Take me to Chvrch

Everytime I fall in love with an artist I hear on Neon Gold, my heart breaks a little knowing that the chances of them ever coming to Manila are close to nope. So the moment news broke out that Chvrches would be coming to Manila was like the heavens opening with angels coming down singing to the glorious tune of YES, YOUR PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED THIS TIME. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, their show falls right smack on my birthday! I have never had a birthday this great in years! I've had a series of pretty good birthdays since 2009, but this was the first time I had something to be truly excited about months before it even happens. What's even better is that two of my favorite local acts are opening for them! I haven't seen Brisom in months and trust me, I've been raving about them while we were in line. People need to hear their music because it's really really good. And then this happened:

Honestly, I joined for the lols. I had zero faith I'd win because I join a lot of these raffle contests and I have never ever won anything out of it. Except this one time, when it really really matters!!! I guess not all my what ifs lead to nowhere. I cannot thank vybe enough for this.

I made a Chvrches glow in the dark shirt a couple of months back to wear for the concert, but that meet and greet pass changed everything. I wanted to make one from either We Sink, or Under the Tide -- two of my favorites off their album. And then the stars aligned when my We Sink design made it to print in time for the concert, because that also never happens. My dad is the sweetest, staying up late to get it done, and then skipping his meeting the morning after because "hey, wouldn't it be awesome if they got shirts too"? Handed the shirts myself to the band, and I swear to God, Martin getting with that accent of his saying  "Oi! She got us shirts!" in that sweet excited tone, passing the rest to Lauren and Iain, made my heart burst. I forgot all 500 things I wanted to say. Like I've been a fan since hearing Lies on Neon Gold, and how it's so surreal that they're finally here. They were the sweetest as I mentioned that I was so stoked they're playing on my birthday. I wish I had the courage to ask for a hug because I have so much love to give, but there is only so much internal freaking out that I could handle.

After the meet and greet, we were led back outside where the line of people eager to see them has already grown. Thank goodness for friends who were with us early, we ended up closest to the front of the line. After the strangely long wait, the doors have finally opened and the Hunger Games has begun! Not really, but the rush of people going in, making the fact that we were there at 3pm near-useless, made it feel kinda like it. Unleash your inner Katniss. Or Hulk. Your choice.

Turns out we were the lucky ones who got to catch and cheer for all three opening acts. It's pretty cool that people were screaming mooooooooooooorrrrreeeeeee!!! at them, because hearing three of what was supposed to be five songs, is honestly not enough. After catching Autotelic's gigs at Saguijo and Route 196 for some time, it was awesome to see them open for one of my favorite foreign acts. They are so good live.

As soon as the lights went out and the first few notes of We Sink started playing, the crowd went nuts. The moment we've all been waiting years for has finally begun.

The entire night was a blur of great music, screaming, and dancing. On top of the hugs I shared with randos who are now friends. We were all singing screaming every word off every song on key which is pretty impressive, considering we were all fan girling and flailing like hell.

It was so cool being a few feet away from the stage trying to take everything from the glorious lighting to Lauren's moves, to the smiles across the band's faces.

I was most excited to hear Under The Tide, since it's the most upbeat track in their album. And true enough we all went crazy jumping and dancing all through out the end of the song. I tried taking pictures, but gave up quickly because it's impossible to dance and jump to a song you really really like, while trying to take a decent photo and video of it.

Martin also did a second selfie with the crowd during their set (he did one the moment they got to the venue with was really really sweet). And guess what?! My hand made it!!!

A photo posted by Martin Doherty (@realdoko) on

During their set, Lauren mentioned getting a lot of "huhuhus" when they announced their Manila show, and thought it was a bad thing, and then added "they explained it to us so that's all cleared up now" or something like that. It was adorable.

And in the sea of people on the right side of the hall screaming Martiiiiiiiinnnn!!!, I screamed BEST BIRTHDAY EVEEEEEERRRRR!!!! and noticed him smile. Maybe it was that, or I just had incredible timing. Either way, allow me to claim that please. Because it easily is one of the best birthdays I've ever had in my life.

When they walked off stage, people wasted no time screaming for them to come back. Samsung Hall echoed with people chanting "WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE!" in unison. It didn't take long before they got back on stage to play three more songs. The lights during the entire show was glorious, my camera doesn't even give it any justice.

Hearing You Caught the Light live was so surreal. The way they were lit and how it looked like they were surrounded by stars were so perfect. It really was quite an experience. I couldn't help but close my eyes and just listen to some parts of it. Which is hard because everything was so beautiful, why would anyone even close their eyes and miss it? It was perfection.

The moment she raised her hands to the District 12 sign (Mockingjay Salute) we all knew what was coming next.

Finally they were down to their last song, something that was greeted by the entire crowd screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!. Which is flattering but also really scary, as Lauren put it, considering they were on the receiving end of it on a stage, surrounded by a huge crowd.

I had this crazy idea of going all out and go to the after party at Raven for their DJ set. The party was a bust, but in no fault of the band. Their song choices were random yet all kinds of ace. We made the most of the pretty soiled experience by dancing along at the side of the platform (Iain even walking by us a couple of times) promising ourselves to call it a night after one more song. But their choices were so great we ended up dancing and staying till about 3am! It was great seeing a different side of them, having fun and dancing.

The night was long, and not with a few hiccups, but it was definitely one of the best nights I've had this year. It looked a lot like they had as much fun as we did on their stay here. I've been listening to their album all weekend and I really can't help but smile because I have nothing but great memories of their show.

A photo posted by ICE (@icecoldfire) on


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