I almost left this blog to go die in a fire. I hope I’ll be able to post more often than not. It’s almost summer which means it’ll be really exciting to see my friends and how everything plays out with planned trips and summer class. Summer class?? I have almost accepted the fact that I am failing in mechanics (es18) and that summer class may just do wonders for me.
Anyway, the main concern of this post is to ramble about the concert last march 9. Paramore Live in Manila! It truly was a thrilla in Manila. Here is the complete story of our 1 day extravaganza.
I woke up around 9 am. I really was excited for the concert. I prepared my things the night before so that I wouldn’t be in a rush. Surprisingly, Andre knocks on the door. We had a debate on whether I should bring a bag or not. I seriously should have stuck to my decision to bring a bag. After re-checking that everything was in place about a zillion times, I proceeded to take a bath. My dad was really supportive of the concert even though I’d be missing class. I made sure that everything was already in place though before I skipped my classes.
We arrived at the airport around 10:30 and our flight was scheduled at 12 noon. We still had ample time to eat and think of a possible souvenir for Hayley. A few minutes later, Kelly showed up with nothing but a plastic bag and a smile. The plastic bag was a gift for his tito in Manila who would pick us up from the airport and bring us to MOA. We decided on buying dried mangoes for Hayley as that was what we saw on her twitter account. (twitter.com/yelyahwilliams) Our flight was a cebu pacific chartered flight so we expected it to be just on time. We had a quick meal at Cafe Wien and had some donuts at Dunkin Donuts. Donuts = good. You know the computers they have that have free internet? We decided to check and see hayley’s twitter to see any updates. Having failed to that since the Cebu airport computers fail, we decided to board the plane. My 2 friends Kelly and Andre were suckers for motion sickness, so the comfort bag was ready to do it’s job. So as we went into the sky, we were excited for what would happen in the next few hours.
We arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It was huge! Well, huge when comparing it to the Cebu Airport. We waited for Kelly’s Tito to arrive and bring us to MOA. He arrived after a few minutes of waiting, and saved us an expensive trip via taxi. He would also be there to pick us up and bring us back to the airport after the concert. We arrived at MOA and checked the concert grounds. We were staying at the gold section and were excited to see that there were only about 15 people lining up at the gold section. We though, hey let’s go to MOA and buy some food for later. We went to MOA and bought food at KFC and bottled water at Watson’s. We also had to take care of some discomforts from the food at Cafe Wien. After that was taken care of, we ran back to the concert grounds.
Imagine our dismay as we saw that around 50 more people started lining up. We were disappointed and proceeded to line. We weren’t the only Cebuanos there at the concert. Some friends were just as excited as us to be over there. It was around 3:00 pm when we started lining. By around 4pm, the crowd lining had gotten huge. After talking with some of the bouncers and guards, we were hoping that there wouldn’t be any issues with the line as we really were part of the 1st 100 people there. We started to hear the soundcheck. At first it was drums, bass and guitar. We then heard a male voice repeatedly saying “Mic check 1,2,1,2” It got annoying after awhile and we came to the conclusion that it was the opening band, Callalily. Silence ensued. It was almost around 4:30pm when we heard different beats. I was so happy just listening to the guitars and drums as I recognized some familiar beats and riffs. Out of nowhere, Hayley’s voice started singing Ignorance. You couldn’t have wiped the smile off of my face. They proceeded to sing other songs such as Brick by Boring Brick and Decode. There was a small hole in the barrier as we tried to catch a glimpse of our favorite band. I was really sad since there was a tent just blocking Hayley and the band. We ate our KFC dinners as early as 4:30pm haha. We got to the front of the line since the lines were divided to around 4. We reminded the bouncer to keep us in priority since we lined up earlier than the others.
The bouncer assured us that we would be among the 1st to go in. He then left and I never saw him again. The regular security guards went out and divided the lines. They had no clue that we were there and plced us at the back of another line. We were all so down and furious at the unfortunate circumstances. Andre and Kelly were really thirsty too. We were thirsty, down and almost out. However, it wasn’t meant to be as our fortunes would change. So we were at the back of the line and sad. Suddenly this photographer comes and tells me she wants to get my picture. JAG was holding a promo with getshot and I was happy to oblige. The winner gets P5000 worth of JAG certificates. Please do vote for me haha. The contest ends on March 15. (www.getshot.com.ph) Find my picture over there and vote. I’m concerned though, as there seems to be no limit to the voting.
Anyway, the photographer gave me the details and a cool pin as a temporary prize. I said our fortunes would hopefully change for the better as things were looking up. Out of nowhere, my cousin called me. He said that he was in MOA and couldn’t watch the paramore concert. He had extra VIP tickets. We all jumped for joy and started to run inside MOA. We abandoned the line and said goodbye to the gold section. My 2 cousins were at the premiere theater and we talked for awhile. In his hands were exactly 3 VIP tickets. It was all so perfect. We were 3 eager fans kicked to the back of the line, and he had 3 VIP tickets up in front. We were so happy. I started jumping around as we bade goodbye and ran back to the concert grounds. This journey is actually on video, but I’m too lazy to post everything. Maybe during summer haha.
So we got back to the concert grounds and went straight to the VIP section. There were only around 100 total VIP people. A guy went up to us and asked if we were selling our gold tickets. He was a real threatening guy. I got nervous and we ended up selling our gold tickets (net worth: P3950) at 1k each. I didn’t mind as the VIP tickets we had now were so much better. We ran to the very front of the stage. We looked at the gold section and we were so grateful. The view from gold was actually pretty far. It wasn’t meant to be though as the gold section fans would be upgraded to VIP. I was happy for them too since they would be closer to their favorite band as well. I just felt sad that the people who actually paid 10k for the VIP ticket weren’t given any extra consideration.
We left our places for awhile and went to the merchandise tent. There were only 3 shirts! It sucked big time. We still went and got some shirts. I also bought some shirts for some friends back home at Cebu who would miss the concert. We went back to our spot and the place was filling up. We wondered how it could fill up when there were only around 100 VIP ticketholders at the time. The place started flooding with people as the gold ticketholders rushed in to the VIP section. The promoters really should have handled the situation better at the time. It was around 6:30pm and we were suffocating at the sheer number of the crowd. We were literally boxed in and we told each other that if we got separated, we would meet each other back at the merch tent. After a few fart bombs and some loud chants, the opening band took the stage. Callalily did well and I went along with their beats. I was surprised to see that this band wasn’t receiving much love from their countrymen. There were lots of people who booed them and gave them the f*ck you sign. It was sad to see that the people just couldn’t wait and have a good time. They probably performed about 5 songs before they left the stage.
After Callalily took off the stage, people started chanting “PARAMORE” They disassembled the drum set and took down the amps. The paracrew started to come up on stage. We cheered the technical crew and they got a good laugh from it as well. We first saw some familiar Paramore concert items. We saw the box labeled Paramore, which would be a sort of mini-stage for Hayley later on. We also saw the orange and yellow carrot microphone. They started testing the instruments of the guys. We saw the Gibson Les Paul guitar of Justin York. We saw the Fender Jaguar guitar of Taylor. We saw the Fender Standard Precision Bass of Jeremy. We also saw the drumset of Zac being assembled. The brand name eludes me at the moment. After they checked the instruments, the crew left the stage.
The lights went dim and we started chanting “PARAMORE” again. Suddenly the opening riffs of Ignorance started to play, and the crowd was in a frenzy. I saw the yellow/orange locks of hair coming on stage and I was just there. I was so happy to be just there and I’m sure Kelly and Andre felt the same way. I started recording the whole thing, but it was hard to do as there were so many people pushing. After awhile, Kelly was nowhere to be seen. I would then find out that he had been pushed all the way to the front and he could have given Hayley our dried mangoes gift with our message written on it. It wasn’t meant to be. Andre and I were really happy. It really was worth all the wait. They performed about 12-13 songs and ended with Brick by Boring Brick. A guy had a signpost that said “Hayley, will you go to the ball with me?” and Hayley eagerly responded to the question. She also got a bracelet from a girl who threw it on stage. She also acknowledged the presence of Taylor’s brother, Justin, who came as a replacement for Josh. Josh wasn’t part of the tour at the time since he was planning his wedding. Hayley also endorsed Love 146 and said goodbye to their tour manager William. Everything happened so fast. It was over just in an instant.
The concert ended after about 2 hours and 30 minutes. It was so short. I was really happy but dehydrated and exhausted. I’m sure Andre felt the same thing. We had another problem though. We lost Kelly and we were trying to find him. We kept shouting his name but it was of no use. After a while though, we finally found him after we just sat and waited. We all exited and went to buy some water and to take a short break.
My feet and legs were killing me. Standing for about 3-4 hours is not a pleasant experience. I tried to contact my cousin, hoping that we could schedule an appointment with Paramore backstage. It wasn’t meant to be though as his producer friend didn’t show up. We went to the back of the venue and hoped that we could just give Hayley the dried mangoes. The guards started lining up and a van went out of the gates. However, it was all just a decoy as Paramore had already left via a side exit. We were really disappointed and took a seat on the ground. We started eating the dried mangoes. It was good but not as good as if we had given them to Hayley.
We started walking away when we realized Andre didn’t have his phone and camera on him. We started frantically looking for it. We were even able to call his phone, and the user just turned down the call. Unluckily for me as well, it was my sim that was on his phone. That is why I now have a new number haha. PM me for the new number, friends. Kelly’s tito called and we had to leave. I really felt bad for Andre but hopefully we would all just get over it.
Kelly’s Tito treated us to McDonald’s and boy were we starving. Andre didn’t have an appetite though as he was still down about it. We were then brought to the airport at around 12pm. Our flight was still at 4:45 am. 4 hours of waiting is not an easy thing to do. So we just decided to sleep and hopfeully the ordeal would be over with. The airport is huge, but still lacks chairs and benches. :(
Kelly slept on the bench and shared it with 2 other people. Andre and I decided to take a spot with more legroom, the floor. We slept on the floor and it didn’t really matter anymore as we were all exhausted. I woke up around 2:30am and went to find the CR. The airport is huge. I had to walk around a while before I found my bearings. I went back and sooner or later, Kelly and Andre also woke up.
We were about to check in when some guy went to talk to us. He had seen my Paramore shirt and he too was a fan. He told us about his adventures about finding Paramore at the Airport and at Shangri-La. He also told us about being able to picture Hayley and say Hi to her. Boy, I envy that guy.
We were checking in at Cebu Pacific at around 3pm and met some friends who also came from the concert. The 3 of us proceeded to have breakfast over at Go Nuts Donuts. What is it with airports and donuts? Haha. We boarded the plane without much talking as we were all so sleepy. Well for me, I wasn’t as sleepy since I was still in a state of post-concert shock and excitement.
The plane arrived around 6am and my dad picked us up. Kelly went home separately as his dad got him as well. I arrived home and greeted my family. I took a bath and my dad brought me to school. I was surprised I still had the energy to enter my 7:30am class.
This more or less ends the trip. There were some ups and downs. We were sad that we got kicked to the back of the line and also sad that Andre lost his things. We were also happy that we were able to be up close to the band with my cousin’s VIP ticket treat. We weren’t able to give Hayley the dried mangoes but it was still an exhilarating adventure nonetheless. I’m sure this won’t be the end of our quest to find the band and get a chance to meet and greet them.
This wall of text is dangerous to your health. Only those who personally know me and understand would be able to finish this in a single reading. I hope you guys know who you are. Til’ next time. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait as long to see them again.
“I’ve got a tight grip on reality but I can’t let go of what’s in front of me here.”
– The Only Exception, Brand New Eyes (2009)