There’s an unspoken magic that accompanies the day you’re about to see your favorite artist in concert. You feel it racing through you – the combination of excitement, anticipation, and the knowledge that you’re about to embark on a musical journey that will be etched into your memory forever.
By the way, I’m talking about my favorite crooner in the universe, the talented Rex Orange County. And the stage is set in Manila!
If you know me, I have only attended a few concerts in my life so far. It is because most of the artists I like are dead, a band that has been disbanded, and indie artists that are too lowkey that they don’t go on an international tour.
And all of it, I went to watch alone. Probably because none of my friends has the same music taste that I do. Sure they’ll jam with me when the songs that I like are playing from a stereo, but not to the point that they’ll purchase a concert ticket to watch them perform live.
Which I don’t mind at all 😊
The Ritual of the Coffee Ride
They say that a coffee ride is more than just a means to an end.
It’s actually a ritual.
It connects the two points between the tranquility of morning and the exhilaration of the day ahead. And you know the gentle whirr of your bicycle wheels that resonates with the rhythmic beat of your heart because of the excitement?
It sets the tone for what’s to come.
Manila, as much as I do not have a choice, with its charming (but hella hectic) streets and cozy cafes, provides the perfect backdrop for this pre-concert adventure.
The mid morning air carries the promise of a remarkable day, and a good cup of coffee fuels the excitement that’s already building up inside me.
It almost felt like waking up on the day of Christmas Eve!
The Glimmer and Glow
As I pedal through the city with my friends, I can’t help but think about the evening ahead.
Rex Orange County’s music, known for its soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics, has a way of resonating with my very core. Most of his songs became a piece of my life’s soundtrack during the time when I hit rock bottom. And you probably read it here!
The fact that knowing on that night, I will get to experience it live, was something I could not put into words.
I might be exaggerating, but the streets of Manila seem to glisten with anticipation, mirroring the glimmer in my eyes!
Everything felt a tad brighter, a bit more vibrant as if the world itself was gearing up for the show.
Rex Orange County Awaits
After our coffee ride, it was my time to prepare for the main event.
I could feel the energy building as I approached the concert venue which was the Araneta Coliseum. The crowd, a diverse mix of fans from all walks of life, buzzes with excitement. I hear some people talking about their favorite Rex Orange County songs, while others are sharing their previous concert experiences.
I was there solo. But I didn’t mind.
I treated myself to a slice of pizza, a blizzard from Dairy Queen, and a large popcorn. Because, why not, right?
The Concert: A Night to Remember
Grent Perez opened the stage.
And at 8 in the evening on the 8th of October 2023, as the lights dim and Rex Orange County takes the stage, there’s an electric surge of excitement. Everybody stood up in their seats!
The crowd? Well, you can imagine the roar inside Araneta.
The music, once a cherished part of my life through airpods, now fills the space, a living, breathing entity that connects me to Rex.
Songs that have been my companions through joy and heartache are now delivered with a rawness and authenticity that only live music can offer. And the audience, including me, became a chorus singing along with Rex, dancing to the rhythm, and losing ourselves in the melodies.
It was an emotional journey, and each note adds to the collective memory we’re creating.
I don’t know dude, Rex Orange County’s music washes over me, and for a while, nothing exists.
When Rex Orange County began to sing Happiness, I remembered it all.
The lyrics that I cherished when I was struggling inside the bus in Dubai in 2019, took on a new life as they are sung live, filling the space with raw emotion.
And somewhere when the strobe lights focused only on Rex, in the dim atmosphere of Araneta, and in the sea of fans singing with him, I shed a tear.
I was thinking of the time when I walked to the bus stop with a heavy heart, it was this song that comforted me.
On the saddest times when there was no one to wrap around their arms on my shaking shoulders.
This is the magic of a live concert, I think. The kind of experience that stays with you, lighting up your memories for years to come.
After The Concert
I waited for this concert, to see Rex Orange County perform live, since 2020. But the pandemic happened. And I’ve been looking forward to this moment for months now.
So I knew I was going to be very sad when it was over
I was supposed to meet my friends for a beer after the show. Because heaven knows I’ll be needing a drink and a friend. But they canceled last minute, which was okay with me. I just wanted to go home, get myself a nice takeout dinner, and deal with my emotions beside my two dogs.
Seeing Rex Orange County live is a journey filled with glimmers of excitement and the radiant glow of live music. The tradition of a morning coffee ride is more than just a prelude; it’s an essential part of the adventure, enhancing the entire experience.
So with my heart full of emotion, I made my way home, guided by the album Pony playing on my only working left airpods.
And in the busy night of Cubao, Manila’s lights twinkle a little brighter, echoing the magic of Rex Orange County.
Thank you, Rex Orange County. I love you!