Dismantle/Repair: Anberlin's final show in Manila

Break ups are never easy. And news of your favorite band breaking up is NOT the best piece of news to get when starting your day. So when I heard that Anberlin was breaking up early this year, I've gone through the whole seven stages of grief and back in a span of five minutes. But unlike most bands that announce breakups, they do it with a different kind of bang. A final album, and a farewell tour. It didn't take long for me to tweet them to come back. And they did!


My love affair with the music of Anberlin is a very short one. It started months after their first show in Manila. Which I didn't get to go to. I fell in love with Retrace and Take Me As You Found Me the moment I heard them on the radio, and although I missed their first Manila show, I'm glad I got to catch them when they performed at Bazooka Rocks last year.

If life had background music playing your song -- I’ve got to be honest, I tried to escape you but the orchestra plays on

I have a tendency to get attached to the people behind the songs that play a huge part in my life. I don't know about most people, but I do have a "soundtrack of my life" thing going on. Songs act as a bookmark of sorts. Like when you hear it you're reminded of a specific moment or period in your life. Some worth reliving, others not so much. This year has been an emotional roller coaster for me and  Unwinding Cable Car and *(fin) were two of the songs that I've held on to. So it was no question for me to want to meet them on their last show.

My friend and I lined up for the Pulp Royalty queue, and it wasn't too long till we started making new friends. We were even singing along to their soundcheck! Lots of pictures were taken, my friends even left video messages for the band. The moment we were told to that we could go in to meet them, I was shaking. Yet the moment I stepped into the venue I felt strangely calm. Finally meeting them was a dream. They were the most gracious, down to earth people on that level of success that I have ever met. I wanted to thank them for their music, and how much it helped me cope, but all I managed to say when I did was thank you for coming back, and hugging them. I didn't want to cry, I have asthma, sue me.

When it was time for them to hang a bit and sign stuff, I showed Stephen a photo I took of them from last year that he reposted, and the way he lit up and said "Wow, that was you?", and the words he said after that, I swear even I am impressed at how chill I was the entire time. It was one of my favorite photos from all the shows I've gone to last year, and one with a good story too. Just seeing and hearing how much he liked it makes my heart want to burst.

Stephen, Deon, Nate, Joseph, and Christian were all so warm and friendly, it felt a lot like I was just about to watch my friends play a small gig. Christian even told us what happened to his nose on their Singapore show. And it looks mighty painful. Then it was time for them to head backstage and get ready for the show. Suddenly Stephen comes back, takes off his shirt, and hands it to Sharpie guy (sorry, I am terrible with names) Bobby (one of the guys in line with us). We then made our way back to the barricades and waited for the show to begin. The wait was bittersweet. We were swapping stories and singing random songs. We wanted the show to begin already, and to wait just a little bit longer, all at the same time. It's that thought that the moment the lights go out and the band starts playing, that's it. The beginning of the end. And this was something we knew was coming but didn't want to.

Ground is shaking underneath, now that you’re here. Body’s skipping beats when you appear. The world is on fire, since you’ve come here. All I ever desired is here with me. You’re here with me.

After what felt like forever the lights go out and the moment they started playing, the screams were deafening. EVERYONE was screaming. It was electric. Recorders and hands were all up, and some even jumping to the beat at the same time. And the ground literrally shook to the beat. Every break between songs, people would scream and chant "Anberlin!" in unison. Because no one in their right mind would want to see their favorite band break up. And it bears repeating: I have never seen a band be this gracious in my life. Every second of their show was bittersweet. The way the crowd screamed/sang every word of every song was nothing short of a cry to please don't break up. There was not a single song where the crowd stopped singing or jumping along. I let lose at Someone Anyone at the barricades. It turned out to be a good thing that I brought a small camera with me that night. To be honest I can't even recall at which point they started singing songs off the dream setlist that we requested, because at that moment, and even looking back, we could not have had a better setlist. Their entire setlist was the dream setlist. We went nuts at Breaking, because our hearts were literally breaking the entire time. Hugot.

It’s not that I hang on every word, I hang myself on what you repeat. It’s not that I keep hanging on, I’m never letting go.

I remember Stephen asking us a bunch of times to lose our voices tonight. Not that it needed asking. But I'm sure that everybody at some point during Dismantle/Repair lost their voices, while fists were raised up high. And it did not stop all though out The Resistance and Godspeed. The moment Feel Good Drag began, so did the scream-along. May have lost my dignity at some point during the beginning by dancing like no one is watching. It felt great. Then, with little warning Stephen goes down the stage and up the barricades, right where we were! Not gonna lie, a huge part of me was praying for a crowd surf. It didn't happen. Instead, we at the barricades were multi tasking by rocking out and holding on to his legs to make sure he doesn't fall. The mic drop at the end of the song was priceless. I will forever look back at that moment smiling while saying yaaaassssss!

We’ll live forever, we’ll come together. I don’t want to go now but I know I’ve got to. For you to remember me in this light look back with a lighter soul…

At some point at that mic drop I knew they would be down to their last song. Everyone was screaming and chanting Anberlin! Anberlin! When the lights went out and they walked off-stage. We wanted them back. Maybe play another set? I don't know how long it was till they got back on stage, thanking the crowd for coming to their final show. As the first few notes of *(fin) played, I thought that was it. I'd be that girl bawling at the barricades. One hand clutching my friend's hand, the other on my face. I found a distraction and focused on their final song. They weaved words off Harbringer in the end. I didn't get to take a video of it though, but at least I had something.

I cannot thank Anberlin, and the people behind PULP enough for bringing them back. You were all so incredible on stage. This is definitely one of those moments I would always look back to with great fondness. The whole night couldn't have been more perfect. Godspeed, Christian, Joseph, Deon, Nate, Stephen. Thank you for the music and the people we've become friends with through it. Your music will live forever in us.


I wanna break every clock, the hands of time could never move again. We could stay in this moment (stay in this moment) for the rest of our lives

Been reading and re-reading this post for a while now. Figured we could all cope together this playlist. I've had their entire discography on repeat for weeks now, and have, since this Saturday focused on this. So here you guys go. Best listened to with a box of tissues handy, and maybe a really soft and warm blanket, and a tub of ice cream.