There for Tomorrow, Every Avenue and William Beckett in Manila Part II
Eventually all of us were gathered at SM, our group second in line to another group. It was me, Rian, Pat, Echa, Cheska, Julienne, Nikki and Issa. We were waiting for the whole thing to begin for around five hours. But it didn’t matter how long the wait was, because I was having the time of my life just talking and being with these amazing people. I honestly love them to bits. The plans to have a little fun with William Beckett were especially entertaining. “Keribels, mga teh!” “Manila, I have something very important to tell you: Bading ako!” “That means I love you in Tagalog!” “Bongga ako, mga dhay!”
At some point or another, we started hearing Compromising Me from inside the Skydome. “Look, they’re playing Compromising Me!” But somehow, it sounded…different. “Rian, oh my god, Rian, they’re not playing it, Bill is playing it live! IT’S A SOUNDCHECK!”
So basically we were all freaking out losing our shit, and it was so fun to share the love for William Beckett with everyone. We were singing along and screaming. I didn’t care who saw. I think I may have been crying, but I can’t remember. He went on to play a cover and the rest of his EP. It felt like a dream, like it couldn’t possibly be him singing inside, just a couple meters away. Soon Every Avenue and There for Tomorrow did their own soundchecks, then the opening acts, as well.
In those five hours, the line never got beyond a couple of meters, but we tried to coax ourselves into believing that there were just a lot of latecomers. In the meantime, we got distracted with hanging out, buying merch, telling stories, and the “formal” meet-and-greet sessions with the bands.
See, when I bought my VIP ticket, I headed to Ticketnet first. VIP and Gold were sold out. I was disheartened, forced to buy a Silver ticket, then the person goes, “Miss, try niyo po sa SM Tickets.” Dear god, you couldn’t tell me that P1060 ago?!
So I ended up spending over four thousand bucks and now had an extra ticket to the show. Which I ended up giving to Nikki because she deserved to be there, which she ended up using to win meet-and-greet passes for all three bands.
And she was gracious enough to give the one for Bill to me.
By this time it was four in the afternoon. I was hauled across a curtain and came face-to-face (well, face-to-torso) with William Beckett once again. “Hi, I’m William Beckett!” he said, offering his hand to me, which I promptly shook. I couldn’t say anything. Which is strange, considering I’ve met him, and all.
“I like your shirt!” he added, which I dismissed with a wave of the hand (because musicians tell me this all the time…just kidding, there have been four, but still, its novelty never wears off) and said thanks to, then he remembered me. “Hey, yeah, I remember you! BeckettPH, right?” I nodded, we had our picture taken, and then I gave him a hug and sauntered off.
Smooth, Fiel, real smooth. I don’t know what it is about him, but I was losing my mind back there. Not in the going insane kind of way, but in the what-do-I-do-what-do-I-say kind of way.
I still have so many things to say to him:
Pat came after me, and she told him to say “Bongga ako!” (which all of us were planning to do but only Pat seemed to be coherent enough to remember) and sing Girl, You Shoulda Been a Pirate with me. He winked at her twice, which is awesome!
Nikki still got to meet Bill when Julienne gave her her own meet-and-greet pass. Look at their photo. Have you seen anything more adorable?
No, of course, you haven’t. Even photos of minipigs in red rainboots don’t compare.
They opened up the merch booth then, and we found out that first fifty to buy merch from a certain artist could get another after-show meet-and-greet pass for that artist. Like Bill said, they were selling Walk the Talk. I started telling people to buy it, “For Genevieve Beckett’s education! It’s for a good cause!”
I was kind of reluctant to buy my own copy because 1) I already have a copy, 2) I wanted to buy a new book, and 3) I was afraid I’d be home late. Plus, baka naman namumuro na ako kay Bilvy!
Eventually though my friends convinced me to, and it was ultimately going to end up a good decision after all, so I went ahead and bought a copy with Echa. Also, our friends just gave Echa fifty for her copy of Walk the Talk, because we wanted her to meet Bill really bad.
The truest friends ever, indeed.
After the meet-and-greets and the merch madness, we all settled in line. The sun was setting, it was almost seven, and the lights inside were already on.
Seeing the bright orange-y glow from the inside of the concert venue made me realize it: “Shit, you guys, this is really happening!”
My life was in the process of its completion.
Soon the doors swung open, we held on to each other’s shoulders, and when our bags were checked and our tickets cleared, we ran to the barricades. Front row, right side of the stage, close to the middle. Closer than ever.
In the hour that we waited for the show proper to start, we were waiting for the Skydome to fill up. It felt like there were around fifty people in the VIP area, less than twenty people each for Gold and Silver.
I’m not even exaggerating. What?
I’ll admit right now that I wasn’t exactly expecting a full house, but I didn’t imagine a tiny gathering, either! It was great in the sense that the show would be intimate and all. But it pretty much sucked.
These artists, hardworking musicians that they were, deserved better.
When the lights dimmed fully, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Nikki! Echa! Nigel! The barricades were deemed unnecessary and everyone was welcomed into the VIP area. Even so, there was still so much space everywhere. Chris Kamrada was so excited to make the Skydome his “office,” and we couldn’t even fill it up for him.
No time to dwell on that. Everyone—fans and bands alike—came to have a good time, and fuck it if we weren’t able to show that to each other.
The Muzak stopped playing. Everybody was up on their feet and making noise.
It was time to celebrate our Independence.