Band leader Billy Corgan’s tweet pretty much sums it up: “Manila fans, you’re the best. Thanks to everyone who made the show possible. Our prayers go out to everyone who has been affected.”
Even as they continued to show their concern for “the 800,000 left homeless by the recent Metro floods” as tweeted by Greenpeace, Corgan and the rest of the Smashing Pumpkins simply could not hide how overwhelmed they were with the reception to their rescheduled concert Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Manila! You guys killed, thanks for making this night so memorable. Rain can’t stop rock n’ roll!,” added drummer Mike Byrne in a separate tweet.
The postponement of the much-anticipated concert originally slated for last Tuesday turned out to be a blessing in disguise both for the band and for fans as it allowed both parties to constantly communicate with each other via Twitter, eventually affecting the conduct of the concert in a big way.
After announcing the one-day delay of their show with the tweet, “I’m happy to report thanks to our great crew and with the helpful assistance of Manila promoter we have rescheduled our show for tomorrow,” Corgan went on to spend much of the day at an almost deserted Shangri-La Plaza mall, a place he would describe as “zombie mall” in a subsequent tweet.
Lovely bass player Nicole Fiorentino sympathized with those affected by the incessant rains with her tweet, “my heart goes out to all of the families who are dealing with the floods in Manila right now.”
“Manila, I am thrilled that we get to play tomorrow night. My heart was breaking thinking we were leaving here without rocking out for you!,” she added.
As the weather gradually improved the following day, an elated Corgan tweeted Wednesday morning, “The show goes on! Skies clearing over Manila/our prayers go out to all the families affected by floods. God willing we’ll see u 2night!”
Still, the rains did not stop long enough for the floods to fully subside as the band continued to update fans with concert-related activities in their live tweets.
“Getting an education in The Grateful Dead backstage with the crew, cant wait to light it up for you Jerry style, Manila!,” Byrne posted before adding “Saw the “Thrilla in Manila” banner during soundcheck today, crazy!”
Fiorentino and Corgan went a step further by tweeting pictures of their soundcheck experience from their impressive equipment to their awestruck view of the Smart Araneta Coliseum’s interiors to backstage stuff.
In the case of Fiorentino, she even asked fans which of her two dresses they preferred her to wear, “Yellow or red tonight,” she tweeted around two hours before they took the stage.
“Manila! We are pushing back our start time a half hour to give people more time to get here. Start time 9:15,” she later tweeted in anticipation of the difficulty people will encounter (traffic, floods) in getting to the venue.
True enough, people were still arriving midway through the concert as the Pumpkins lived up to the “emotional and enthusiastic show” that Corgan promised during the press conference that took place Monday afternoon.
“#SPPH about to hit the stage. OCEANIA first, special surprises to follow…oh yeah Manila, special show bonus for you!,” the band’s charismatic leader tweeted before taking the stage.
And as announced, the band performed its latest album, “Oceania” in its entirety and further enhanced by a giant ball that projected the visual spectacle of Sean Evans, who helped in designing the newest staging of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”
But it was the second and extended half of the show that lasted until midnight that really kept the fans cheering for more and more as the band revisited its rich back catalogue of greatest hits and obscure favorites as requested by fans on Twitter.
“I was in tears when they played Luna and XYU. So much memories,” tweeted fan John Galsim (@jobeck).
“What a way to experience the new album for the first time. Then I turned into a 13 year old again with when the bells rang for Disarm,” posted Carlo Casas (@carlocasas).
But as much as the Pumpkins were very pleased with the more than respectable turnout, they were also very much aware that a good number of fans, many of whom had bought tickets in advance, were still not able to make it.
To them, Corgan specifically addressed this tweet: “For all the fans who CANNOT come tonight due to the weather we will come back again soon. We have been treated so well, and we thank you.”