Watching toe: Why I Never Miss Their Concerts

Watching concerts is always a treat, especially if you have saved money to buy a ticket for your favorite band. I’ve had my fair share of concerts for the past decade or so, but there’s only one band that I’ve watched (and will watch) their concerts multiple times: the band toe.

toe is a band from Japan whose music is classified as “post-rock” or “math rock,” pertaining to the structure of their music. But I’m no musician, just a music lover. And believe me, you just need ears to appreciate the kind of music that toe plays.

First Listen

The first time I heard of toe was during a vacation in Ilocos with some of my college friends. One of our friends started playing the song in his laptop, and before we knew it, we’re all ears. I ended up copying the songs (for the record: I did buy the album that came out last year :p).

My taste in music has always been broad–I try to listen as much variety of music as I can, even if I don’t understand the lyrics or there are none at all. (Now I also listen to kpop, but I guess that’s for another post!) toe is a nice addition to this mix. Most of the songs are instrumental, but so melodic that you feel that there are words.

Another distinct feature in toe’s songs is the drums. I cannot NOT mention the drums. It’s probably the first thing you’ll notice when you hear a toe song for the first time. We’re used to hearing the drums in the background, literally just keeping everyone in the beat. But the drum beats in toe’s songs seem out of place, yet still in place. I know it sounds contradictory, but you’d just have to listen to their songs to understand what I mean.

Seeing Them Live

I have this notion that if an artist is really good, he or she must perform well on stage and sound as good as they do in their records. With toe, they not only sound good–they are better on stage. There is nothing like seeing them play their songs live.

My first toe concert was in 2012. At the time, I couldn’t believe that I’ll be watching them live. Because let’s be real, bands like toe aren’t popular. But surprisingly (and thankfully!), it seems to have a cult following here in PH.

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toe’s first concert in Manila, March 2012

The concert was held in The Fort tent (they changed the venue). The stage was set at the center, so the audience can stand around it to watch the show. Me and my friends positioned ourselves directly behind the drummer, Kashikura Takashi. The show may have lasted for two hours, but I felt the ache in my feet only after the show.

To put it lightly, I was floored while watching the concert. I’ve never seen anyone play any instrument with so much passion and intensity. Mino Takaaki even fell on his knees at one point while playing the guitar. And Takashi? We made the right decision to stand near him. He would beat his drums so hard and so quickly that you’d think he’s crazy. And maybe he is. Maybe they all are.

toe live in Manila 2013

toe’s the Future is Now tour in Manila, April 2013

The second time around was just as intense. I never imagined that I’d be able to watch toe for two years straight. This was held in Metrotent (changed the venue again lol), with the same stage setup. We went to the same spot, behind the drummer. Despite this, it’s still a whole new experience. It’s like watching them again for the first time. I was still in awe.

toe Thrice

toe released their latest album, Hear You, last year, but they weren’t able to make a proper tour in Asia given that they had their first North American tour that year. So I’m really happy that this time, they’ll be touring Southeast Asia again. Their first stop is here in Manila.

toe live in Manila 2016

toe’s Hear You tour in Manila, November 2016

I bought these in Artwork, UP Town Center branch. On the first day of selling, the store just opened but I was already the 6th person who bought tickets. The guy before me bought eight. I was really amused at the cashier’s reaction–she was bewildered at how fast the tickets were selling. I wish I could have told her why those tickets would likely be sold out soon*, why toe’s music is so good, and why watching them is never the same as the last. toe is band that lives and breathes music, whose passion is so strong you can’t help but be infected by it. It’s always a treat in watching them.

Let me leave you with one of my favorite toe songs, Past and Language. ^_^

*P.S. Don’t fret. Here are the full details of toe’s upcoming concert (where to buy, early bird promo, etc.). 😀

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Converse Warehouse Sale 2015

It’s been a while since I last blogged and that’s because real life got in the way and I’ve been busy. But here’s one of the things that I was able to squeeze in between my busy life events: the first Converse Warehouse Sale for 2015!

I first heard of this through this blog post. The warehouse is located at 8 General Molina St., Parang, Marikina. Because it’s just near our place, this encouraged me to visit the warehouse.  The sale started this weekend (March 14) and ends next weekend (March 22).

I initially thought of going there very early, but 1) I’m not a morning person; and 2) most people would probably think of that too. So I decided to go there a little late in the afternoon, just to avoid the really big crowds.

Going there was pretty easy, even if I’ve never been to Parang. I rode a Marikina Bayan jeep near the Sta. Lucia overpass (across Landbank). This jeep stops at the side of the market and Marikina Sports Center. I walked at the nearest corner where I saw a Parang/NGI/Fortune jeep. The driver and his companion knows the Converse Warehouse so just tell them you’re going there and they will drop you off. The ride is a little long but the jeep stops right in front of the warehouse. Also you won’t miss it because you’ll immediately see the line of people outside.

So despite my attempt in trying to avoid crowds, I still end up lining outside and wait for our turn to go inside. But I only waited for around 10 minutes, afterwhich I was able to go inside.

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This is just a glimpse of what the crowd was like inside. (Sorry for the low quality photo.) It’s manageable though; you can still move and breathe. I guess it’s still a wise choice that I went there in the afternoon.

The shoes are stacked in shelves and in tall crates. You just pick what you fancy. The price tag attached is the discounted price. Though there are many options, it’s more of like what you see is what you get. And you must get at least what you are considering to buy because you might not be able to find that pair when you come back for it. I must have changed pairs two or three times. I had wanted a more low cut type of sneakers, but for some reason, size 5 and 5.5 in women’s were tight fit for me. I ended up finding a unisex high cut Chucks Taylor at size 6.

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I like this color too; not too loud and can be neutral. For 1,500 pesos, it’s a good deal, imo.

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Overall, I’m glad I went to the warehouse sale and was able to find a good deal. For my first pair of Chuck Taylors, it’s pretty neat!

There are also shirts, jackets, pants, and bags for sale. I considered buying a pair of pants but it’s kinda out of budget (it was around 650 pesos).

The Converse Warehouse Sale is up until March 22 2015. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm. But if you won’t be able to make it next week, the next Converse Warehouse sale will be on May 30 to June 7 2015. That’s also for me to take note; I’ll probably get a low cut pair of sneakers next time!