*One of our sixtofive supporter from the Philippines named CJ graciously shared her detailed fan account with us. It’s rather long but she did a fab job describing everything from start to finish. Thanks so much for sharing girl! ^ ^
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Sorry for not being able to continue with the update sooner…had to spend some time with the family in Manila before flying back to Jakarta last Monday.
I see by now you would have seen so many pics and vdos already and that you would have an idea already as to how everything went and how truly unforgettable and I-N-T-E-N-S-E (in keeping the whole theme) that whole 40-minute, 9-song performance of Rain was…
While waiting for the concert to start, the 2 giant screens on both sides of the stage were repeatedly showing ads/videos of the sponsors as well as the actual promotional ad for the concert. Every time this ad ran and Rain’s name was mentioned, the audience would scream in unison. Not sure if it’s just me but at the mention of U-Kiss’ name, somehow the screaming sounded louder and so it dawned on me that we actually have quite a number of U-Kiss fans in the audience that night (I am sure though that by the end of the concert they would have become instant fans of Rain, if they are not already).
Instead of waiting it out in the mosh pit area, my sister & I roamed around the audience area. That’s where we saw the (still) empty spaces in between the VIP and gold sections which I reckoned was because the VIP ticket holders were really trying to squeeze themselves as close as possible to the stage area leaving the back end bare. There were vendors roaming around selling drinks and glow sticks. We walked by the stalls lined up on both sides of the audience area. They were mostly food stalls (coz no food and drinks were allowed from outside) and we proceeded to buy ourselves Back to the Basic albums (actually I bought 2 for myself just to support the album sales in the Phils as my sister’s not really a Rain fan J) and even got ourselves free Rain posters that went along with the CD/DVD packs. The record store reminded us not to open them during the concert lest we block the view of the people behind us. I had absolutely no problem with that, I’ve got my hands full already with a camera in 1 hand and a glow stick in another 🙂
By 8 pm, the fans were becoming restless with excitement already especially after seeing the crew putting bottles of mineral water on both sides of the stage. The stage was not really big nor high. It was about half of LOR’s width and much simpler (none of the glittery backdrops of LOR) but it had the 2 levels reminiscent of most of Rain’s concerts (although Rain did not actually use the 2nd level if I remember correctly). The backdrops were plain because, as we would later know, they were to be used as screens where MVs & other film clips that were to accompany each song were to be projected later on. No live band nor back-up singers to fill up the stage either, just some technical crew on both ends of the stage. There was a staircase right in the middle of the stage that led down to the aisle dividing the mosh pit area (but as we would later know, it was only Christian Bautista who actually used it when he was looking for “beautiful girls” to serenade (neither U-Kiss nor Rain actually went down to the audience area).
The thing that signaled really the start of the concert was when all these camera men (media men I believe) came out of nowhere (I’m guessing from the backstage area) and positioned themselves on both sides of the aisle in the middle of the mosh pit area with their pro cameras.
At around 8:20 pm, VJ/DJ KC Montero came out on stage and officially opened the concert with some sponsor acknowledgments and then acted as emcee for the show introducing each performer (didn’t really like this part because he made everything look more like a variety show than a concert). He introduced Christian Bautista who sang 3 songs in just about less than 15 minutes. I know there were a lot of talks about how CB was so inappropriate to be Rain’s front act and all but really, I was impressed not so much by his performance which was just ok but by his humility. He stopped short of apologizing to the fans for prolonging our agony in waiting for Rain. He was like “ok that’s 1 song down, just 2 more to go ok, please bear with me…” That was really cool of you Christian, if anything you’ve endeared yourself to Rain’s fans…
Next came U-Kiss. Even before KC Montero had finished his introduction, his voice got lost already in the screams that ensued as soon as U-Kiss members started climbing up the 2nd level of the stage behind him in prep for their opening number. U-Kiss had the distinct advantage of being able to speak in English and so they were very engaging and funny actually. They were able to interact with the audience in between songs which was a plus and at even one of their ad libs, there were members who tried imitating some of Rain’s dance moves, including showing some abs, which they acknowledged were nowhere near Rain’s. They, like Christian, indirectly acknowledged that it was really Rain who was the main man that night. But I give credit to U-Kiss for being very entertaining that night. For somebody who didn’t really know who they were, I actually enjoyed their performance. No wonder they keep coming back to the Philippines (this is like their 3rd or 4th time already performing I hear). They closed their portion with a repeat of one of the songs they had sang already in one of their previous Phil concerts (according to them), Boyz II Men’s End of the Road. I believe this song really showcased U-Kiss’ singing ability and the fact that they aren’t just some boy band who dances really well. Well done U-Kiss!
And then came Rain’s turn, finally! My watch read 9:20 pm.
First there was complete darkness. Then out of the blue, the chants began “Jung Ji-Hoon..Jung Ji-Hoon…”!!! And then the opening video presentation illuminated the stage amidst screams of fans (myself included ) Then there he was, gradually coming out from beneath the stage amidst a pile of smoke, our RAIN looking gloriously HANDSOME in a white blazer and everything else in black—his shades, fitted v-neck shirt, tight pants, belt, boots , gloves. His hair (not pitch black hehe) has obviously grown over the last few months and was just worn down naturally (so he looked almost the same as he did at the press conference).
After striking his signature “mean” pose, he shouted “Everybody, make some noise!” Boy, was everybody already doing that with all the non-stop screaming. I almost didn’t’ hear It’s Raining starting to play in the background. His male dancers (all 6 of them) then joined him in an explosive opening number—donning loose gray jackets over black shirts and denims. Worthy of note here are the crisp and always on cue audience chants of “Rain, go Rain, it’s raining…” and “Jung Ji-Hoon…”…I was so happy with the audience that night (everybody was really o-n-e in giving their all—exactly the way I expected and wanted people to be in the Jakarta LOR to be but sadly wasn’t) Way to go Cloud PH for leading the chants—especially those in the VIP section! I’m sure it made Rain very happy too…I know he always likes his audience to have fun with him…
Without stopping for some introductory greetings (well he did say “What’s up Philippines” while doing It’s Raining), Rain proceeded to do Touch Ya. By this time, he was letting the dancers take the center stage while he roamed around the stage more, moving from one end to another trying to make more contact with the audience. He would repeatedly say “Clap your hands”…well actually singing it to Touch Ya’s rap beat.
And then he finally stopped to catch his breath. “What’s up Philippines! Ma-ni-la!” he shouted. He took off his shades, smiled at the audience and then some seconds of silence (not so sure but it looked to me like he was thinking whether to speak in English or Korean). During this time, I felt sort of bad for him because I could really feel that he wanted to connect to the audience, majority of whom he knows all too well do not speak Korean, and yet he knew he couldn’t really say much in English. So after hesitating a bit, he finally decided to do his spiel in Korean which was just as well because he appeared more sincere in doing so anyway (and if I may add, he looked rather shy about it, walking around the stage as he talked, with his head bowed down a bit). There were quite a number of Koreans in the audience so I’m glad there was some reaction to whatever he was saying (would really love to know what he was saying—all I know is that he was smiling the whole time he was speaking so it must be about something that made him happy).
By this time his face was already wet with sweat which was completely understandable. My sister & I were just standing out there and we were sweating & fanning ourselves the whole time! Am not sure if he expected it to be that hot as he has probably not done an outdoor concert in a tropical country in a very long time. Sure the venue was right next to the Manila Bay but the sea breeze somehow got engulfed by all that “hotness” on stage. So I’m glad that the next 2 songs were Way to Avoid the Sun and I Do. So he can somehow take a “breather” (and the fans too hehe). I was afraid the heat was going to wear him out much too early in the show. He took off his blazer and donned his shades again. When he was just in all black, it dawned on me that he really has shed off a lot of weight since last year’s LOR concert. And boy was he sunburned! My sister was like whispering to me “is he really this dark coz I mean aren’t Koreans supposed to be fair skinned?” And I said no! He’s just been out in the sun for too long while shooting his latest drama I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him at that point because it’s obvious that he’s really been working & pushing himself too hard (yet again) and that I even felt a bit guilty that he had to slip in a concert at that, all for the sake of the Phil fans! But hey that’s Rain. And though I feel bad for him, I’m sure the love shown to him that night more than made up for his sacrifices. Well, Way to Avoid the Sun wasn’t much of a “breather” because Rain was hot as ever what with all that gyrating movements and his muscle shirt-like outfit showing off his powerful upper arms. Well, he’s got it so he was really flaunting it.
By I Do, Rain and his dancers were already drenched with sweat (so much so that I would think those on the front row may have been “splashed” a bit?) I can faintly see a lady holding onto white towels already at the far end the stage getting ready to dry the boys up. But this didn’t drain Rain and his dancers of energy one bit. Rain became even more intense as he teased the audience to no end, sticking his tongue out, pulling his shirt up, smiling ever so naughtily…in my mind, this guy was pulling out all the stops to his performance!
And then everybody exited the stage via the backdrop which opened up to the backstage for them. Good time for a much needed break and a quick change. During this time, the Love Song MV was flashed on the screen and microphones were being set up on stage (with Rain’s having his BTTB cap hanging over his mic). Not long after, Rain came out in his glittery BTTB outfit (he just changed his top and his gloves and this time without the shades) and starting singing Love Song. His dancers later joined him in their own BTTB outfits. This number was really oozing with sexiness—especially after Rain took off his jacket which revealed him wearing only a tank top! The dancers then left him and from Love Song to Love Story he went. The MV was being played behind him and a standing mic ascended from beneath the stage right in front of him and he sang using this standing mic instead of his ear mic. I believe it was at this point when I started to sense some weariness already in Rain, not so much because of all the energy he’s expended but because of that heat! He was sweating like crazy! His hair was already sticking to his face. And we haven’t even reached Hip Song!
As in the 1st half of his performance, after 2 songs, he’s able to have some time off to talk to us. Again, in Korean, so am not sure what he said but at one point, he joked (at least this is how I understood it from his actions) about how soaked his ear mic had become and he even took off the mouth piece and wrung it dry in front of his face, generating some laughs from the audience. He then wiped his face & hair dry with a black towel and fixed his hair a bit (he looked so boyishly cut when he did this) before signaling the start of his next number, one of my all time faves, Rainism.
Rainism got everybody wild again and you just cannot help but dance along with him on this one. So my shots during this song were all a bit blurry already The Cloud PH also made sure the chants came up at all the right moments whether it be “Rainism”, “make some noise” or just plain “Jung Ji-Hoon”…Rain was just so S-E-X-Y in this number, I’m sure he literally took everybody‘s breath away. I like that he wasn’t wearing his usual LOR Rainism garb this time around and so we can clearly see his entire bod. The simpler the better.
I think it was Hip Song which really brought the house down. It was my sister’s instant favorite she would later tell me. It was non-stop screaming during this entire number. My voice had started to become hoarse already at this point hehe. And it was during this number that I really saw fatigue creeping into the dancers already as they try to catch their breath every chance they get. But Rain, I really wondered, where does he get all that energy from! At the end of the number though, everybody just looked so exhausted and drenched in their own sweat, including Rain.
The next & last number as we would later learn was Instead of Saying Goodbye. It was unexpected although we already had all the signs right in front of us—the video presentation on the backdrop already had the text “Bye Rain” and confetti was splashed all over the stage already at the beginning of the sone. They were flashing aerial views of the audience onto the backdrop and boy what a sight to behold! It was literally “Full House”. At the end of the song and with Rain now on his lonesome on stage, the concert came to an abrupt end (yes it still felt so abrupt despite all the tell-tale signs). After a quick kamsahamnida and a flying kiss, Rain left the same way he came, descending to beneath the stage, waving to everyone and all smiles.
As expected, everybody shouted for an encore-encore which never came. My watch read 10 pm. Come to think of it, Instead of Saying Goodbye was probably meant to be the encore with Hip Song really being the finale of sorts. People stayed on for just a few more minutes before realizing there wasn’t going to be any more of Rain when the crew started tidying up the stage already. While I would have liked to see him one more time, I also felt like wanting to just let him have his rest already. My sister & I agreed, he and his dancers looked pretty dead beat already. I told her about the LOR in Jakarta which was a full 2-hour show and with 2 encores at that! I really wondered whether it was the heat or the fatigue from having to juggle between shooting and performing and press promotions. But I guess it was a combination of all these taking a toll on everyone. So yes, it was perfectly fine with me that Rain didn’t reappear anymore.
My sister & I lingered on for a few more minutes. The HK cloud beside me also stayed on and we were like saying to each other nobody seems to want to leave (more like nobody wants the night to end just as yet). One member of Cloud PH behind me asked me to wait while she called on one of its members who I was trying to look for at the beginning of the show. It was so kind of her to remember…whoever you are, you and the rest of the Cloud PH have certainly shown what gracious hosts Filipinos are I was introduced to Rizza of Cloud PH and after a brief exchange, I patted her on her shoulders for a job well done and told her she can now take a much needed rest too but I reckon she still wouldn’t be able to what with other people still coming up to her and more importantly, what with Rain still in the country…
Speaking of Rain—he must still be in the premises because, on our way out, my sister and I saw people queuing outside a black tent beside the stage that had the sign Entrance to Meet & Greet Holding Tent. I guess those were the lucky ones who will get to meet Rain backstage (I wondered whether it was ill-timed to have it after the concert again because Rain should really be resting already). We were trying to get a peak at the backstage and saw a white van parked. On our way out, we passed by a lot of girls still gushing over Rain’s performance and sexiness and a TV crew doing their post-concert interviews of fans still clearly on 7th heaven.
So all in all, this was how a Rain concert should be—Rain pulling all the stops on his performances and the audience just letting their hair down—no inhibitions. I was telling my sister how this was the complete opposite of my experience during the Jakarta LOR concert…which was a no standing, no dancing, no taking of pictures event vs now it was all standing, all dancing and free for all! Not to mention that everything just fell right into place including the weather which as if by divine intervention took a breather from the daily rains that poured over Manila in the days leading up to 9/11 and the fact that 9/10 had been declared a holiday in the Phils & Indonesia giving the fans and Cloud PH really more time to prepare for this once in a lifetime experience. What a night to remember!!!