That’s what you get when you let your heart win

day nine.

I’m very picky about my music. I don’t listen to the radio a lot because I don’t like mainstream music, and I have no idea what’s the biggest song out there and all that. I listen to a select list of artists, and more often than not, other people don’t know about them. Yeah, I can be a music snob if I want to.

I heard about Paramore from Happy, when we were planning about the next concert we want to organize. I think it was after Switchfoot or Hillsong, when Happy said she wanted to bring Paramore here. I didn’t know about them until I asked to listen to a song on our way home from the Cebu trip two years ago. Happy made me listen to That’s What You Get, and I was won over.

It took a while for me to digest all their songs, but after some time, Paramore became a staple. I don’t really care about how good they sound — I cared more about their lyrics. Paramore was there to get me through a lot, especially in late 2008 and early 2009. Most of the time, their songs find a way to describe exactly what I was feeling, and you know how when you find something that describes you so much that it sometimes kind of hurts? Yeah, that kind of thing. And Paramore’s brand new eyes album was also the same album that I kept on listening to during Ondoy, so it’s really memorable.

The point of those previous paragraphs: I couldn’t miss their concert in Manila.

I was supposed to go with Happy,  but she had to go to Hong Kong with her family as a graduation gift, so I didn’t have anyone to go to the concert with in the Gold section. Luckily, I saw a couple of SFC friends who posted their tickets online and I asked if I could tag along, so I downgraded from Gold to Silver, thinking company is more than view.

It was actually a good thing I joined them because I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I had watched the concert alone. You know?

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of observations during the concert, so let’s go bullet mode and list them down. :)

OH AND DISCLAIMER: All of the things below are just my opinions about the event, and I don’t mean to offend anyone. I used to be a part of a team that organizes and produces concerts, so I guess I kind of know what I’m talking about, so I’m letting out my observations coming from someone who knows about concert production (a bit), and from an audience. If you’re a part of the organizing team, I hope you’d take whatever I say constructively. :)  *bow*

  • First and foremost: Paramore was awesome. Hayley’s energy could reach all the way back, and the band was awesome, and all their performances were flawless, as far as I’m concerned.  Hayley even had a shirt just for Manila — it said “Para-thrilla in Manila.” How cute. :) They were very engaging, and they obviously made the entire wait and show worth it.
    • The set felt a bit too short, and that meant I enjoyed myself and I know all the songs. Backstreet Boys had 20+ songs in them, which was an extremely long set already. Paramore had 13 + 2 encore, which is just the same as Lifehouse and Switchfoot. They did sing most of the songs I love. :) Set list below, bold faced songs are my favorites:
      1. Brand New Eyes Tour Intro
      2. Ignorance
      3. Crushcrushcrush
      4. That’s What You Get
      5. Looking Up
      6. Careful
      7. Let The Flames Begin
      8. Let This Go
      9. The Only Exception
      10. Pressure
      11. For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
      12. Where The Lines Overlap
      13. Decode
      14. ENCORE: Misery Business
      15. ENCORE: Brick by Boring Brick

      After last night, I realized that I know most of their song lyrics by heart. :P

  • Last night I faced the fact that Paramore was mainstream. It may not always be played on the radio or the jeepneys (thank God it’s not!), but seeing the fans yesterday told me how many people love them.
  • Speaking of Filipino fans: most of them were tweens! I was kind of surprised to see how young all the people looked there — there were a bunch of girls in front of us who were about 15-16. Some were even small kids who came with their parents! :o I guess the family that watches concerts together stays together? I have a feeling those kids are watching Paramore only because of Twilight and Decode. Or maybe it’s the parents who are fans…?
  • Crowd reaction was okay…except right before the encore. Granted, Hayley and the band left the stage abruptly, and kind of left the audience dumbfounded. But the thing is: the crowd stopped screaming. I was afraid the band wouldn’t come out for an encore. Good thing some people started screaming, “More Paramore!” Whew.
  • My brother has been teasing me about how emo the band is and after last night, I think I’m about to concede. Haha. As we got in the venue, there was almost a sea of black by the Bronze area. Oh gosh, good thing there weren’t any riots. Or kids in heavy eyeliner. :o
  • So here was our time line yesterday: left for MOA at 1, got there around 2, shopped a bit, lined up for the venue by 4, got in at 6:30, show started 8:30. Show ended 10. And they kicked us out at 10:30. How about that.
  • Again, I’ve been a part of a concert producing group, so I know how it is to feel star struck with the artist. But, as our producer used to say: if you’re a part of the organizing team, you cannot afford to be star struck. Being star struck with the artist will spell all kinds of trouble, especially with the staff. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like most of the people there are fans who were star struck with the band too much before they actually went to work. When they finally let us in, the girl who checked our bag was also the same girl who checked our pockets. Aren’t those supposed to be two people?
  • There were concessionaires inside the concert grounds, but before the show, some McDonald’s people went around outside to sell food. My friend bought some food from the McDo people just before we have to go in, and the girl who was checking our bags tells her that she can’t bring the food in. Food bought from other establishments isn’t allowed inside the concert grounds because there is food available inside. Again, the McDo food came from inside the concert area. Tell me, what’s wrong with this picture?
  • I felt bad for the students who came from school who went straight to MOA. One girl in front of us couldn’t go in immediately because the Starbucks tumbler in her bag isn’t allowed inside the venue. I wonder, what could they do about that? The organizers should have anticipated that and set up a deposit area, where they could have deposited the things that couldn’t be brought inside. If it was a Saturday concert, there wouldn’t be a need for that…but it’s not, so they could have set up something like that.
  • I don’t know if the security people for Paramore was the same as Katy Perry’s…but honestly, it kind of sucked. No one I know got anything stolen from them, but I think I just saw the most obnoxious/annoying bouncers ever. I know crowd control is always the problem, but I don’t get it why most of the bouncers are in the Gold section and not in the Silver section. I don’t really know if there were bouncers at the back of the Silver section, but where we stood — near the fence — all bouncers we can see are on the other side, obviously, people were crowding by the fence, and there was no crowd control within the crowd at our side. Most of them were just guarding the border. What’s weird was sometime during the show, a bunch of people were being allowed to enter from the Gold section from the Silver section. We asked about it, and they said that the Gold gate was closed so the Gold ticket holders have to pass through the Silver gate to get through. Now that just didn’t make sense. Why did they close the Gold gate? I can’t see any logic with that, but I won’t question it too much, but why make the people pass by through the crowd to get to the Gold section? Of course, the other people in the Silver section who don’t know about it thought they were letting people in randomly, so they started inching, pushing their way there…until it was so crowded in our area that it’s impossible to move. Ugh.
  • And once again it’s weird: some of the people who entered the Gold area to from that side of the Silver area looked suspiciously jubilant, with the triumphant “YES!” coming out of their mouths and fist pumping action too…looks fishy, like they found a way to get into the Gold area when they shouldn’t be there. Just a thought.
  • Now speaking of areas…MOA felt like such a big venue, I swear. I think they might have done better with NBC Tent or something because the space between Gold and Silver and Bronze felt like such a waste. But that’s just me.
  • Back to the obnoxious bouncers: I really have this bad feeling that the bouncers were annoying us on purpose. We were trying to record the stuff on our itty-bitty digicams, but they keep on standing in front of the itty-bitty screens, as if they’re posing. And there was this one guy, who looked like a bouncer but was given a huge Globe Balloon and was told to sell load who kept on running around in front of our view of the screen, almost mockingly, to cover the screen. He did this more than five times. I wanted to shoot a pin through the balloon behind him just to make him go away. >:/
  • Watching the videos I took, I realized that the sound system wasn’t stellar. Katy Perry’s sound system was better, and I was at the bronze area then. Are they different?
  • Merchandise! I was hoping to get some merchandise as a remembrance, but there were no merch tables except at the Gold area. Wait, apparently, there were some at the Silver and Bronze section, but they closed early. The Gold section still had some merchandise…so after the concert, my friend attempted to go to the Gold area to get to the merch…but the bouncers blocked him. NOTE: the concert was over, and there was really no need for the barricades anymore. Still couldn’t get to the merch. :( Come to think of it, shouldn’t there be merchandise table outside? And shouldn’t they have sold the merch before the concert started?
  • The bouncers kicked us out by 10:30. Seriously. We were sitting and resting at the back of the Silver when two bouncers arrived and told us we couldn’t stay inside anymore. One of them even had the gall to say, “There’s a suicide bomber threat.” WTH.

Well this is a mighty long post, I’m sorry. Too many observations, and I’m not even sure if I got all. I know there’s the Gold/VIP problem, too, but I wasn’t at that area so I can’t write about it. The band rocked, but the event itself could have been made better. It’s all about anticipating what could happen: knowing what crowd is going, what the people could be bringing, how to control the crowd, how to make sure the crowd is pleased and the safety of the audience. I felt that something lacked in the overall organization of the event — it really could have been better.

It’s a really good thing that Paramore rocked, which made last night fun and worth it, despite all that. :) They say they’re coming back — let’s hope the event goes better next time. :)

And before I end this super long entry, here’s a video! Excuse the singing. ;)