A1 Came Back in Manila, and I Missed Their Show

I was about ten years old then, I purchased a cassette tape of my favorite boy band, A1. I remember that I saved up most of my allowance to buy it so I was really, really excited to load it on my Walkman.
 
To my surprise, the saleslady pulled out some coupons from under her table and gave them to me. There were about six coupons with for me was the cutest photo of the love of my life, Ben Adams, his curtain-like bangs, and of course, his band mates, I mean A1.
 
The lady told me that those are admission tickets to their concert. I was like, “Concert? I’m going to see them LIVE?” I remember the venue being at the NBC Tent, which, in my 10 years of existence, haven’t even heard of.
 
To cut the story short, my parents did not allow me to go. They were firm despite my efforts of persuading, crying, and threatening them that I will take my life. No, I didn’t do that.
 
Roughly 16 Years Later…
MNL, PH, 23rdOct 2016: While hundreds of screaming fans sing along the timeless hits of 90’s Brit-Norwegian boy band A1, I sulk in sadness at home. I couldn’t believe this is happening to me again! I have this heavy feeling in my gut which I can’t determine whether it is excitement, nervousness, or sadness, or it can be a combination of all three. Months before today, I was sure that I am going to watch them on stage.
 
I even Googled the fastest route to Kia Theatre and planned out when to buy tickets to A1 back in Manila with my best friend, Neema. However, for some unknown reason, adulthood struck me: one thing led to another and I couldn’t find the time and money to actually go.
 
I have a confession to make, A1 is the first and only artist I fell in love with. When they parted ways in 2002, I also lost interest in the music scene. I haven’t purchased any cassette tape, CD, poster, song-hits, or digital copies of any songs. I just haven’t found the artist that could make me feel as giddy and as in love as A1.
 
a1 Mark Read
Mark Read, the crazy one

 

a1 Ben Adams
Ben Adams, the pretty one
a1 Christian Ingebrigsten
Christian Ingebrigsten, the serious one 
(Do not look for Paul, there’s Google)
 
Despite not being able to watch them live, I am lucky to have lived in the age that technology is booming. I got to watch most of the concert because of excited fans who upload clips of them on YouTube! This is after their concert in Singapore which was held one day prior to Manila, so I already “watched” the concert ahead of everyone. LOL
 

My favorite part was when the band displayed a slideshow of photos reminiscing their moments with their fans in Southeast Asia. It was shown as the boys were facing the big screen and singing the heartfelt song “Living the Dream”. By the end of the slideshow, a huge and sweet message flashed on screen:

FOR ALL THE LOVE OVER THE YEARS, THANK YOU!

Oh my God.

Even if I wasn’t physically there, I felt my eyes going heavy and my hair stood on their ends. These lads (I still want to call them this way) sure know how to take care of their fans and treat them “Like A Rose”. I love how they appreciate normal people like us. 
 
The years really did them well. It is interesting to note that none of them are married yet or have any kids (they are now all close to 40 years old). My affection is slowly turning to the maturity and depth of Mark Read and Christian Ingebrigtsen. I guess I’ve graduated from Ben Adams and his beautiful face. 
 
But gosh, in terms of music, humility, and all the other positive things I can think of, I love them all!
 
A1 boyband in Manila
(C) Philstar.com/Rosette Adel
A1 boyband in Manila
Post-Concert
 
A big thanks once again to technology, I found people who also are drop-dead in love with A1 through Facebook. And these girls are crazy! They welcome the band at the airport and stalk them everywhere they go. My news feed is filled with all things A1 every five minutes!
 
Even if I wasn’t able to watch A1 back in Manila, it fills me with happiness that the boy band I fell in love with many, many years ago still generates this kind of effect to their devoted fans. I am and have always been a quiet fan, but this doesn’t mean that I love A1 less.
 
On a side note, my boss, after learning that I failed to watch A1 back in Manila, decided to fill her Spotify playlist with the likes of If You Were My Girl, Everytime, One Last Song, When I’m Missing You, One More Try, Same Old Brand New You, and Heaven By Your Side, for the entire office to hear.
 
I swear I am not complaining.
 
A1 boyband in Manila

P.S. It would take a catastrophe for me to miss their next concert here. Mark. My. Word.

 
So, were you there in the A1 concert?
Or are you also feeling my pain right now?
 
Follow these boys of my youth on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.