Eli, Nick, Kevin, and Sean--collectively known Walk the Moon--gave their Filipino fans five shows from August 18 to 20, 2015.
Eli, Nick, Kevin, and Sean–collectively known as Walk the Moon–gave their Filipino fans five shows from August 18 to 20, 2015.

It’s been a week since Walk the Moon came to the Philippines and gave their Filipino fans five shows in different Metro Manila malls. If you’re one of them spirit animals coping with PCD (no, not Pussy Cat Dolls but post-concert depression), you are not alone. Those electrifying shows come with a price, alas. Now you find your self humming WTM songs more than ever, starting the day by checking out the photos and videos you took, and tucking yourself to sleep by visiting the band’s social media sites should they have any posts related to their recent Asian trip.

Why all the fuss? It’s not like the band was that good. They’re not. They’re very good. Those who’ve been following this indie rock band from Ohio even before “Shut Up and Dance” became a radio staple know that beyond the good looks and the synthesizers, Nicholas Petricca, Kevin Ray, Sean Waugaman, and Eli Maiman rightfully earned their spot in the music scene. They have created music that anyone can relate to–from the nostalgic “Anna Sun” and clingy “Tightrope” to the rebellious “We are the Kids” and the almost ballad (must be why it’s a Filipino favorite) “Aquaman”.

It made sense therefore, that Pinoy fans who’ve been silently following the band’s success felt the Heavens answered their prayers when Ayala Malls announced that WTM was indeed coming to the country to do not just one, but five shows in Alabang Town Center, U.P. Town Center, Trinoma, Market! Market!, and Glorietta.

Free for all

The fact that WTM would be doing shows in malls had fans divided. Some welcomed the “free” concert and the generous number of shows the band has agreed to do. On the other hand, some people were disappointed that WTM was not given a proper venue to showcase their wonderful music.

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The latter sentiment is understandable. Here you are, someone who “discovered” the music of Walk the Moon even before the rest of world did, waiting for that day you’d be able to reserve a good seat for a dream concert, only to find out the band’s first-ever show here will be in a mall/s. Your right to exclusivity has been shattered, in a way. For you, WTM music is sacred that their concert should be done in a coliseum or even in a small, private venue.

Then again, what’s wrong with mall shows? It’s not like the ticket for the show was completely free (but so relatively cheap so thank you, Ayala Malls!). You still had to purchase products from the participating malls to get a ticket or if you’re lucky, be an owner of some credit/rewards cards. The downside, of course was that since it was an SRO (standing room only) event, you had to fall in line to get the best view or if you have no ticket, be early in the venue to secure a good spot in the mall to watch the show.

Shut up, it’s WTM!

Consider yourself lucky if you were able to catch WTM live. The energy from the band’s fans was just infectious, even having your face painted by a stranger felt so right.

Nick Petricca telling WTM fans to
Nick Petricca telling WTM fans to “shut up and dance!”

Their first show at ATC started off with the heart-accelerating “Jenny”, which the band followed with another snappy tune “Sidekick”.  WTM included other hits such as “Avalanche”, “Different Colors”, “Tightrope”, “Up to You”, and “Work this Body”. To the fans’ delight (and luck, I must say), WTM ended their first night in Manila with “Portugal”, “Aquaman”, “I can Lift a Car” before ending their 12-track set with “Shut Up and Dance (SUAD)” and “Anna Sun”.

While the rest of the country was caught up in thunderstorms, fans who trooped to U.P. Town Center enjoyed the band’s second show with gusto, they even had choreographed dance for SUAD.

Trinoma saw more crowds waiting for the band as early as 2 p.m. Fan signs bearing the words “PH loves WTM” were even distributed. When the band sang Anna Sun, the fans went wild and the Activity Center became a club (only much cooler!) where people were all dancing and singing as if the first song was the finale already.

With so much take-away from the Trinoma show, who would not want a repeat? Some fans went to see WTM again at Market! Market! and Glorietta the next day even if the heavy downpour threatened to stop them from doing so.

WTM bassist Kevin Ray showing fans how to rock it.
WTM bassist Kevin Ray showing fans how to rock it.

The last show had the same set of songs from the Trinoma leg (and fewer tracks compared to ATC and Market!) but who cares when you had the best view? If WTM songs were good when you listen to them in your music player or when you watch their gigs on the Net, having the band in front of you–just a few feet away, singing and dancing and talking to you through their music–is something you don’t get to experience everyday.

Yes, the shows suck

What happened last August 18 to 20 was fun, to say the least. It was surreal.  It was a dream come true. And this is why WTM’s first-ever stop in Manila sucks. With five amazing shows, we couldn’t just get enough of WTM’s music. We deserve a proper concert where the band can sing tracks from their first album and can even indulge us with stripped down versions of these songs, the way they did in some of their gigs. We deserve a longer period to sing, shout, and dance with them (okay, maybe ogle at them as they swing their hips and kill the stage).

Eli killing it at Glorietta Mall last August 20.
Eli killing it at Glorietta Mall last August 20.

Sure, the damage of having them back for a concert will be more serious. We are talking PCD that could last more than just a week, maybe even months (believe us, it’s possible). But it’s a consequence we are all willing to take because WTM just inspires us so much. They inspire us to have fun in everything we do and to never give up on our dreams the way they did not give up on theirs. Some fans even managed to come out to their parents and friends because of the band’s songs. Most of us were able to make friends with strangers who share the same love for WTM music.

This is the gift of music that bands such as WTM are able to spread all over the world. We need more of these musicians performing live here in the Philippines. We also need more people who appreciate good music (and we’re not just pertaining to international acts because the local scene is just brimming with talented musicians!). From what we gather from most of those who dig WTM music though, Filipinos know their stuff.

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5 thoughts on “Why Walk the Moon’s first series of Manila shows sucks

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