Aftermath: “Thank You For 30” Cebuana Lhuillier 30th Anniversary Concert
01 September 2017 – Mall of Asia Arena
This is one of those beautiful accidents that I didn’t plan on happening, but it did.
Around 2:00pm, 1st of September. I was busy twiddling my thumbs at home when I received a message from a certain someone, asking me if I’m watching the Cebuana Lhuillier concert happening that very same day. I said no, I don’t have a ticket. She said she has some, and she’s giving it to me and my fellow ‘no-group’ friends. Her only reason: she wants me to be there. Ok, then. Who am I to say, ‘no’ to that? I’ve been really wanting to see this show because, hello. Alden Richards and Sarah Geronimo. And then JaDine was announced as surprise guests just the night before. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score tickets #longstory but I guess the universe – or certain, uhm, *someones* – really wants me to witness this.
So I took a quick shower, grabbed my super-zoom cameras which were, thankfully, fully-charged, and hurried towards Mall of Asia Arena for the Thank You For 30 concert.
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
It’s been more than eleven years since I last saw The Dawn. For five years, I was their No. 1 Stalker. I carry that title with pride. Heck, they’re the reason why this blog’s domain name is ‘bandstalker.com’ (most probably to the consternation of real band stalkers whom I literally snatched this domain name from under their noses). For those who admire my photography skills (if you could call that ‘skills’), you have this band to thank for. I learned the ropes from five years of my close proximity to them.
This is why when they announced their 30th Anniversary gig, I immediately decided that I *must* be there. For old times’ sake. Fortunately, my brother-slash-bandstalking-partner is still up for it.
What can I say? It’s like 11 years did not pass. It’s still the same The Dawn that rocks our socks. Jett Pangan still has the best voice among band vocalists in this country. He’s like wine that gets better with age. I hate bringing out the word “age” because it also reminds me of my own, but can I just say that this band seems to have defied it?
It’s my first time to see them with Sancho on guitars and he certainly jelled well with the group. During my bandstalker days, Sancho was playing for Cynthia Alexander and Loquy, and his main axe was an acoustic guitar. I’ve always been in awe at how he would shred that acoustic as if he’s playing electric. Watching him play electric now is both a new experience and a reminder of how great a musician he is.
I had wondered how they were going to do the two-bass-players thing because, I know I sound incredibly ignorant right now, but has there ever been a rock band in the world that has two bass players? The thing that got me hooked on The Dawn way back in the 80s was their bass lines. No, the fact that their bass player was cute has nothing to do with it, although it certainly helped. Admittedly, one of the reasons why I was hell-bent on attending the 30th anniversary gig was because they brought back Carlos Balcells. And then they also brought back Mon Legaspi, who was my other close buddy in the band when I was still stalking them. That’s two really good reasons not to miss this show.
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
I thought they were just going to ‘share’ the set. First up was Carlos; then after a few songs, Mon took over the bass duties while Francis Brew took a break and let Carlos play acoustic guitar for Talaga Naman (Carlos was the original acoustic guitar player on that song).
Mon then played bass on the next few songs, until Iisang Bangka came… with both Mon and Carlos on bass.
It was sensory overload for me. I was stunned and in awe over the double-bass-player set up that I failed to record the first verse of Bangka. Fortunately, the set up stayed until the end of the show so I was able to record Enveloped Ideas in its entirety.
Trivia: I have a vast collection of The Dawn’s setlists. I always have to grab one after every gig to act as guide when I write the Aftermath Report for The Dawn’s official message board.
Their setlist was a mix of classics and new songs; admittedly, it was my first time to hear their songs post-Harapin. But I enjoyed them, nonetheless. I just wish they had lesser covers and more of their hit songs. Noticeably missing on the list were Love Will Set Us Free (it would’ve been great hearing them play this live with Leni Llapitan on keyboards), Alam Ko, Alam N’yo, Salimpusa (I’d probably die if they played these two songs with two bass players), Beyond The Bend and I Stand With You. I even missed Little Paradise, but for entirely different reasons. I was ecstatic, though, that they opened the set with I Saw You Coming In as it’s one of my biggest faves. It was also nice to hear them play Behind Shadows, which, according to Jett, was only possible because Carlos was with them.
All in all, it was a great night. It certainly brought out the nostalgia; at the same time it felt good that, as I’ve previously said, it seemed that my eleven-year absence was not felt with this band. Me and my bro were still queueing outside the venue when Mon spotted us from a distance and immediately called us out (and then looked for our other band buddy; dude, I really have no idea where he was that night). And then, the even bigger surprise: we were right there in front, with my brother directly across Jett. But the first one to notice us among the guys onstage was Carlos, whom we haven’t spent that much time with during our years of stalking The Dawn. It was a total shock that he still remembered us. Of course, Jett acknowledged our presence, too. He always did, and he always does. Nice to see you again, guys.
Trenta will have a repeat at the Music Museum in November. Catch them if you can.
I haven’t been checking my Instagram DM inbox until recently – basically because I’m such an IG noob even if I’ve been using it for years – so I didn’t know until now that I’ve been receiving several inquiries regarding what kind of camera I use for my Alden/AlDub photos. I don’t have a single answer to that question, so I decided to dedicate a blog entry for that and (hopefully) those who asked will be able to read it. Continue reading →
‘Big Bang MADE in Manila’ Aftermath Report, Part 2
When I bought my ticket for Big Bang MADE in Manila, I had wanted a seat somewhere in the center area where I can view the stage in full. I had wanted to see the boys up close, but I also wanted to see the show itself as I know that it’s going to be visually spectacular. I never saw any fancams prior to seeing the concert because I wanted to surprise myself, but since we’re talking about Big Bang, I know that it’s not going to be a run-of-the-mill show.
Unfortunately, prime seats were such hot items so we ended up grabbing seats on the first row of section 217, which is at the side of the arena, directly facing the bridgeway connecting the main and secondary stages. I had reservations about how good or bad my seat was prior to the concert itself, for two reasons: (1) the aforementioned desire to see the show itself rather than just seeing Big Bang up close; and (2) I am blogging about the concert, and since I am also this blog’s official photographer, a good vantage point for taking photos is a MUST. Continue reading →