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Snow Patrol takes Manila by storm

10 Aug

Following three days of torrential monsoon rains, Snow Patrol rocked the riffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last August 9 for the Asian wave of their Fallen Empires tour.

Snow Patrol and part of the concert crowd.

With the absence of an opening act, the Irish band got the ball rolling with “Hands Open” from their 2006 album Eyes Open. This was followed by “Take Back the City”, an ode to the grit and grime and glister of the metropolis.

Gary Lightbody flaunted his playful side, jokingly (?) flirting with the Texan guest guitarist in the lead-in to “Crack the Shutters”.  The vocalist mouthed “Is this comfortable?” to the microphone while inching closer and closer to the stringman, much to the amusement of the audience.

The night’s setlist was a steady mix of old favorites and fresh offerings, spanning the last decade of Snow Patrol from Final Straw to Fallen Empire. Spectators rose to their feet and sang along full force to the familiar chords of “Run”, “Shut Your Eyes” and “Chasing Cars”.

While I was a wee bit disappointed that they didn’t play “Signal Fire” from the Spider-Man 3 OST, I remained a giddy, happy child over “Crack the Shutters” and “New York”.

But while many a Snow Patrol song reels of love, loss and everything else in between, the experimental rock visage they have adopted of late – as embodied in Fallen Empires – shines through.

After an electric performance of “Called Into the Dark”, stagehands ushered in numerous conga drums. “This is the part where we get crazy with the drums,” Gary said with a grin before launching into the opening riffs of “Fallen Empires”. I’ve heard it said that some performers are better heard live. After last night, I’m inclined to believe these Irish boys are among the best of such.

The concert was an aural and visual feast, with interactive lighting and a seven-pronged projection screen alternately featuring close-ups of the band and video supplements to their performances.

The stage and projector setup.

A roving camera nestled on a crane effectively limited the chance to get awesome photographs hovered near the stage, documenting the band and the crowd. The footage could apparently end up in the final cut of the Fallen Empires Tour DVD, slated for release in 2013.

Snow Patrol left the stage after “You’re All I Have”, only to return for an encore. “I’d like to offer this song with our deepest respect and deepest sympathies to your country as a healing gesture at this time – to those who have lost their homes and indeed, their lives,” said Gary.

“This song is about my family, and my home, and I can’t think what it would be like if it was taken from me. I’d like to offer this song to all, out of respect to your grace, and your humanity, and your kindness. Thank you all. Thank you all. I’ll never forget this,” he finished, as the strains of “Lifening” wafted over the coliseum.

Snow Patrol ended their Manila rendezvous with the livewire “Just Say Yes” – evoking the vibrancy of a rainbow after the squalor of rains, a welcome respite for a country weathered by storms, meteorological or otherwise.


Snow Patrol Manila Setlist

  1. Hands Open (Eyes Open)
  2. Take Back the City (A Hundred Million Suns)
  3. Crack the Shutters (A Hundred Million Suns)
  4. This Isn’t Everything You Are (Fallen Empires)
  5. Run (Final Straw)
  6. In The End (Fallen Empires)
  7. New York (Fallen Empires)
  8. Set the Fire to the Third Bar (Eyes Open)
  9. Make This Go On Forever (Eyes Open)
  10. Shut Your Eyes (Eyes Open)
  11. Chasing Cars (Eyes Open)
  12. Chocolate (Final Straw)
  13. Called Out In The Dark (Fallen Empires)
  14. Fallen Empires (Fallen Empires)
  15. Open Your Eyes (Eyes Open)
  16. You’re All I Have (Eyes Open)
  17. Lifening (Fallen Empires)
  18. Just Say Yes  (Up to Now)

    Projector screen at the end of the concert.


Thank you very much to for the free tickets! 🙂

This clock never seemed so alive

24 May

To say that I am a fan of Lifehouse is an understatement. To say that I would exhaust all means to watch them live again is another one.

The truth is, though, no matter how much you love a performer, there’s just no reasoning with a wallet that has other priorities.

But just the same, there’s no giving up for this persistent fan.

Four years and about a dozen hairstyles ago, here was my 15-year-old self gushing over their 2008 “You and Me” tour — shaky point-and-shoot camera, braces and all.

What has changed since then?

Not my gratitude to Mama for surprising me with that ticket four years ago.

Not Lifehouse songs’ ability to stop me in my tracks, be it heard via iTunes, on the radio, or over the supermarket’s PA system.

Not that overarching desire for Jason Wade’s eyes to meet mine, the way it did for three seconds during their 2008 concert.

Then what’s new this 2012?

If there’s anything of value I’ve learned in the previous years, it’s asserting oneself and always, always finding a way for everyone and everything that matters to me.

So when upon reading’s concert tickets giveaway, I pounced on the opportunity, justifying why I deserved two tickets thus:

Winners were to be announced at 3 p.m. today, but an hour later, no results were to be found. Turns out they announced over at the facebook account that the announcements would be made at 5 p.m.

Mama called a little after five, asking to be fetched from work (another one of our straight-out-of-Freaky-Friday moments) because taxis were hard to come by. Before leaving for the parking lot, I hit refresh on the announcement page one last time and saw this beaut:

The grepa winning streak continues!

Mama was beside herself when she heard the news, gushing: “It’s the first concert I’ll ever watch in Araneta!”

Welcome back to Le Manille, bebeboy!

There are just some things for which a one-time occurrence is hardly enough. A Lifehouse concert is one of them.

And what makes my ear-to-ear grin wider is the thought that this May 26th, not one but two gushing fan girls will be rocking out to every riff and hanging by a moment (and eons more) with Jason, Ben, Bryce and Rick. ❤

Oh God, my chance had come at last

10 May

This is the story of how I potentially ruined a good pair of shoes, chased down a dream and made one of the best spontaneous decisions I’ve ever made.

When news of Morrissey’s Manila concert spread, I vowed not to let it pass — but the minimum ticket price of P3710 (for general admission, mind you) turned out to be a big middle finger raise to that promise. So I made a mental list of the ways I could possibly clinch a ticket.

Buy with own money? Nope, meager summer allowance pretty much crossed that option out.

Cover event as a member of the press? Tried, but my editor turned down the pitch because it wasn’t Lady Gaga level.

Join a raffle? Tried as well, but no relevant results turned up even after a thorough search engine scramble.

So when I heard of this contest by Rogue magazine, I thought, “This is it! This could be my one chance to see Morrissey!”

The trouble was, I only found out about the contest an hour and a half before the announcement of winners. And because it involved sending in an answer that could only be found within the magazine’s pages, it seemed like I would never make it on time.

At 3:22 this afternoon, I sent Rogue the following e-mail:

Morrissey in Manila: The answer to your question and why I deserve that ticket

Question: What was the brand of the meat grinder used in Isabelle Daza’s cover shoot?

Answer: The meat grinder’s brand is Fleetwood.

I first read about Rogue magazine’s ticket giveaway today at 2:30 p.m. I was at the office where I was taking my internship, a stone’s throw away from Greenbelt. To find out the answer to the question, I did what anyone in the 21st century would do: I Googled it. Not surprisingly, the answer was nowhere to be found.

I debated whether or not I should run towards the nearest bookstore. I made like I was going to the restroom and ran to the two convenience stores in our office building in search of Rogue. No such luck. I went back to my desk, ready to resign myself to the last few hours of the working day. I told my friends at work about the dilemma, and one of them nudged me by saying, “You know, the more time you spend talking is less time you spend getting there.”

Then in a fortuitous moment, the stars aligned and my supervisor went out for a late lunch. I raced down 18 floors, jogged along a bridgeway and dashed to Powerbooks — pending article assignment and time log be damned.

When the bookstore’s doors closed behind me, I ripped the plastic off the magazine and scanned the pages while brisk walking back to the office.

Did I get stared at by people passing me by? I wouldn’t know and frankly, wouldn’t care. Halfway through the bridgeway, I felt light on my feet. Was it the bliss of finding the answer? The exhilaration of knowing that despite finding out about the contest quite late, I might still stand a chance? Partly.

But as I returned the magazine inside its brown paper bag, I looked down and saw the real reason for the light feeling. There was now a hole where the toe cap and the heel of my shoe used to be joined tightly together.

All for the love of Morrissey. So please, Rogue staff — please give me a shot at those tickets. I sure could use the P3,700 savings for a brand new pair of shoes.

A minute before 4 p.m., I got the following reply:

Thank you, Rogue magazine for giving me a reason to grin and repress the urge to do a happy dance at the office.

Thank you, Sir Peds, for taking your well-deserved lunch break.

Thank you, Powerbooks for keeping your newsstand up-to-date.

This May 13th, I’ll be where there’s music and there’s people and they’re young and alive. ❤

Oh boy, oh boy, I’ve got to think about that

14 Nov

“If you asked her what it was…she would not have been able to say. She knew what she didn’t want, however, and that was exactly what [she] valued above all else.”


10 things I never thought I’d do on a day trip to Tarlac

21 Aug

August 19 marked the 133rd birth anniversary of Commonwealth  president Manuel Quezon. Our J 112 (Reporting for the Environment) class with Ma’am Khrysta Rara took advantage of the holiday (Quezon City Day, woot) and joined her J 195 (Travel Writing) class on a day trip to Tarlac. The itinerary was as follows:

6:00 a.m. > Departure from Plaridel Hall
9:00 a.m. > Arrival at the Animal Kingdom Foundation in Capas, Tarlac
11:30 a.m. > Lunch
1:00 p.m. > Visit to Capas National Shrine and Capas Death March Marker
2:00-2:30 p.m. > Return to Manila

Siyempre yung mga venues lang ang tumama diyan; wiz ang pagsunod sa schedule dahil past 7 na kami nakaalis ng Maskom. And though one won’t find “Start and end the field trip on time” on this list, what did transpire  happily made up for it.

1. Forget to bring a waiver

Because college spells I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-C-E like that.

2. Spend a whole morning with bitches…

…and boy-dogs at the Animal Kingdom Foundation, a rescue and rehabilitation shelter primarily for canines victimized by dog meat dealers.

3. (Word)play with Dik, my batchmate

Lalo na nung natuluan at nabasa siya dahil sa tubig ni Cess.

4. Explore different sleeping positions

Four companions and I found ourselves hard-pressed for some space and shuteye in the backseat of the moving van. A little flexibility, Bonamine and music blaring from someone’s phone went a long way. Also, there’s something strangely rhythmic about the sound of my seatmate’s head tapping the backdoor window in his sleep.

5. Crossing a bridge and never quite getting there at the Capas National Shrine

Some of us juniors and seniors gamely crossed a hanging bridge made of metal mesh, only to retreat after shrine authorities hollered that the other side was a no-entry zone. Oops.

6. LOL-ing in the deep over a menu

It was 3 p.m. when we arrived at the Isdaan floating resto-village in Gerona, Tarlac for “lunch.” Whether we were light-headed from hunger or just plain sabaw,  Charry, Mark and I were highly amused by the menu. Mark initially read “plaplitos” as “platypus”, and we laughed over the linguistic idiosyncrasies of the creatively termed “MH20”  (mineral water), “Chicken na Ginataan with the Magic dahon flavor and the difference between “Kanin – Bagong Saing sa Kaldero” vs. “Kanin – 1 cup” (Mark: So ano ‘tong one cup, bahaw?).  Then we started turning the dish names into, ehrm, movie titles: Tostado sa Gata, Lut0 sa Buho, Sawsawan Mo ng Toyo ang Ulam Ko, and Pinaputok sa Dahon, among others.

7. Finish a bilao of fried seafood

Me  to tablemates: (draws breath) “Kaya natin ‘to, guys! FOCUS.”

8. Improve my aim with the Tacsiyapo Wall

Model for Corelle! NAAAAT. Photo by Joshua Mark Dalupang.

“Tacsiyapo” is the Pampagueño equivalent of the frustration-induced expression “bwiset.” The Tacsiyapo Wall is a three-part concrete stretch with labels for “targets” or various offenders, including exes, in-laws, bosses, vices, diseases and thieves. Visitors can choose from an array of breakables (cups, saucers and plates from P15-P35, even wall clocks and vases for as much as P500) to hurl at the target/s of their choice.  4 cups, 2 saucers and 1 plate hurled at strategic portions of the Isdaan’s Tacsiyapo Wall did the trick for me.  To “Daughter-in-law,” “Intrigera/Tsismosa,” “Taksil,” and my other targets — intentional or otherwise — TACSIYAPO!

9. Party to Katy Perry tracks at the Shell of Asia restroom

Hundreds of people pass by expressway stopovers on any given day. That’s why it’s of paramount importance for their facilities to adhere to the highest standards of cleanliness. The management at NLEX Shell of Asia went the extra mile and ensured that the sound system covered most of the compound — even the restrooms. And because anonymity is practically guaranteed in stopovers, the time I spent at the sink while waiting for my companions to finish their business became a brief interlude to let loose my party-dance skills (or lack thereof).


Every road trip ends in one of three ways: either everyone’s slumped in their seats and getting some sleep, making a ruckus by singing and chatting, or a combination of both. We bellowed OPM classics by the likes of Ara Mina (??) and Sugarfree (!!), songs from boy bands, girl bands and sexually-ambiguous singers like John Mayer and Jason Mraz (a little bird called Google Search reports that both could be bi) to the point of hoarseness, and messed up some lyrics along the way:

(singing “Someday We’ll Know” by Mandy Moore and Jonathan Foreman)

Dik: Someday we’ll know, if Samson loved the mountains.

(singing “All Out of Love” by Air Supply)

Unidentified batch mate: I wish I could scary your smile in my heart.

(singing “Dancing Queen” by Abba)

Backseat people: Ooooh, see that girl, watch that scene~

Me: Ganun, so panuorin ang eksena?

Mark: Hindi, hugasan ang kasalanan.

Charry “Reyna ng Tacsiyapo at ng Pag-second Voice” Espino: (lightbulb moment for a new movie title) Hugasan Mo Ang Kasalanan Ko!


Keeping my fingers crossed for another joint field trip! HIHI.

Don’t Write Me Off Just Yet

4 May

The most underrated song from Music and Lyrics.