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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!*
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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! ~with love always, graceyco