The Fray Live in Manila

November 10, 2012, the long awaited concert of The Fray in Manila finally came. Yes I’m a fan. I’ve been listening to the band for a very long time now. I never thought that quite accidentally getting to watch the video of How to Save a Life just because there was nothing else to watch at home so I was scanning through the TV channels around six years ago, will start a fascination that will last this long.

I really don’t know what is in their songs that get to me. Certainly I haven’t experienced every single story they put in their songs but they just have a strong effect on me. I will always remember how a song of theirs when played in [let’s say] an episode of a TV series will snatch my attention from whatever it is I’m doing and leave me in deep thoughts. That seems funny and quite exaggerated but that’s really how it is. I even got to finish one screenplay overnight just having the song Trust Me in mind.

The wait was not easy for the Filipino fans since the concert was originally announced to happen on 21st of June of the current year but was postponed to the 10th of November. I heard about it sometime in May and was almost disheartened by the postponement; ’cause what could be worse than merely hoping that they will visit the country anytime soon but knowing they are indeed going to visit but later than the date you believed they would do. It was like trying out in a team and receiving a comment that you almost made it so you might want to try again next time. But they did come in the end and the fans are of course now okay with everything.

The quick setup was finished; the band casually ascended the stage and start of with All at Once. And I must say that all at once the crowd was screaming. That’s being a fan. The right to lose yourself in front of the artist you admire and just be ignored comes with it.

The place was so alive. They really didn’t have to ask the crowd to stand up for almost everybody was already standing and singing with them.

The band was like how I usually see them in their performances and interviews in the internet. They showed the same energy and enthusiasm and that was more than enough to reassure me that yes, the show was totally worth the time and money I spent for it. Ben seemed to be having a great time on the drums while Dave was being his usual serious musician self that I just admire. I only wish he was not that too absorbed though so he could acknowledge the people admiring him. But I guess that was just him. Joe and Isaac on the other was doing their thing connecting to the audience and doing good backups for each other. They do make a good team.

I was quite too busy recording things here and there switching devices while keeping wary of things happening directly around me. But I made it sure that I’d be extra attentive when they play my favorites.

When Joe finished a remarkable performance of Ungodly Hour, I somehow knew Happiness was going to be played next and I immediately gave myself instructions to really watch them and not watch them from the display of the device I was holding.

Isaac went down and crossed the low barricades set up in front of the stage to get to their fans and as expected everybody wanted to get to at least shake his hand. This happened more than once. The next time he went down the stage, he ran past their guards to the people sitting in the lower boxes to shake their hands having to climb in the process for their seats were quite highly elevated. I think everybody in the front rows suddenly wished they were sitting there too.

They played for about an hour and forty minutes without any time for 2 minute breaks and that was just great of them. They were only going to play for a limited and so they did not waste any of it. When they finally said goodbye and the crowd asked for more, they even gave a two song encore which may be planned but always works of course.

It was a great night for fans. I think everybody thinks they got the performance they deserved from the band and they loved them more for that. As like any other fan, I guess I’ll wait for the next one. -aB


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