Third time’s the charm!
That worked not just for the Irish rock band, who already charmed their Filipino fans the first time they performed in Manila, but for me most especially. The Script’s third time in Manila was the first LIVE The Script concert I have been to in my life, and it certainly wouldn’t be my last. I have only daydreamed of this moment ever since 2008, those days when people only recognize their songs but do not know who the lads are, how they look like, or what their story is.
Emerging from the back, Danny, Mark, and Glen marched inside the Mall Of Asia Arena in a parade of green flags that led them to the stage, sending the message and the night’s main objective, to Paint The Town Green.
Starting the night in high energy, people were brought to their feet, myself included. It’s true when The Script say they’re going to “make this place feel like our own,” and the fans made them feel like they’re home.
The Script’s setlist was a great mix of their tracks from their four albums, with majority of the songs coming from their latest masterpiece, No Sound Without Silence. I commend them for playing more new songs than choosing to go the “crowd pleasers” route. True enough, people inside the Arena came not just to hear the band perform their most popular anthems but are prepared for surprises of hearing both old and new songs reinterpreted on stage.
The Script’s massive hit, Breakeven, which for Filipinos, is the breakup anthem of all breakup anthems, was the band’s third song. Knowing Filipinos love to sing, Danny invited the crowd to belt out the song with him, in which we more than willingly obliged.
When Glen started doing drum solos early in the night, I was hoping, praying, and anticipating they play Before The Worst. You see, if there’s one The Script song that can give me butterflies in the stomach up until this day, it is this song. I have probably watched and listened to every single live version of Before The Worst and very well know how the music starts in before Danny plays the heart-melting piano intro.
I nearly cried upon hearing that first note on the piano. My heart was so happy; the whole time it was like someone’s holding my heart, squeezing it tighter and tighter until it hurt, but the hurting feeling felt good. And then Danny sang that last line, the line that speaks to me the most,
“Let’s try to take it back before it all went wrong.”
In The Script’s live performances, Danny always sings the line differently each time, and I was thrilled just thinking about how he’s going to sing it in Manila.
When he sang it, I melted.
They followed it up with Superheroes, an uplifting song that tells you it’s okay to experience pain, that’s the only way to know you’re alive, and that in spite of the pain, you can still succeed.
“When you’ve been fighting for it all your life, you’ve been struggling to make things right, that’s how a SUPERHERO learns to fly.”
You could just sense the crowd’s “feelings” while singing along to this song. It’s also safe to say that I sang all my troubles away during this night and most especially to this song.
One of the main highlights of the night was the band playing on the b-stage –a round acoustic stage set in the middle of the patron area where the lads serenaded the crowd with the very endearing Never Seen Anything “Quite Like You” and a stripped-down version of The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.
Danny, Mark, and Glen recognize the role of their fans to The Script’s success and know that if not for the fans, the band wouldn’t be where they are right now. Danny, on behalf of the band, thanked their Filipino fans for loving their music. He bowed to the crowd; turning to face the audience in the different sections of the arena, he raised his hands and lowered them, and at the same time, bent his head and body forward in a manner of worship; showing how much he respects, appreciates, and adores the fans. The crowd, amazed by the gesture, cheered in return, and expressed how mutual the feeling is.
After the acoustic performance, lights went out and Mark owned the b-stage with his guitar solo for You Won’t Feel A Thing, one of the many things I have dreamed of seeing LIVE.
And just like that, The Script showed how much they love their fans when Danny surprised the lower box crowd as he appeared from the back and joined us in the area. I was one of the very lucky fans who got to see him up-close. He was just right in front of me, and I touched him. I TOUCHED HIM. I still couldn’t believe that happened.
After transitioning to the main stage, the band played Six Degrees of Separation from their #3 album and It’s Not Right For You, the perfect song for twentysomethings like me who are still finding their place in this world.
“You got one life to love what you do.”
Danny asked the crowd to continue singing as the band said their thank yous and left the stage. People very well know that as long as confettis aren’t released, the concert’s not over. But nevertheless, the crowd went on singing until Mark went back on stage and played a powerful guitar intro to The Energy Never Dies with the sun’s flames as a backdrop.
The energy of the crowd never died and so as the energy of the Script. They played a couple more songs including the heart-rending For The First Time and the band’s latest heartbreak anthem, No Good In Goodbye.
Danny then spoke to the crowd about people these days being too focused on capturing everything through their phones, tending to forget to live in the moment. He asked us to use our phones not to distract ourselves from being in the present but to create moments that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
“In The Script, we’re all about making moments. Music to us is intrinsically linked to moments.” – Danny O’Donoghue
Together, the more than 17,000 fans lit up all of their phones and held them up in the air as Danny instructed, which made the Arena look like a star-filled night sky, and the band played their final song, Hall Of Fame. IT WAS, INDEED, A MOMENT TO REMEMBER.
One of the best things about The Script is their ability to create music that is very relatable. Everyone can create beautiful and wonderful music, but not everyone can create music that most people relate to. The Script do both. We sing their songs, shout the lyrics with all our energy and emotions like we could’ve written those words ourselves. The Script’s songs are not only The Script’s stories, their songs are our stories, too.
I still believe The Script’s one of the most underrated artists today, but they still have a long way to go. I am just glad I knew them already when people are only beginning to take notice of them; I knew their story, how they started and succeeded. I was there and I am still here.
I wasn’t able to take many photos during the concert as I was too busy jumping, fist pumping, and singing on top of my lungs (just living in the moment, yeah?). My legs and arms were sore, and they still are at this very moment, and my throat hurt a bit but I don’t really mind because I just had the best night of my life.
April 17, 2015. The night I will never forget. Thank you, The Script!!!
Enjoy The Script’s Manila setlist here: