Open Your Eyes, Just Say Yes: The Snow Patrol Aftermath

I once said that I wouldn’t mind spending money on a Snow Patrol concert. Boy, I’m so glad to be part of their Fallen Empires tour. Wait, glad is such a weak word. Ecstatic perhaps? Yeah, until now I’m singing their songs in my head. (If you get close enough you might hear me silently humming, in fact).

I am not a super fan of the band. I just like them—their songs, the way they weave their words through their music, the way Gary Lightbody sings from the heart.

But I REALLY wanted to have good seats, near the stage. So when my friend asked me what seats I preferred and she agreed that we should get patron tickets, I knew I was going to have a good time.

Forgive My Selfishness

Then Habagat came.

We’ve been experiencing non-stop downpour since Saturday. By Monday night, I spent an hour trying to get to the train station when normally it would just take me 15 minutes. The following day, Manila and nearby towns were flooded. For the first time, both government and private offices declared suspension of classes and work. By Wednesday, I was starting to get worried—not just for those whose houses are submerged in water or stranded somewhere, I was worried for myself (I know, it’s selfish, right?). How the hell would I be able to watch the concert the next day if the floods on the roads were still knee/waist-deep? I was also hoping I’d be able to swing by Araneta to watch Smashing Pumpkins (the band was so kind enough to move their concert instead of doing it on Tuesday!) Alas, Marcos Highway was still not ‘passable’.

To make matters worse, I didn’t win the meet and greet contest (haha!). Atthewomb was also asking for someone who’ll go to the hotel where the band was staying to interview them. I was like, “are you kidding me? Why did all the flooding had to be on this week?” It was stressful, I swear.

I was on leave by Thursday and upon checking with the news updates when I woke up, my heart fell. There were even twitpics of how flooded the roads were. Me and my friend were seriously deliberating what to do with our dilemma. Both of us were stuck in our respective homes. When I told her to start looking for someone who wanted our tickets, I was fighting back my tears.

Then @mmda tweeted: “Marcos Highway now passable to all vehicles.” As if the sun was shining at its brightest! I shared the oh-so-good news to my friend. But my worries were not yet over. She had to convince her parents it was indeed safe to go. I was also trying to placate my mom and my sister. Knowing how stubborn (and yes, responsible adult) I was, they said yes. Now if only my friend can go too…

I screamed when I got my friend’s text. We’re off to see Snow Patrol. YESSSSSS!

Great Music is a Panacea to a Troubled Soul

Maybe it was also because of the drama and stress we had to go through that morning but I swear I couldn’t help myself from totally, totally enjoying the concert. I LOVE every bit of it. The stage (as if the band was not enough! They really mesmerized me with the stage!), the sound, the way Gary flirted with his bandmates, his kind, kind words to the audience—I mean EVERYTHING. I am, until now, speechless.

I didn’t care if I was grasping for the right lyrics to some of their songs, the ones I knew by heart I sung with all gusto. I was on my feet as they played the first few chords of their opening song (Hands Open). I never thought I’d enjoy singing and dancing to Take Back the City. I fell in love again with Crack the Shutters. Every song was amazing.

And the sound. The band and the producer made a great job with the sound system. The whole set was so clear, so smooth, you’d think you were still listening to the album.

I guess everyone in the audience fell in love with Gary even more when he sung “This Isn’t Everything You Are” to all the Filipinos there. He said he was surprised with such grace the Pinoys were manifesting amid the flooding that left a lot of us shaken. I think his words were: “The Filipinos have showed such grace in these dark times. You are an inspiration to the world.” He also dedicated a very personal track, “Lifening”, to all the Filipinos who lost their homes. (Lifening is also one of my favorite songs from the latest album).

Then the whole Araneta swooned to “Run” and “Chasing Cars”. I could see how glad Gary when the crowd sung in unison to both songs. It was heart-tugging.

They didn’t sing “Signal Fire (much to the disappointment of a LOT of fans) and “Garden Rules” (another favorite from the Fallen Empires album). But I was singing my heart out when they finally performed “In the End” and “New York.” Even “Fallen Empires” sounded so good live.

When Gary sung “Shut your Eyes”, “Chocolate” and “Open Your Eyes,” I was so in love at that moment. And when they performed “Just Say Yes” during the encore, I knew I made the right decision to see them live.

By Friday, I was back at the office again. But I have this huge grin on my face that lasted until Monday (yes, Monday!) What a good concert can do to you. Thank you so much Snow Patrol for including Manila in your tour! Hopefully, the universe will conspire and allow us to meet in another time.

Photo by Rina Rañada

“And in a naked slumber I dream all this again.”


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