The nine weeks and one day of constant anticipation after I have bought the Anberlin concert ticket last January officially came to its end the night of March 9 arrived. Unfortunately, March 9 is a day sitting right dab smack in the middle of the week so it meant ditching classes so I could get to the concert venue earlier than 6pm. Fortunately though, I only have one class to attend on Wednesdays and it’s in the morning, so no ditching of classes occurred.
I left Los Baños, Laguna at around 2:30 in the afternoon and arrived at the venue around 5pm. It was just an hour before the gates open and approximately seventy people were already waiting in queue. I was alone and so I contented myself with observing the people who were already in queue and those who were just arriving. While waiting and observing, I’ve had the opportunity to see the members of the band before the show started. I admit I was a bit, okay, scratch that, much in awe rather, when I saw them pass me by as they were walking from the concert hall back to the hotel they were staying at. Dumb awestruck me didn’t immediately think of the camera and so I wasn’t able to capture their cool hairdos and leather jackets. I didn’t scream nor did yell something like “I love you, Anberlin!” like the other fans in the queue who also saw them. The moment of being in awe faded once they were inside the hotel.
The gates opened a little past 6pm but I finally got inside the concert hall around quarter to 7pm. I was glad when it occurred to me that there was just an insignificantly small crowd near the stage and that I would get to closely see the band perform. I was somewhere in the somewhat fourth row of people who somewhat have chances to get over the railings and climb over the stage with the band. No one did that though during the show and that’d really be an entertaining sight.
The show finally started around 8 in the evening. Typecast, Jejaview and Salamin opened for Anberlin. From what I remember, each of them played three songs. I recognized Typecast’s Bostom Drama and nothing from Jejaview. It was a great experience to actually sing along with the crowd and do some headbanging as Salamin’s Paolo Valenciano belts out the lyrics of Soldiers of the New Age.
I bet everyone inside the concert hall could feel the heightened anticipation when the lights went out after Salamin’s performance. As the stage was being prepared and everytime some staff would move around the stage, the crowd would go wild and start chanting “An-ber-lin! An-ber-lin!” After a good 30-minute wait, blue lights finally illuminated the stage and signaled the beginning of the night’s main event.
Once more, I was struck with awe when they appeared onstage. It dawned on me that these are the guys who make some of the music I listen to on the radio and in my music player. I went into a fan-girl mode and screamed “Yaaay! I’m finally seeing them in the flesh!” so loud that it reverberated to every nook and cranny of my crinkly gray matter. Yes, it was just inside my head. I don’t know how to scream. (Is that a good thing or otherwise?)
The crowd really went wild this time when they played their first song We Owe This To Ourselves (which by the way is my Song of the Week). They played 18 songs all in all and the show went on for about an hour and a half. Sometime during the show, Stephen Christian, the frontman of the band, jumped down the stage and climbed over the railing while singing. The man was just cool when he did that! It was a risky thing to do.
I couldn’t imagine myself headbanging, raising my arms, singing at the top of my lungs, jumping around and shaking my body in a rock concert but I managed to do exactly all of those. Twice during the show, Stephen showered the crowd in front of him with the contents of his bottle of water and luckily, just a few droplets landed on me and I didn’t really get wet. I felt sad when the confetti started pouring out from the venue’s ceiling because it meant the band’s final song number. When the show’s finally over, the crowd really really went wild when Christian McAlhaney (the band’s lead guitarist) threw his untouched bottle of water and Nathan Young threw one of his drumsticks. It was during this that I experienced being really squashed in the midst of a rock concert.
There were some moments when it got a little awkward during the show but in general, I absolutely enjoyed my first rock concert. As it is with all my firsts, this one’s definitely going to be etched in my memory.