Recap and Review:
INTENSITY featuring RAIN and U-KISS
September 11, 2010
Prologue: I want to get this out of the way: To be honest, after everything I have seen and heard on the days leading to this show, some of which are information that I did not need to know yet I somehow knew, I had my apprehensions prior to this concert. I had feared that Rain will simply just get this over and done with. I mean, I know he will try to do well, but maybe not well enough for us to say that it’s worth all the money and effort we spent working on this. He could easily use the, “I am very tired” excuse because let’s face it, he IS very tired. He had a lot of things on his hands the entire time he was in Manila. Rain could be really stubborn at times – if that’s still surprising to you, it’s either you’re new or you have blinders, or both – and this could be one of those times. Not that I do not believe in him. It’s just that… let’s just say I knew too much to have that kind of fear.
After U-KISS’ set, there was an intermission which felt like eternity because nothing was happening except another several rounds of “Goin’ Out Of My Head” courtesy of the Manila Hotel ad. It was sheer torture. We want Rain na! I noticed that the stage was being mopped; U-KISS must’ve left a ton of sweat in there. That shouldn’t be a surprise; I was just at the audience and my shirt was literally dripping. And then I saw a bunch of Korean guys who were obviously J Tune people because they’re all wearing Six To Five apparel (uniform?) going to the control booth. Hmm… it seems Ji Hoon did prepare something for us. And then, finally… RAIN.
It started with an AVP on the LED screens. Raindrops… hmm, looks familiar? Love Tour, I think? So the Korean team did prepare for this? To be honest, I never expected them to make that much of an effort for this. Although the information we got about Rain demanding pyros and stuff at the last minute should say something. And then…
When this was flashed on the screen, a bunch of us looked at the prints on our shirts. “Raining in Manila”??? This could not have been just a coincidence! I mean, that shirt design floated around all forums and sites dedicated to Rain, including his own Cloud online community. They could’ve easily seen it on the internet. And then, Rain’s first song was… It’s Raining. Wow. I don’t know why, but I suddenly feel so special as a PH Cloud. Of course, this could all be just a coincidence, but something tells me that it’s not.
Just like in all concerts that I’ve attended to, the first thing that I watched out for is if Rain’s voice is in good condition. Whadya know, his voice sounded good. If there were bum notes, they were very minimal (believe me, I know because I know his songs so I know the correct notes to be sung). He just eventually tired out by the time the ballads came in but I will cut him some slack on that because he opened the show with two very physically-demanding numbers (although he only jumped once at the end of Touch Ya) and he has been working non-stop from the moment he stepped foot in Manila. For him to have minimal bum notes (actually more like shortness of breath rather than bad notes) given the physical condition he was in, it only means he psyched himself to give a good show for us. My fears were unfounded. Instead of slacking off, he did it the other way: HIS WAY. And that is, Prove to every critic what makes him a World Star. This is the Rain that we all know. This is the Rain that I learned to love, the Rain that makes me forget about all the things that I resent about being his fan. It’s not the ‘one hello, one smile’ thing. It’s his constant assurance that if you’re a fan of Rain, you will never have the need to defend him because he can defend himself by using the best weapon in his arsenal: giving a jaw-dropping performance.
Just then, he ripped off his beaded vest and revealed that he’s wearing that black sleeveless top with F**K YOU at the back. I’ve always hated that shirt because I’ve always wondered whether Rain knows that he has swear words written on his shirt. I immediately thought of the Filipino press. How would they take this? He already has bad press, as it is! I had wanted to Rain right there and then because, man, that shirt is SO NOT helping re-build his image here.
However, when he performed Hip Song, it all made sense. We were too close to the stage so I can see his eyes even if he’s wearing sunglasses. I noticed that every time he was about to make a big move, he would look at our direction – oh wait, it’s my blog, so I’ll say he looked at ME (although I could’ve sworn that he really looked at me at least twice in that song but that could just be me and my delusions) – and his eyes say two words: “WATCH ME”. And then he would do something totally awesome (while making eye contact with me, because it’s my blog and I can say whatever I want) and at that point, even if I was holding a camera and trying to get good pics, I couldn’t help but scream and cheer him on. I swear, I screamed so much, my friends were like, “Agent P? Screaming?? Who would’ve thought???” It’s not just because he was so damn good. I wanted to show to him that I support and appreciate what he’s doing. He was making a statement. The message on the shirt coupled with the message being conveyed by his performance, it’s one big F.U. to all those who dismissed him just because he’s sorely lacking in PR skills. At that point, I felt so proud to be his fan. We didn’t make a mistake in defending him to the press. We might’ve looked crazy to them, continuing to love this man even if he’s so distant from us, but just look at this! How could you not love this guy? He is just pure awesomeness!
And then, he sang his last song and towards the end of it, he low-fived his dancer, signifying that his mission has succeeded. And just before he was lowered down the stage lift, he gave us all a dazzling smile. He knows he won the war.
We were shell-shocked after that last song. It felt too short, but then, as my good ol’ friend Bambiina would say, Rain could’ve performed for 10 hours and we would still feel it’s too short. He just has that effect on us. Later on, I heard from our Japanese friends that for them, each song that Rain sang on this show is like the equivalent of five songs. This is coming from people who have seen about 90% of his concerts. It was a short set, but the energy and the satisfaction they got is more than a full concert. It felt so good because, as we all know, Rain performing a show in the Philippines used to be an impossible dream for a vast majority of PH Clouds. When it finally happened, he gave one of his best performances to date. This gig will long be remembered in the annals of Rain’s career history.
And then I remember hearing Bamn telling Jhen behind me when Rain was singing I Do (if I remember correctly): “Is this real? Are we still dreaming?” It is real, and it’s not a dream anymore. Thank you, Rain.
Random thoughts and pics:
1. Of course, the big ‘minus point’ for Rain’s set was the fact that he spoke in Korean during his spiels. I dunno, I actually didn’t care that much. C’mon, the guy was here to sing and dance, not to chat up a storm with us. Who cares if he didn’t speak in English?
2. Oh. Look at me saying I didn’t care about him not speaking in English. I used to reprimand him a lot for that. What is happening to me???
3. I have to post this. I absolutely have. to. post. this. pic.
Sorry for sounding obnoxious, but I absolutely love this pic even if I was the one who took it.
4. Remember my story about not standing beside a Golden Girl? This is the end result of it:
He only showed his abs once, and I failed to capture it. EPIC FAIL on my part.
5. Funny part of Love Song was when he was supposed to lift his shirt to show his torso. Everyone was really anticipating for it. Then he teased us by lifting his shirt, but I know he won’t be able to put it over his head because the material is not stretchy enough. But it was still one major, major “AARGGGHHH!!!” moment for all of us, and one major “ha-ha, gotcha!” moment for Rain.
6. All those long-time Rain fans (as early as 2004) who cheered when Rain sang I Do, please raise your hand. *me raises hand* This was the song that started the craziness for me.
7. ‘Greasy’ Rain, anyone?
8. I love watching fancams of Rainism and Hip Song with sweat literally flying all over the place. I think we caught some of it.
Just like with the U-KISS photos, I uploaded the Rain photos at Facebook because my blog platform’s media uploader is another epic fail. Please do check ’em out.
Check out the September 18 issue of Philippine Daily Inquirer. There’s a feature on the fans who saw Intensity written by Joy Cabrillos who is a regular of this blog. Some of the pics might look familiar to all of you.
Here’s the online version: