Isang linggong pinag-ipunan / Isang buwan mong inabangan / Ang feedback ng mga gitara / Mga paborito mong kanta / HALA BIRA! — “Sugod” by Sandwich
My sister and I waited more than a month for the Switchfoot in Manila concert, so last night we were hoping for a really great show.
What happened was an experience beyond my wildest concert dreams. I’ve never been front-and-center at anything before (well, I had front row seats to an M2M mall tour appearance once BUT THAT DOESN’T COUNT OKAY?!).
We had bought tickets to the mosh pit. We were at Cuneta Astrodome around 6:30pm and there was a long line for Lower Box B ticketholders already. We almost lined up there, but thankfully Marielle saw a friend in there who told us the mosh pit line was further ahead.
As we fell into line, I noticed this tall Korean-looking guy in front of us and I thought, “I’ve seen him somewhere before.” And then I realized it was Champ from the band Hale. (I didn’t take pictures. It would have seemed stalkerish.) Other local showbiz luminaries passed by, like Anne Curtis, who greeted the Hale vocalist as he stood in line and was later joined by the rest of his bandmates. Later in the evening at the mosh pit, Jericho Rosales and Heart Evangelista showed up and stood with all of us regular Juans as we waited for the concert to start.
Then some guy got onstage and told us what we were all gathered that night for. Apart from it being Switchfoot‘s first concert ever in the Philippines, 20% of the ticket proceeds would go to the International Justice Mission, a “human rights agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression.” My heart swelled within me as I realized these guys had come halfway around the world to do a concert for such a cause. It’s just like them. Even though their songs aren’t overtly Christian and they don’t market themselves as a Christian band, nevertheless their lives show that they truly live the message in their songs. “We were meant to live for so much more.”
Salamin opened for Switchfoot. They played four songs, ending with “Euphoria” featuring Gabriel Valenciano and Daniel Gorospe on bongos. The guys were really on, really whipping the already-excited crowd into a higher frenzy.
Then the roadies came onstage and started soundchecking for Switchfoot.
What else can I say about the concert? I don’t even remember a lot of details, really. I started screaming my head off as soon as Switchfoot came out and started playing “Oh! Gravity”. It was pure delightful headbanging madness from beginning to end.
Jerome, the band’s keyboardist and guitarist, is a Filipino-American so at some point as a stunt, he got someone to bring out balut (boiled fertilized duck eggs) for his bandmates to try. It was a huge hit with the crowd, and truly established these guys as good sports.
They played a lot of favorites and the energy from the crowd was intense. It peaked during Switchfoot’s encore of “Only Hope” and “We Are One Tonight”. We mosh-pitters really rocked it out, especially a group of guys on my left who are in a band and have Switchfoot as their main influence. (From their conversation pre-concert I could tell they were massive fanatics.) In fact, the crowd was so hopped up on adrenaline that a guy and a girl from the mosh pit jumped up and started running around onstage, to the dismay of Switchfoot’s roadies. The guy got bodyslammed off the stage by one roadie, and two other roadies pulled the girl away kicking and screaming after the concert ended.
Because we’d bought our mosh pit tickets before August 6, my sister and I were entitled to a poster and a t-shirt for free, which we collected after the show. We didn’t know that the poster was an autographed one, so when I saw the actual Pentel pen marks on the canvas poster, I was in complete shock. It really ended the evening on a high note. Thanks, Switchfoot!
“We are one, tonight / and we’re singing it out / We are one, tonight / and we’re dreaming out loud / And the world is flawed / but these scars will heal / We are one, tonight! Tonight! Tonight!”