Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lifehouse Lights Up Manila Once More

Title: Lifehouse Lights Up Manila Once More 
Written by Jhoanne Mariano and Jamie Ortega
Photos by Ed Clinton Go

Love songs are subjective- some people may label a tune as cheesy, while some people may find that same song very romantic. Kudos should definitely be given then to musicians who are able to craft ballads that form a perfect balance- they tug at the listener’s heartstrings without dipping off into the cheesy hemisphere. Rock band Lifehouse is at the top of the list in that regard.

With heartfelt and catchy songs like Hanging By A Moment, Everything, You And Me and Everything It Takes, the rock group from Colorado made up of Jason Wade, Rick Woolstenhulme, jr, Bryce Soderberg and Ben Carey has undoubtedly amassed a solid fan base of Pinoy music buffs who have loyally been with the band since its’ inception more than 12 years ago. That very same group of fans was at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last May 26, 2012, as the rock band visited the country for the second time, treating thousands of its’ fans to a night of pure extraordinary music pleasure.
The night began with the opening act, local rock group “Never the Strangers,” which was warmly welcomed by the crowd as they sang some of their songs including their recent hit (from that very popular toothpaste commercial) entitled “Moving Closer.”

It was around nine o’clock in the evening when the lights began to dim and glow sticks of different colors filled the coliseum. Lifehouse fans, filling the venue to the rafters, slowly started to scream, excitedly cheering and begging for the band to come out.  It didn’t take long for all of the band members to finally give in to their fans’ requests.

The band took no time dilly-dallying as they kicked off the first half of the concert with a medley of  exquisite tunes including “Hello There” “All In,” “Here Tomorrow Gone Today,” “Spin” and Nerve Damage.” Wade playfully took the crowd for a tailspin as the lead vocalist, with an acoustic guitar in hand, surprisingly played an acoustic rendition of You And Me. Undoubtedly one of their greatest hits, the number made the fans stand and sing along, waving their glow sticks to the beat of the music. Just like their music that moment was sweet, heartfelt, and moving all at the same time.

Just when the crowd thought they’ve seen enough of the night’s surprises, during one of the first few songs Jason Wade got down from the stage and took a closer look at the crowd. The amiable vocalist, with a smile on his face, shook some hands and walked around the coliseum, making the fans on the right side of the stage leave their seats to have a closer look at him. The vocalist, undoubtedly amused by the audience’s reaction, moved to the upper areas of the coliseum, smiling and shaking hands with the concertgoers.
Preferring to continue the connection he already made with the fans, Wade asked the crowd what songs they wanted to hear. He dutifully played their requests which were “Everything,” “Blind” and “Breathing.” That was then followed by “Whatever It Takes,” “Wrecking Ball” Sick Cycle Carousel” “From Where You Are” and “End Has Only Begun.”

After performing Wash and Take Me Away the band took a few minutes to reminisce their first hit single,  “Hanging by a Moment- which, of course they played right after their impromptu walk through memory lane. Possibly pumped up by the audience’s reaction the band quite literally left the crowd “hanging by a moment” as, in the middle of their performance the band paused for a little while, leaving the crowd hanging onto the edge of their seats and making the fans scream their lungs out before they finally played the last keys of the song. This was followed by more songs namely “Falling In” “First Time.” And the last number of the night, “Broken.” 

However, all these seemed to not be enough for the stoked crowd as everyone cheered for the band to perform more songs. The coliseum was filled with “We want more!” chants and cries. After a few minutes of pleading screams from the fans, the band was back on stage performing their encore set, “Halfway Gone” and for the second time that night they performed “Everything.” The show ended around 10 in the evening with everyone milling out of the Big Dome with huge smiles plastered on their faces. It was a sweet, sentimental, and all-out amazing night to say the least. It must also be mentioned that what made the concert undoubtedly awesome was the fact that the group made it all about the fans by playing the songs their supporters wanted to hear. Talk about showmanship at its’ finest! We hope the band comes back and dazzles us with their music once again very soon! 

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