I met fellow Kristard Anthony from Singapore at the hotel Kris was staying at. Apparently I missed his arrival from Cebu. He was able to get a picture with Torres though, and since we felt that they might not be going out (security-free) any time soon, we decided to head to the nearby mall to have lunch and buy markers, hoping to get some CDs signed.
- Make friends with fellow fans. While there will still be some sense of rivalry/competition (see: picture-taking, because everyone would want to be closer to the idol), a shared experience still makes the event more worth it. Especially if you're stalking alone.
We met Anthony's friend (yet another Singaporean Kristard) Jen at the mall during lunch, where we shared typical fan stories like who was the first celeb we stalked, why we like Kris, and so on. After lunch we went back to the hotel lobby and loitered there for about three more hours, meeting Lourdes (again!) and her friend.
By around 4PM I decided to change to my best "meet-and-greet" clothes and was ready to take off when Kris and the band arrived. Hm. I guess they went out for lunch after all. And he's wearing the freakin' shirt I gave him last Wednesday! I almost didn't notice, so given that and tight security (again), unfortunately I wasn't able to take a pic. I did made a mental note to scour the Internet for Cebu pictures later though, because apparently that was the same shirt he was wearing arriving in Manila from Cebu. And as I've mentioned in one of my previous posts, I was able to find one. Yay!
The call time for the M&G was 4:30PM and inasmuch as I was skeptical that it'll start on time, I didn't want to take chances. Anthony and Jen decided to come along with me too, so we left Lourdes and her friend in the hotel. Later I found out that they spotted Kris again going to the gym. In shorts!
As expected, we were one of the first people to arrive at the venue, which is still being set up. We heard Jabbawockeez and Boyce Avenue do their sound check, so part of me initially hoped that Kris will arrive early too...until I realized that they were probably the first one who did the sound check (them arriving back at their hotel at that time of day totally made sense). My fellow meet and greet winners arrived in trickles, and soon we also found out -- to our disappointment -- that there were lots of M&G passes given out. *sigh* This is expected, but you gotta admit, we've all fantasized for a more intimate setting for such an event as a meet and greet. After all, lesser people = more time to chat with the idol.
The next couple of hours were spent waiting, so we've covered again the usual conversation topics fans share. I found out that one of my co-winners is actually from Iloilo and has already watched the Cebu concert, then flew here to watch again. I also found out that I'm the oldest among the group. *sigh*
(Interesting observation: 3 of us 4 winners are male. This does not count the other fans that we've met in the M&G -- which included two additional two guys.)
We also brainstormed to strategies regarding the M&G, since we were anticipating the less desirable situations once we were there (e.g., it might be a group photo!). I suggested that perhaps we go in separately, either be the very first or the very last (usually the desirable positions, but of course with greater risks involved too).
- Keep your cool. This is similar to #5 in the sense that, in a sea of fellow tards, it's best to be the least cray-cray/starstruck (if you can help it).
Keeping my cool also allowed me to start a small conversation with Kris. I told him that I saw him wearing the shirt I gave him, and he said something along the lines of "well, it is a cool shirt." :) *swoon*. Photo time came and and went (he put one of his arms on my shoulder!), and he thanked me for the shirt as we were leaving the area. *double swoon* On a high, our group went our separate ways, depending on which section and seat number our tickets dictate us to go.
The first two acts came and went, and I, who was seated at the VIP section (4th row) saw an opportunity to upgrade myself to the front row (no one was seated on one of the sections there). Granted it's more on the leftmost side and not really dead center, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. The seats were directly in front of my original seat anyway.
I think the bouncers/guards wouldn't have noticed me hadn't I started singing (loudly) along one girl from the audience who were asked by the hosts/VJs to sing some Kris Allen songs while the stage is being prepped. They asked if I was in my proper seat, and being honest, I said no but can they please please please let me stay anyway? After all, technically I'm still in the correct section, and no one is sitting on where I was anyway. After much hesitation, they finally relented, as long as I keep quiet. Hm. Quite an ironic request during a pop concert, but I said I'll try.
- Be nice to the "bad guys". As the adage goes, keep your friends close, your enemies closer.
Okay then. I just sat and sang along the set list I've known by heart. Because I had another trick up my sleeve:
- Spoilers sometimes help. This tip may not apply to all, especially to those who want to keep their own suspense building. Me, I don't mind some spoilers here and there -- in fact, I tend to look for spoiler on almost everything that I like (TV shows, etc.) because it makes me anticipate how they will unfold later in real life, or when I get to see it.
Also remember that I was sitting "politely"? When Kris started playing "Alright With Me" I started to put my camera and phone (I was live-tweeting) back in my bag poised to execute my plan. After the second chorus, when I noticed that Kris put down his guitar, I took that as a sign that he's about to go down the stage, so I quickly ran to the barricades and raised my hand just as Kris finished saying he will pick some members of the audience.
"I see some takers..."I saw Manong guard rushing towards me with a disapproving look on his face, motioning me to get the hell back to my place, I brushed him off quickly and said "wait lang!". For Chrissakes, I think Kris saw my raised hand!
"Come on up, man!"I was the first one to be called. It turned out that I was the only guy called onstage.
(Side note: I actually almost didn't get onstage, as I was blocked by the bouncers in the exit. I guess they didn't see me getting called, and of course saying that "he called me!" turned out to be the same excuse everyone else is using. Fortunately, one of the other guards finally did recognize me. Whew! Gotta give it to the bouncers, though -- they sure are tough.)
I could rave about the other songs Kris sang during the concert (better check out his rocked out version of Falling Slowly/With or Without You mash-up!) and proclaim that he is one of the most entertaining performers I've witnessed (he really is). But given that this is already 2 months delayed -- other reviews from fans have since been posted and better, funnier performances from Kris have since appeared on YouTube -- I'll end my post here. I can't believe I spouted 12 tips along the way, but there you go. Hopefully someone will benefit from this and the previous posts the next time.
Meanwhile, below is a video of "Alright With Me". See how cray-cray I have become. :P LOL!