Delivering their signature concert experience, Irish pop rock band The Script made sure that every moment of their April 17 concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena was filled with memories for their fans, whether Filipino or foreign.
American singer Colton Avery and Filipino band Silent Sanctuary were the front acts. At 9:08pm, the arena went dark and silent, until the big screen displayed a video of members of the band in what was supposed to be their dressing room, getting up from their seats and getting ready to come up on stage. Audience members started screaming and, just as the video showed the band coming out the door, two lines of girls carrying bright green flags walked in from the audience entrance, and between them emerged The Script. The arena erupted with cheers as Filipinos welcomed The Script for the third in the Philippines.
Lead singer Danny O’Donoghue, dressed in all black, was the first to greet the crowd: “Manila, how you guys doing tonight?”
They proceeded to play an energetic rendition of “Paint the Town Green” with the screen coming alive with synced video and green paint effects.
Danny asked after sections of the Filipino fans gathered: “How's everybody feeling over here, good? What about down here?”
They followed with “Hail, Rain or Sunshine” and a soulful rendition of another of their massive hits, “Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)”.
Glen Power delivered an energetic intro on the drums and Danny took to the keyboards for “Before the Worst”. Danny asked the crowd: “Alright, guys, let’s make some noise!”
When the video from the album No Sound Without Silence came on for “Superheroes” started on the big screen, Danny delivered a message to: “Anybody who's going through hard times right now. You're stronger than you know.”
Guitarist Mark Sheehan led the rap for “We Cry”.
They asked for more audience participation by saying: “We’re going to do some good, old-fashioned sing-along. Let’s split this arena into two.”
Danny fueled the competitive energy by rousing and encouraging each area. By the end of the song, the entire arena was singing at the top of their lungs.
“You guys sound amazing!” he said.
For “If You Could See Me Now”, the lyrics were emblazoned across the big screen. The audience sang soulfully along with Danny.
LAUGHS AND MORE LAUGHS.
Mark then spoke to the crowd: “Manila, how you feeling? You guys look absolutely gorgeous! Give us some lights here. How's everybody up at the top? I can't get really high because I'm afraid of heights.”
Then, as an introduction to their next song, he described: “When you’re in a band, you have to make a music video, right? I’m really, really scared of heights. This next song is an example of …that sort of fear, that irrational fear of heights. And…. if you write a song about it, you have to make a music video.”
“Check out what we had to do to try to make a video of this. Here’s what I had to do.” The screen showed a photo of Mark standing at an almost 45 degree angle on the side of a building.
“I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking green screen. No, not green screen, trust me. You can check out the making of and I really am on that building there.”
“But I couldn’t do this next thing, look what Glen had to do.” A photo showing Glen beside a drum set near the edge of a tall building.
“He’s really on the edge of a building there. I couldn’t even watch him do it, it’s crazy.”
“But like I said, be careful what songs you write, look what Danny had to do.” The screen showed a photo of Danny crossing a wire suspended well above the ground between tall buildings.
“Do not try that at home. See, he’s been making fun of me for many years over being afraid of heights. I like to think it’s my little personal victory. He had to do this. But you know what he did? He had one little wire hanging from his back, that was all. I could not even watch him do it. That’s absolutely nuts.”
“We got inspired by this because we thought: why would anybody do something like that? We thought, if they build a bridge, to get over something bigger than life, and that bridge, to have to cross that bridge, every little step counts, if you know the song, please join us. This song is called ‘Man On A Wire.’”
In the middle of the song, Danny coaxed everyone: “I wanna hear you singing!”
SECURITY & AN EX “DISMISSED”
Danny looked out at the crowd and asked the people up front: “Are you guys okay there at the front? ‘Cause it looks like the security there are being a pain in the ass, not you. Guys, let them enjoy themselves, please. All of the people over there…”
“They came all this way to have a good time,” Mark added.
Danny continued: “I didn’t come here to stare at a bunch of security all day long. I wanna see The Script fans!” After the security personnel obediently cleared out of the frontline, Mark said: “That leads me to my next thing. We used to do this thing on tour, but we just decided one day not to do anymore of it. Suddenly, we got all these tweets and all these Instagrams saying: please, please do it again. So I’m thinking, it’s Friday night in Manila, do you wanna do it?”
The crowd gave a rousing “YES!!!”
Danny said: “This has to be for real, this cannot be a joke. You have to do this, otherwise, it will not work. We would love somebody right here, right now, to call an ex-boyfriend or –girlfriend.”
“Right, here’s the rules. It’s just got to be ringing. The phone just has to be ringing. And call your ex-boyfriends or –girlfriends and then, give me the phone. Give me the phone, it’s ringing. It’s ringing!” He took a phone from someone in the audience and talked to the person on the other end.
“Hey, this is Danny from The Script. Everybody over here, say hello. Everybody up here, say hello!” He walked from one end of the stage to the other, encouraging the crowd to cheer: “Everybody down the middle, front to back, say hello!”
“Now, please stay on the phone, coz your ex-boyfriend, or –girlfriend… wants me to sing this song. So sorry. Do you want to sing with me?”
The band and audience passionately sing the breakup song “Nothing.” After that, Danny talked to the guy on the other end, then encouraged the crowd to yell “Goodbye!” After the call, he joked that he would keep the phone. Eventually, he returned it to the owner. Then, to the crowd: “Thank you. Everybody, please give a round of applause to this girl over here!”
“I like to think he’s at home and he’s sitting there and he’s like, I don’t want to go to The Script concert, I’ll see my ex-girlfriend there. I’m not going, I’m not going. He got the phone call, he’s like…huh?” Then, laughing, he said: “I think he got the message. 100 percent.”
Glen addressed the crowd: “Alright, Manila! I know you can do it, you can be louder than this: alright, Manila! That’s what I’m talking about. Guys, before we came on tonight, we had two amazing acts on the floor. First of all, we had Mr. Colton Avery all the way from the United States of America. And then we have one of your very own, Silent Sanctuary. Give them a round of applause!”
PACMAN WINS BY TKO.
Mark took over with a fun proposition. “It’s been a great evening. This is usually the moment in the show where we would love to take a photograph with you guys, is that cool? I will take that as your approval to upload it online later on too. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I just want to say, for this picture, I am Manny Pacquiao. Manny himself sent me some gloves.”
The crowd went wild at the mention of the Pinoy boxer who is slated to battle Floyd Mayweather this May.
“My hands won’t fit in. I bet he’d kick my ass, right?” Mark said, while trying to put on the gloves sent by PacMan himself.
“Oh, you’ve got Pacquiao gloves!” Danny said, impressed.
“I’ve got the Pacquiao gloves.”
Danny, in fan-boy mode, said: “They’re signed! Pacquaio signed those. Alright, so I’m gonna be Mayweather.” The crowd booed. “No, no, no, no. So Manny can knock me out!” This elicited cheers.
“On the count of three, I’m actually gonna hit him in his face,” Mark said.
Danny counted “1, 2, 3…” then pretends to get hit and falls to the ground.
After loud cheers, Mark asked: “Just a quick question: who’s gonna win the fight?”
A resounding “Manny!” filled the stadium.
“I said: who’s gonna win the fight?”
Mark once again asks: “Let me hear you from the Philippines: who’s gonna win the fight?”
A deafening “Manny!”
“That’s what I’m talking about. Let’s hear it! Let’s hear you right now, yeah?”
They then sang an energetic rendition of “Good ol’ Days”. They followed with “Never Seen Anything Quite Like You.”
A drum set and piano had been set up at the sound booth area in the middle of the arena floor. At the point when the band members moved from the stage to the makeshift spot, cheers and screams followed.
At the piano, Danny said:
“Tonight is one of the best nights on our tour. I wanna thank everybody for that. It’s normally around this time when I really like to reminisce about the past eight years that we’ve had as a band. You know, we were very broke and very poor, broke-assed musicians before you guys fell in love with our music and you’ve given us eight best years of our life. I wanna thank you so much. You know it’s very rare that we get so many like-minded people under the one roof. You know, it’s different religions, different colors, different races, different everything and that’s the power of music.
“Now I know, the Filipino people, you guys absolutely love music through and through. Coz it’s there for you no matter what. No matter what. That brings me to this next song. This song came about when we were all sleeping on each other’s couches and we were, as I said, broke-assed musicians, back in Dublin and this song came along. We made a special version for you guys here today. I really want everybody to sing this. This is not just our song, this is your song as well. The song is called ‘The Man Who Can’t Be Moved’. And I’d love to hear everyone sing it too.”
After the song, the band sans Danny went back to the stage. Then, Danny appeared in the lower box area, surrounded by security. They sang “You Won’t Feel A Thing”, as Danny walked among the audience, people taking photos and reaching out to touch him, and he, holding a GoPro that broadcast the footage he caught of himself and members of the crowd on the big screen.
The entire arena enthusiastically sang all the lyrics to “Six Degrees of Separation”.
For “It’s Not Right For You”, the band led everyone to sing and clap along. At the end of the song, Danny said, “Thank you so much everybody!We've had a hell of a time here tonight!
That's all we have time for. Manila, thank you good night, and God bless!”
The audience continued singing the “Oohhh” repeatedly and almost for a full minute before a video of a starry sky, then the surface of the red hot sun lit up the big screen, and Mark started playing in the middle of it.
Wild guitars then wild drums ushered in “Energy Never Dies”.
“Manila!” Danny screamed. And the crowd cheered back.
Singing “For the First Time”, the background showed splitscreen video of all three members
playing: Danny on keyboards, Mark on guitar, and Glen on drums. The audience sang the chorus.
Danny prodded: “This is your song, let me hear you sing it!” The crowd followed.
“One more time, with feelings!” he said. Again, the crowd sang louder.
“Thank you so much!” Again, the band started bowing and waving.
But the crowd continued to chant: “We want more!”
Danny smiled: “You want more? Alright, let me see what I can do.”
Danny asked Mark: “I think we've got time for one more song, huh?”
To which the guitarist answered: “Nah, let’s go home!” The crowd screamed.
“I think I'm gonna have to hear more noise if I'm gonna play another song,” Mark said.
“No Good in Goodbye” followed.
Danny called on everyone to come together for their last song. “Throughout the course of this whole show, you guys have been watching through your phone. There are a lot of people right there all on phones. For this one song, let’s use your phones for something different. Just switch the light on and hold it up in the air like a star in the night sky. Yeah, that’s all you people in the front row as well. You see how beautiful that is? Look at that!
“In The Script, we’re all about making moments. Music to us is intrinsically linked to moments. Something that we’ll remember. Something that’s worth remembering. So many things these days, so many people spend all their lives on the phone, they never look up, they’re too busy with their lives online. They don’t realize what’s around them in that moment. Too many people living in the future, thinking about what’s to come. Or people living in the past, or what’s happened. You know what?
“Music is there for every single person in this building. If you’re straight, if you’re gay, white, black, doesn’t matter. Music is there for you. Now I want to make moments, something that we’re gonna remember for the rest of our lives. Something that we can take to heaven with us. Something we won’t forget. You can’t get those things if you stay on your phone. So for this one song, let’s live in the moment, yeah? I said: for this one song, let’s live in the moment! Manila, are you guys ready to make a moment? Let’s do it.
“I wanna dedicate this to every Script fan who’s been there since day one.
“And those people seeing us for the first time tonight. Welcome to the Scriptmunity, baby!”
With Mark assuming the rap segments originally performed by will.i.am, the band went into an energetic performance of “Hall of Fame” with the audience singing along.
“You can be a champion!” Danny screamed. In the middle of the song, confetti rained on the audience.
Danny stood in front of Glen, banging on the drums with his microphone until the last few notes. Gold and silver ribbons fluttered down from the ceiling.
“Thank you so much, everybody,” Danny said again.
“We can’t thank you enough for tonight. All we’re gonna do is keep doing what we do, making music, touring the world, I promise you, we’ll not be two years before we’re back again. This is a night I’ll be taking to my grave with me. This is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. I love you guys! We’ll see you real soon. We’re The Script all the way from Dublin, Ireland! Thank you, good night, and God bless!”
The concert ended at 10:59pm.