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. 😀

“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. 🙂