maybe Billy wouldn't play much of our old favorites plus I listened to this video interview that a friend shared. I just wanted to be armed and ready. And well, enjoy the concert as well. The album was on heavy rotation on my music player the weeks prior to the concert schedule. I ran with it often. I didn't stop till the melodies were playing in my head. 

Unfortunately, most of the people who came didn't think like me (or rather that's how I perceived the audience's reaction when the band started playing songs from the recent album). None of the songs elicited the same wild reactions from the audience as the second set when they played old favorites although I personally think a lot of the new songs were just as equally good as the band's previous hits. I didn't let that get to me though, I still stood up and sang at the top of my lungs when they played my favorite tracks in the new album (Violet rays, The Celestials, Pinwheels, One Diamond One Heart, Inkless). 

Here's a copy of the playlist (I can't say if it's really the original copy but this was the same sequence of the songs the band played at the SPPH concert if my memory serves me right):
We were supposed to go to this concert with 3 other couple friends but in the end, it was just us who made it. Everyone else had difficulty getting to Araneta that day because of the floods caused by heavy rains brought by the monsoon (hello there Habagat). While I was making my way towards the MRT, I had this strong feeling that the odds are going our way that day. Since I couldn't miss work anymore, I had to come from Cavite that day. I was already prepared to miss the first few songs being aware that the show starts at 830 and I might not get lucky enough lining up at the MRT. But lo and behold, the train station was almost empty that day. No long lines and the riders didn't look like sardines in a can. I was in Araneta 15 minutes after and the hubs and I were still able to grab a quick bite at KFC before heading off to the biggest concert I will witness in this lifetime. (Come here, U2 and I will rephrase this and call it the 2nd biggest instead! haha balimbing). 

We got in around 815 and was expecting the coliseum to be half-empty. It was. But 830 passed and there was nary a sign of the band coming out of the backstage. Several soundchecks were made but there wasn't any indication that the show is starting anytime soon. I would later find out that the bassist, Nicole Fiorentino, had announced in Twitter that they decided to push the show 30 minutes later to give way for others who would have difficulty getting to Araneta (read: wade thru flooded streets and fight through torrential rains). And yes, by 9pm the show was almost packed. People made it!!! And nobody minded the waiting. All for the love of music, eh!

stage (photo by mark terence sy grabbed from facebook)
I am not a concert reviewer/critique so I will leave the commentaries to the experts. What I can say though was this was ALL worth it. Had our budget permitted a VIP ticket, I wouldn't have regretted getting it. It was a 3-hour show 95% of which was just with the band play nothing but beautiful nostalgic music. Billy appeared to have no fondness on interacting with the audience but who cares, he played great music. And to me that's all that mattered really.

I didn't bring anything with me that time. Tibs accidentally left the flip at home. And I didn't have a camera with me. Not even a point and shoot. I took a few photos using my phone but they were not good enough to share anyways so I'm saving them for personal viewing. And I stopped thinking about documenting the entire concert as soon as the band starting playing. I didn't care anymore if I didn't have pictures to show. I have the entire concert saved in my internal memory (hahaha memory plus gold lang ang katapat nyan). After the 3-hour show was over, I lost my voice. But I was in very high spirits. I had a BIG smile plastered on my face. You wouldn't dare wipe it because I doubt you could at that point anyways. I listened to sad songs but I was at my happiest. Couldn't get anymore confusing that that, eh? But that's me. I love sad music and I'm complicated.

i forgot where i grabbed this photo but thank you whoever you are for sharing it!
I sure hope the band will decide to come back. I still have a lot of friends who are hoping they would. And I will willingly watch with them again. In a heartbeat.

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