“The 1975” mania in Manila

“We are bigger in this country than in our own country.” — Matthew Healy 2015125234919

Those were the humbled words of the vocalist of the English Indie rock band, The 1975. And it was one of the most memorable moments for me. I was there. I finally saw them live, performing on stage, in a huge arena packed with screaming fans. I was one of those screaming fans. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now. It was just one of those moments that would leave you speechless; often smiling from ear to ear whenever you remember a snippet of what happened that night, even though you are in a public place and you look like a fool. To be honest, I am not a hardcore 1975 fan. My friend introduced their music to me and I gave it a try. I didn’t even Google them to see what they looked like. I listened to the album and I instantly liked it. It was, of course, a delight to find out, when I finally Googled them, that they were not some long-haired, bearded dudes who were born in 1975. LOL! I can’t say that I keep up-to-date with everything about them and I don’t Google them that much. I didn’t even bother refreshing my ‘playlist’ memory by listening to their whole album. I would just occasionally hear their songs on my phone, whenever I’m “sound tripping”. I didn’t memorize the lyrics to all their songs, I only know some lines here and there. But of course I subconsciously memorized “Settle Down” and “Chocolate”, coz I’ve listened to them so many times. I actually went to one of their mall shows last year. Unfortunately, I was too far from the stage and since it was a free event, there were like a bazillion of fans there. I was a bit disappointed in myself. I should have gone earlier. Anyway… going back to the concert… a series of unfortunate events happened before the concert. First, after hanging out with my high school friend at the mall, thinking I have all the time in the world, I realized that my phone’s battery was down to 38%. I don’t own a power bank, so unless I’m not planning to take pictures and videos of the concert, then I have to go back to my brother’s house and recharge my phone’s battery. So I hurried back home at around 6:30 PM and immediately recharged my phone. My friend and I decided to meet before 7 PM, but I figured that there was no need to hurry coz, like every other concert that I’ve attended, there would be a delay in the schedule and they’re gonna have an opening act or something. I didn’t anticipate the line at the MRT and of course the traffic from Taft Station to the Mall Of Asia Arena. At around 8:10 PM, my friend texted me and told me she was gonna go in na, she’ll just come out to give me my ticket. I was in full panic mode then. I didn’t want to miss even a minute of the concert! That ticket cost me 2000 pesos! And what if they sang “Settle Down” or “Chocolate” first?! I had never ran so fast in my life. I didn’t bother saying sorry to whoever I bumped into along the way. I just bulldozed my way out of the crowd. I so wanted to scream at the jeepney driver and tell him to step on it. I arrived at the arena at almost 8:30 PM. Like I predicted, the concert hadn’t started yet. So I met my friend, we went it, bought some bottled water, went up to the second floor and was about to go up to the third and then fourth floor (coz that’s where our seats were located) when all of a sudden a horde of shrieking fans came running down the escalators. They started lining up in front of the Lower Box doors. My friend and I were a bit perplexed for a second, but we calmly followed them and lined up too. It was too crowded and there was a lot of pushing so we decided to get out of there. While everyone else was still running around and screaming like mad people, my friend and I were just strolling around and checking things out. We then realized that they were allowing everyone to go down one level/floor. We walked to the nearest Lower Box door, showed our Upper Box tickets and VOILA — we were in! JUST LIKE THAT! It was sooooooooooo amazing! I was squealing and jumping up and down and hitting my friend on the arm! That was how ecstatic and stoked I was. I just couldn’t believe we went down TWO FLOORS! We found some seats on the left side of the stage and we had a clear view of it. I was just so giddy with excitement, especially when I saw where we were supposed to be seated.

2015124204646Our view of the stage 🙂

2015124204653

So the concert started, they hit it off with “The City” and everyone automatically got up on their feet and just started jumping, waving their hands up and down and screaming their lungs out. Including me. Haha! George, the drummer, entered HALF-NAKED. He had no freaking shirt on!!! My friend and I figured he learned his lesson from his last visit in Manila, when they performed under the scorching sun and had to douse themselves with cold afterwards. Haha! Matty was wearing that cute flowery, Hawaiian-ish polo shirt and some ripped skinny jeans that emphasizes his REALLY SKINNY LEGS. Everything was a blur for me. I just couldn’t believe I was finally seeing them and I was CLOSER to the stage than I thought I would be. 🙂 I told myself I would concentrate on the performance and I would refrain from taking pictures and videos. I said I would only take one video and I chose “Settle Down” coz that’s my favorite song. ^^ I said I would leave everything to my hippocampus. But I just couldn’t help it! Even though my phone’s camera is not so HQ and well, yeah, it sucks. I couldn’t even find the ZOOM function so my pictures and videos looked like they were taken from the 4th floor. Haha! Anyway, my friend has the better videos so I’ll probably post them here once she finished uploading them. When they played “Settle Down” the crowd just went bananas! I, for one, started jumping and dancing and making some crazy gestures with my hands. I actually went into a coughing fit after screaming too much. Haha! Matty entered the stage with a bottle of wine, which he gulped down like water. And he would pause every now and then for a quick puff of his cigarette too. I was actually just waiting for him to do drugs on stage. Hahaha! Kidding aside, even though he was slurring his words (coz he was obviously tipsy and getting drunk by the minute) he gave some really touching and fangirl-shriek-inducing adlibs. I’m not sure if he kinda loses his British accent when he gets drunk, but we completely understood everything that he said! I mean, compared to that Trinoma mall show last year where I only understood a few sentences. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the crappy sound system then… needless to say, he was much easier to understand when he’s hammered. XD These are some of the memorable stuff that he said during the concert. It’s not verbatim coz my hippocampus, like my camera, also sucks. Haha!

Matty: This is a big room but I can see everyone. Listen to me… We’re all here. You guys are here… All the people on the Internet are not here. That’s just logical… For one song, I want to connect with you… I want everybody for one song, put your phones away… *points somewhere to his left side* I can see your phone over there! Put your phone away! 

Hahahaha! Actually, this particular moment reminded me of Bruno Mars’s concert last March. Everyone in the VIP area were holding up their phones, recording the whole show and taking pictures so Bruno was like “Hey, put your phones down and just dance with me!” Well, that’s the power of smart phones. It makes us blind, deaf and mute at the same time. We miss out on the good stuff because we are always on our phones. We don’t talk to each other while having lunch or dinner with family and friends, we send emojis instead of saying ‘hi’ in person, we don’t even look at people in the eye because we’re too busy looking down on our phone’s screen. It’s the sad reality of our modern society… BUT, I’m not here to preach. Haha! I guess Bruno and Matt both felt the same thing. They wanted the fans to see them IN PERSON, LIVE, not through the screen of their smart phones. 2015124205948 The fans were very compliant. One by one, all those tiny lights were gone until the only lights were the ones on stage. It was kinda moving… at first. Haha! Eventually, those itchy hands went back to their phones and started recording and taking pictures again. 10432098_10152730525868212_8697104953318905308_n Another epic line from Matty: “This is a big fucking place, I’m really tired. It’s so fucking hard to get from there, all the way over here. It’s a fucking nightmare.” Hahaha! He kept on running around the stage during the performance and because he was hammered, he felt exhausted after a while. LOL. There was this part when he was playing the piano and started singing a song, which I have no idea what the title was, and it was supposed to be a solemn and silent moment. We were all quiet already, most of us even put away our phones again. But there were these four annoying teenage girls, right above us, who kept on screaming and shrieking and calling out to Matthew. The whole arena already noticed them and we were all SHUSHING them, but they were thick-skinned and shameless. They just didn’t get it. I was a bit pissed off. I mean, I don’t wanna judge them but they really seemed like one of those irritating, uneducated fans who don’t really appreciate the music, they were only there to fawn over the boys. Okay, we get it, you’re so stoked about being there but try to get a hint, girls. Everyone’s fucking SHUSHING you, so shut the hell up. I swear, while Matty was singing this really calm and mellow song, they just kept on screaming incoherent stuff. Finally, Matty stopped singing and said “I want you to be quiet for this one…” So we were all like “SHUSH!!!”, and all the shushes went to those pesky, unruly girls. But Matty was like, “But remember, shushing is louder than talking so…” Hahahaha! He was just so adorable! matty

 Matty pics from my crappy cam ^^

Before leaving the stage, George gave us a FULL FRONTAL VIEW… of his ABS GALORE. ^__^ He went to bow in the middle of the stage and then threw his drum sticks to the crowd. Of course, Matty was the last one to leave. He was definitely wasted by the end, he was swaying from left to right and he couldn’t walk straight. LOL! Then he decided he was the KING OF THE WORLD~ so he stood up on one of George’s drums, with his back to the crowd, and made that KING OF THE WORLD gesture… then he jumped back down. The only problem was, he didn’t land awesomely on his two feet…  he fell flat on his butt! LOL! Poor boy. XD I was still on cloud nine even after I got back home. Although my videos were crappy and my pictures were blurred, my hippocampus kept on replaying the events of the night over and over again. I rode the bus home and these three girls sitting behind me were spazzing about the concert too. Haha! Of course, I eavesdropped on their conversation and I made a lot of snide remarks and comments… in my head. XD There was a time when I almost turned around and joined in their conversation. They were talking about how not all of the people who watched the concert were REAL FANS. They said most of them only know “Chocolate” and “Girls” and they felt that it was so unfair because before The 1975 got this famous, they (the girls) were the only ones among their friends and acquaintances who ‘knew’ the band and who liked ALL of their songs. They memorized the lyrics by heart and they knew EVERY SINGLE song that the band released. So they were sort of claiming dibs on the band, saying it’s annoying that they got famous now and everyone knows them. While listening to their conversation, I was smiling to myself. I wanted to tell them “Been there, done that”. Hahaha! If I had a dollar for every time I think about that same exact sentiment, I’d be able to buy a VIP ticket to the next concert by now. XP Like I said earlier, I’m not a hardcore fan. I listened to the album about five or six times then I chose a handful of songs that I like and put it on my phone. That’s it. Before, I thought these so-called fans are annoying because they keep on thinking they know everything about the band. So if I don’t know their full name, age, height, weight, eye color, fave dish, underwear preference, name of their parents, number of siblings, number of past girlfriends, then I cannot call myself a ‘FAN’?! Can’t I just be a fan who appreciates their music; someone who likes some of their songs more than the others? Can’t I just be someone who just wanted to see them perform live and show them my support?  Am I not a ‘fan’ just because I don’t Google them every day, memorize all the words to their songs, keep up-to-date with their recent gigs, mall shows and fan meets or stalk them on Twitter and Facebook? What exactly constitutes a ‘fan’? I’m not gonna be a hypocrite because I used to be that ‘kind’ of fan. I hated those who only knew one or two songs from the album and who had no idea where each band member was born. It was ridiculous and stupid. We all have different ways of showing our love and support for our fave bands and singers. So, it doesn’t really matter how or why you became a ‘fan’, what’s important is YOU ARE A FAN in your own way. 🙂

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