By Nickie Wang /Manila Standard Today
03 June 2008
“You get one shot, one song and that’s it. And you’re in a room full of screaming girls and we played acoustically and couldn’t hear ourselves.”
Ethan Mentzer, The Click Five’s bass player, was definitely right when he uttered this quote two years ago. Last Friday night, the Boston-based quintet raised the roof of the Araneta Coliseum for their 90-minute bubblegum rock concert.
It was a night of glass-breaking screams and chair-banging as over 10,000 fans waited for the much-anticipated concert to start. The show that didn’t start just yet minutes after two front acts made the teen-dominated audience screaming at the top of their lungs even with just video clips being shown through wide screen monitors at both sides of the stage.
After almost two hours of endless waiting, the wide curtain that covered what was beneath the stage became a screen on which never-before-seen clips of Ethan Mentzer (bass), Joe Guese (lead guitar), Kyle Patrick (vocals), Ben Romans (keyboard), and Joey Zehr (drums) were projected.
The audience went wild when finally the curtain was pulled down and revealed members of The Click Five in black and gray outfits for the opening number of the show, the smash hit Flipside. With guitars adorned with glistening stones slung around their shoulders, the band members sustained and even poured out more energy when they sang “Happy Birthday”—two of their members, Kyle and Joey, actually celebrated their birthday here in the country.
Apparently, the band must have dispensed much vigor during the opening that for the third song, their performance began to show signs of weariness, hence it ended as dull and lifeless. With “Addicted To Me,” a track from their Modern Minds and Pastimes album, some of the young girls who queued at the center aisle of the Big Dome and were wild wiggling their butts with the rhythm, slowly went back to their seats. Still, they couldn’t get over the euphoria and continued moving their heads like they were banging them on an invisible wall, making them look like zombies possessed by incubus. The monotonous performance continued when they played “All I Need Is You” but instantly revived their presence with the songs “Empty” and “Summertime.” An exact irony of the song “Empty,” the Big Dome was alive and full, with the audience enjoying the last taste of summer. Grown-ups were also present at the event letting their young ones bawl to death over band members who didn’t look as dashing as they were in photographs, excluding Kyle and Ethan of course.
Ethan, Joe, Kyle, Ben, and Joey lined up on the stage when they performed their songs “There You Are,” “Just The Girl,” “Long Way To Go,” “Pump It Up,” and “When I’m Gone” before they opted for a five-minute break.
The band returned with much-renewed verve and mesmerized the screaming fans with dynamic hit “Catch Your Wave,” proceeded to another song before singing the most popular girl’s name of the evening “Jenny.” Yes, “Jenny” was the most popular name of the night and The Click Five’s performance of the song was defied by 10,000 jumping and screaming fans that even the drum beats were barely heard.
The whole audience area had its own lighting system that challenged the stage that constantly changed from yellow to green then blue to purple and red. The upper and the lower boxes were lighted by neon sticks held by the audience not to mention the red devil horns that were worn as headbands. Complimenting the effulgent crowd was the finale Headlight Disco where Kyle lay down on the floor while flaunting his flair in guitar.
The Click Five is one of the reasons Filipino fans rush to concert venues even if tickets are sold at sky-high prices. With just two albums, the band was able to produce more than five hit songs; enough to keep the crowd in a concert hanging on to the finish. How many local artists have produced two or three chart-topping singles nowadays? We can count them with our fingers in one hand. The truth is, upcoming Filipino artists are not given a chance or the financial support to show their attitude just like Ben Romans, the mad keyboardist of The Click Five who danced and waved his hands like he got away from a cuckoo’s nest. Though the band has a massive popularity here in Southeast Asia, it doesn’t enjoy the same treatment and publicity in its homeland. Well, Americans know better, they don’t enjoy shallow lyrics and redundant phrases for a song.
Indo-Pinoy singer-guitarist Lala opened the show at the Araneta at 8 p.m. and rendered some of her songs. She was able to wow the impatient crowd with her impressive vocal range. But the front act that really rocked the stage was Rivermaya who happened to have thousands of fans present at the venue. Rivermaya, with its newest lead vocalist Jason Fernandez, went retrospective playing its ’90s hits before endorsing its latest album Buhay and gave the audience a little taste from it.