First Concert Realizations


After 5 long months of waiting, The Fray’s show in Manila finally came, which just put the first check mark in my bucket list. I know. Some people might say that it’s a pretty lame entry in one’s bucket list but I got the answer for that. Firstly, it’s my bucket list. And secondly, the idea is to list out the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Certainly the last thing you would want before you die is have someone tell you what you should be doing.

My bucket list is not very grand, daring, and expensive, because the things I would want to do before I die are simply not like it. This is of course kind of contrary to what other people seem to have in theirs. But then it’s still too early to talk about these things so I’ll get back to the experience.

It was my first time to actually attend a concert (no I am so not counting that piano concerto I attended back in college) and reasonably for a lack of experience I could not say if the whole thing was a good one. I loved the band last night and the performance was flawless but there were just circumstances that made the night quite not as perfect as I wanted it. My fellow fans of The Fray, no, the band was totally not one of those.

The moment I got home I recalled those things that brought flaws to my otherwise perfect day and was struck by a number of realizations.

Firstly, I should have really asked for the the dos and don’ts. I heard warnings regarding bringing video recording and image capturing devices. I found it ridiculous for two things. Firstly, you paid for the experience and you simply want to capture it so you could possibly relive the whole thing later in some fantasy world. I see nothing wrong with that. Secondly, what could you possibly gain financially from a video taken with your low end recording device with shaky hands and people blocking your view of the stage near somebody who’s singing so loud and getting all the notes wrong? Nothing! Well you could sell photographs nowadays; but if nothing controversial happens, what’s the real harm about taking them?

When we get to the coliseum I found out there was really no such banning of devices and surely that made me regret leaving our digital camera at home and bringing my crappy mobile phone and an iPod Touch instead. I could have had better choices though hadn’t I been so forgetful to borrow one of those better mobile devices from our team. I am a part of a mobile applications development team and they are not very strict about letting developers use the devices as long as you return them in time for work and in good shape. I guess I was just not very lucky. I wish I followed my logical explanation for bringing a camera.

Secondly, I should have secured free memory space as much as I have secured battery power. My girlfriend and I were running out of memory space in what recording devices we had left to us. I even challenged her jokingly to prove her love for The Fray by the number of songs she was willing to delete from her phone to free some space. She deleted everything which I could have done as well if it was worth it. Unfortunately my mobile phone takes compressed videos that are just crappy and freeing some space cannot do anything about it.

Yes I had the iPod Touch I mentioned earlier which takes photos in an equally crappy way as my mobile phone takes videos but is surprisingly good enough in taking videos so I had something to use. Unfortunately I only got 1.4 gigabytes free and I was nowhere near another Apple machine to transfer the videos after taking them and possibly other files that were taking space. Finally I decided to just delete videos of those numbers that I assumed my girlfriend already recorded in her camera.

Thirdly, I should have not really expected a gathering of big fans at the front rows. There were people who obviously didn’t have any good reason for occupying those front seats other than somebody paid for the seats for them to be there. I of course did not want to question their benefactors’ reasons whatever they were but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for other fans who could have taken the seats.

Finally, concerts in the Philippines are indeed costly. I didn’t mind paying P6, 360 to be in the block closest to the stage despite my mom’s protests. We were at row F. I love the band. I waited for years for them to get here. I even desperately sent messages to their website and Isaac Slade’s tumblr account. But then again I alone do not make the population of their fans here in the Philippines. I was lucky to have money to spare; not everybody was like that. I realized I may be lucky with my seat but I actually belong with those people at the general admission seats screaming their hearts out for the band. Had the band come here 3 years earlier when I was still in college and relatively poor, I will surely just be there in those seats farthest from the stage. That’s why I admired Isaac when he decided to run past the security personnels to get to the fans in the lower boxes. I’m pretty envious of those fans who actually got to shake his hand but I’m happy for them as well. That must have felt a lot better than sitting close to the stage.

I guess the whole thing was not as perfect as I have wanted; not when you waited for years for it to happen. But a lot of good things happened to even out all the hassles I encountered during the event so I guess I’ll settle with not perfect but great for a description. Read about the good stuffs here. -aB

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