The Calling Live in Manila

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Konnnichaaaasssuu!!!

Today, we will put all the ONE OK ROCK madness in the side because this time, I am going to write about something else.

Bear with me on this one because this is something very close to my heart. Tis two weeks late but… hehe, you know how it goes with these things.

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I was never a music fan when I was young. I don’t keep up with the trends, nor do I swing with the latest trends till they are well past their trending period. Sure, I know the hits, but I never seem to find the bands or singers that would catch my drift so I more or less ignore it when my brothers or my sister would play songs from their phones, stereo and others.

When I was in high school, there were a lot of songs that up to now I listen. I will admit I was a big A1 fan in the past to the point I’d collect their albums on CDs till I just ended up giving it away in fourth year because I didn’t like it anymore. Up to now I do like listening to them and supposed to have seen them live when they were here in October, but, I declined it for several reasons. But, considering the genre, it wasn’t rock like the ones I listen to now *ahem ONE OK ROCK is pop/rock/punk*.

Although Linkin Park has been famous in this period, one rock group did start me in the rock genre and that’s The Calling.

I remember how I got introduced to this band.

It was for a Christmas Math jingle in third year and we were told to change the lyrics of some of the hits in that year and just so happens, Camino Palmero – The Calling’s first album – was famous around that time. My groupmates picked the song ‘Could it be any harder’ to modify and since I wasn’t familiar with the song, my classmate Karla lent me a copy of the album. We had to sing specific lines from it and some parts of it were high. Unfortunately for me, I got some of the high parts so I had to memorize and know the song by heart. After that jingle thing, I did go back to that album and listened to it whenever I could. The lyrics of each song sticks to the heart and if I have to be honest, each time I’d listen to ‘Wherever You Will Go’, ‘Adrienne’, ‘Could it Be Any Harder’ and ‘Stigmatized’, I am inspired. Come to think of it, I actually became inspired to write coz of this album and whenever I feel sad or down, its the album I listen to.

When ‘For You’ came out in 2003, that became a song that has to be in my iPod’s favorite playlist because the emotions in it was immense and it inspires you to never ever give up no matter if something or someone is trying to push you down. I first heard it after watching Daredevil when we had rented a copy of it in Video City and wow, I had to find it immediately after because it was that good. I also liked the orchestra bits of it which gave it more zing. After this though, my love for the band did slightly go dim after they released ‘Two’, but I still went looping around Camino Palmero and ‘For You’.

Fast forward to this year, I found the acoustic rendition of ‘For You’ from iTunes and immediately fell in love with the song again. Not long after, I heard stirrings that The Calling will be performing in Manila for a concert and waited for the actual announcement. It was around October when the news came and immediately, I said ‘Ok, priorities, I’m watching The Calling’. I didn’t immediately buy the tickets considering my odd pay schedule, but my fellow ONE OK ROCK fan Cid told me the promoters had a ticket sale so I took the bait and bought myself a lower box ticket to the reasoning, I had another thing coming to pay almost immediately (the Ambitions tour) and I wanted to try out the Lower Box areas for the next concerts I will watch in MoA (anticipating Coldplay).

But it seems lady music luck shone on me that day because although I had to curse my way to Mall of Asia Arena on a Friday and the traffic everywhere was killin’ me, I was actually able to see the concert in the VIP area and see Alex and the entire band up close.

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My actual ticket. I had to take a picture of it before I got in :))

With a little cheat in Instagram, I found the full order of the setlist so I’ll try to list down what I can remember XDD Some big guy gave a copy of the setlist used while they were packing up and I found it XDD

They did change the setlist to be honest XDD

Performance wise? As far as the songs went, I definitely loved the fact they played the classics and some of the news one even though Alex did joke that we didn’t know one of them. That is actually true since the song came from his solo album. Although Alex did change a little bit of the renditions of some of them and did make a mistakes, that was ok. We sang along with him and proved to him and his bandmates that no matter how long it took for The Calling to perform in Manila, we still know their songs. No matter if he had indeed aged since the release ‘Camino Palmero’, the man still has it! It may be a decade and some odd years since Camino Palmero, but hell, Alex still belched those high notes. Sure in some he didn’t, but you can let go of those mini stuff and just go with the groove.

But the highlight of the performance for me was hearing Could It Be Any Harder, For You and Wherever You Will Go live. For Could it Be Any Harder, it was like jerking me back to that moment in high school as I first heard the full song for that x-mas jingle. It also felt like a serenade as you see Alex playing with his guitar singing this song with the crowd. For You was an amusing one because Alex mentioned he would mess it up and he did. But that was all fine because we ended up singing it with him. I fell in love with this song again because the arrangement was quite different from the acoustic version. And of course, Wherever You Will Go performed twice? Who will complain!

We did call for encore twice but we all agree that it was the best live ever! I definitely did not regret watching live! Though I wish I could have helped out with the promotions considering I did that for ONE OK ROCK. I’ll do that next time they come back :)

After the con, I sent a message to Alex’s Facebook page coz he hasn’t updated Instagram since forever and I had forgotten about Twitter :)) I won’t tell you the entire message, but this is one lucky fangirl when this happened:

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KYAAAAAHH!!!

He didn’t reply but that’s ok. What matters is that I sent him my heartfelt thanks and he read it. If he does read this post since I tagged him in Twitter, that’s an achievement for this happy fan. I will be waiting for their return to Manila next year (You guys better Alex!!!) and the release of the new album and that acoustic/orchestra album. I’m more after the acoustic/orchestra album though. The acoustic versions of ‘For You’ and ‘Wherever You Will Go’ were perfect! What more of the rest!!!

Kudos to the guys from Subterranean Ideas Entertainment from kicking us back to the early 2000s and bringing this band back to Manila. Can’t wait for part 2!

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Now that I have seen Alex Band in his super cool and nostalgic self live, the next one on my list of high school LSS-in is Pierre Bouvier from Simple Plan. That’s another story you should look forward to!

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