They’ve Shown Us Love

10:34 pm PHT

A bunch of us watched the Jars of Clay Show You Love concert here in Manila (Araneta Coliseum) last Wednesday. I think it was the first time I really watched a concert of my own volition (and the first time I visited Gateway mall). The mall was nice enough. The Jars of Clay concert was even better.

Jars of Clay is this Christian rock group noted locally for their songs “Flood,” “Five Candles (You Were There),” and “Tea and Sympathy.” When we heard that they’d be playing here in Manila several weeks before, my sister and I planned on going since we’re fans of the group.

So my sister invited a bunch of her friends to go watch too. Among the people who watched with us were my sister; her friend and former officemate, Kenneth; her Meralco friend, Gly; her high school batchmates Claire, Cris, and Diane; Diane’s friend Paolo; and my officemate Miki. I invited Miki since Stanley, Cris’ friend, backed out and so we had an extra ticket. Another officemate of mine, Gunns, also watched the concert, though not with us (“Ang lupit!” was his general comment on the concert).

The concert started almost promptly at 8:15 p.m. with a short talk by Bo Sanchez, president of Shepherd’s Voice Publications, a sponsor of the concert. Shepherd’s Voice produces the popular Kerygma magazine and Didache daily scripture guide. Bo himself is a very witty writer and I’d recommend reading his The Boss column on Kerygma. Selected articles have been compiled into a few books already.

After the national anthem, Barbie’s Cradle came on stage to front for Jars of Clay. Miki and I laughed outrageously when their first song turned out to be Nescafé’s “It’s Gonna Be A Good Day.” We should’ve spotted it miles before since Nescafé seemed to be a sponsor too (they had a booth outside the Coliseum). Their succeeding songs were “Limang Dipang Tao,” “Tabing Ilog,” a song that I don’t know the title of, and a medley of “Mga Rosas Sa Tabi” and “Torpe.”

Right after the front act, Jars of Clay, led by their lead singer Dan Haseltine, went on stage and rocked with their opening song, “I Need You” from their album The Eleventh Hour. This is one of my several favorite songs of theirs.

Right after that came “Sunny Days” from their latest album Who We Are Instead. Very nice mainstream song. And it’s been getting recent airplay on Jam 88.3, the radio sponsor of the concert.

Then from their first self-titled album are the songs “Like A Child” and “Love Song for A Saviour.” I really loved the latter song. It’s like a courting song, but singing it for Jesus makes it extra special. The chorus line “I want to fall in love with you” is really wonderful.

I didn’t recognize the opening chords of the fifth song but as soon as the line “a promise or a dare” came, I literally jumped out of my seat in joy, to which Kenneth and my sister laughed a lot. Well, I was bugging my sister what the song was since, as I’ve said, I couldn’t recognize the opening chords. The song was “Five Candles (You Were There)"from their second album Much Afraid. I was ecstatic since “Five Candles” is definitely my all-time favorite song of Jars of Clay. This was the time I really started to fall into the groove of the concert.

Their next songs were “Liquid,” a song that that still don’t know the title of, and “He.” Among the three, I liked that last song the most.

After those came “Lonely People,” “Worlds Apart,” and “Crazy Times.” “Worlds Apart” has now been added to my list of favorite Jars of Clay songs.

Dan Haseltine told the crowd that since he can’t remember the lyrics to their next song (already a clue), he’s going to invite someone from the audience to sing it. We were all expecting that he’d call someone up at random but instead called this guy named Yen. Then he also called Yen’s girlfriend to come up to (to provide moral support). So these two basically sang “Unforgetful You” to a somewhat appreciative crowd who I’m sure were mostly thinking whose strings were pulled to get these two onstage. To their credit, the couple were really game (the guy in particular skipped all over the stage) but they also seemed to have forgotten the lines to the song since all I’ve heard were mostly “Unforgetful you” in the chorus.

After the song, the guy explained that he and the girl were celebrating their 10th year together and so he bought tickets to the concert as an anniversary gift. Then he said that he has another gift and so he reached into his pocket and pulled out—you guessed it—an engagement ring. He knelt down to the girl and said, “Ten years is a very long time so I think it’s time for me to ask, will you marry me?” The speechless girl only took the ring and the guy said, “I think that’s a yes!” Cheesy talaga. Hehehe.

Miki was laughing the whole time and commented that, “Sa Survivor at sa The Amazing Race, meron nang proposal. Pati ba naman concert?”

The next three songs were “Fly,” “God Will Lift Up Your Head,” and “Show You Love.” The second song comes from their upcoming album Redemption Songs due to be released this March and that song is the first single that was released. Dan explained that for their latest album, they took a lot of really old hymns ("God Will Lift Up You Head,” for example, was created in 1736) and breathed new life into them, essentially turning them into contemporary Christian tracks. “Show You Love” is another song that’s been added to my favorites list and is the single for which the concert was named for.

“I’m Alright” and “Flood” were the next two songs. “Flood” is definitely the most rocker song of theirs that I’ve heard.

After that, they said goodbye and left the stage. Of course it was the cliché begging-for-encore routine. And begged the people did. (I didn’t beg since this was expected, but they have yet to play “Tea and Sympathy,” my second most favorite song of theirs!)

So after about two minutes, the band came back on stage and played another song that I still don’t know the title of. Then came “Tea and Sympathy.” This, I think, was the best part of the concert. Almost everyone (including Miki and I) raised their lighted cellphones in the air during the whole song (cellphones are the new lighter, y’know). The effect was amazing. You can see a sea of moving bright lights all over the coliseum. The feeling was so indescribable, especially when the audience was singing the chorus.

That was actually the last song and Dan said, “Goodbye Manila! We’ll try to be back soon.”

All in all, they’ve performed a total of 19 songs. The concert was really successful, maybe not financially (I estimated that only 60–70% of the capacity was filled), but the lack of people was made up for a really appreciative audience. I think Dan was sincere when he said that he really loved the audience here.

At the lobby, my sister and I finally started our Jars of Clay collection (one we talked about doing ages ago) by buying their first album amidst a sea of people happily buying CDs from the good people at Praise, Inc. It’s a good thing too since I’m sure it will be very hard to find copies of their earlier albums at record stores (Jars of Clay, the album, was released over nine years ago in 1995).

Here are a couple of other blogger write-ups of the concert. And like them, I would agree na may hang-over pa ako sa concert. Ang saya talaga!  :)

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