October 19th was the best night so far. I can’t even think of a single word to describe how amazing it was. So here’s a couple thousand. ;)
After a long time of dreaming and waiting, I finally saw my boys, the Jonas Brothers, live! As avid Disney girls since childhood, my sister and I have been great fans of the brothers since 2006. The very first song we ever heard from them was the theme song of American Dragon: Jake Long. Upon watching the music video, we were hooked and I had an instant crush on the curly haired one (Kevin and Joe were both mad about ironing their hair then! Ha!) wearing blue– Nicholas, the youngest brother in the band. Later on, they guest starred on Hannah Montana, our favorite show at the time (we were only 12 and 11!), and that was the particular moment we became obsessed. Ever since, we have been following their music, careers, et cetera, even though no one else we knew has heard of them. No kidding. We felt like we were the pioneer fans in the Philippines. (But there really were others of course, just not people from our circle). Nonetheless, my sister and I would post photos of them, play their music, and make our friends watch them until they, too, became intrigued and charmed.
Not long enough, the names Kevin, Joe, and Nick became widespread and heard throughout the Philippines– S.O.S topping the local charts, Camp Rock making it into phenomena, and the fan base growing stronger. Sadly though, they never held a show here in Manila during their world tours and, a couple of years ago, much to our despair, announced that they would take on solo projects for a while. We were heartbroken, knowing that it will take a longer and uncertain amount of time before they go back on tour as brothers and possibly visit Manila. But, as the optimistic Filipinos that we are, we never lost hope. As we continued to support ALL their solo projects, ranging from theater, TV, music, etc., we kept on believing that we will see them live as a band soon. And last Friday night, see them live we did…
The elation I felt upon arriving at the venue was uncontainable and contagious. Six years of daydreaming were finally over as I was about to see and hear my boys for the first time. Thank you to MetroDeal for the discounted tickets and pretty good seats!
Thousands of fans, varying in age, style, and companion, began to fill up the Mall of Asia Arena two hours prior to showtime. Nearing 8PM, shrieks of excitement could be heard, stirring up my own eagerness as well. At last, the lights dimmed and there was the loudest sound of screaming fangirls (me amongst) I have ever heard in my life, which lasted throughout the show. The local opening band started their set and the crowd sang along. I think I was too busy absorbing the moment to remember much of this part. As they played the last song, the exhilaration of the entire room was so palpable, knowing that the concert we all have been waiting for was about to begin. The band bid the pumped audience goodbye and as they did, the lights turned on. I found this weird, I wish the lights were kept off from beginning to end. They did that a couple of times throughout the event and it killed the moment of anticipation. But anyway…
After a few minutes, the room once again grew dark and at that moment, it was real indeed. The opening act, the talented Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, also playfully dubbed as the Jonas Sister, appeared onstage and started off with a lively performance of Rihanna’s “Only Girl In The World”, followed by a soulful rendition of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away”. She also treated the Manila audience the privilege of hearing her original songs “Insomnia” and “Movin’ To The Music”, which she sang and danced live for the very first time. But my favorite part of her performance was her OPM medley (“Please Be Careful With My Heart”, “Torete”, and “Hinahanap-hanap Kita”). It was one of the most enjoyable moments of the night as everyone sang along to these familiar tunes. Although she is widely known as a Hollywood and Broadway star, she did not introduce herself as such but rather a “purong Pinay!”, narrating in Taglish her memories and roots as a Filipina and exclaiming “It’s more fun in the Philippines!” with absolute pride and glee. She was such a delightful presence on stage, particularly for the Filipino crowd, who might have just witnessed their next Lea Salonga. Concluding her performance, she thanked the crowd, waved goodbye, and led everyone into a unisonous chant of “Jonas! Jonas! Jonas!”, which was, once again, teasingly failed by the lights. Haha!
Anticipation and suspense filling the room, the crowd went wild when the room went completely dark, save for the few stage lights, which illuminated silhouettes of the Jonas Brothers’ band members going on stage. And after what seemed like the longest seconds of my life, there they were at a few meters of distance away– three silhouettes of my beloved boys. Even from where I stood, I perfectly recognized the unmistakable figures, which have been most familiar to me for six years. The band struck the first note of When You Look Me In The Eyes and my heart just flew.
Hearing their voices unhindered by earphones whatsoever, seeing them in flesh, and singing along to every word, it was all so surreal. The rest of the setlist was flawlessly sung and played, including songs from their previous albums, chart-topper covers, and three new 2012 tracks. It was a euphoric feeling to know and belt out almost every word to every single one of their songs with unhindered confidence. I didn’t mind my crappy voice and the fact that it was probably recorded on video. For so long, my sister and I had been having our own Jonas concerts in our room, blasting their tunes on the speakers and singing our lungs out. Friday night was like that, but infinitely better. Inevitably, I lost my voice after singing and screaming out to the 26 songs on their setlist.
As a whole, I loved the show but let me cite several particular favorite songs of the night. Well, I was extremely glad that they selected a number of songs from their first two records, which I know all the lyrics to by heart. Nothing beats old school Jonas. The songs have such naive, playful, and fun lyrics and I just love singing to them, especially That’s Just The Way We Roll and Goodnight and Goodbye. Watching videos of their past concerts for years is my favorite pastime and it’s such a delight to see them play these songs live, exactly the way they had been doing so in those videos from 4, 5 years ago. However, the boys did not fail to merge old songs and new style. Hold On, for instance, was given a new reggae twist, while Tonight was harmoniously mashed up with F.U.N.’s We Are Young.
One of the best parts that I enjoyed the most was when they, as a whole band, gathered center stage and showcased their respective fortes, which they all did superbly. I love how the boys stepped out of the spotlight for a bit to feature their fantastic bandmates. Now, if you truly are a fan of the Jonas Brothers, you’re not only a fan of the three boys but the whole band as well (and their security and staff too!). I, for instance, have a huge crush on Garbo and adore his wife Paris, too. So I was ecstatic to see them live as much as I was seeing the Jonases. ;)
Another portion of the show that everyone looked forward to the most was hearing three new songs from our boys, which they just debuted at their Radio City show several days prior. My favorite among the three would undeniably be Wedding Bells because 1) it’s loudly and clearly about Miley, 2) Nick performs it so poignantly, and 3) it’s about Miley. Yes, I’m a huge Niley fan. And you can only imagine the emotions I feel towards the song. Regret, misery, and a hint of optimistic hope. Especially after hearing Nick sing it live, and the speech that preceded it. As he was singing the song, the spotlight was solely focused on him and so was everyone’s attention. He looked and sounded so torn and miserable, eyes closed throughout the whole song, as if the thousands of people weren’t there. It was purely him, his music, and his lyrics. I’ve never seen him so vulnerable with a song and I just wanted to give him a comforting hug throughout the duration of the song! And as if that weren’t so heartbreaking enough, the succeeding song was A Little Bit Longer. Evident on the screen, Nick’s face lit up as he heard the crowd sing along with him. It was our way of saying, “Manila loves you, Nicholas!”, to which he responded after performing with a heartfelt “I love you”.
Capping off the night, they played their hit single S.O.S., to which everyone screamed and danced. Or in our case, danced dementedly. My sisters and I did not care about the rest of the world, we were having the grandest time, which was sadly nearing an end, so we made the most out of the few moments left. And of course we were shattered when they said their goodbyes and exited the stage.
…Thank God for encores! As their final farewell to the Manila crowd, they blasted Burnin’ Up, giving the crowd one last party. The last minutes of any good concert are always the most fun and this was no exception. Everyone was bursting into song, standing atop their seats, and reaching their hands out to the boys, never wanting the night to end. The bummer in Burnin’ Up though was the absence of Big Rob!!! It just is not the same without him!
After one final bow, they exited and I don’t kid when I say that that was one of the saddest moments I’ve ever had. It truly was over. It was such a bittersweet feeling. But I cannot wait to see them back next year!!! As Nick said, they will prioritize us, Manila!
The Mall of Asia Arena was filled with people suffering from severe obsessive Jonas disorder, commonly known as OJD. There were hugs, tears, and incessant fangirl ranting. At one point, the boys appeared at the lobby and the screaming resumed. Unfortunately, we were on the escalator going down as this was happening and was only able to hear the screams but not see the boys. Sigh. Really hoping for a meet-and-greet pass next time!
What’s also fun with post-concert moments is seeing friends who also happen to be fans. We ran into the Perez de Tagles, Anna Maria’s relatives, at the lobby. We previously met at her meet-and-greet and instantly became friends. It was definitely nice to see them again at the concert. However, I hated them for a split-second when they told us that they met the Jonas Brothers the day before. They even showed us photos. LIFE IS UNFAIR!!! :( Haha!
Before, during, and immediately after the concert, my friend Emman and I have been communicating nonstop about the show, Nicholas in particular. Promptly as it ended, we were on the phone, trying to spot each other amongst a crowd of thousands. As a voiceless me was searching, I finally saw her, standing up a chair and waving crazily. It took us a few moments to make our way to each other at the lobby, and when we did, it was the craziest, most hilarious scenario in the room. About ten feet away from each other, we were already jumping and running like fools, hugged each other out of excitement and sheer joy. One of the greatest things that we have in common is our immense love for Nick Jonas. So that night felt like the raison d’être of our entire friendship. Hahaha!
As we went on and on, discussing Nick, Wedding Bells, and real weddings, we heard screaming. Being all paranoid and overexcited, we both ran to the direction of the screams, hoping to see the boys and our future husband, Nicholas. Turns out, it was only a prank started by a group of people screaming, soon followed and intensified by more. It was the funniest, most ludicrous thing! I can’t believe we fell for that. Haha! Oh, the effects Nick has on us.
AAAAAAAGGGGHHHH! It’s been a week since, yet I still can’t quite believe it.
P.S. I love you Nicholas