For as far as i can remember, music has been a part of my life. I took singing lessons, piano and guitar lessons. My dad used to play the harmonica and would sometimes sing. My mom used to sing/perform on stage when she was still alive. My sister also sings while my nephew when he was younger performed on stage. Our family reunions (up to now) would consist of major singing contests and dance competitions. I was always surrounded by music and I cannot imagine life without it.
I attended my first real concert when I was around 9 or 10 years old. But long gone are the days when an outdoor concert meant you still had seat assignments and you didn’t have to worry about being there around an hour earlier just so you could find a good spot where you could stand for hours. It doesn’t necessarily follow anymore that you get what you pay for, no matter how good the artist may be (I paid 21,ooo pesos for a ticket 2 years ago and it was worth every centavo).
Last night my husband and I watched Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Jojo’s Shock Value II Tour here in Manila. The concert was supposed to start at 8 pm so we were there around 740. Like most concerts I expected it to start later than it was supposed to and it did. But what I did not expect was how LATE the main event was going to start. At around 830 pm, 4 djs from a sponsoring radio station came out and talked for a couple of minutes (thanking other sponsors, etc). Then they introduced the opening act and OMFG, I’ve watched numerous concerts and this was by far the worst opening act EVER. They introduced a group of hip hop/rap artists (if you could call them that) called ONE (?). They sang a couple of dreadful songs (how can one take them seriously when in one of their songs they just kept repeating “MAINIT! MAINIT! MAINIT! – hot hot hot; they so weren’t hot); and then ONE introduced the award winning all star hip hop dance group of the Philippines which was totally a big improvement from them. Around 910 pm, another set of djs came out (thanking sponsors AGAIN and making fools out of themselves). So after a couple of minutes they finally said ‘this is it!’ blah blah blah and we all got excited. BUT after they left the stage it took another 30 minutes for the sound check and I think Timbaland finally came up the stage around 945 pm.
The main event was good and fun. It ended around 12 mn but in between they tried stalling a lot. Timbaland was GREAT. I’ve always been a fan and I always will be (and he’s funny too!). Jojo only sang 2 songs; one with Timbaland and one solo which I though was pretty sad because she came all the way here for that. They should’ve just let her sing more songs instead of Timbaland’s dj playing old Timbaland tracks. After Jojo’s stint, Timbaland came back up, did a couple of stuff and then started singing the chorus of Apologize by One Republic and when he started singing “its too late to apologize…” someone started singing back “…it’s too late” and everyone started screaming because it was JT from backstage. It took another couple of minutes before JT came out. It was sort of surreal seeing them perform together. I love JT! Justin sang a total of around 8-10 songs but for me the best part really was at the end when they sang Sexy Back and Promiscuous Girl.
Overall I wasn’t too happy with my outdoor concert experience. First of all, we ended up standing for around 4 1/2 hours. This would’ve been fine if we had the option to sit on the floor or at least move around a bit but once you’re stuck in the middle of a sea of people there’s nothing left to do but to stand there (the only thing you can do in that situation is either text people, pull the hair of the person in front of you or pinch the person beside you – it was that crowded). I’m not that tall too so I couldn’t see everything (I don’t know how the person beside me enjoyed the concert because she only came up to my shoulders). Secondly, we got VIP tickets which cost us 3500 pesos (it was supposed to be 4200 i think but my husband got it from a friend). We should’ve gotten the 8000 pesos VVIP (who ever heard of VVIP tickets?) so we could have stayed closer to the stage but then again 8k for standing for hours? I’d rather buy myself a ticket to Hong Kong. Thirdly, it was MAINIT! MAINIT! MAINIT! Lastly, there is another major concert coming up — John Mayer; same venue, no chairs and outrageous ticket prices (the most expensive ones would set me back 12,000 a piece). I don’t understand why tickets cost that much over here. To think John Mayer will also be performing in Sydney and the most expensive tickets only cost (in pesos) around 4000-5000 each. We’re considering just watching him outside of Manila (and probably any other artist set to perform at the Mall of Asia concert grounds) but I know if ever we do decide to watch that concert I will not settle for anything less than the 12k tickets. The concert last night was just too exhausting (not in a good way!). But I’m looking forward to seeing Justin perform somewhere else. I promise I will get to watch him again.