“The only way we can thank you is to keep coming back!” – The Script Live in Manila, 14 April 2018
The Script had their first show here in the Philippines in 2011, seven years ago. Seven years! And they’ve kept coming back, God bless them, never failing to include us in their world tours.
I bought our tickets for their April show the moment they went on sale last October, but I have to admit that I wasn’t as crazy excited this time because I didn’t really like their last album. The week leading up to the concert, I was more excited about seeing Avengers: Infinity War. But how wrong I was. I’m so sorry, Script! I will never doubt you again.
From the moment the lights dimmed, it was clear that the atmosphere at this show was different. The crowd went wild, but not with the usual chorus of high-pitched excited screams. It was more a low-throated rumble that was so loud and steady that my ears and chest felt they would burst.
And they brought it. I first heard the term “full voice” from lead singer Danny O’Donoghue. And he was on full voice that night. Not only that, he brought a whole new voice with him – his falsetto, which has always been amazing, was downright otherworldly. He masterfully handled the high notes in “Nothing”, “No Good in Goodbye”, and even made me appreciate “Rain” from Freedom Child. I do not like that song, but the way he performed it live turned it around for me. Mark Sheehan and Glen Powers’ harmonies in the acoustic “Never Seen Anything Quite Like You” were flawless, which finally, finally made me fall in love with that track. And I was right about the rest of the Freedom Child songs! “Wonders” and “Rock The World” were absolutely stunning live, and the energy from those two songs was magnificent. Not only was Danny’s voice in perfect condition, but all of them seemed genuinely happy that night, and that positive vibe radiated throughout the whole arena.
They have released four albums, and it’s enough of a discography that they can leave out such favorites as “Man On A Wire”, “Good Ol’ Days”, and “Six Degrees of Separation”. These are big hits, and some of my personal favorites, but I never even noticed until after the show that they didn’t perform them.
The colors of Freedom Child
They opened with “Superheroes” and closed out the night with “Hall of Fame”, which were the perfect bookends for a show that was emotional, heartfelt, and fun. Never mind that we almost cried during “The Energy Never Dies” because Danny went into the crowd at the other side of the arena again, almost ruining the one song I was looking forward to hearing live. I recovered enough by the time they sang “Breakeven” in their encore to have a moment of clarity and wonder why this gem of a song was never even nominated for a Grammy.
“The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” is almost like The Script’s “With Or Without You”. It’s the one song that they cannot leave out of the setlist, and probably the one song that shows how much the Philippines loves them. The band doesn’t even have to perform it, because we will sing it to them word for word, with all of Danny’s accent, mannerisms, and embellishments intact. For a moment I projected my own disappointment in the new album onto the crowd, especially since I saw some empty seats in our section before the show. But I was completely wrong, because it was so obvious that we all still loved them more than ever. I think it’s because their music is the perfect combination for Filipino sensibilities – sentimental and emotional, with just the right amount of roughness and pain underneath it. So Pinoy!
When they closed out their last show in 2015, Danny promised us that it would not take them another two years to come back, like it did after 2013. To be fair, they did live up to that promise because this time it took them three years! But we believe them when they say that they will always keep coming back, because our love for them is undying and pure.
Even after all these years
We just now got the feeling that we’re meeting
For the first time
-The Script, “For The First Time”