From the moment it was announced – with ample notice this time – that Dia Frampton is returning to Manila, this time with her sister (and former bandmate) Meg Frampton, and their guitarist (and
half-Filipino) Carlo Gimenez, I got a bunch of questions. Will I be watching them perform?
I mean, sure, I bought my ticket to Dia’s last concert while on vacation. I just had to buy it right there and then. I jumped on the chance to meet her, when I read on Twitter that there was this thing where the first fifty fans at Hard Rock Café would get to say hi to the Voice runner-up. Well, that did not materialize, and I completely missed the bulletin: in the end, I waited at Hard Rock Café for a good four hours (with a friend) and had my, err, own private meet-and-greet with Dia. (But not with her guitarist, and apparently boyfriend, Danny Bemrose.)
So, when it became clearer that Dia was returning, in what turned out to be a sort of reunion tour for Meg & Dia, I got more of those questions. I watched last time; will I watch this time?
Okay, only a few people asked me that question, and they’re people you’ve heard of on the blog. Anna and Allene – I met them both (on Twitter) in the days leading to Dia’s first gig, and they’re the lifelong Meg & Dia fans in my circle. Dexter – he wanted to watch Dia the first time, but the long commute and the late concert time discouraged him from shelling out for a ticket. (He dared me to get a photo with Dia, something I never expected to accomplish.) I’m sure there are other people who asked me if I would go, and I’ve been a bit tight-lipped about my plans, which perhaps is a clue to my final answer: nope, I’m not watching Meg & Dia this Tuesday.
The reasons, really, are simple. One, I wasn’t really a Meg & Dia fan. I’ve heard of them, but have never really heard of their songs until Dia went on The Voice (to, back then, promote their latest album Cocoon). Actually, I wouldn’t have watched The Voice if not for the fact that I had to help cover the show for BuddyTV: I was knee-deep into American Idol and wasn’t otherwise keen on watching another singing competition, even if it was The Voice, which was then in its first season and was very much challenging a complacent Idol.
Despite that, I would’ve watched if my girlfriend was interested. And, for a while, Rainy was. When the Meg & Dia concert announcement was made, I asked her first, saying that I’ll go with her if she wants to go. But, like me, she isn’t really a Meg & Dia fan; she also discovered Dia through her work after The Voice.
I have a second reason: a part of me fears that watching them perform would sort of kill the magic of the first gig. Yes, sure, this one is essentially a different concert. Rhe last one was essentially Dia solo, so she did more of her Voice covers and tracks from her solo release Red. This one will definitely have more of the Meg & Dia songs the crowd hoped to hear more of before. But I guess I enjoyed the first concert so much that I don’t really want to go through all of it again.
I think what I hold dear the most about Dia’s concert last year was its ramshackle origins, of how she basically pleaded to anyone in Manila to do something for her here because she wanted to perform here so bad. After five days, a concert was ready; a week later, it was all done. I like the way it became a spontaneous gathering for Meg & Dia fans who wanted a chance to see one of their favorite artists… and, well, posers like me who wanted to hear arguably the best voice on The Voice‘s first season, but knew nothing else outside of that.
And, well, yes, I like my adventures on the day itself, very much: of how I arrived at Hard Rock Café’s front door, surprised that there was nobody there; of how I was allowed to loiter in the restaurant’s lobby for four hours because the restaurant staff didn’t really know what else was going on; of how I was casually allowed to shake Dia’s hand (and take blurry photos with her – sorry again, Mika) before I was asked to go because I wasn’t supposed to watch the soundcheck; and finally, of how I was given what the restaurant staff considered the best seat in the house, all because I waited for four hours.
Yes, I also enjoyed the concert. It is, as I said before, a celebration of love, one that was oozing with chemistry between Dia and Danny. I enjoyed meeting random people, thanks to the unusual decision to keep the restaurant’s table set-up (so it really felt boozy, without the booze) instead of having just chairs upfront. I may have not met Allene and Anna during the gig despite my best efforts, but I met a bunch of people there, or at least two people who frankly told me that the cameras their company produced were crap.
Finally, I’m not really into repeats, and this concert will be, to me, a repeat, but only because the first one was so awesome. (Also, I hear there will be a meet and greet contest this time, so what happened to me will definitely not happen again. So, Anna, good luck with your mission to have your copy of Something Real signed.) But, if you’re going this Tuesday night – it is, again, at the Hard Rock Café – then I hope you enjoy. Although I bet you will, you definitely will. [NB]