Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Calling: Finally in Manila

Written by Ava Sharra Sumortin
Photos by Seth Valenzuela

When Wherever You Will Go was released in 2001, it became one of the best alternative rock songs ever and it also made all the hard work of the group, The Calling, pay off. After this hit, they released more chart-topping songs from their debut album "Camino Palmero."

     Fast forward to 2016 – last November 11, The Calling held their first concert in Manila at the Mall of Asia Arena. Filipinos were finally able to hear the group's greatest hits live. Because this was the band's first time in Manila, the excitement of the fans was undeniable.

     Dressed in black leather jacket (with a David Bowie tribute at the back) and black shirt, Alex Band greeted the crowd and sang their first song for the night, One by One. The band continued their set with Adrienne, and the crowd sang along. One of the things that set The Calling apart from others is Alex Band's voice. It was a thrill to finally hear him sing Adrienne live. The band's set continued with Tonight, Our Lives, Could It Be Any Harder, and Why Don't You & I. Hearing Why Don't You & I was such a surprise because even though this song was released in 2003, it is still one of my favorites. Mad props to the band, especially the lead guitarist, for a perfect performance (that was a Santana song!).

     The next part of the show was an acoustic set. Alex introduced the next song and said, "I would like to sing it like the way I wrote it." He wanted to sing the stripped-down version of Wherever You Will Go. Knowing how Filipinos love singing, Alex wanted to hear the crowd sing along to the song. And of course, the fans didn't disappoint. He also shared the exciting news that there will be a new album next year and another album with their greatest hits accompanied by an orchestra.

     The rest of the band then appeared, and they continued with the acoustic set. They performed Anything and Things Will Go My Way. For You ended their acoustic set.

     They performed a fan favorite, Stigmatized, next. Alex explained that it was their favorite song to sing live. After seeing and hearing it live, I could understand why. They performed a refreshing take on this classic song. They ended their set with Only You and a new song.

     Because the fans could not get enough of the band, they came back and sang a cover of U2's With or Without You. They ended the show with Wherever You Will Go, the song that made them a worldwide success.

     It was an amazing feeling to finally see the band live and hear them perform the songs that were a part of the soundtrack of my teenage years. I cannot wait to see what else the band has in store for their fans when they release their new album next year.

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