grub + travels + perspectives

Take Me Back To Wanderland 2016

Ever since the announcement that Death Cab For Cutie will headline this year's Wanderland Music Festival, I was already sold. I already missed it when they first came here last 2012, so definitely not skipping it this time. "Oh. My. Gawd. I will be seeing them in the flesh, finally!" is all I could think of. My 2005 self can't help but scream her head off.

Fast forward to days before the concert itself, March 5, 2016, I was so anxious about everything. First off, I was going to the concert alone. It's actually not much of a problem since it's not the first time I've done it (first was Incubus' Crow Left of the Murder tour way back in '04) but IDK, it's been a while since I've attended a concert, much more a ~music festival~. Second, the decision to be super early at the venue or to arrive during Bon Iver and DCFC's set only? I'm so torn between just watching the 2 reasons I bought a ticket and be early so I could be front and center (if possible) for concert photos. Lastly, to watch Panama or not? This was my biggest dilemma since Panama's set is approximately 6 hours from Bon Iver's (which was the second to the final act), and I'd be going there straight from work. I was thinking I could definitely use the 6 hours for shuteye.

With only an hour of rest, I headed to Globe Circuit Even Grounds, and thought, 'Fcuk it, I'm watching Panama perform.'

As with every event I attend, I always aim (and I fail a lot of times LOL) to blog about the happening comprehensively. But since I arrived just in time as Panama opened with their first song, How We Feel, I was not able to take photos of the booths or of anything else for that matter. Hahaha. I inched my way to the front since most of the concert goers are still sitting and sprawled.

It was such a hot afternoon and everybody was sweaty but I could see that everyone's having a great time. This duo is amazing! I was happy I was able to see them perform live my faves: How We Feel, Destroyer, and of course, Always. Here's an Instavideo I uploaded of their performance.

There's a Globe stage adjacent to the main one where other acts performed throughout the night, like Curtis Smith, Chad Valley, Commandeur (Panama's Tim Commandeur!) and Blackbird Blackbird. But I never moved from my spot because it was the closest I could get and still was able to take good photos. Up next was San Cisco, which, to be honest, I had no idea about. That's how out of loop I am.

Their set was a lot of fun! I never knew about San Cisco until I saw their name on Wanderland's line up, but their music was so chill and infectious, it's hard not to get hooked! I got so caught up with everyone singing along to their songs. They also had the most summer-appropriate get-up out of all the bands! Hahaha! It was nice to discover new music. I now follow each band member's IG accounts and listen to them thru Spotify. :)

You know the night just gets better and better every time people start making their way nearer and nearer to the stage. As each song passes, the anticipation builds up even more! By The Naked and Famous' turn to grace the stage, people were amp-ed and excited! I've heard of TNF before but just like San Cisco, I wasn't familiar with their music. But that didn't mean I didn't enjoy their set! Everyone's energy was in full blast, it's hard not to bob your head along.

Sometime during their set, everything started kicking in: lack of sleep, thirst, and my body aching here and there due to standing for more than 6 hours. I kept psyching myself that I could get through this because I was able to pull it off during Incubus' concert, and hello? Bon Iver's next! "I could definitely do this," I kept chanting internally. HAHAHA.

The crowd was so thick, I think I had panic attack figuring out how I will ever get out. I gave up. I held out as long as I could but the need to rest my legs and hydrate was far greater than my need for a great photograph. The entire day was grueling, so I had to give up my perfectly good spot. Haha. I painstakingly worked myself out of the sea of bodies. It felt like it would never end! 

So yeah, I had no photos of Bon Iver (and The Staves!) because I was in line for water when they started playing. But when I heard them open their set with Perth, the goosebumps just won't stop. Even the lights and visuals that accompanied the band's performance were on point. Justin Vernon's voice is as great as what you hear on the record, it's heart-wrenching and haunting, beautiful and captivating. My 2005 self was tearing up with joy when he sang Skinny Love and Woods.

On a side note, if the amazing line up was the festival's 'good,' the water and long lines were definitely their 'bad.' Imagine needing water and you still have to wait in line for it for 20 minutes, only to be told in the end that they ran out of stock? I've never wanted water so much in my life. It was the most frustrating thing. I had to go to another line, which, luckily had a better view of the main stage, so I got to enjoy Blindsided and Roslyn, WA. But sorry for me, they ran out of water once again.

After finally copping 2 bottles of water, I sat down in anticipation for Death Cab For Cutie's set.

I'm in no way DCFC's biggest fan, but I've been following them for almost a decade now and their music has been a big chunk of my life. A huge smile must have been plastered on my face when they started their set with a favorite, No Room in Frame. Everything was finally happening and I couldn't be happier!

DCFC singing The New Year
I was glad they played a few of my other favorites from their latest album, Kintsugi, like Black Sun, El Dorado and Little Wanderer. Ben Gibbard gave a very intense performance, he was sweating like no tomorrow and yet he kept going for everyone. He even commented that the stage seemed to be built on a trampoline because his mic kept hitting his mouth and teeth. Hahaha. And there seemed to be technical difficulties because he constantly switched guitars even mid-song.

Other classic favorites were also played that night: Title and Registration (anthem of unearthing the memories of the past 💔💔💔), President of What?, I Will Possess Your Heart, You are a Tourist, The Ghost of Beverly Drive and Cath. Everybody started singing along with Ben when he began strumming I Will Follow You Into The Dark (one of my absolute favorites). It was like this holy moment when people just stopped whatever they were doing and sang along until the very end. At one point, Ben sat at the edge of the stage and took selfies using the smartphones of some of the concert goers! Swerte!

DCFC performing Transatlanticism.
And I think everyone started crying happy tears when Death Cab For Cutie began capping off the music-filled night with Transatlanticism. It was such a sad song but it made me so happy when I finally heard it live. But at the same time, as the song comes to a close, you can't help but feel an ache. My heart swelled with pure satisfaction. So surreal. Ben was intense all throughout, and they delivered a beautiful and powerful performance that left everyone feeling bittersweet. Probably one of the best ~8 minutes of my life right there.

At the end of it all, it boils down to one thing: music. Sure, there were hiccups and hassles along the way but the fantastic line up that day was still what made attending the whole event, with no sleep, absofreakinglutely worth it. Bon Iver and Death Cab For Cutie finally off my bucket list!

Hoping for an equally great or bigger (hehe) line up for 2017!