Sunday, June 28, 2009

HIStory will never be forgotten

December 8, 1996.

I fell in line at the Asia World City at Paranaque (no idea where that place is now) to watch Michael Jackson’s HIStory World Tour with my classmate Shaty, her mom, and our physics teacher, Sir Dickerson Moreno. Somewhere in the queue was our classmate, Ivan, the biggest MJ fan I know.

I dunno if it was my first gig ever, but it was definitely my first time to watch a gig that big (55,000 according to Wikipedia). The only other gig I’ve attended that’s bigger than that was The Final Set of the Eraserheads, in nearby Manila.

It was my first time to watch an international artist. It was my first time to watch a gig with a teacher It was actually the night before our physics third periodic exam. So while we were in line, I was actually consulting with Sir Dickerson regarding some physics problem (sorry na).

My best friend Dyan was supposed to be with us instead of Sir Dickerson. But at the last minute, she wasn’t allowed to watch the concert, so she decided to give her ticket to Sir.

Photo op of Dyan giving her ticket to Sir Dickerson. Beryllium had just won the Paskorus then, so most of us Be people decided to treat ourselves to a pint each of Selecta ice cream

Without Sir, I would never have seen the actual MJ. Originally, the venue was at the Araneta (I think; hala, di ko na maalala). So when Dyan and I bought tickets, we bought the nearest seats we could afford, which turned out to be somewhere in the middle, I guess. But the concert producers changed the venue to the bigger grounds of Asia World City to accommodate more fans. So when I got to the actual gig, I was sooo far away from the stage, such that I couldn’t see MJ at all, and I had to watch most of the gig via the video wall

The two big Michaels are the video walls that I relied on to see MJ. The real MJ is somewhere in the middle, the brightest spot onstage. Took this pic by raising my cam waaay above my head.

It didn’t help that aside from the thousands of heads and shoulders between me and Michael, there was a bulky 6-footer situated right in front of me.

Sucks. But MJ’s show is like no other, so even in that situation, I was simply happy to be there. Still, Sir Dickerson offered several times to lift me up so I can see Michael. I finally and embarrassingly agreed (anything to see Jacko!), so for a second or two, I actually saw Michael Jackson. Nevermind that he was prolly just as big as my thumb’s nail. It was Michael, in the flesh.

As we made our way out after the concert, MJ’s convoy passed right next to us. I didn’t see MJ himself, but just the knowledge that I was that close to him was awesome (sucks though if that was just a decoy, hehe). I think I did wave at the line of cars quickly passing by, hoping that in one of those cars MJ would see us fans bidding him goodbye.

That gig will always be one of my most treasured memories. Have you ever seen how fans just simply lose it at MJ’s concerts? They cry and wail and pass out. I wasn’t like that, but I felt the euphoria that causes a number of fans to eventually lose it.

I still have my concert merchandise to remind me of that awesome gig. I was going through it earlier today – a nice, big (15” x 12”) souvenir program of sorts, especially made for the HIStory tour. I think it was official concert merchandise – it’s of great quality so I assume it’s not a bootleg. Seeing all those bright and colorful pictures of MJ dancing, posing, smiling lifted my spirits a bit. Still, knowing that this awesome artist has left us too soon is just too much to bear.

12-8-1996 and 6-25-2009, two of the most unforgettable dates I will ever know.

- - - - -

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day, gone one night

Like a sunset,
dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon

Rest in peace, our gloved one.

- - - - - (Full album streaming) (Memorial Wall)

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