In The Mix: The 1975, Panic! At The Disco, Third Eye Blind, and more!

In The Mix is a concert event/festival which features six amazing artists: The 1975, Panic! At The Disco, Third Eye Blind, James Bay, Elle King and Twin Pines. And I was there!!!

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The concert was, of course, held in Manila, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. For someone who lives 7 hours away from Manila, I’m proud to say that I’m very willing to travel that far just to see my fave musicians.

So far, I’ve been present during the three concerts/events of The 1975 here in the Philippines. That makes me a REAL FAN now, right?

I remember writing a blog about The 1975 before and I wasn’t THAT MUCH of a fan then. But now I can say that come hell or high water if The 1975 is coming to my country then I WILL BE THERE.

I’ve never been to a concert where multiple artists performed. In The Mix was my first time. In The Mix had its pros and cons, in my opinion. The pro is getting your money’s worth since you get to see more than one artist. The con is that I have no idea who the other artists were and, as much as I love exploring other types of music, I feel like I won’t have time to invest emotions in their music. Another con is when your favorite artist (The 1975) plays last.

I’ve heard of Panic! At The Disco many years ago (LOL). But I think I’ve only heard one of their songs: “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”. And that was all.

I knew about Third Eye Blind, of course! I used to hear their songs on the radio when I was in high school. However, at that time, I was not yet that much of a “music enthusiast”. I might have listened to A LOT of their songs back then, but I can only remember the titles of a handful of them. “Semi-Charmed Life”, “Never Let You Go” and “Jumper” were some of them.

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My friend/ concert buddy told me a bit about James Bay. She said he’s an English singer and his songs were a bit Ed Sheeran-ish.

I wish I knew who Twin Pines and Elle King were. But due to a series of unfortunate events before the In The Mix concert, we weren’t able to watch these two artists. We were 2 hours LATE for it!

Okay, so they weren’t really unfortunate events, they were more like carelessness on our part. LOL. The whole time that we were waiting for this In The Mix concert, my friend and I thought it will start at 8 PM. That was what we saw in ALL the posters and tweets and online posts about it. I even Googled an image of the poster the day before the In The Mix concert and posted it on IG, I think. And I swear to god I saw that it was 8 PM, not 5 PM!

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Due to the traffic jam and transportation hassles, my friend and I weren’t able to meet at 4 PM somewhere near MOA (coz we planned to chillax and eat an early dinner first). I arrived at MOA at almost 6 PM already and I immediately went to a Thai restaurant to grab a bite to eat. I was starving. But then, I didn’t like anything on their menu so I just ordered some Thai hot tea and my fave sticky rice with mango while I wait for my friend.

She arrived at around 6:30 PM, I think and I told her that there were some girls in the jeepney that I rode who were on their way to attend the In The Mix festival and were chattering about it. One of their friends was already at the MOA Arena and she was texting them that the first artist already sang 5 songs. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop but they were talking really loudly. I just rolled my eyes and laughed inwardly. I thought they were overreacting coz it was not even 6 PM and the concert won’t start until 8 PM.

I WAS DEAD WRONG.

After hearing my story about those girls, my friend just laughed about it and took out our tickets to check the time. IT WAS 5 FREAKIN’ PM! It didn’t really sink in at first and we were both just sitting there, totally dumbfounded. We were like, “But… but… it was 8 PM! I checked the posters… blah blah blah”! I had my sticky rice with mango to go and we ran to the MOA Arena. It was so insane! On the way there we kept on wondering why they would suddenly change the time. And why wouldn’t they announce it or at least post about it on Twitter?! What the heck??? Or maybe they did and we didn’t see that. LOL.

So yeah, lesson learned: ALWAYS TRIPLE CHECK THE TIME ON THE CONCERT TICKETS!

But then again, we didn’t really come for Twin Pines and Elle King (no offense). When we arrived at the MOA Arena, it was past 7 PM but there were still plenty of people loitering outside. And they were very “chillax”. So that means they don’t care about the first 2 artists too. We sat outside, relaxed, and ate my sticky rice with mango first. We were late, YES, but we didn’t really miss anything. 🙂

I would love to talk about Third Eye Blind’s and Panic! At The Disco’s awesome performances, however, I honestly came to the In The Mix concert for The 1975.

I was a bit surprised at how rabid and insane the Panic! At The Disco fans were! I mean, I knew they were popular, but I didn’t know they had such a huge following here. The fans were just all over the place! There was this young man sitting next to me. He was by himself and he was very quiet while Third Eye Blind was performing. in fact, he was sitting so still that it almost seemed like he was sleeping.

BUT, when Panic! At The Disco started playing, this young man – I kid you not – started jumping up and down, screaming his lungs out and making other incoherent noises, swaying left and right, waving his hands up in the air, stomping his feet and almost knocking my water bottle on the floor. He was like possessed or something. LOL! It was so cute but scary. We, therefore, named him “PATD’s number 1 fan boy”. Haha!

The whole arena just exploded as the Panic! At The Disco fans screamed and shrieked and sang out loud to EVERY SINGLE SONG that the band played. It was quite a sight to see. I was a bit moved. It always blows my mind whenever I experience incredible and once-in-a-lifetime things like that. And THAT is why I think going to concerts is one of the BEST and most IRREPLACEABLE experiences ever.

I feel like I became a bit of a Panic! At The Disco fan after their performance. Although some of their songs were a bit “too rock” for me and some were even “gothic rock-ish”, there were some pretty cool ones. I especially liked “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” and “Nine In The Afternoon”. And when Brendon Urie effortlessly sang the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I swear even I was screaming my lungs out like a crazy fan girl! It was effing amazing!!!

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Hands down to Brendon Urie for keeping the crowd hyped up and on their feet. What a fantastic performer! He was just all over the place – running around, dancing and prancing here and there, and even doing a backflip at one point. And can I just comment on this guy’s VOICE QUALITY??? Like, what the hell man?! His high-pitched parts and his low bass parts were both ON POINT no matter how much he moved around the stage. It was like he never got winded! I get winded just by walking up a flight of stairs!

Anyway, just when we thought it was finally The 1975‘s turn, on stage came JAMES BAY. I think one thing I didn’t like about the In The Mix concert was the fact that each artist was actually given ONE HOUR to perform. And that one hour did not include the 20-40 minutes time that it took for the staff to set up the stage and their instruments. A little break is okay, but I needed the concert to finish at around 10 or 11 PM because I still had to travel back to my city and go to work the next day.

That was another thing, why would you hold a freaking concert on a THURSDAY night?! Those kids have school the next day and grownups, like me, have work the next day! I just don’t get it. This is becoming an annoying “trend” nowadays – concerts on WEEKDAYS. Ugh.

James Bay was alright. His music was okay. But at this point, my friend and I were already half-asleep and on “battery-saving mode”. We just sat there and I swear I couldn’t count how many times I’ve yawned. I was REALLY drowsy and I had no energy left.

When The 1975 came on stage, it was already past 11 PM! Like, damn!

 

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The first song they played was, of course, “Love Me” and the moment the whole stage was lit with PINK NEON LIGHTS, I was zapped back to life! Like the PATD fan boy, I was dancing like nobody’s watching, singing out loud with my ugly tone deaf voice, and jumping up and down. The 1975’s stage was the most colorful and the brightest stage I’ve ever seen! Those neon lights were just FABULOUS!

 

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Here’s a set list that I found online:

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I was seated way up in the “Gen Ad” section so I couldn’t see Matty’s face clearly but I bet he was making all those funny facial expressions and rolling his eyes while singing “Love Me”.

They played “Ugh!” next and I swear Matty was just dancing like there’s no tomorrow during this track. This man CAN really dance. He’s got THE MOVES.

I was so stoked that they also played some of their “best songs” from the previous album, like “Heart Out”, “Girls”, “S E X”, “Robbers” and, of course, the crowd favorite “Chocolate”.

I’m not sure if it was just the fact that I was drained and worn out or the fact that I didn’t really like those songs that much, but there were some “ho-hum” moments during The 1975‘s performance. Those were the times when I decided to sit down and save my remaining energy for the latter part of their performance. They didn’t play “The Sound” right away and I was very much looking forward to that.

The last 3 songs that The 1975 played: “Chocolate”, “The Sound”, and “Sex” all kept me on my feet. I gave it my all. I just screamed and sang along and danced away. It was funny coz right after the last beat of the song “Sex”, my friend and I (along with a herd of younger people) were already out of our seats! Usually, we would linger there and take pictures and chat some more about what just happened, but ain’t nobody got time for that! The concert ended at past 12 midnight already! Those kids’ parents were probably worried sick and waiting outside the arena.

All in all, it was a better experience than I’ve expected. Except for the fact that it took too long and it ended SOOOO late, everything was pretty awesome.

I’m looking forward to The 1975‘s return – a solo concert PLEASE – to the Philippines. 🙂

Disclaimer: I do not own the pictures here. Credits to the rightful owners. 😀

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One OK Rock Live in Manila!!!

I traveled for more than 12 hours, ran like I was being chased by zombies, endured hunger and thirst, paid the cab driver double the fare just to get me to the arena on time… did not get a wink of sleep on the bus, experienced chills and a terrible headache… was almost late for work… BUT IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!!! One of the most epic and unforgettable concerts for me. If I could, I would do it all over again just to hear the fans’ screams and cheers, feel the adrenaline rush, listen to Taka’s awesome voice and see the band rock it out on stage.

 

Undeniably one of the best things coming out of Japan, the band, One OK Rock, consists of Takahiro Moriuchi on vocals, Toru Yamashita on guitar, Ryota Kohama on bass and Tomoya Kanki on drums. These four amazingly talented guys totally rocked the whole Mall Of Asia Arena last January 19, 2016. It would go down in my history ( as a music fan) as one of the most phenomenal and exciting concerts I’ve ever attended. With the release of their full English album, 35xxxv, there is no stopping these lads from taking over the entire globe. The concert was just freakin’ fantastic from start to finish. There was never a boring or ho-hum time!

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So, I mentioned in my blog about them before that I’m not really a big fan. But after this concert, I AM NOW A HUGE fan. I even felt ashamed when they sang a few songs that the whole crowd seemed to know the lyrics to and I was just standing there awkwardly, not knowing a line of it. But then again, I’m a new fan, so go easy on me guys. 🙂

If you must know, I was a bit hesitant about going to their concert because it was on a TUESDAY night. I mean, come on, people. Who decides these stuff? Recently, I’ve missed far too many concerts because they were on a WEEKDAY. Like, WTF concert organizers?! Students need to go to school and working people like me need to go to work! The biggest dilemma was the fact that the concert was held at the MOA Arena in Pasay and I live a good 6 to 7 hours away from Manila. I live in the City of Pines, Baguio City. Luckily, there is now a “deluxe bus” from my city to Manila, which would take a route with less traffic and it has no stopovers, so it’s faster than the regular bus. It would take about 4-5 hours, instead of the usual 6-7 hours. The next predicament is the fact that I have work until 2 PM and the concert is at 8 PM. So I have to figure out a way to get to the arena before 8 PM, or at exactly 8 PM. It was just impossible, I thought. So I booked a Joybus ticket which left my city at 3 PM. I was still calm through the first half of the trip. But when the clock struck 6 and I was still nowhere near SM North (where I planned to get off and take the North Avenue MRT to Taft), I started praying. Like, really. I never pray. Just so you know. Adding fuel to the fire is the heavy rush hour traffic and the bus taking a different route than I expected. So while we were stuck in traffic at Mindanao Ave., I saw the MRT station from afar, a good 20 minutes away on foot. I made a split decision to just go for it. I got off the bus and ran for my life. I ran like I’ve never run before. It took me about 10 minutes to get to the MRT. It was already 10 minutes to 8 PM by then. I was a bit euphoric when 8 PM came and my friends, who were already inside the arena, texted me and told me that it hasn’t started yet. I reached the MRT Taft station after about 20 minutes. I ran for my life again and flagged the first cab that I saw. I told the driver I would pay him extra if he could get to the MOA arena fast. And he did. I arrived at the arena at exactly 8:30, out of breath and my heart pumping wildly in my chest. That’s when I heard the screams of fans and the beat of the drums. Good thing we got Lower Box tickets, so I only had to take the escalator to the 2nd floor. The moment I stepped inside the arena, Taka sang the first line of “Take Me To The Top”!!!

 

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The triple headbang

The first thing that left me flabbergasted was how close we were to the stage! I mean, my friend bought the tickets and I had no idea where our seats were. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be in the same arena as these awesome guys. Out of all the concerts I’ve been to, so far, this was the closest I’ve been to the stage. I didn’t zoom in when I took pictures and videos with my phone’s camera. Now… I promised myself (during The 1975’s concert) that I wouldn’t take too many pictures and videos and I would just “live in the moment”. BUT I COULDN’T! Especially when they kept on singing one song after the other! I was on my feet the whole time. I could only sit down for about 30 seconds before they started playing another one of their incredible songs. It was probably the most exhausting and energy-draining concert I’ve attended. But then again, it’s a ROCK concert, so I’m supposed to jump up and down, sing my lungs out and throw my fist up in the air the whole time.

 

Credit: Rappler.com

The band never failed to keep us on our feet: frenzied and pumped up for 2 hours. Even when they were singing their Japanese songs, the crowd was still singing along and cheering wildly.

Credit: Rappler.com

I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve told my friends how incredible Taka’s voice was. There was no other way to describe the quality of his vocal performance. It was breathtaking and extraordinary! He was so hyperactive; running around, jumping up and down, screaming, headbanging, doing some kind of pirouettes and yet, he didn’t show any signs of fatigue or even getting slightly winded! He would belt out their songs effortlessly – like he does it in his sleep!

Toru and Ryota didn’t miss any of the action too. They were also all over the stage, playing the hell out of their guitars, eliciting loud cheers and applause from the fans. The drummer, Tomo, was kinda short so his drum set was blocking him from our view, but I could totally see him banging hard on those drums like his life depended on it.

 Credit: Rappler.com

The marvelous “sea of lights” during their ballad song, “Heartache”, was moving. I just loved that everyone momentarily stopped recording with their cameras and just waved their phones up in the air as one. It was beautiful. He sang the Japanese version and was touched when the crowd actually sang along to it. I liked how he kept on putting his hand to his chest to show how touched and grateful he was.

Taka was the only one speaking in English, with only a slight hint of his Japanese accent. He never failed to amaze me with his showmanship and confidence when he was on stage. It’s astonishing how someone so small (actually they all looked tiny on stage ^^) could command the crowd and release a litany of “F” words like a boss.

 

Credit: Rappler.com

Taka jumped like he’s telling gravity to “go on and fuck yourself” (a line from my favorite song “Memories”).

The crowd totally went bananas when he sang “The Beginning” – the theme song of the first Rurouni Kenshin live action movie. It was followed by the theme song to another Rurouni Kenshin movie, “Mighty Long Fall”.

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Just when I thought it was over, of course, they came out after a few minutes for the ENCORE part! Prior to that, we were all screaming “WE WANT MORE!!!” So when Taka and the boys came out, Taka was like “You want more?! Me too.” Haha!

The best part for me was the ending when all four guys, sweaty and out of breath, came forward, held hands, raised them together and went for a 90-degree bow. And it was the LONGEST AND DEEPEST BOW that I have ever seen in my life. I’m sure everyone in that arena felt their heartwarming gratitude.

 

 Credit: Rappler.com

I promised myself that I would watch every single concert that they would have in my country no matter what. Nothing can stop me. I don’t care about the distance, the time, the day and even the weather. I started listening to this band just because I was kind of into Japanese music then. But now, I can proudly say that I am not just a fan, I respect them as artists.

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Setlist

3xxxv5

Take Me to the Top

Memories

Deeper Deeper

Stuck in the Middle

Clock Strikes

Last Dance

Cry Out

Heartache

Decision

Suddenly

The Beginning

Mighty Long Fall

Encore:

Wherever You Are

Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer

No Scared

EDIT! My friend has finally uploaded her BETTER fan cams… So here are a couple:

Decision (end part) + Suddenly 

Taka’s AMAZING vocals in “Clock Strikes”

The best fan cam of “Heartache”

CREDITS: The good and high quality pics are of course NOT MINE. LOL. The crappy ones are mine. All credits go to RAPPLER.COM

“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 🙂

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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. 🙂

Blue Moon in Manila: A dream come true ~

I’m proud to say that I have seen CN BLUE perform live before I die. Or before they disband. Whichever comes first. XD One of my dreams finally came true. I was one of the first few people who actually ‘noticed’ and liked this band way before. My blog over at Multiply is a strong proof of that. At that time, a certain Jung Yonghwa joined the cast of the Korean drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ and I immediately Googled him. I found out that he was in this indie band called CN BLUE, who was under FNC – FT Island‘s entertainment agency. I watched a fancam of them performing Now Or Never in Japan and I instantly liked it. I love bands so it was only a matter of time before I got obsessed with them. I searched every nook and cranny of the world wide web for pictures, info and videos of them, which, at that time was sort of like an EXTRA CHALLENGE. Since they haven’t debuted in Korea yet, and they were just performing on the streets of Shibuya or Shinjuku, it was not that easy to find stuff about them. I was a fan back when their bassist was not yet Jungshin – it was a cute, effeminate dude named Kwon Kwangjin. That’s why I never liked Jungshin coz Kwangjin was my fave member and how would you feel if your fave member gets replaced all of a sudden? Just when they finally debuted in Korea…  😦

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Anyway, I watched these guys grow into what they are now. Haha! That sounds like I’m their mom or manager or sth. But, really. I liked them during those times that they were still lacking and they were not perfect. The times when they all had longish hair and they all looked like the striving rock band that they were… I liked them when nobody paid that much attention to them as a BAND. Because I know that people started noticing Yonghwa ever since his drama. I liked the BAND more than Yonghwa. I invested time and effort for them. I would diligently listen to their songs, watch their performances, read articles about them.

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I admit though, that a year or so after they debuted in Korea – when they became main stream — I kinda lost track of everything. Of course I still saw them perform in music shows, watched their radio and variety show guesting. I still downloaded their singles and albums (yeah, I know that a true fan should BUY the original copy, whatever XP)… I watched Yonghwa’s We Got Married and fell in love with the YONGSEO couple… I still supported them in any way that I can… but something changed…. I dunno if it’s just me. Their music changed. I mean, of course it did. When they became main stream, they lost the “spark”. They lost  the “fire”… IMO. I still liked them but I didn’t like ALL of their songs na. 😦 It made me feel bad coz I’m supposed to be a SUPER FAN or whatever. I just lost interest eventually…

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I was still aware of their hit songs and I still listened to their albums. But I wasn’t that hooked anymore. It was just NOT the same. 😦 I felt guilty when my friends started knowing MORE about them than I did. I was not updated anymore… But then the news of their concert in the Philippines started floating around. That’s when the SPARK came back. It has always been my dream to see them perform LIVE. I already saw FT ISLAND in a concert before and that was just PRICELESS. Seeing CN BLUE is another dream come true for me. Never in a million years did I think that I would get to see them in the flesh.

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UNFORTUNATELY, a week before the concert, I went on a 4-day trip to Singapore with my friends. So my plan of buying the MOST EXPENSIVE tickets for the BLUE MOON concert was thwarted. 😦 BUT, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I told myself that no matter what happens – even if I don’t have anything to eat anymore, even if I go broke, I would NEVER miss this concert. I bought the cheapest concert, which was the UPPERBOX B section – not bad actually… at least it wasn’t GEN AD. They didn’t open the GEN AD section, for some reason… but on the day of the concert, at around 12 noon, I think, they finally opened it coz more fans wanted to see them. 🙂

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Originally, a handful of my friends told me they’re gonna watch it too. But as the concert date came, they all backed out, one by one… until only ONE friend was left to watch it with me. I don’t really care. I watched the FT ISLAND concert by myself so I think I can survive the CN BLUE concert alone too. ^_^ But it was still great that my friend decided to come with me. 🙂

So! Enough about my history with CN BLUE… let’s talk about the concert.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to see them properly since my seat was the farthest (without the Gen Ad) and it was on the Jungshin side, meaning the right side – as in FAR right. Surprisingly, when I got there, it was okay. I mean, I could only see their faces properly on the huge LCD screen but they were NOT that tiny on stage. I could make out their movements and gestures 🙂

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The moment they stepped on stage, the whole stadium went gaga! Of course, I screamed my lungs out. By the end of the concert I actually LOST my voice and that’s a feat since I had never lost my voice in my entire life. Haha! I had to stay up throughout most of the concert coz the two girls in front of me were too perky and enthusiastic – they never sat down. I couldn’t see properly if I just sit down since they were blocking the view of the stage. Ugh. Anyway, can’t really blame them… they were just overzealous fans. XD

130615 CNBLUE BLUE MOON in Manila set list: 

1. Where You Are – It was a fantastic opening song. It totally pumped up the crowd. I couldn’t sing along that much though, coz I forgot the lyrics. Haha!

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2. Get Away – I think I heard this song from their album but I couldn’t quite remember it at that time. ^^ It was catchy and very upbeat though, that I had no problems banging my head to it.

3. One Time – Ah ha! Finally! A song that I actually listened to more than enough times. I still have it on my phone too. One of their better songs.

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4. 나란 남자 (Naran namja) – Another vaguely familiar song. Haha. Can’t remember which album though… but I know that I’ve heard it before. 🙂

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5. Coffee shop  – One of my fave performances! This was where Yonghwa’s FAMOUS SHOULDER DANCE started! Hahaha! It was just hilarious! He was so hyperactive in this perf and he was really ‘feeling’ it. XD

6. Have A Good Night – I have no idea. Haha. I guess I only listened to this once so I couldn’t remember that much. ^^;;

7. Wake Up – I like this one! It was my first time hearing it but I instantly liked it. During the perf, they showed the lyrics on the screen so we could sing along. The lyrics were good too.

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8. Love Light – THIS!!! It reminds me so much of the YongSeo couple!!! T_T And OMG Jonghyun’s voice here… so lovely and heart melting!!!

9. Feeling – I think I finally sat down during this perf. Haha. I tried to calm myself down a bit and just enjoyed listening to the music. 🙂

10. These Days (Kor. version) – Familiar… but I can’t say I’ve listened to it more than once.

11. Y, Why (Korean Version) – I love Jungshin’s powerful rap here! Okay, so he is kinda cool when he raps. 🙂

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12. 라라라 (LaLaLa) – The start of what Yonghwa called ‘DSM’ – Dark Sexy Metal… I have no idea what he was talking about. Hahaha! I love this one. It was hardcore rock! Jonghyun was like, banging his beautiful, soft hair around and everyone was going wild. Minhyuk was hitting his drums like there’s no tomorrow… Yonghwa and Jungshin were having a cool guitar face-off. Haha!

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^ Jonghyun’s yummy, milky white biceps~~~

13. Just Please (Korean Version) – Another one of my faves. I like the English version and I memorized that one so I was singing along, in English. LOL.

14. Tattoo – Yonghwa’s vocals were just AMAZING!!! Like, WOW.

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15. In My Head (Korean Version) – Another head-banging, rock on perf! I think this was where I lost my voice. Hahaha!

16. IntuitionMY FAVORITE SONG EVER!!!!!!!! I was looking forward to their performance of this! I just love everything about this song – the beat, melody, lyrics, rhythm — everything! I was practically jumping up and down while they were playing this!

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17. I’m A Loner – Classic. Of course everyone sang along to this. I mean, who doesn’t know the lyrics to this song? Like, seriously. My throat really hurt from all the screaming but I still sang along to this.

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18. I’m Sorry – This was another one of those hilarious performances. Yonghwa was just doing his crazy shoulder dance and we were cracking up so much. He was dancing like there’s no tomorrow! Hahaha! And he even told us that he IS the best dancer in CN Blue. LOL. Okay, fine, Yonghwa. Your shoulder dance is the best. Hahahaha!

After this, they went for a break and I was able to rest my legs and my voice. Haha! I have to say that I was impressed because they did not require a translator. Yonghwa and Jungshin both entertained the crowd and tried their best to communicate with the few English phrases and sentences that they know. They even made an effort of memorizing some Filipino sentences and words like ‘Kumusta kayo?‘, ‘Masaya ba kayo?‘, ‘Mahal kita‘, ‘Sabay sabay’,’Nagugutom ako‘. LOL. Moreover, their English might be broken but it was tolerable and understandable. Especially for an ESL Tutor like me. ^^ Minhyuk talked a bit too but he was the one that I did not understand that much. The crowd was too noisy and he was speaking a bit softly.

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As a fan, I think it’s very important that these K-POP groups try to communicate in English, no matter how difficult it is. The concert went smoothly and without delay because they handled the crowd pretty well. I bet it would’ve went on longer and kinda draggy if they brought in a translator. Besides, it was funnier if they say it themselves. I read and heard that some thought Yonghwa and Jungshin hogged the show and gave too much FAN SERVICE. Come on people. They ARE idols. That’s what they do – that’s what they get paid for – to provide fan service. It’s not like you didn’t like it. So Yonghwa kept on saying ‘Mahal kita Philippine!‘, it’s just part of the show. It might not come straight from the heart or whatever but at least he tried his best to express his feelings.

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Jungshin, on the other hand… He talked a lot and I think he was able to entertain the crowd better than anyone in the group. He was just hilarious. I never really liked him but after the concert, I now understand why a lot of fans like him. Once you see him perform, you will know. This kid got personality. He knew how to tease the crowd. He interacted with the crowd. He provided great fan service. So yeah, I was pretty impressed. Although he just kept on saying ‘FANTASTIC’ and ‘THIS IS ROCKING’ XD He was able to entertain me. 🙂

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Jonghyun WAS ONE HELL OF A SEXY GUITAR GOD!!! I swear! Every time he appeared on the screen we all lost our minds. Hahaha! His hair was so soft and shiny and every time he flipped it, I just melted. He was often shown on screen whenever he did his solo guitar moments, which, btw, totally ROCKED!!! Even from afar, we could totally see his MILKY WHITE skin!!! He was glowing under those lights! And those biceps!!! Damn! Sadly, he didn’t talk that much. Not sure if he was just shy, if he can’t speak English as well as the others or if he’s just not in the mood. I could barely remember anything memorable that he said. 😦 A friend of my friend told me he was also like that during the Press Conference at Megamall. He was awfully quiet. He was actually my second fave member, next to Minhyuk… Some of his fans were disheartened and frustrated that he didn’t speak that much. I think that’s just his ‘image’. He’s always been the quiet, brooding, man-of-few-words type ever since. And when he’s on stage, he’s a ROCKER. The only thing that exists when he’s on stage is his guitar. ^^

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As for Minhyuk, I was quite disappointed coz I couldn’t see his “physical body” from my seat. 😦 He was blocked by those huge LCD screens… so I only got to see him on that screen. Still, he was better than Jonghyun coz he actually talked. He talked about lechon and jeepneys. Haha! He was the one who said ‘Nagugutom ako’. Haha! This kid is so adorable!!! My heart skipped a beat every time he bangs on those drums. It was just soooo cool!

Encore 

1. Hey You – Another song that got the crowd dancing and grooving. I can’t remember the lyrics to this one so I just nodded along with a goofy smile on my face. Hahaha!

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2. Love Girl – Eeeehhh~ Another song that is reminiscent of the YongSeo couple!!! It was so cute coz the camera  caught a handful of YONGSEO placards and fan signs in the crowd… ^^

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3. Impromptu song – This cracked me up so much! It showed how versatile Yonghwa is. He could just make up lyrics or sing whatever he wants to say – in English and it still sounded awesome. He introduced the next song and he said something about it being the OST of the drama Heartstrings. Then he started cracking up. I guess he realized how hilarious he was. XD

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4. You’ve Fallen Into Me – NEON NAEGE BAN HAESSO, BAN HAESSO!!! Of course everyone sang along to this! Heartstrings was one of my fave dramas and it has one of the best OST too! 🙂

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5. Love – This was where the confusion started. Before the song, Jungshin and Yonghwa were saying something like ‘Put your hands up LEFT!’ and ‘Put your hands up RIGHT!’ So we all raised our left and right hands simultaneously. But they said ‘NO’. We were doing it wrong. Haha! What they meant was, the left side should put their hands up when YOnghwa gives the signal and the right side should do the same when Jungshin gives the signal. But it was still confusing so when the right side, OUR SIDE, raised our hands together with the left side, Jungshin mocked anger and was like, ‘NO, NO, NO! We are RIGHT. Okay?‘ Hahaha! It was so cute! When we finally understood what they want, Yonghwa proceeded to making us look like fools by repeating whatever he said. Hahaha! He made some combination of LOVE LOVE LOVE and CLAP CLAP CLAP and we had to repeat it fast. Hahaha! It was so fun! In the end, he just laughed and he couldn’t stop. I swear he was so amused.

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6. Try Again, Smile again – This was just the PERFECT ENDING SONG. I love this song because it’s very encouraging. I listen to it when I feel down. It’s very uplifting and it tells you never to give up on your dreams. Never stop trying AND smiling. 🙂 I guess it’s the song that signifies CN BLUE’s career – all the hardships, the ups and downs and the success.

(Set List Credit: @HannahCa9989)

It was the kind of concert that left me wanting more by the end of it. I still couldn’t believe I actually saw them perform. Maybe next time I would even get a chance to see them UP CLOSE. 🙂 I just need to prepare for that. Of course I would love to see them again. I would never stop being a fan. After that concert, I can now proudly say that I AM A CN BLUE FAN. I don’t just like one or two members, I don’t just like their music, I LIKE THEM AS CN BLUE – as a band. That would never ever change. 🙂

These guys are very talented – there’s no doubt about that. They are not just good-looking or funny, they can PLAY their instruments and they can perform well – LIVE. They really worked hard to get where they are. They did not take any shortcuts. They were thrown in a foreign country, which tested their survival skills and ability to adapt to the music scene. They studied the Japanese language, they risked getting incarcerated (and I think they did get thrown in jail once XD) by performing out in the streets of Japan, they lived in a small dormitory and they left their families and friends in Korea. So for all the haters and those who still don’t believe in their talent (saying that they are NOT a band, etc.) – you should see them live, in a concert, before you judge them.

Of course I took a picture with the standees afterwards. The fans surrounding the Jonghyun and Junshin standees were RABID. It was so difficult to get a chance to take a picture coz some of them seemed to be deliberating on kidnapping the standees. Hahaha!

The Minhyuk fans were better coz they were behaved and they did not have their claws on the standee. They gave each other some space while taking pics too. XD It was also difficult to take a pic of JS too. We had to do it in two secs or else, someone might drag him away from us XD

My friend and I couldn’t get anywhere NEAR Yonghwa. The fans were like forming a barricade around him. LOL. But my friend was able to take a picture of Minhyuk with Yonghwa photo bombing him XD

CREDITS: The clear and good shots were NOT MINE of course. I only own the blurred and far far away shots. LOL. Credits go to all the owners, I got it from CNBLUE FB 

A couple of pics were from santayo.ph

~All I want for Christmas is… NOT YOU… but THESE stuff.~

It’s DECEMBER~ I’ve been waiting for this all year. I dunno why but December has always been a special and exciting month for me. Not just coz of Christmas… There’s just something about the jolly and festive mood that lifts me up and makes everything fine. 😀 So, what’s December without my annual Christmas LIST WISH? XD Yeah. So here it goes. Wishing a secret santa out there will grant any (or maybe MOST) of them. Haha.

1. JYJ Worldwide Concert In Seoul (5DVD + 6 Photobooks) (Limited Edition) (Korea Version)

The MOST expensive on my wish list. T_T

 2. Red Chuck Taylors

Red Chucks. Been wanting this FOREVER.

 3.  Korean tin cooking pot. ^^

These cute Korean tin cooking pot are my MUST-HAVES right now. 😀

 4. Pink Hello Kitty Fuji Instax Mini 7S Polaroid

I've been wanting a POLAROID camera ever since... I don't know when! >_<

 5.  Ugg Boots~ T___T Me wants! 

Me wants some UGGS! I know we have NO SNOW here but STILL! They're fashionable!

6. FTISLAND Summer Final Messenger Tour 2011 at BUDOKAN – probably the HIGHLIGHT of their career in Japan.

FTISLAND's concerts are always fun, exciting and worth it to watch. They sing LIVE, they play their instruments and they totally ROCK. 😀

 7. CNBLUE Special DVD

CNBLUE - another band that is definitely WORTH all the money. Live music ROCKS!

8. Jersey Jackets ~ fashionable and COOL ~

I live in a city where the weather is ALWAYS COLD... so jersey jacket is a MUST-HAVE. 😀

9.  Gotta have these red keds. 😀

RED KEDS. Yeah, I am obsessed with RED shoes right now. ^^

10.  Another addiction: Dark Chocolate. 😀

Life's SIMPLEST pleasure. And probably the CHEAPEST in this list. Haha.

 So there… any takers? Secret Santa? Donations? ANYTHING? Hahaha. 😀