Concerts

Once upon a time in Philippines

Walk the Moon (Live in Manila, August 2015)

Walk the Moon (Live in Manila, August 2015)

Diving deep, in-heads first Walk the Moon – I could go on and on talking about how much I love this band, I could sing you their songs and add my own choreography too, in fact I could come up with a mini-thesis on how much this band has affected me. If you know me,  my blogs usually talk about the artists I love and he concerts I go to – and this is not an exception, in fact they’re actually one of the big reasons why I am encouraged to blog. When I dive in deep for an artist, I usually come up with a concert review mixed with my own personal inputs (which is a melting pot of my feelings and tears) and I am so excited to share what happened when Walk the Moon stopped by my country for a concert tour. !!! Warning !!! This is an incredibly long post so if you’re sticking around until the last word then down it with a good drink and a Spotify playlist. I’ve known the band since Anna Sun and from that first song and first music video I knew that I fell in love with this guy leading a synchronized dance number with a group of normal people turned dancers. From there, I knew I was in deep for this band. I have followed them for 3 years – trying to make disciples out of indie music lovers and at the same time trying to converse with the band in different social media sites. Extra Thank You to ate Charm for introducing this band to me. I will forever be grateful. Since then, I have been tweeting Nic Petricca. Something clicked in me and I tweeted him about being the BAWS and apparently that became our code in Twitter. I am humbled and still see myself in shock whenever I get a reply from him because amongst all of the artists I follow, he’s the one who always surprises me with a reply when I least expect it. The tweets went way back from 2012 to the present and he has never changed despite his following increasing from 13k to 37k.

BAWS!

BAWS!

Sometime around those birth years, I also found my way to this global group where fans all over the world – stretching from Portugal, Brazil, Japan, USA and Germany – shared their love for the band. What’s so nice about being part of the group is the interaction that happens amongs the people – everybody feels like family. The global community of fans is tightly knitted, where even the moms of the boys closely interact with us fans. It’s really a big deal for fans to feel appreciated and somewhat closer to the artist that they love and the fact that we see these ultra-cool #WalktheMoms do their best to reach out and talk to the fans is a huge leap in the whole fandom. Hearing everyone’s stories always made me wonder what would a real Walk the Moon show feel like, it made me anticipate sharing my own story someday. I was captured heart and soul. But during those years, the band was only touring the US so it was all but a “one day soon” thought.

One day, you said. :)

One day, you said. 🙂

Then here comes the new album with the hit single, Shut up and Dance. I felt it in my heart (and in my hips) that this is it. This is the start of a bigger Walk the Moon. Easily, SUAD broke the music scene. I was really excited to see so many people talk about it, stream it on Spotify and break into booty shakes whenever the song goes on air. The single was followed by a phenomenal second-album, Talking is hard. Check out my album blog post about Talking is hard.

Shut up and Dance single art

Shut up and Dance single art

And to clear the air, I’m not judging you if you loved them during Shut up and dance. I know most people are annoyed when they know that people only know SUAD and pretend to fan girl like crazy but I fairly think it’s also annoying to claim greater love for the band just because you liked Anna Sun or The Liftaway first. I guess when you’re a fan – it doesn’t matter what era you took part in supporting the band, it’s a matter of sharing and being one in your goal of highlighting the success of the band.  Back to where I was – It’s so heart-warming to see Walk the Moon now gracing different shows in the US, getting a VMA nomination (Let’s pray they win it because what could top the SUAD music video, really?), getting on stage with Taylor Swift, doing a fantastic sold-out gig at RedRocks and so many more (I am claiming it) in the future. All these success grow with their hearts and remaining as sincere, as spirited and as humble as they are. So what’s not to love?

Walk the Moon with Taylor Swift (From JustJared)

Walk the Moon with Taylor Swift (From JustJared)

Early on this year, I remember seeing a tweet from ms RP (the head chief of MMI Live) about Shut Up and Dance and so I immediately pounced on with a reply saying how I wish to see the band Live soon and was greeted (shocked, fell on the floor, flailing) with a reply that I will see them soon. How do you cope after seeing that tweet? A couple of months after, MMI announced that they will be bringing Walk the Moon in Manila for a free show — not just for one show but for 5 shows.

Thank you, MMI Live!

Thank you, MMI Live!

The Ayala Malls announced the series of shows for August 19-20 covering UP Town center, Trinoma, Market Market and Glorietta and a week after announced an additional show for the Alabang Town Center for August 18. I am really thankful to Ayala for always bringing in quality artists and listening to their customers. I will always be a loyal Ayala mall goer, plus huge brownie points to me for being an Amore card holder because it gives me access to VIP concert tickets and thanks to this, I was able to score me and my friends some good spots (BARICCADE HAHA) at both Trinoma and Glorietta.

Walk the Moon Live at The Ayala Malls (Aug 18-20)

Walk the Moon Live at The Ayala Malls (Aug 18-20)

How do you prepare a heart ready to burst into pieces?

For Walk the Moon, I filed a 3-day leave at work. To make it clear, I love my work and what I do at work. In fact, I was a little sad that I missed 1 big event for that week but I had to choose Walk the Moon because this was what I have been waiting for 3 years. Come August 17, the day before, I was already restless. Working in Makati and knowing that the band would probably stay in the same area, I was extra panicky whilst working. Picture that I’m seated at the window where I can see the possible hotels the band would stay. I later on learned that the boys arrived late night August 17 and dined at a Filipino restaurant across their hotel where Nic fancied Adobo and Kevin fancied Sinigang. Also, let’s not forget that fact the Eli may or may not have devoured a crispy pata with San Miguel Super Dry.

Totes cool that Eli is enjoying the local delicacies (@Brosemaiman)

Totes cool that Eli is enjoying the local delicacies (@Brosemaiman)

I’m feeling extra lucky.. make it super-kaduper very lucky.

August 18, our team was invited by the PR of the whole tour to attend the Press conference. I honestly did not expect to get invited. I am so thankful to Ayala malls and to the PR team of WTM Live in Manila for inviting and valuing us as fans, as a street-team and for giving us the chance to join and attend the media conference. I will always have a special place in my heart for the persona of a Niche.

The winning tweet! (LOL)

The winning tweet! (LOL)

An hour before the press conference, we were challenged to tweet our questions for the band and also post a picture of ourselves on how excited we were for Walk the Moon. Being the eager attendee that I am, I tweeted the above picture of myself over Twitter and won myself a P1,000 EGC from Ayala (yeyyy!) I mean look – I got exclusive invites, I get to see my favorite band and I win myself some GC? Do I really deserve this, universe? Thank you! When the press conference started, I was bleeding inside – my heart was swelling with so much happiness upon seeing Eli, Kevin, Nic and Sean live and in here, my country, my homeland – breathing the same air as I. As usual, I was too dumbfounded to take any pictures so I left all the photo taking to my friend, LG.

Embrace your weirdness, Walk the Moon 2015 WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

Embrace your weirdness, Walk the Moon 2015
WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

*listens intently to Nic and Eli* WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

*listens intently to Nic and Eli*
WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

The PR team asked us for Q’s and unexpectedly I heard my name being called as my question was read on stage. Aside from reading it loud, they also flashed a screen-cap of my tweet and flashed it on the screen. Now, all 4 boys turned their back – Nic immediately recognized my twitter handle and said out loud (in front of everyone) “Oh I know her, she’s my friend on Twitter.. She’s the Baws” and that’s when I blacked out (inside!) Click on the 10:48 mark on the presscon video to check it out. My question went “What is your signature @Walkthemoonband dance move?” and there the magic happened. I gave my question a lot of thought before tweeting it because I’d like to deter from the usual Q’s asked by the press and I wanted to make something out of it. Alas, I made Eli, Kevin and Nic do a dance demo that were all priceless

Another winning tweet! This was the question flashed on the screen.

Another winning tweet! This was the question flashed on the screen.

Kevin did a sample of the Stanky Leg.

Eli did a show stopping  Dad Dance.

Nic did a demo of his “Subtle dance” move as seen on the bridge of the Shut up and dance music video.

And Sean was saved from the demo! *whew!*

And Eli will work this body and Kevin will burn the flame ????? WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

And Eli will work this body and Kevin will burn the flame ?????
WTM Presscon photo by @yujerion

Walk the moon was so animated in answering questions from the press, exchanging quick witted answers with the host of the day that you honestly don’t think they are stars in themselves. They were simple human beings – grounded and true to what they say and that’s what make them stand out. Thank you so much to Ayala Malls for the invite to attend this one-of-a kind experience!

Hi Guys!

Hi Guys!

But wait, Nic just called me his friend? How do you move on from that? Watch the whole Presscon video here. Dance is at the 12:00 mark. Or you can watch it below:

I thought that it would end there but because the universe was extra good to me that day (maybe it was trying to counsel me for taking a 3 day leave) we were invited to join the round table interview. I was too stunned when I was invited so basically I was unprepared to ask a question. When it was my turn, all I could do was stare at Nic’s eyes and ask him “Do you have a pre-show ritual?” of course, I knew the answer to this but if it cost me an eye contact then it was worth it. I don’t think he recognized me from there so I knew I had to make a move. When we were dismissed, all those with me in the roundtable went to Nic and Kevin and I to Eli. I talked to Eli about his killer smile and we took a selfie! (Sorry, LG, this is for you) and when everybody went out I had to rush to Nic and it happened akin to this:

Grace: *taps Nic on the shoulder* Hi I’m Grace from..

Nic: OHMYGOD, GRACEY-OH!

Grace: YES!! It’s me but.. *Nic hugs me and I cried so many tears inside of me*

Grace: *while still hugging* Nic…it’s Graceyco, CO is my surname

Nic: Oh, wow! It’s so nice to finally meet you.

Then enter Kevin who hears my username and approaches me (probably blaming me for his need to demo his signature dance move) and hugs me and talks about “Wow, Graceyco in the flesh..”. I was like, Kevin I love you, I really do but this is my first meeting with Nic and so off I go back to Nic to do a little more chit-chat and had to say goodbye because they were rushing off to go to the Alabang Town Center show.

I DEDICATE THIS PICTURE TO LG OREA WHO IS THE MAIN MAN OF ELI MAIMAN

I DEDICATE THIS PICTURE TO LG OREA WHO IS THE MAIN MAN OF ELI MAIMAN

We were also about to leave the hotel and were waiting at the elevator lobby when all 4 boys also were about to leave. TY UNIVERSE, you are so good to me once more. They were surrounded by their bouncers so I had to lay it low and act all sophisticated. I said goodbye and good luck to all of them and just as when the elevator door was about to close, Nic asked me “Are you going to the show later?” I wanted to say yes but that would be lying hahaha so I answered him no and promised that tomorrow and the next day, I promise. And then it came clear to me that wow, he actually asked me if I was going to their show later. *internal dying* Later on that night, I tweeted all three boys who did the dance demo and easily fell off my chair when a reply from Nic came in. Wow, he really called me his friend!

*music up* You just call out my name...*music out*

*music up* You just call out my name…*music out*

August 19 was scheduled for the UP town center and Trinoma show and I attended the latter. Thank you again to Ayala malls for my VIP pass because I’m an Amore card holder (yey!) I opted to go early to prepare some things and meet up with the local fan group. Me, Lg and Roselle took our queue in first so we could secure our barricade spots and then later on took turns to facilitate the face painting amongst fans. It was so fun to see us Filipino fans bring in the tradition of Walk the Moon from the United states to here in Manila. Most people in line were game to have their faces painted by fellow fans. The energy was just electric (Says this tweet from Ayala Malls starring my big face) and I knew then that every heart, mind and soul was ready for the show.

The facepaint lives on - breaking it down Pinoy style!

The facepaint lives on – breaking it down Pinoy style!

 

Team Trinoma, put your hearts up!

Team Trinoma, put your hearts up!

 

Team Barricade with Lg, Roselle and ate of Roselle

Team Barricade with Lg, Roselle and ate of Roselle

At exactly 7:30pm, the show started with an intro from Lion King- Circle of Life. One by one all 4 of them came out and opened the show with Anna Sun. Hearing your favorite band for the first time, live, in front of you singing out their songs unravels a whole new unexplainable emotion in you. Nothing can ever topple seeing your favorite band live the first time — comparing Youtube videos, fancams and stories from people to what you actually see and hear in real life? Magical. You know how spontaneous, funny, real and honest the band is in social media? That’s reflects what they are on stage. They possess a raw energy so all-consuming that you find yourself immersed and dancing your heart out to every beat. You feel their sincerity in belting out every track, giving all that they are, letting you live their music in real life, tete-a-tete.

Now can I talk about all 4 of them while on stage?

Sean, where do I start? Is it with his mad cymbal skills or his precision and accuracy he hits a note? Maybe both because Sean is a true class in himself. I often wonder where he gets all his energy to rock out every show and at the same time take time to film a performance. All his ninja moves, we will never know. Mysterious and downright showered with pure talent.

Sean Waugaman photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Sean Waugaman photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Can I just say Eli is the most enthusiastic member I have ever encountered? The way he digests every song with his awesome guitar skills matched by his killer smile adds a whole layer of texture to the show. He rocks out ever strum paired with the movement of his lips that only he can carry. Plus he’s that one member who makes sure to make eye contact to every fan in the crowd.

Eli Maiman, Photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Eli Maiman, Photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Kevin, the darling of the crowd, sizzles with his tantalizing bass and sultry dance moves that aims to woo at all the lovers (or those who are in love with him) in the crowd. From what I have observed, 80% of the fan signs were directed to Kevin – some are hate messages which is actually a love message because the whole fandom is at a mission to fight Kevin and its beautiful, trust me.

Kevin Ray photo by @yujerion (Lg Orea)

Kevin Ray photo by @yujerion (Lg Orea)

And of course I am so biased over Nic and I could go on and on and write a 5-page description about how spectacular he is on stage but let’s keep it short and simple. Nick is the perfect epitome of an 80s rock and roll icon reborn and perfected for the new kids. Sexy dance moves? Check. Soulful voice? Check. All that perfection rolled into one sexy human being. He is PERFECSHAWN. And I know I’m speaking in behalf of everyone who saw him.

Nic Petricca Photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Nic Petricca Photo by @yujerion (LG Orea)

Right before Aquaman, Nick gave out the usual intro for Walk the Moon – explaining that they are from Ohio, America and he said something about before they were only talking to people on the internet and he pointed at me (thank you, barricade!!) Also during the latter part of the show, I made my own fan sign with the words “U DA BAWS” written because this has become our official nicknames as internet friends and I was really surprised to hear Nic say it loud, in front of the whole Trinoma audience. And another 10 points to Graceyco!

The Trinoma show ended with Shut up and Dance and leaving the fans clamoring for more.

Exhilarating, Beautiful and so full of spirit.

Setlist for Trinoma:

Trinoma setlist by a lucky fan (my fellow tita on the right, Henri!)

Trinoma setlist by a lucky fan (my fellow tita on the right, Henri!)

After the show,  I met my very first Walk the Moon friend in the Philippines from 2012! Back then, the global community only had roughly 100 members and she was one of the first few people who were nice and chatty with me!

Hi Beth (aka Mrs. Ray the second)

Hi Beth (aka Mrs. Ray the second)

I also got the chance to meet the band after their Trinoma show wherein we were also able to give the band our gifts as a fanbase. I feel like a bad person for skipping Sean and Eli during the meet and greet to secure my precious 5 seconds with Nic. I was able to hug Kevin briefly though but as soon as I saw Nic, we immediately hugged and I handed him my gift (which I assumed he really liked because he was like AARGGGHHHHH!!!! *keeps the gift hurriedly in his pocket.*) And of course the photo turned out this way:

My eyes say it all.

My eyes say it all.

 

WTMPH's little gift to the band. The calligraphy is hand drawn by Hanako Amihan made especially for Walk the Moon!

WTMPH’s little gift to the band. The calligraphy is hand drawn by Hanako Amihan made specially for Walk the Moon!

Your heart races as you anticipate the sweet culmination of everything ending with a goodbye.

August 20. The culmination of everything and the day where we all celebrate the wonderful Talking is Hard – Philippine stop tour. That day, me and Lg also went early to Glorietta just because I wanted to secure another spot at the barricade. We lined up early (around 2pm) and then took turns again later on to do the face paints of the people in line. We met so many new friends that day including a Filipino-American fan who was lucky enough to catch Walk the Moon during their Houston show. She did our extra-unique face-paints that day.

Team Glorietta, Facepaint team rocking it!

Team Glorietta, Facepaint team rocking it!

 

Hello new friends!

Hello new friends!

The set for Glorietta was extra electric and the energy from the band was too overwhelming. I could not believe that they actually came from another show from another mall an hour before. The show opened once again with Anna Sun and I could literally feel my heart vibrate as the show progressed with every song, telling me that yes this is it – this is what you have been waiting for so many years and here they are belting out your emotions, thumping their way to your heart, creeping in to your soul and making you live their music. I will never forget this. Really, hearing Walk the Moon through your earphones is one thing but actually seeing them perform up there makes you think on how Walk the Moon is the real deal.

WTM @ Glorietta photo by @yujerion

So close, bring me in so close. WTM at Glorietta photo by @yujerion

WTM @ Glorietta photo by @yujerion

Kill it, Eli! WTM at Glorietta photo by @yujerion

Your turn, Manila! WTM at Glorietta photo by @yujerion

Your turn, Manila!
WTM at Glorietta photo by @yujerion

Walk the Moon performed a total of 45 songs here in the Philippines with 102 pictures for the Meet and Greet. I am so giddy at the thought that they were able to share so much and give so much to this Philippine stop. Scurrying from one mall to another within an hour to do a set after set, how could you not love their enthusiastic souls willing to stretch their selves to accommodate all 5 shows for their Filipino fans?

Walk the Moon has a long journey ahead of them and I’m glad to be able to share in their joy as they continuously work their way up to success.

Looking back, re-watching and recollecting the story of Walk the Moon – like many of the artists we see – they started out playing at their own basements then got booked at small-town gigs, was given the opportunity to perform for school dances, were eventually asked to open for artists, then were invited to perform during half time on game performances then onwards to slaying American talk shows and now successfully headlining their own tour with sold-out shows.

Walk the Moon, Sold out " RedRocks!

Walk the Moon, Sold out ” RedRocks!

Dreams grew bigger and stages grew wider. But what you saw from 2010 is still very much what you see in 2015. You see a Nicholas brimming with a smile so big it engulfs the world because you feel that he’s in love with what they do. You see a Sean emanating with so much raw passion in what he does as he belts out every show. You see a Kevin who is so intoxicating as he delivers and showcases his talent every time the world is watching and you see an Eli with his unmatched energy as he gives back to the people who believe in them- You see a band who truly enjoys what they do and the way they are is a testimony that this is a band who is capable of sharing a music so real that it will affect you and shake you up for years and years and years knowing that one day you’ll look back at that feeling of falling in love with them for the first time is capable of lasting a lifetime.

SHUT UP AND PLEASE KNOW YOU'VE WON ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH WHAT YOU DO.

SHUT UP AND PLEASE KNOW YOU’VE WON ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN WITH WHAT YOU DO.

Walk the Moon is that band that validates the feeling of t despite meeting different artists, working with artists, working for the artist – being a fan and an admirer will always be the greatest thing that could ever happen to someone when shared with people who matter. The euphoric state of happiness is just immeasurable. Across miles, colors and cultures – Walk the Moon will always have an enthusiastic fan in me. The whole experience, the celebration of being a fan is already beyond me and I will always be grateful.

Dearest, walk the Moon, Once upon a time in Philippines, you captured our hearts and the memories will always live on. Until we see each other again – Sean, Eli, Kevin and Nic!

Hold up, a little piece of my heart is set aside for this person..

Circa 2012 - 2013

Circa 2012 – 2013

A shout-out to the Baws, the friend (??) and the sensational  – Nicholas Petricca. I’ve never met an artist who is sincere and so transparent in showing his love for his fans. You are the reason why I will always look back and think that I’ve made the right decision to name my blog as it is. Thank you for appreciating your fans and what we do. It means the world for us, for me to see the artists we love put into heart what we are. It was so surreal to see you in real life.

B A W S!

B A W S!

Bonus content or something akin to that…

Fun Fact #1 — I won myself an extra ticket and meet and greet for the Glorietta show because I joined a contest from MMI. If you want to see my winning entry and try not to judge me too much.

Fun Fact #2 — Also days before the show, we had a group chat going on at WalktheMoonPH where we assigned people to bring this and that. I was assigned to lead the facepaints while another group was assigned to bring wet wipes – to wash off the paint. From that day on, we were officially called the #WalktheTitas (Tita in modern lingo and interpretations refers to an aunt — who possess a quality of an older lady who looks at the small mommy stuff for people.) I was so happy to have finally met my fellow Tita, Henri and rock the concert with her. I was also quite amused at how every friend from the group calls me Tita Grace in real life. Hootowls from Owl City call me the Mother Owl and Spirit animals in Walk the Moon call me Tita. Wow, I couldn’t get any younger than this, Can I?

Official Walk the Titas! (Roch, Abby, Henri and Me!)

Official Walk the Titas!
(Roch, Abby, Henri and Me!)

Fun Fact # 3 — We were patiently waiting for the boys to finish the Meet&Greet session at Glorietta at the barricade area and when they were finished, we tried calling them out to say our goodbye’s. LG was able to call Eli by shouting that Eli is his favorite member thus resulting to this series of selfies!

Eli and Lg

Eli and LG are OTP goals!

 

Hi Guys!!

Hi Guys!!

And I was able to call on Nic who was able to recognize me from the sea of faces and went out of his way to give me a hug. I simply have no words, none at all.

Bye nic, thank you!! Ikaw lang sapat na, Chos! haha!

Bye nic, thank you!! Ikaw lang sapat na, Chos! haha!

Fun Fact # 4 — When the Glorietta show was done, a guitar pick fell off near our spot. One of the bouncers, kuya Lorenzo, know me from 2012 during my internship at MCA and I was surprised to feel a quick tap on my arm and the next thing I know, the pick was in my hand.

And a couple of extra Thank you’s to the wonderful people blessed to be with me:

Niche – You are it bhe, there was a point when I had to contemplate, who do I love more – Nic or Niche? Thank you for being so kind and for believing in us and in what we do! Thank you to you and Ayala malls!

Yay!

Yay!

LG —  Well this is not really new  but I’d also like to share my love to my forever concert buddy since 2011 and the person who was with me with WTMPH – making Facebook content, tweeting like crazy, shopping gifts, taking in all my stress when I was extra panicky during the line at Glorietta, saving me when I was too shy to speak-up to the tour people, painting my face at the Trinoma show and for being the most awesome Spirit animal ever! FTF ~with love always, graceyco

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Lights out, Words Gone: Bombay Bicycle Club Concert Review

Jack Steadman is the adorkablest frontman ever

I remember when my friend Regie was on a frenzy over Twitter because he was seeing his most favorite band in forever, Bombay Bicyle club, abroad. I could not help but share his excitement as well as share the love for the band he was about to finally meet. A few days after Regie sent me a DM telling me that the band had a booked plan for Manila. You could guess what happened next.

Karpos Multimedia announced the date of the show for Bombay Bicyle club last May leaving me in a frenzy of my own. I really am thankful because more and more producers are now bringing in hip indie bands to the country, giving us all a chance to revel into the world of our highly-selective taste in music. With that in mind, Bombay Bicycle club is definitely a bucket list concert for the Philippines concert scene. I just want to share that Bombay is the third band that I have ever paid good ticket prices for – the first is Owl City (three times) and Foster the People (which just punctured holes into my bank account but it was totally worth it.)

A month before the concert, Karpos held a live chat over their Facebook page with the band and lucky little me had an almost direct conversation with Jack Steadman himself! Thanks Steph for this!

Zoom to Jack Steadman Please

The concert was held at the World trade Center last July 23, 2014. I cannot express enough on how the show left me devastated, totally crying for more. For the past few days, I have done nothing on Spotify but scrobble my Bombay Bicyle playlist – silently remembering every time Jack Steadman danced silly and sexy and most especially how this band caged me in their perfect set that night.

The show was opened by Filipino indie-rock band She’s only Sixteen, who really rocked the stage with their fresh taste in music. It was my first time to hear SOS but people all over the internet has been praising them for their zesty take at the band scene here in the Philippines. I highly agree with the majority, SOS is a fan-worthy Filipino band that I bet will create more buzz as they continuously work their place in the industry.

I went to the concert with one of my favorite college buddies – Archie, who was a certified Bombae from the start. We were adorned with the company of other college buds Reine, Sha Sha and Nin (who was reporting for duty for a broadsheet company). It was my first concert with Archie and I believe we may have shared a good chemistry in dancing, flailing and screaming lyrics together. I also would like to think that Reine, Sha Sha and Nin were full converts as they were transfixed to the music all throughout the set. With such rare and joyous company, the night was a sure win for me.

Archie, Me, Nin and Reine (Sha Sha took the pic!)

Archie, Me, Nin and Reine (Sha Sha took the pic!)

Bombay Bicycle Club opened their set with Overdone, the first song off their new album So Long See You Tomorrow. The song was absolutely perfect as a set starter as it comes off as a soulful siren, inviting you to step into their world of fancy. I find it really enthralling to hear the first track of an album open a show because it gives a sense of familiarity to what you hear and how you listen offline. I for one, usually hate the shuffle functions of music players (unless I am really bored) because I am OC like that. I take my albums very seriously and I always start with the first track. As a bonus to the treat, It’s Alright now (the second track from the album) was next on queue. Then and there, I found myself cringing at the thought on how this band could spoil a fan like me, an OC fan like me so to say.

I'm overdone

I’m overdone

I have to say that as much as every concert is as good as the other, Bombay Bicycle Club was just a class in itself. The visuals were stunning, I was left gasping as the stage came to life perfectly paired with how the band delivered themselves in tune with the spectacular light directions. Everything blended perfectly and it was a true testament on how great the band performs in and out of the studio. Jack Steadman on vocals was flawless all throughout – there’s no feeling like it when you hear the voice you’re so familiar with from your earphones on to the stage, in front of you, going beyond your expectations. Ed, Suren and Jamie on the other hand were exploding with such vigor and passion, such stage presence can’t be missed as they reach out and really invoke the music aficionado in you.

Jamie and Jack, killing it

Jamie and Jack, killing it

Ed? Ed are you there!! Oh Hi Ed! Great work on the bass!

Ed? Ed are you there!! Oh Hi Ed! Great work on the bass!

What I love most about Bombay Bicycle Club’s music is the air of mystery that envelops their musicality. Their music intrigues, creeps and sucks you in that you can’t help but just give in and live in it. I think Bombay is the kind of band that grows in you. Their music tends to seep in your heart. I am openly admitting that it took me a couple of days, a few repeats, a nudge here and there to wholly accept their music and I just hated myself for not acting sooner than I should have.

The best visual designs I've ever laid my eyes upon

The best visual designs I’ve ever laid my eyes upon

Now I also have to give credits to my fellow concert goers that night, it was an amazing crowd. We all know that Bombay is labeled as an Indie-ish band but their music is well received by the fans here in the country. It was very heartwarming to hear a collective harmony from the audience whenever the band asked the audience to sing parts of songs. I was squealing like a little girl, all excited whenever collective claps were asked and all 4 of them up there were donning the most sincere smiles I’ve ever graced upon. I just melt in a puddle of emotions whenever that happens. It’s so reassuring to see love emanate from the bands you unconditionally love for what they do. Truly, there is something really magical on how we Filipinos earnestly prepare ourselves to give the band in return one gratifying show.

Let me hear you, Manila!

Let me hear you, Manila!

 

And then Manila just let it all out

And then Manila just let it all out

Prior to the show, Karpos held a Meet and Greet contest for ticket holders. I cannot just let that pass, can I? I came up with an entry and photo-shoot with the help of my most favorite Graphic Artist in the world (Hi Chris) and a dear friend (I called you dear, Eldrin!) I know I look silly but you have to give me totes on my creativity for this one!

I have the blues, can't shake them loose?

I have the blues, can’t shake them loose?

All of them were really nice, warm and humble. I cannot believe how simple they were, welcoming us with open arms and the warmest of smiles. I flashed the picture of my entry to Ed and Jack while the others were chatting with Suren and Jamie and they were all “HAHAHAHA, really HEHEHE” when they saw my face. It really had me thinking if I did the right thing but a hug from Jack was enough of a consolation to my face from that picture so it was really worth it.

I have heard stories from some of my friends who were able to meet the band on a more personal level outside the official meet and greet space. Regie, for one, met the band (and watched them live abroad 4times!) and was all happy to tell on how great the band is in meeting with their fans. Then there was Rap who even got to hang out with Bombay at their hotel after the show. Coming from these stories, Bombay Bicycle is a genuinely nice band that is the best kind of investment for us fans who can only ask for so little from the bands we love.

Jack taking a look at my picture and be like: WHaaaaaattTT? HAHAHA

Jack taking a look at my picture and be like: WHaaaaaattTT? HAHAHA

It’s so occasional to have such bands grace our shores and we all owe Karpos for giving us the chance to take a peek to this band’s bubble of greatness. I just know by heart that Bombay is off to reap bigger stories of success. They’re that band that haunts you, loves you and never lets you go. Their music formulates a relationship so addicting and beautiful that you keep on coming back and end up falling in love like the first time.

Let me sink in to your world

Let me sink in to your world

So there, I think I’ve explained my point well enough. So if you ask me, how did I find the concert?
If the Light is out and the words have gone – Let me be the one to say it, Bombay Bicycle Club you will always own me heart and soul.

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All concert photos were taken by Archie Algara and his long limbs. Bless him.

Setlist for Bombay’s show here is courtesy of my friend, Rap- who after the show was approached by Jack Steadman himself just to hand him this.

Signed Setlist, Rap you lucky guy

 

Concert Review: Capital Cities

January 12, 2013 – Capital Cities live in Manila!

My artwork for MMI

After 3 days, I was sick – cough and colds, the usual viral disease I get whenever I come home from a ridiculously good concert. No, it isn’t really the number of people present in a pit or the claustrophobic space of a dance floor that was present but I tell you this -it is because my damn hips can’t stop dancing, my voice can’t stop singing at its loudest and my heart couldn’t stop going wild for the moment. So, the concert? Ridiculously good, Overwhelmingly awesome. It’s ridiculously overwhelming awesome and good. I can still feel my Chartreuse vibes urging me to dance.

I remember listening to Safe and Sound and instantly googling it, finding a duo behind the infectious song – one with a very very long beard. Interesting. It didn’t take me long to get the album and love their songs. They’re that band that refuses to let you skip tracks on an iPod. Not really indie, not really pop. Not really 80’s, not really rock. Their music is a combination of all four elements blended to create an indie-pop spin-off genre that is infectious and LSS-worthy.

Now some people who are familiar with the album entitled In a tidal wave of mysteries probably find the song Farah Fawcett hair weird. Well, it’s my favorite track from the album and it took me less than a week to memorize the recited (literally) lyrics. You can just imagine my face during the concert, shouting Nutella, Democracy and Enjoying civiche in Peru. Yeah, I probably looked silly but there’s nothing quite singing your heart out lyric per lyric in concerts so no regrets. Every song was “sing at the top of my lungs worthy” and I was just beaming with joy when I saw fellow concert goers gleefully singing and dancing to the beat of CC’s wonderful set.

The show was high-energy and dance inducing. They excellently played off and just enjoyed. I also love how the band comes up with dance moves (which they teach to the audience) and dance altogether with everybody. Sebu and Ryan matched their album voices which was really amazing to hear live. They also gave off a Dj set during their last song which was the Remix of Safe and Sound. You can tell that everybody was having a good time because almost everybody danced like they were lost in Republiq.

Sebu’s epic and eclectic stage presence

Sup Channing!

The mysterious Ryan Merchant ♥

Very cute and Chinese looking Manny Quintero on Bass!

Filipino pride and fan fave Spencer!

Months and days prior to the show,  I entered some contests that earned me meet and greet stubs to meet the band.  I entered the MMI  artwork contest (photo at the start of post) and the MCA Music Kangaroo court MV purchase contest and praise the heavens cause I actually won from both.

So we met the guys and you can tell how cool they were with the next few photos below which is basically me doing a high-five with everybody and our group doing a restricted selfie with the band.

Highest of Fives!

Selfie time!

Like most Ayala mall shows a CD Signing session was held after the concert for the first 150 buyers of the album. We got our albums signed and I was really impressed on how the band is so friendly, humble (really really humble!!) and approachable.

CD’s for me and my friend (who wasn’t able to watch)

I was excited to see my favorite people from MCA Music Inc. that day and was glad to have the people from Astroplus lead the selling and signing. I also met Ms Rhiza from MMI (who I have  been  meaning to meet since Owl City 2011).

Me, Miss RP and My Universal Pose

Everyone that day just shined with awesomeness and really happy to have spent the day with Owl City PH friends – Lg, Colwin, Roselle and Izzy and my favorite OJT’s from work  – Robin and Patrick. If you look at it, it resembled a reunion of some sort. HAHA

OCPH REPRESENT!

Also before the show, we met up with  OCPH Tugeugarao chapter and resident fan boy – Dowe (who watched the 8123 show which was simultaneous with CC)

Hi There Dowe!

Then when all the activites ended some of us stayed to catch and wave our last goodbyes to the band. They were about to leave when the few of us who remained in the activity area shouted their names. They all happily obliged and guess what happened next? Selfies, of course.

Lg, Dennis (photobombed LG haha) and Sebu’s selfie

It was such an unforgettable show! I am in much awe on how Capital Cities entered the music scene. I won’t be surprised to see them rock more shows around the world especially that they’re currently booked for Katy Perry’s Prism tour. I also heard that the music video of Safe and Sound is nominated for the Grammy’s (I hope they win!)

Overall? Well my grin and concert buddy below greatly approves!

Rakarakan sa barricades Concert Buddy (est. 2011)

P.S.

I was also ecstatic the whole time because this was a show by Music Management International – officially my most favorite producer of all time. They are kind, approachable and they bring the best acts in the country! ☺

I swear I LIVED!

Ok let’s be frank so I’ll say (or post) this simple, concise and quick.

ONE REPUBLIC LIVE IN MANILA was the best concert of 2013.

Okay. As much as I want to shut up and post this post right away, I don’t have the strength to restrain myself from explaining every little detail that lead me to that statement. But first of all, I would like to apologize to Adam – as I have watched his concert last August at HK, I still have to say One Republic is my best concert of 2013.

Before you start questioning my loyalty to Owl City, Please hear me out.

You see, when 1R released Native early this year I was all ears. Amazing how every track from the record fit perfectly to my musical taste. The album tasted a lot like indie-pop-rock or rather something very likable without any effort. You know you shuffle 800+ songs on playlist and when 1R comes up, you don’t complain and press the forward button? Yep, Native really hit that perfect spot. Also add the fact that Ryan Tedder is really one of my favorite songwriters ever, no wonder he is rumored as the most in demand songwriter to this day. Ugh, that man really knows what to sing and he sings it with heart.

So! Lucky me, literally cause I was treated to the concert by a friend and I even had the privilege to meet the band. I actually tried every possible thing out there just to snag M&G passes because there’s this very big calling to meet them. My sincerest thanks to SPINNR PH (previously called Smart Music) for giving me the chance to do so. The contest was actually simple cause you only have to buy songs from their online portal and you get raffle tickets to win. So when you think of it, you’re actually helping the band by buying original music and at the same time get the perks of having a chance to meet your favorite bands! (that was my case). Being an advocate of buying original music, I am really happy to have won this from a digital online music store because some people may not realize it but the impact of downloading pirated songs is so brutal to the artist’s success. So, not because I won but because I was really amazed, Spinnr is a nice welcome to us Filipino’s who are not really savvy with buying music from portals like iTunes. What’s nice with Spinnr is that you actually pay up with your smart/sun load and when you buy 12/more songs, you get a 50% discount from your total order. HOW AWESOME CAN THAT GET?

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Roselle gave me a seat as we had a pact to help each other out whoever wins tickets to the concert. We were seated at the literal center of the Smart Araneta and we had good seats. I raved about our good seats until the next day ’cause damn, they were really good. We had a panoramic view of the Araneta, we were seated comfortably, Ryan Tedder was at the center of my literal heart and of course we had all the space in the world to actually lose ourselves.

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Before I start doing an account on how crazy awesome the concert was, let me say that they have the best stage director ever and all props to their lights man. In reality, the stage design at first was pretty simple cause it had a white cloth that covers two diamonds. Then all magic broke loose ’cause when the band started playing Don’t look down and they did this shadow manipulation that just blew my mind.

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Then the cloth collapsed and Roselle couldn’t stop staring at Ryan Tedder’s tummy.

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But come on, Ryan Tedder is just amazing. I could proclaim my love for his falsetto all over the streets if you asked me. He sang every song beautifully and everything was flawless including the mash-up’s, acoustics and full set’s. I love how each instrument from the band members stood out and boasted of its robust talent. They played their hit songs starting from Apologize to their latest single Something I need. I love how the band came up with a surprise for every song and leaves you speechless and astounded. I also love how they are in love with the crowd but that adds that extra adrenaline rush when watching your favorite band live.

Gago, ang galing talaga nila. Ugh, nope you didn’t read it wrong cause I am going to say it again, GAGO ang galing nila.

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And really, all my love and respect to my fellow Filipino fans and concert-goers for that beyond awesome audience participation. IT really breaks my heart (cause I am really emotional on situations like this) when the band gets a glimpse, that one real moment they own – when their fans sing their songs effortlessly. I mean I feel extremely touched by the moment, what more for them? Sigh. (This is why I need a job in the music industry. Haha Okay sorry, personal plug)

Then of course there’s the story on how I danced and literally went wild with every song. I can’t really describe my whole demeanor during that time but to sum it all up – I got extremely sick the following day and you know what? It was all worth it, yep despite the heavy workload bugging my health condition. It was such a breathtaking concert and I can attest to that over and over again if asked 5 years from now.

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Keep marchin’ on, my hats off to you!

When you just focus on your ability

every single thing will fall into place.

I remember the first time I saw Call it what you want – live in Solana in MTV Asia. Who are these boys? Why is MTV playing this video everyday – 11pm GMT +8? I usually change channels but one day I finally decided to take down the name of the video and the artist and find myself stupid for not knowing them as the band behind the hit single Pumped up kicks.

Oh Foster the People? Google – Facebook – Follow on Twitter – Ask FTP-PH and I was absolutely crazy about them.

I remember doubting if I should push the fan-girl in me to invest with Foster, I mean if I invest and I dive in, there’s no turning back. It gets me to the bone because it’s in my nature to get easily too attached once I decide that I really want this thing so bad, di na matatahimik mundo ko. HAHAHA

So after the debate, something weird really happened. MTV Asia had this new show “The MTV SHOW” and I remember watching an episode wherein they were raffling off a Mystery box. I searched the show’s fan page on Facebook, entered the contest (2 hours before the deadline) and found myself lucky the following today for winning a pair of PUMPED UP KICKS. PUMPED UP KICKS def. Signed converse shoes by Foster the people.

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WELL. IT’S A SIGN.

And so..

I sort of helped the local fan-club via Twitter and Facebook and I found old-new friends along the way. I find it amazing that a lot of the people I met with Foster are also the ones I met with Owl City. It actually goes the same for international hoot-owls because every now and then I encounter the word FOSTER combined with PAJAMAS or HOOT-OWL.So I guess there’s this same trend going with Owl City fans  liking/loving/fan-girling Foster.

There were rumors earlier this year that they were supposed to go here last August but then September came and nothing happened so I sort of let the idea slip away so when Astroplus announced Foster’s concert I could not paint my emotions. I was a frantic ball of energy dribbling up and down a  milk-tea shop, shouting, calling friends, dropping calls, calling more friends,  getting excited and spending a first pay-check for Patron tickets. LESS THAN ONE MONTH TO PREPARE? Oh.

So what do we do? We trend. We gather all the  fan-girls/boys. We team up with FTP IN MANILA and wait for it…

WE GET READY FOR THE CONCERT!

So we make up mini-torches.

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We meet up with awesome awesome awesome foster friends across Metro Manila!Image

We line up to meet and greet FTP by buying our CD’s

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We make more torches!

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Take a picture with your FTP/OWLCITY FRIEND, Ferlie ween werls!

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Maintain the maintenance of the formation (Thanks ELLA FOR OUR NICE SHIRTS THAT MARK LOVED!!)

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Take a picture of an office-mate

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Take a picture with a former college classmate, Hi dong ♥

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Take a picture with a former high-school classmate from Davao, Hi mami!

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Take a picture of our tickets – they’re just complimentary in text but we paid for them, UBOS ANG SWELDO HAHAHAA. WELL. JUST WELL.

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Take a picture of some cool kids we met at the concert venue. I badly want to know these people so if you happen to know them, please do tell me who they are.

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Take a picture with the awesome Ella of We want FTP in Manila!

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Then you go inside Araneta, prepare yourself and by-all-means make sure you’re in the first row by battling against fellow fan girls and take a blurry picture of the massive crowd that’s ready to roll (*blurry because hands are too shaky out of excitement)

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And finally bask in the perfect pitch of Foster the people perform song after song after song after song.

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My favorite was Broken Jaw and Houdini back to back. I can’t even the cannotations because I believe that was the part wherein I heavily bruised myself as I danced my body off beat after beat. Everybody around me were singing in deaf-tone mode and the next thing I know Anne Curtis was behind us. Could this get any better?

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Also met up with Colwin!  (This was after the concert so you can see my before and after look, BEFORE: Looking crazy. AFTER: … )

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Also met up with my favorite people in the world. That’s Ate Mar, Ate Dom and Ate Arlene!

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And walk home as happy-fulfilled-foster-girl

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I admit that a part of me was sad that I wasn’t able to secure a picture with the band but the whole experience made up for that click of a shutter. I met friends whom I felt like I knew since forever, with those friends I enjoyed a concert that I thought I would never experience and I had an experience that I would never ever etch out of my system, ever.

Foster the people’s concert was the type of concert that makes you feel alive, feel passion, feel as if you’re one with the universe who loves you back for being who you are. Foster fans, when put together in an arena emanate this different kind of fix that makes you blaze up with emotions only the galaxies can paint. SURREAL, WILD AND DEFINITELY REAL. Foster the people is a legend that I believe will continue to define stories and memories and add another crowning glory to the music industry.

And if asked I only have this to say to Foster the people, DON’T STOP.

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Beautiful

I promised myself to write a detailed review of this experience. I had several attempts of writing this experience down my diary but I always end up drifting off to those sweet moments. I get stuck. Never wanting to go back to reality. Today mark’s the second week after Owl City Live in Manila 2011. I admit that I still have a post concert depression and  I still endlessly tweet Adam hoping for a reply.

-> I realized that I have been pushing away our thesis for 3 weeks now, what can I do when my last semester as a student starts tomorrow and this thesis might just be the only strain to that glorious day of my graduation. .  I promised myself earlier that I will dedicated my heart and soul to the completion of our Thesis. And so, I decided to write this TODAY.

This will be very long. I will try to shovel out every detail and memory on how an enchanted evening took me away.  As an Owl City fan I have never been that loud until the recent promotions provoked me. I know I’m not a famous international hootowl as I remain focused on fellow Filpino owls. I don’t have that much experiences and encounters with Adam and the band either. In fact, I started out in Fireflies and not in Hello Seattle from Of June or Meteor Shower or what. I am an ordinary fan. YES. Ordinary but I try to make the most of what I have . I try to work out what I can do to the best of my abilities. I am rather a shy person when it comes to formalities. And I think I am getting ahead of my story. Anyway, this will be long and I don’t want to pressure you into reading every single detail of this post. I just wish that at the end of the day, you will recognize me and respect me for who I am and for what I love doing most.

Ok, here goes.

What Happened on October 25, 2009.

I have an anniversary on when I started liking Owl City. My Bestfriend, Reine asked me to coordinate her debut party. I gladly helped her in every aspect, from the details of the venue down to the tracks to be used as bed music. I was searching for the latest hits online when I came across Fireflies.   I illegally downloaded the track from BeemP3 and burned the track along with other singles. Days after I could not stop listening to the dreamy synths of the song. I hummed along to the melody, I memorized its lyrics by heart, I recommended the song to every friend I knew and I bought the album.

That’s when it all started. I can’t even tell you how thankful I am for that birthday party. It was unexpected and it was just perfect.

The first.

Later on BigFish Manila announced that Owl City will hold a concert scheduled March 14 of the following year. I anticipated the concert so much that I pritned out a lyric book of the whole album (since the album then had no lyrics). I asked Reine if she wanted to watch with me, she squealed at the thought and I knew my bestfriend was also in love with music. Good days.  ♪

It was early February  when me and Reine trekked the long street of Emerald Avenue just to purchase tickets directly at Big Fish Manila. They had this student discount and hence I got my ticket at a very affordable price. Nevertheless, it did not lessen on how magical March 14, 2o10 went off.

In details, March 14, 2010 went like this:

Me and Reine printed out T-shirts that had the tweaked phrase “When I think of YOUNG, I don’t feel so alone” – this was exclusively designed for the two of us by a good friend named Mike De Vera.

Around 8:00 am, Me and Reine went off to a local church to hear mass. Everything went well. We knew that we were off to a good start. We asked the Lord for our blessings and we believed He was with us all the way.  Indeed He was.

It was around 10:00 am when Me, Reine and Dhen (A friend who slept over at our house the night before) arrived at Landmark, Makati. We were a 10-minute walk away from the Hotel where the band stayed, NEW WORLD HOTEL.

We arrived at the luxurious hotel at around 11:00am and decided to take the elevator quickly as so the guards will treat us as guests of the hotel. As we  entered the elevator we realized that we had no idea on where to begin. And so I punched the 24th floor button. Okay so here’s the thing, Me and Reine had this crazy idea of one by one checking the floors of the hotel and look for any signs of Adam and Owl City i.e. Bodyguards, People with I.d. -and so we descended from the 24th, to the 23rd to the 22nd to the 21st to the 20th to the 19th and to the 18th. We have accomplished 8 floors so far and we were tired. We checked the 18th floor when I heard a sound from ROOM 1801.

I panicked and called Reine as I heard people talking in English. Well Reine almost knocked me out as she explained to me that we were at an international hotel, People TALKED IN ENGLISH, PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES ARE ON VACATION AND THEY WERE STATING HERE. I understood her..And so I walked to the elevator again and stood there. I knew that it was here, I just felt it.  The 18th floor felt so right. And so we stayed there, we were tired. Every 10 minutes a laundry boy passes by us and they looked very suspicious, well probably because we were wearing our OC shirts. Ahhh. I was really fidgety when I decided to go down and drink expensive coffee from the hotel restaurant. Reine agreed and we pushed the elevator button. A minute after we were joined by a man and a woman dressed up. I was frustrated, disappointed and devastated,  I didn’t care who they were. We entered the elevator cabin and it descended down, I couldn’t help but notice a pair of eyes looking at our shirts, must be haters I thought. On the 4th floor stop the guy muttered “So what time is our soundcheck?” The girl answered “Around 2:00pm at Trinoma” And there we were, the elevator opened it’s doors on the ground floor when I was left dumbfounded.

THEEEEEHECK it was Daniel Jorgensen and Breanne Duren. IN THE FLESH. In the elevator! With me and Reine and I totally blew off the chance of talking to them and possibly meeting Adam on the spot.

I sulked myself in the lounge of the hotel. I ordered an expensive coffee and waited for Daniel and Bre to return. They DID, after 1 hour and I was ready. I was prepared and I brought the gift for Adam in my hand, hoping I could hand this to Daniel and Bre. There I was, walking towards them. Fast, Quick, Glorious!!! I WAS ON THE EDGE…OF GLORY! ♫ when a bouncer blocked me and embarrassed me in front of the hotel guests that we are not allowed to go near them.

That scene broke my heart. I had anticipated so much for the concert and here  I am standing in a hotel, devastated. But heck that didn’t stop me from enjoying the concert.

Me and Reine were at Trinoma at around 2:00pm. We were the only one’s waiting outside the gate as the concert was scheduled at 8:00pm. And so we paced back and forth, in and out of Trinoma. We took a rest at the couches near UCC coffee when we noticed a strange couple eyeing our VIP tickets. Must be concert-goers. A few minutes later the band did a soundcheck and my heart skipped a beat upon hearing Hot Ait Balloon from a distance. THIS IS IT. THIS IS REALLY IT! The girl across me surprised me as she sang lyrics from the song. Well, only true OC fans know this song and so I assumed she was one.

Later on, we went out to start the line and the girl earlier was behind me.  Out of excitement I bravely talked to the girl and found out that she was an avid fan of Owl City. We clicked! YEY! We waited in line and we talked about OC songs, we soon realized that we have the same fave song, THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG! She was Hanako Amihan. A girl I’ll never ever ever forget. The very first fan I met.

It was 5pm when the M&G started. I was helpless. I really wanted to meet Adam back then. I begged the bigfish girl that I am the founder of Owl City Ph but she didn’t care. Way back then Owl City Ph was still small and so we were still unnoticed. And the line-moments ended with a heavy heart. I will never meet Adam, no not today. But I will someday. That still did not stop me from enjoying the concert. It was magical. ME and Reine sang phrase by phrase, melody by melody (YES! WE HUMMED THE MELODIES LOUD!) and we brought home memories for safe keeping.

March 14, 2010 brought ALL OF THIS to me. It gave me a chance. It gave me a Dream.  It gave me hope.

 The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.   – Flaubert Gustave

THE BIRTH OF OWLCITYPH

Prior to March 14, I established a fan community called Owl City Philippines with the humble beginning of an online forum at ipbfree. It only had 10 members back then but we were all excited to watch the concert.

After the concert, I was ignited to make Owl City Ph grow. I had this intense feeling of admiring Owl City as an artist and it would be a shame to keep it all to myself. I was also sure several fans out there felt the same way. I established the fan community by searching for fans. I filtered every Owl City and Manila in Twitter, in facebook and in youtube. That’s when I found a bestfriend, a brother – Colwin.

Together we marketed Owl City Ph as the fan community of Owl City in the Philippines. Month by month we grew and later on we were established. We held contests, promotions and sold stuff. Later did we realize that Adam had a hefty bunch of fans and followers in the Philippines. And they were the best. Each fan that I came to know was special. They were honest, sincere and definitely for keeps. I did not lie when I declared that my bestest friends in the world are from these bunch of friends whom I met with a common point of interest, that is Owl City.

I truly believe in the idea that Owl City Ph is one of the strongest fan bases in the whole HootOwls community. HATE me all you want, i try to be humble haha i swear but I know we’re more than a community. We’re a family. We work together and I believe that we all have spaces in our hearts for each other. I will forever be proud of US.

Owl City Philippines has come a long way. The overwhelming support of followers encouraged us to push ourselves to do more.  For the past year we have been holding contests using our own money as starting funds. It was a sacrifice worth laying. We sold merchandise to start up bigger projects.

Last June 2011, we partnered with Astroplus for the release of All Things Bright and Beautiful. It was so nice to meet more and more friends who shared the same love for Owl City. It was successful – no matter how I look at it, I know it was.

And this October—- wait, I’m getting ahead. I will start explaining first on how we went on.

Intern

On the summer of 2011, we were all required to undergo an Internship training to a company that we believe can give us insights on the real world out there. I was debating on where to enter but on the back of my mind something urged me to courageously bet on MCA MUSIC INC. – the local label of Owl City.

I am in constant contact with MCA MUSIC INC in line with Owl City Philippines. Hence, I know some of the people behind the company. Early February 2011 I emailed Sir Wilson of an interest of application to the company. He said okay but I believe he was busy to handle applications in e-mails.  I had decided that I want to be in MCA. I did not entertain the thought of applying in another company and so when a few weeks later Sir Wilson did not reply to my email, I personally visited the company and handed a physical copy of my resume. A few days later I was called in for an interview.

THE DAY HAS COME. I was wearing a red striped polo, I was sweating and I was in front of Sir Wilson. He knew I was an Owl City fan.  He asked me several questions and  I answered him carefully.  THIS WAS THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME and I wanted it to be perfect.

The moment the interview ended, he immediately accepted me. Thoughts creeped into my head such as Adam visiting the office and me fixing Owl City Cd’s. I pictured myself talking to him and all but then again, things always happen unexpectedly.

I can honestly say that the primary purpose of applying was for Owl City but later on did I realize that MCA MUSIC INC taught me a lot of things. It opened up a new world of opportunities for me. I enjoyed every bit of work they passed unto me. YES, OWL CITY WAS NOT INVOLVED AT ALL and I passionately loved what I am doing.  The summer of 2011 solidified my desire of working in the music scene when I graduate. It is my best summer so far and I know I spent it with people who are also the best-est, ever. I found a family in MCA MUSIC INC and I will always treat them as one. Nobody has invested so much trust in me like them. I felt so thankful. I felt so blessed.

I believe it was destined, and Owl City brought me here.

The Long walk

My internship ended as I started my first semester of my last year in college. Hay. One guilty pleasure of mine is equally prioritizing Owl City with my studies, I know it’s wrong but sometimes I get carried away.

Owl City announced that he was releasing a new album and we were ecstatic. New album means New tour. I anticipated the announcement of the tour dates though I admit at first, I was hopeless.  It has just been a year since he held his first concert and rarely does an artist come back for a second concert after another year- well Owl City did. It was May when he announced his Asian tour. I cried so much when I saw Manila, Philippines in the newsletter. THIS WAS IT. The moment that we have all been waiting for. HE WAS COMING BACK TO MANILA. For a year, Owl City Ph worked its way into clamoring and demanding for Owl City to come back and yes, he noticed.  He did as he included us once again!

I can hear Oprah Winfrey shouting at me

Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

I WILL.

During my internship, I was under Marianne Delantar. I called her ate Mar. In two months or less, she became the closest Ate I ever had. EVER. Along with Kuya Doms, Ate Arlene and Kuya Ruben. Also I met a sister who helped me so much in so many things, Jyl. Ate Mar had always been so supportive of me and my Owl City endeavor.

(I forgot to mention that during my first day at work at MCA MUSIC, Sir Wilson introduced me to everyone as the President of Owl City Ph)

Ate Mar helped me so much for Owl City PH. She helped the possibility and success of ATBAB Launch day (wherein Adam even sent us a video ID!).

Also, all this time I have been trying to sell Owl City Ph as an official and recognized fan community of Owl City to the OC management.  Especially that OCLIM11 was fast approaching I emailed the management with the attachment of an Organizational Profile, A slideshow and a Mission-Vison eklaver statement. One Day, I was browsing our Organization email when a reply from the management popped out at the Inbox section. THEY ACTUALLY REPLIED.

I fangirled on this email and knew to myself that this was  it. We were ready. OCPH Was ready. Owl City Live in Manila 2011 will be the night of our lives. Thank you to Ate Mar who helped us achieve so much. She is truly an angel who gave us a chance.

Later on, we also Emailed the promoter as we wanted to help and take part in the promotions.

This was what we got:

I will never forget on how all of this started. Up to now, I still can’t believe that everything started so small and look what we have right now. Things really do come to those who wait. ♫

Anyway, We had regular meetings with MCA and frequent talks with MMI. I loved how MMI greatly looked up to our fan base as the home of Pinoy fans. Online promotions were blasted through our networks. We sent newsletter and went the extra mile. We also held contests to boost album sales and digital sales. It was more less of a work and much of a passion. I loved what I was doing.

My happiness for the fan base could not be contained as for the first time in concert history (I think if it did happen, rarely) Owl City Ph is acknowledged as a partner/sponsor for the whole event.  I was smiling from ear to ear when I saw our very own logo on all their collaterals!

I also met up with owls who volunteered to help along the way. I would never trade small talks and meetings with Colwin, Leon (My favorite BUDDY!) Aldrin Pat Isay  Hana MJ  Leana and Dowe.

But I admit there were days when I felt so consumed. But the overwhelming love and encouragement of fellow fans pushed us to do more.

What I will not forget is how me and Colwin went to three different malls to distribute Promo posters and flyers. IT WAS HELL OF A FUN FUN FUN ADVENTURE. We spent the whole afternoon running around the metro and sweated our hearts out in anticipation.

I will also forever remember when Me, Hanako and LG braved the Cubao area that was a little bit of scary (BUT FUN! HAHA) to buy the Tattoo papers!

Good Days. Good Days ♫

We are also thankful to Miss Katherine Choy and the whole of Astroplus who greatly believed in Owl City as an artist. They helped us along the way as we planned events and promotions. Astroplus sponsored the Lightsticks that were distributed on the concert.

It was months of anticipation and excitement. Months of preparation, physically and emotionally. We drained our hearts out for one enchanted evening that we will never forget.

THE SECOND TIME AROUND -FINALLY

The last minute preparations made my heart beat beyond the normal range. It made every day before the concert so precious.

A month before the concert, the whole team coordinated to prepare gifts and stuffs for the concert. We searched and shopped together for stuff that we thought would make the band happy.

We even customized a varsity jacket for Adam!

There’s a funny story behind this jacket. I initially contacted two suppliers about the jacket and well maybe because of the pressure I contacted the wrong one upon pick -up. I texted the supplier early in the morning reminding him of our scheduled meet up, a few minutes he replied that he can’t make it. It was a day before the concert. I went hysterical. I argued the order through a phonecall. I shouted at the guy on the other line, and he was well, SORRY. After a few minutes I received another SMS that says our meet-up will push through for the jacket. Turns out I contacted the wrong guy. IT WAS FUNNY. But I felt sorry for the other supplier. I breathed a big sigh of relief after the incident.

The gifts were ready! We also found dried mangoes of special brand. Can you guess what’s the name of the brand? Unexpectedly it’s called YOUNGS. Cool right? Or not. Haha. We also produced exclusive OC shirts for the band

October 24, 2011 – I visited MMI to receive complimentary passes. I don’t know why but my visit almost made me cry. No, she was really nice. MMI has been the nicest to us in this whole Owl City concert. I guess I was being sentimental because everything that we have worked hard for is coming to its peak in two days. I was too happy to see Miss Anne that day.  She held this unseen torch that says “Hey, Guys Owl City is coming in two days and here are your tickets, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for your help.” Well, she did tell us that after. The way she sincerely addressed me and the fan club- heartfelt. I broke down on the elevator and cried. I felt so weird. And did I mention I lost my voice? I was suffering from cough and colds a week before the concert and I still stressed myself out. Aggh I hated how these viruses attack just when everything is being held right.

October 25 –

I knew today was Adam’s arrival. Prior to his arrival I asked permission if we could welcome the band but due to security reasons, it wasn’t recommended. I respected that. I woke up early in the morning just to check for tweets from Adam, Bre or the crew. I was fidgety the whole morning. My mind jammed at the thought that Adam was just in my vicinity, well he is Manila. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that he is actually setting foot in a place just miles that are reachable from me.

I knew where he was staying but I wanted to be true to my words that I will respect not stalking him this time around. I know how pressured the promoter is and I don’t want to add any more troubles. Also, Owl City didn’t have a scheduled presscon unlike other artists. All he had was an exclusive one on one interview. So I had no jobs to be done.

I just headed off to Megamall to chill and unwind.  I thought I need a break.  I wore a normal (haha normal) blue shirt and jeans. I rode the MRT, I was a little bit of sweaty and grimy. Until Ate Charm called me. She told me to come and join them at the hotel, to award Owl City. WELL, we normally did this stuff before to Maroon 5 and Justin Bieber so I knew it was true. I was called and at first I hesitated.  I was uneasy for 30 minutes. Yes or No, Yes or No until I found myself walking towards the lobby of the hotel.

My heart pounded like crazy. It was like Mt. Apo during 1991 all over again, minus the disaster and tragedy. I walked up to the elevator with the track Cave in playing. My hands were sweaty. I wasn’t ready. I smelled like sweat and I looked like I have been asked to carry 120 kilos of karneng baboy. But my heart was. I was aflutter.

I arrived at the resto/waiting area with 10 people. It was really exclusive. I can see the glimmer in the eyes of Ate Mar and Ate Charm as I sat beside them. I know that they were sincerely excited for me. Sir and Miss were also too. Well, I think. But I wasn’t. NO, not in a negative way. OF COURSE I WAS but I was too lost during that moment. I never thought that this would come  (well, I did but man, this is it, THIS IS REALITY AND FOR ONCE I WOULD REALLY WANNA LIVE THERE)

We were seated at the real waiting area.  My feelings could not contain itself. I waited as if I was meeting an ordinary person – well that’s my external facade but inside me an explosion of fireworks was taking place. And so we took a simple picture first.  We took a picture of the DOUBLE PLATINUM ARTIST OWL CITY award.

10 minutes.

5 minutes.

2 minutes.

1 minutes.

Oops, I mean 1 minute.

I entered the room quietly with MCA. I was only there to observe and well, help take pictures. That’s what we usually do, during press conferences. I walked in and dawned unto Adam Young -in the flesh. He was wearing his usual red flannel shirt. HE WAS ANGELIC. He looked so clean and fresh, he looked tired but very glad to meet our bosses. He greeted them happily as he accepted his award. He laughed at their small talk (which I couldn’t remember cause everything went crazy in my mind then) Hi giggled as he once again looked at his award. He said goodbye and nice meeting you. I was prepared to walk away as MYX will now hold their interview when our bosses told me to go and take a picture with him.

HECK. I WAS FINALLY MEETING HIM FACE TO FACE.

I SQUEALED LIKE A MICE. Seriously, you know those eeeek sounds that mice make? Yes, I did that around 5 times. I said Hi by waving my hands 10 times and I uttered OMG for 5 times. IN FRONT OF HIM.  I looked  crazy at first but I think Adam understood me so well as he kept smiling and laughing as I was clearly blushing all over. He posed for 5 pictures with me. Those were the longest 5 minutes of my life. EVER. I couldn’t bring myself to smile my best and I couldn’t really register my thoughts and messages for Adam. I was dumbfounded, in a very very good way. As I walked away from him, I squealed once again and turned my head towards him. All I remember was his cute small laugh and a couple of Nice to meet you’s. HIS SMILE WAS PERFECT. I DONT CARE IF YOU JUDGE ME.

My heart was on cardiac arrest (HAHAHA) after those priceless 5 minutes. As we walked out of the room, tears spilled all over the carpet floor. I was crying so hard for no reason. It had not yet dawned unto me that I finally met him. I felt like everything was in trance and this was not real.. But then again, it WAS. I DID MEET HIM. Right there at that tiny hotel room for the press.

My heart could not function well. I felt so blessed. I felt extremely lucky. I will forever be thankful for MCA MUSIC.

I may have not looked my best. I may not have smelled my best (Smelled haha-what!) I may not be at my best disposition but since I was with the best, I knew everything was perfect.

October 26, 2011 – The day.

I woke up early on the day of the concert. My mind was tainted with so many things. It felt like Cold Play’s MYLO XYLOTO album.  I felt Taylor singing Sparks Fly on repeat. I didn’t know what to fix first – the fanpage, my things, the lightsticks, the posters, my outfit, our gifts. I felt like I was getting married on the wrong day and event. ‘

Colwin came to our house (YEY!) early and helped me pack the things. LG came after and we rode a taxi to Ayala where we met Hanako and Reine.

We scurried off to the NBC tent and I could not contain my feelings. It felt like I was attending a premiere night and I wasn’t even in the lead cast. The moment I caught site of the venue I could not help but tear up a bit to see a flock of Pinoy fans waiting in line. This was me last year and still, this is me today. It felt so pretty to be surrounded by such support to one artists whom I know deserves it best.

I wanted to hug each friend at the venue. I was too happy but then again it is an understatement. The line, the process, the waiting was all too not real.

We distributed Owl City Tattoo’s and lightsticks to the first people who were in line. It felt so awesome sharing the Owl City love to everyone.  We waited in the area for about 3 hours. I was really uneasy. Walking to and fro, side to side, up and down, whatever. I met up with MCA and was super glad to see them. They have made my dreams come true in one way or another. Kuya Dom,  Ate Arlene, Ate Charm and Jyl were there! I was overwhelmed by their support and encouragement.

A few minutes later, the meet and greet started. Earlier, MMI advised me and Colwin to go at the end of the line as the management was talking to us. Well, it’s official we were 10000000000x more excited. We lined up and went inside the venue. It was my first look at the area inside, it was so pretty. I spotted a few cocktail tables on the VIP area and I looked at my ticket, wow it is true there were tables! After  a few minutes something flashed on the screen projector of the concert. THE V.O WAS ANNOUNCING SOMETHING, OH THE SPONSORS. THE SPONSORS YOU SAY?

V.O: Owl City live in Manila 2011 is brought to you by Fox, Starworld, MMI, ABSCBN, Myx, MCA MUSIC INC.. some more sponsors, OWL CITY PHILIPPINES, Discovery Suites. —wait, come again? GYAAAAAAAAAAAH! I screamed at delight, I was alone and I looked like a retard but I did! DAHECK! That was the logo that was imprinted on my tshirt 1 year ago and now it’s up there. DA HECK! DA HECK IT WAS! And all this is thanks to my friends and fellow fans who greatly supported OCPH in all its endeavors and whatnots. Seeing the logo there released high hopes for me. It felt so wonderful, amazing, mind blowing. Tiny little pixels, a stream of colors and an Achievement. I AM SO PROUD OF US, OWLS. Seriously.

Is this the real life?

Me and Colwin were meeting Adam. I don’t know why but it still feels like my first. The event yesterday stirred me so bad that I could not remember meeting him until I saw a picture from Kuya Enzo Luna. Only Reine, Isay And Hana were left until Me and Colwin would proceed. Tears started flowing in my eyes and Sir David approached and hugged me and Colwin. This felt so right yet so weird.

It was our turn. I stopped halfway as Colwin hugged Adam right then and there. I paced slowly and then it hit me, I needed to tell him. You may hate me after reading this but this was our flow of convo:

Me: HI ADAM! MY NAME IS GRACE, ONCE AGAIN HEHEHE, *Hand Shake* I am the President of Owl City Philippines! Your Fan Club here!

Adam: OH WOW! That’s great, thank you so much for all your help *he turns to look at Colwin too*

Grace:  Our pleasure. He’s the Vice President!! EEE! OMG! ADAM CAN I HUG YOU?

Adam: SURE! *hugs me awkwardly and I hugged him tightly*

Grace:  *Legit tears*

Photographer: Okay guys, let’s take a picture.

I grabbed the PH flag which was folded on my pocket and spread it out for Adam to see.

Me: Hi Adam, Could you (Demonstrating to hold the other end of the flag)

Adam: OH WOW! THIS IS SO COOL! I’d Love to!

Photographer: WOW, this is nice. Okay Guys ready?

Before I left I almost forgot that I was holding my personal gift to Adam. I handed him an Eclipse Candy Box (In chinese! haha) with a handful of personal notes, thoughts, sayings and silly little things. Inside the box was a personalized guitar pick for Adam. I also handed him a letter and  my hand was shaking like crazy as I did so.

We left and as we proceeded, Laura Pease gave us a big smile. She was super sweet and she complimented the group for helping out with the concert, Miss Anne was beside her (I assume Miss Anne told Laura everything) She gave us some stuff and I asked if I could hug her, she said, SURE!  Colwin handed her the bag of goodies for the staff and crew.

She was still smiling as we left and her words were ringing in my head. “Thank You so much for all your help, I’ve heard so much about you guys. Thank You for everything that you do for Owl City, we APPRECIATE IT!”

Legit tears flowed from our eyes. Colwin was my soul brother haha the term in this thing. He understood everything with me and what made this experience more life changing was spending it with him. We walked off and met with the Astroplus people outside. Many of them were surprised to see Colwin cry, well, I was too.

Sir David accompanied us for the line of the CD signing. OK, this was happening again. We were at the end of the line once more. Aldrin and Pat went to us and handed us their mobile phones. Well, couldn’t be more of help!

When it was our turn, everything went casually. I felt more relaxed and comfortable. Me and Colwin handed him the Dear God ballers and we could not contain the smile he was bearing. ANGELIC.

I placed my CD inlays and asked Adam, “Hi adam! Here again Hehehe sorry too many!” He said ” no no, that’s cool! *laughs*” I died for a moment and then it came, WORD VOMIT

“HI adam, hehe  I MET YOU YESTERD–“

I was cut off by his reply ” YES!! YES WE DID!”

I almost cried. He remembered me. HE DID. HE REALLY DID!

I continued ” Sorry for being so awkward!! Hehe”

And he replied “No you weren’t! *and then he smiles at me!”

I handed him the mobile phone of Pat “And Adam, could you sign this for me.”

He said “Sure!!!” *signs* and hands it to me “Hahahaha you just got a text message! hahaha”

I died.  Thank You, PAT.

Then there was it. DONE. No more meeting Adam but now its more of rocking that concert we’ve all been preparing for.

GAME FACE ON. I remember last years concert. I really thought that those VIP tickets that we bought guaranteed us front seats if we came early, apparently we were still a 500m away from Adam.  But nothing could stop us this year. WE WERE AT THE MOST FRONT! AS in no one and nothing could ever stop us from being the frontest people of all front (or whatever that is)!

We waited for an hour before the show officially started. Then it came to me again, that surreal feeling that he is here. ON STAGE, ABOUT TO PERFORM. He was so dreamy in his white crisp polo. As soon as the stage blared off sounds from the intro of The real world, my eyes teared up once more.

“Reality is a lovely place but  I wouldn’t wanna live there…♫”

But this was real. EVERYTHING WAS and this is true. I cried legitly on the first song. I felt so high (In a very good way, trust me.) Then the TIP OF THE ICEBERG CAME IN. My most favorite OC song. EVER. I felt so lucky that the set list for the PH included this atlantic song. This was my themesong with all time OC friend, HANAKO. WE SLAMMED LIKE IT WAS A ROCK CONCERT. And  I didn’t care if I was too loud or too bouncy, I didn’t care if I wa deliberately shoving off the girl beside me cause she’s so unresponsive. I DIDNT CARE CAUSE THIS WAS OUR NIGHT AND OUR SONG. AND “I’ll do whatever it takes….♫” to change. Tra la la! Whooohoo, the song always sent chills.

He went on and on, song after song. I sang, I shouted, I tried to be in sync but my voice was too coarse fresh from my sickness. I danced, I jumped, I bumped the girl beside me who was too unresponsive, I killed every dead cell in my body, I enjoyed the best night of my life up to date!

Then, Adam had to say good bye. For the last song -which I knew wasn’t really the last cause prior to the show I already knew the setlist. Encore. Two more songs and this is it, they were really leaving.

The intro of How I became the sea played on and I can’t help but feel my heart tighten. Oh no, it was coming.. tears. Once again. As I sang along with Adam “When the sky fell in!!! And when the hurricanes came for me,” I fell flat, dead-like, standing, feeling every moment, singing every precious line, savoring every second of the last two songs. Not just far, I glanced upon a bouncer who was actually my friend in 2AM live in Manila,  I believe he smirked as he saw my eyes glistened with water. I didn’t care. Nothing will stop me.

Then he finally sang if my heart was a house. It felt like my ex broke up with me all over again, one day after. Uncontrollably warm water gushed forth my eyes. This was it. The glorious moment where it all ends, for now. I saw every effort, every anticipation, every hint of excitement, every support, every love and every memory come to its close circle as he sang the last line, “If my heart was a house you’d be home!” ♫  Adam may be a shy boy from Owattona but I’d like to believe that he was home in a sea of Pinoy fans who loved him dearly.

They said goodbye and I did, silently. The memories crushed me but my friends at Owl City Ph comforted me with the idea that this is just the beginning. I knew it was, I was just too emotional to function.

Later on, Me and Colwin were interviewed by Myx (which never really aired) ughhh, my eyes were sore when they beamed their white light unto my face. Was Heaven calling me since the concert’s done? haha

Later on, Me and Colwin went inside to check out some stuff when we met with Laura Pease once again. We asked to take a picture with her when she courteously  said “with me? I didn’t do anything!!” and I replied “No, you did so much. :)” and ta-da!

Later on we met with the Crew. Andy was passing by me and then I went like “OC CREW” and afte 3 seconds, it registered unto him that he was the one I was referring to and then he said “YEAAAH!!!”

We also met with Rez Toledo of SD. He’s really nice and I am not hating on him. He makes music that is different from Owl City so no use comparing them. 🙂

And after we finally let go of the VENUE, NBC TENT. We went on for a night at banchetto. Unfortunately we went down at the wrong place and so we ended up in McDonalds Ortigas, the branch where Adam Young dined in! He ordered Oreo Overload and McChicken! haha So guys, you know what to order next time!

The night ended, finally.

The following day, Me and Colwin went to Robinsons galleria. I felt like I was sleeping the whole time. We went to the arcade to shoot some hoops and play a few games but my mind was definitely wandering at the thought that Adam and the band were leaving our country. Sigh.

It was Post Concert Depression at its ugliest state. I knew that this would happen, the moment I invested time in Owl City, I knew this day would come.

The following day, I visited MMI to drop off some goodies as a token of appreciation for everything that they have shared to us. A few days later, I got caught sight of this:

I am at loss for words but my heart is filled with extreme joy. I will never forget this. I will never forget this whole experience and as I said, when the next Owl City adventure flies in, I WILL DEFINITELY, meet you there. And yes, just like the song.

And I am ending this blog now. Sorry if I’m redundant, I just wanted to write what came out of my mind. Sorry if I had glitches and typos’s. Sorry if you’re not an Owl City fan and you had to cope up with me on this but THANK YOU if you’ve shared this time with me.

I appreciate you with all my heart.

♥ Grace