I can believe it, but I still am in awe of how. On the day of the concert, Shabby and I were taking our sweet time to get to BHS. We played games at Landmark, went clothes shopping and even had merienda to fortify ourselves for what we expected to be a long night ahead. We had seen the band doing their soundcheck earlier, and that made me even more giddy with excitement. During our meal, we saw a few Church Simplified volunteers and Bonifacio High Street security running towards somewhere in the vicinity. Maybe it was the band? I went back to eating my pandesal.
Quarter to six, we were heading to the concert grounds when lo and behold, there they were a few feet from where we were. We quickly followed, and when a few fans stopped the guys, I told Shabby that I was going to talk to them.
I stepped behind them and called to the guy nearest me. “Charlie?” I said to Charlie Lowell, the band’s pianist. He responded politely and when I told him that I was the girl who tweeted the band about the dried mangoes, he laughed and told Stephen Mason. “We can work that out,” Charlie said.
Soon I was surrounded by Stephen, Charlie, Matt Odmark and Dan Haseltine. I kinda pushed Shabby to take the photo (thank you so much and I’m sorry v^_^). I told they guys that they had to have a photo with her too because she had the other half of the gift. Sure enough when the guard said no more photos, the guys said “Wait! One more!” and pointed to Shabby.
Afterwards, we handed Charlie our gift. “You shouldn’t have,” he said. But we did, and I hope they like it. “We’ll bring these home — if we haven’t eaten them all before we leave.” We thanked him for the photos, and he thanked us for the gift. Mission accomplished the most unexpected of ways, we allowed ourselves a bit of fangirling. I was shaking.
We made our way to the concert grounds to find our seats. The guards directed us to a gate on the other side where a line was already forming. We fell in, and not five minutes later a CS volunteer said that people with certain kinds of tickets — the ones we had — could go in and get a seat ahead of everyone else. After a bit of security check, we were guided to some seats. We scored two that were close to the aisle.
As we were settling in, no more than thirty minutes later another volunteer approached us and said that we could move a few rows up. Now we were sitting maybe four rows from the stage. We couldn’t believe our luck.
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We were thankful for the cool breeze. Soon, the CS band were onstage and performing songs as part of the opening act. The band is made up or several members of their church, including Julianne, Paolo Valenciano and the Walkie Talkies. I had seen them perform before at one time or another, and knew that these guys were good. I wasn’t familiar with their first few songs, but I enjoyed their cover of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” and Rivermaya’s “Umaaraw, Umuulan.”
Welcome Back Jars of Clay
Without fanfare, Jars of Clay were soon onstage and opened with “Two Hands” that had the crowd cheering. It was quickly followed by “Work” and then “Love Song for a Savior” which was clearly a crowd favorite given how many went wild.
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I’ve posted the playlist below. I was really happy to hear a lot of my favorites and I couldn’t help but sing along, hence my slight hoarseness after. Many songs, particularly during the encore, were from the Much Afraid album, which prompted Stephen to say “You guys are really Much Afraid, aren’t you?”
Like before, the guys were bantering with the audience. Dan introduced Matt Odmark, who was absent during their first concert here. Cheers all around. The band marvelled at the warm welcome they received, and noted that they need to spend more time at this part of the world. Hopefully it won’t take them eight years, and everyone said “Next year!” Fingers crossed for that.
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The guys also exchanged quips with each other. They said that their minds were like memory cards: Old info gets overwritten so they sometimes forget the lyrics to their old songs. The crowd was only too happy to help them fill in the blanks. At one point Dan and Stephen exchanged looks because they weren’t sure what were the next words or chords. But it worked out well, and no one minded.
They’re funny too. Microphone feedback became a whales, with Matt Nelson providing a realistic whale call. They tackled politics briefly, in answer to a question if we could stand up. “And we thought you were just being polite!” Of course, message about Easter were said. After all, it was why we were all there.
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The last songs of the night were older ones from their first and second albums. I’ve always thought of “Worlds Apart” as a powerful yet humbling song, and this live performance just blew me away. I wished they performed “Fly” and “I Need You”, but I’m still grateful to hear many favorites.
All in all, it was a magical night. The guys don’t look older, but their music got better. It’s really awesome to hear them live and feel the energy. Kudos to the team of Church Simplified who got this together. The Jars of Clay concert is part of Church Simplified’s Lenten celebrations and closes this year’s Walkway, an interactive exhibit featuring fourteen stations, each one based on the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. It offers a fresh take to the events that surround Christ’s death and resurrection.
Dan, Stephen, Charlie, Matt, Matt and Jacob, thank you for the awesome and very memorable night. Looking forward to seeing you back really soon.
1. Two Hands
3. Love Song for a Savior
4. Like a Child
5. Waiting for the World to Fall
7. Eyes Wide Open
10. Dead Man
11. We Will Follow
12. All My Tears
13. Five Candles
14. Show You Love
15. Tea and Sympathy
16. Crazy Times
17. Worlds Apart