Boys Like Girls' jampacked Cebu shows a memorable moment with fans

Team Manila Concert Junkies
Two years after the heartbreaking postponement of their first ever concert in Cebu, Boys Like Girls show in the Queen City of the South finally happened last October 12 and 13 at Sky Hall, SM Seaside Cebu. 

As someone who has been a huge fan of their music, I kind of died a little whenever their concert got postponed to a later date due to the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. I admire the boys for not letting go of Cebu considering only a few international bands stop by our lovely city to perform. Two nights in Cebu...2 shows to etch the hearts of their fans living in Cebu and other cities in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

Two is better than one show in Cebu (Day 2 photo by Christian Melanie Lee)

Boys Like Girls is an American rock band from Massachusetts that was formed in 2005. They gained international recognition after releasing their self-titled album and continued to amass a huge following after releasing more hits from their other albums.

On the first day of their concert in Cebu, there was already a long queue of fans as early as 1 PM, more than ready to relive the nostalgia of their teenage years. The gates opened at 7 PM and excited fans were ushered to their respective areas. After almost two hours of patiently waiting to finally see the boys on stage, Martin, Paul, Gregory, and John came out one by one and started playing their hit songs right away. They started with one of the songs that catapulted them into stardom and made them a household name in the 2000s, “The Great Escape”. 

The crowd went wild when the intro to “The Great Escape” started playing. The nostalgia officially commenced and the voices of the fans echoed inside the walls of SM Skyhall as they screamed the lyrics to the song. “The Great Escape” was followed by fan favorite songs, “Five Minutes to Midnight”, “Hero Heroine”, and “On Top of the World”, which kept the crowd on their feet. The Cebu crowd definitely did not disappoint as the boys looked happy and very satisfied. Martin Johnson even said that Cebu might be his new favorite place to play. 

Photos during 1st day of Boys Like Girls in Cebu

The lights then began to dim as Martin switched to his acoustic guitar and started playing a familiar song, a song which became the soundtrack to every fan’s summer, including mine, “Thunder”. Every concert goer in the crowd belted out the lyrics to the song from start to finish. This song became so popular back in the day that some people even made this their phone ringtone. This was followed by another slow song, “Me, You, and my Medication”, then the pace picked up and the crowd went wild again as they sang “Up Against the Wall”, “Dance Hall Drug”, “Learning to Fall”, and “Broken Man”. The last song they performed from their self-titled album was “Holiday”, staying true to their words that they would be playing their self-titled album in its entirety. 

I was expecting for the concert to end with this song but they performed more prominent songs from their other albums. The crowd went wild again as they started playing “Heart, Heart, Heartbreak” where Paul showed off a few guitar riffs which made the female fans swoon over him. “She’s Got a Boyfriend Now” then followed where Martin went near the crowd and did a little dance while singing “everything’s gonna be all right”, and yes, everything definitely got better for the lucky fans who were right in front of Martin that time. 

They also indulged their Cebu fans by playing one of their new songs from their “upcoming album”, which they are looking to release next year, according to Martin, who was ecstatic to share this good news to their fans saying it felt good to be back playing with his best friends. They then proceeded to playing the said song entitled “The Outside” which was a really catchy and upbeat song. 

Crazy World was the last album they released back in 2012 and it got some representation from the concert, as well, as they enthusiastically played “First Time”. The lights went dim again as Martin started singing one of their most renowned songs in 2009, “Two is Better Than One”. Everyone in the crowd started singing along with him, while the rest of the boys beamed with pride as the lyrics of the song reverberated around the walls of the venue. They then performed a medley of their other hits starting with “Be Your Everything” followed by “Go”, “Leaving California”, and “Stuck in the Middle” (my personal favorite).

For their last song, they played “Love Drunk” which hyped the crowd that everyone started jumping up and down. Midway through the song, Martin decided to abruptly stop their performance because he wanted us to put our phones away, stop recording, and just live in the moment. Everyone gladly obliged, there was not a single phone that was seen thereafter (hence the scarcity of Love Drunk videos uploaded online), and everyone just embraced the moment as it was happening.

Day 1 of their Cebu leg was surreal. Those fans who waited for years to experience this one of a kind concert definitely had their ticket’s worth. Day 2 Cebu attendees are in for an unforgettable night filled with nostalgia. As the concert ended, I take comfort from the fact that Martin promised to be back next year with the rest of the boys. I am hopeful that Boys Like Girls enjoyed the Cebu crowd and will keep coming back to our city to perform.

Boys Like Girls in Cebu presented by Pulp Live World and Skesh Entertainment

Words by Agnes Charmaine Vergara
Photos by Christian Melanie Lee (for Day 1 and Day 2), and Kim Nunez (Day 2)

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