MANILA, Philippines—“What a long flight we had to Manila. It was, like, roughly eight years,” so did the good-natured Dan Haseltine, lead vocalist of Jars of Clay, say in jest to the crowd of around 3,000 gathered around the open-air Bonifacio Global City High Street Walkway the night of Easter Sunday.
In fact, that remark had a ring of truth to it. The last time the band performed here was in late February and March of 2005 (in Cebu and Manila, respectively).
This time, the night sky over Taguig City was wide open (and cloudless) for the inspiring music of this Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, and its blend of alternative rock, folk, acoustic and R&B.
Singing 18 songs spanning over 15 years of recordings, Jars of Clay performed its most popular hits “Flood,” “You Were There,” “Show You Love” and “Tea and Sympathy” to an appreciative audience that included entire family members, even infants in strollers, and not a few foreigners. Many of them knew the band’s songs by heart, and sang along.
Jars of Clay played (in chronological order) “Two Hands,” “Work,” “Love Song for a Savior,” “Like A Child,” “Waiting for the World to Fall,” “Liquid,” “Eyes Wide Open,” “Frail,” “Weapons,” “Flood,” “Dead Man (Carry Me),” “We Will Follow,” “All My Tears,” “Five Candles (You Were There),” “Show You Love,” “Tea and Sympathy,” “Crazy Times,” and “Worlds Apart.”
For the opener, a Christian “supergroup” formed by concert organizer Church Simplified featured artists like Julianne and Paolo Valenciano (son of Gary Valenciano) singing their cover versions of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child,” Rivermaya’s “Umaaraw, Umuulan,” and an original composition “Rain” by fellow Church Simplified member Robin Nievera (son of Martin), who couldn’t join the group that night.