I’ve been a fan of the Foo Fighters for the longest time. I knew in my heart that I will not retire in this world not being able to watch them perform live. So, when the opportunity of that happening was at arm’s length, I made sure that I’d be there.
I found out about them finally heading to Southeast Asia early this year. They were supposed to have that concert in Singapore years ago but unfortunately, they cancelled last minute much to the dismay of some of my friends who already bought tickets and made the necessary arrangements for them to be at that concert. This year, they were scheduled to perform in Japan, Singapore, and Bangkok in August. I was set to watch them in Singapore, but I changed my plan last minute. Instead, I decided to buy a concert ticket in Bangkok, a country that I’ve never been to, which was exactly why I wanted to go there (read my post about my travel to BKK here). All was set: my concert ticket, flight, and accommodation, the only thing that was needed to be done was to wait.
I arrived in Bangkok the day before the concert. I booked myself in a boutique hotel a few minutes away from Impact Challenger Hall 2, the concert’s venue. I even visited the venue a few hours after I arrived just to check it out, snooping around, hoping that the band would be in the area too. Finally, the day of the concert. I made sure I was ready for it: my two phones and power bank fully charged, painstakingly transferred all my daily necessities that were in my bag to a tiny belt bag, and that I fed myself and hydrated. I saw familiar faces while waiting for the doors to open. Friends from the Philippines whom like me, flew in to watch the Foo Fighters.
We waited for hours before the organizers opened the door, and when our door swung open, we ran in front like our lives depended on it. I was with my friend Alvin and Che in front, Wiji and Jowee decided to stay on the side close to the barricade. There were two local bands who started performing. They were good, but I couldn’t understand what they were singing since their lyrics were in Thai. The anticipation was killing me, or maybe it was the lack of air and the feeling of dehydration kicking in. When the front acts were done, my adrenaline was on high because of two things—I was finally going to watch my favorite band perform live and dodging crazy ass people trying to shove their way to the front. Nope, not while I’m standing, I was telling myself. They needed to stay where they were. At exactly 10:30pm, Dave Grohl just came out of nowhere playing the intro of “Everlong,” while the rest of the band played along. No flamboyant entrance, just a straight up “Let’s do this!” appearance.
It was amazing. Tears just started to roll down my cheeks, the mixed feeling of happiness, disbelief, and being victorious were the fuel to why my heart was beating very fast at that moment. Happiness because the Foo Fighters have been on top of my “Musicians that I Would Want to Watch Live Before I Die” virtual list for so long and now, I was with Dave and the rest of his cohorts, watching them live. Disbelief because amidst everything that I’ve went through the past months before the concert, I was jumping there with hundreds of people enjoying the band’s music. Victorious because I felt that I really won something by just being able to listen to them live. It was a long wait, but it was worth it. Dave was so entertaining, very talkative when not singing. I love Pat Smear! He was my favorite that day. His smile was just so genuine, actually, all of them.
The concert lasted for more than two hours. They played 24 songs total. Some were not on their setlist, I know because…I’ll get to that in a bit haha. I was both tired but exhilarated. I cried through the most part especially when they performed their last song “Best of You.” I was going through a tough time and that song spoke to me so differently that day. “Has someone taken your faith? / It’s real, the pain you feel / You trust, you must confess / Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?” I was inconsolable, but I needed to hear it.
That night was hands down, one of the best nights of my life. And like the gift that keeps on giving, while waiting with Wiji and Jowee for almost everyone to head to the exit, we were standing near the barricade just watching the crew doing their egress. I bunch of people were standing in front of the stage, waiting for setlists or anything that the band might own to be given to them. Just for fun, I started yelling “Setlist, please. Setlist, please.” One of the crew members heard me yelling as he was about to help out with clearing the stage, he stopped in front of me and handed me a setlist and I was floored. I assumed that it was it, but he grabbed something again from his back, and handed me two drumsticks. Taylor Hawkins’ drumsticks! It took me a while to say anything other than “Oh my God!” That was such a beautiful and unforgettable moment—the smile on that crew member’s face when he handed me the setlist and drumsticks, strangers started approaching me to borrow my treasures for a quick photo, and me just speechless.
I can see Taylor’s drumsticks from where I’m writing this memory, and every time I see them, it takes me back to that moment when I was in the same room with the Foo Fighters. I’m not the type of fan who would say that “I can die now!” since I already saw my favorite band perform live, if anything, what the experience taught me was to dream more and dream big, to make sure not to simply stop until you made it. Thank you, Dave, Taylor, Pat, Chris, Nate, and Rami.
“Done, I’m done and I’m on to the next.”