Perfume World Tour 1st, Part 3: Front and Center

As soon as my ticket was torn at the venue entrance, I sped up my pace, and highly advised dude-from-Taiwan in front of me, to run for it.

I was slightly off-center facing the stage, but I wasn’t complaining. After some time, the crowd settled, and looking back from where I was, the venue was only half-filled, which was puzzling since the concert was sold out. Days later, there was a sensible conclusion that was posted online, that Hong Kong didn’t have a lot of options for smaller-scale concerts like this, and maybe the promoters did set a quota that wouldn’t fill the venue. I was told the Taiwan leg of the tour had a venue half the size of Hong Kong’s, and it was packed.

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That idea I had where I should find a way to get shoes or shoe accessories to give me a few more inches in height to guarantee a good view of the stage now seemed foolish, but I just happened to make the right decision of queuing early. The girls behind about 6-feet tall Taiwan-dude (never got his name) were precisely in that unfortunate predicament I was scared to be in. So we switched places. Now, the claim is all mine: I’m in front, and I’m right smack in the center.

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Perfume World Tour 1st, Part 2: Arriving and Waiting

By 6AM, the morning of the concert, I was regretting buying the breakfast pasta I got from McDonalds, because I didn’t know it was actually macaroni soup. See, I was intent on bringing food I could eat while queued up for the gig, and this obviously wouldn’t work.

I arrived in Hong Kong early afternoon the day before, settled in at Casa Hotel, was not too surprised how small my room was, but soon realized, even if I just finished work at 8AM earlier that day, I will probably have sufficient, but not too satisfying, sleep. The bed was harder than expected, and the 5 hours of slumber halted around 4AM, when I checked the Hong Kong Perfume fan group and read that people will start lining up at 8AM. Thirty minutes went by, I didn’t think I’ll be able to catch sleep again anyway.

The cab driver knew where I wanted to go to, which was what the hotel staff told me as I asked them to write down the concert venue address in Chinese. There wasn’t a line to speak of, and I went around the building to be sure of this. Fifteen minutes later, Theo, a Hong Kong student, clad in the t-shirt he designed for the local fans, showed up and introduced himself.

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Perfume World Tour 1st, Part 1: Starting and Deciding

There were  two concerts by international acts in the past three decades that I take great pride to have attended: Rage Against the Machine  (1997), and just recently, Deftones (2011). The gigs with Club 8 and Shonen Knife come close, and there were the should’ve-been-there’s: Metallica – 1993, Pearl Jam -1995, Beastie Boys/Sonic Youth/Foo Fighters – 1996, Nine Inch Nails – 2009. Stuck in 90s music? Not really, but maybe writing and relating the experience I just went through the past week by starting with all this may make everything else after a little easier to understand

There were few post-2000 acts that made a significant dent in my music consciousness. I did keep tabs on what music was current, and what made the critics sing in praises. By 2006, I actively participated in the local music scenes by doing photo-documentation of the better bands out there. By 2007, my discovery of post-rock music was taking a good hold of what I listened to daily, and some of the bands were Japanese. My previous impression of Japanese music wasn’t of high regard, but I got curious, so curious I went out of my rock music comfort zone, which I somehow reluctantly confessed over this post: I Don’t Think It’s A Phase Anymore: On J-Pop.

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On OPM (UPDATED)

This article could have been written a decade ago, with the same whiny tone, packaged as a deeply concerned critic’s tirade.

Yep.

So, you mourn lack of mainstream success of local bands these days, and the absence of NU107. I say, you don’t go to enough gigs of bands you don’t know, and would’ve said NU107’s playlist reeked of shit and payola, if they were still broadcasting.

To be fair though, if I weren’t this old and tired and spent witness to three decades worth of Pinoy music, I would’ve voiced the same sentiment. It would seem appropriate. However, hearing someone else say it made me prick that bubble easily.

Also, why does everyone have to bring up 90s-era local rock bands into this every time? Oh yeah, because that was the height of OPM.

Really.

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