Concerts. Music Festivals. As I live and breathe, such have been my playground for over half a decade. Maybe I’ve been to close to a hundred events, if we’ll include bar gigs and mall shows. Music is life. It is what salvages me from combusting in the daily grind that is corporate slavery. I can’t pinpoint the exact time nor artist that started the ball rolling. Although I suspect it was most likely a Bigfish Manila event sometime in late 2000s. I was into international DJs and bands (rock, pop-punk ones to be exact) for as long as I could remember. Bazooka Rocks Fest, Road to Ultra, Sonic Carnival, Paradise International Music Festival and Bigfish Innovation White are way up on my list as the memorable events. From Britney to Boyzone, to Kanye West to Zedd, to Mayday Parade to All Time Low, seen them, dropped dead.
So if anyone would have told me during the heyday of my EDM haze and rock enthusiasm that I would one day become a kpop stan, I would’ve laughed so hard that person may very well curse me to the ends of the earth. Don’t get me wrong, I have actually had the chance to listen to kpop way before the whole Hallyu fever swept though the world. I knew of the first gen (we are current on the 4th gen now apparently) artists and actually liked BoA, Shinhwa, S.E.S. and Rain (before he became everyone’s wyecandy when he starred in the kdrama Full House). It’s just that I would never consider spending a penny for something I don’t really understand. Concerts and music fests aren’t what you would label as a cheap thrill. You do actually have to invest in the experience, and so I did.
Fast forward to the last quarter of 2017, kpop girlgroup TWICE released in what I would later find out was their first full album, Twicetagram. And with it was the song that got me curious (and regretful? Kidding.) enough to check the video out and bam! Likey and the hit which followed, Heart Shaker, proved to be the double whammy that will lure me into the abyss called being a kpop stan lol. I got myself a copy of said album during the early part of 2018. And I’ve spiraled down since :p K-pop artists are apparently notorious for releasing mini albums which could contain any number of tracks from 2 to 5 or maybe a bit more if you get lucky. And they release these mini albums like quarterly almost and they have about ten thousand versions per album. Okay maybe 3 versions but having been a collector of band albums in general, of course the norm is just one album version and they’d release one every so or so number of years. And then there are merch from pins to fans to keychains to friggin photocards coz yes, their faces in mini photos deserve to be collected and some are even more expensive than a concert ticket. And for the love of TWICE, I delved into it all. 3 version albums – check; photocards – check; merch – check; concerts – big fat check.
My first TWICE concert was supposedly in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia last July 2018. Imagine being a ONCE (that’s what you all their fandom, FYI) for less than a year and already having such burst of passion to go fly out to finally watch them live. But lo and behold, such was not the story. The concert was scheduled for a Saturday night, and my friends and I arrived in KL on a Friday morning whereas TWICE arrived sometime in the afternoon and managed to hold their presscon even. But on that fateful night, less than 24 hours before the concert, a cancellation notice broke thousands of hearts, mine included. Technical and safety issues were laid down as reasons for the abrupt decision.
With my broken heart and still hazy mind, there was still the strong desire to see them live. And while we don’t spit dough in this economy, we must toil to make any dream come true. And so, Jakarta Indonesia it was. A month later, finally, oh finally. My first TWICE concert. Everything was superb, they were a sight to behold, they sounded wonderful, it was an experience not soon to be forgotten. And just March of this year, my Japan coincided with their Dome Tour. Now what fool would miss this chance. Their Osaka show was on the exact time I was there and even if tickets were sold exclusively to fanclub members, which I sadly wasn’t, the heavens made a way to find a fanclub member very much willing to get me a ticket. And it was yet a whole other experience. Osaka Dome Tour was phenomenal, if I could sum it up.
But of course, there is nothing like watching them in your own country. So when they announced a would tour that effin-finally included Manila, I was ready for a throwdown. We all know how horrendous ticketing services are in the country: the disorganized queue for the physical tickets and the sites that bog down during the day of selling. And surprisingly, though not unexpected, tickets managed to be sold out in a matter of three hours or so. Many clamored for a day 2 but scheduling is a bitch when you’re Asia’s top girlgroup. And my cursed arse, yes, it must really be me, failed to get a ticket. 🙁
And now that Twicelights in Manila is bound to happen in days, do I still have a chance?
Yes or Yes?