I would never forget that day. We were there at around 3 pm under the scorching heat of the afternoon sun. There were no chairs to sit on just heaps upon heaps of people patiently waiting just like us.
It was the first day of the two-day concert tour of MJ's – HIStory. I was never really a fan of MJ. I was just there to witness the hi-tech concert. Though I wasn't really forced to watch it, it was more out of curiosity on my part and the 3k ticket was free, so what the heck! It's one of those things you do once in a lifetime anyways.
3 pm turned to 6 pm I was getting impatient not to mention tired. I said to myself “it’s okay, it’s MJ and its not everyday you would see the king of pop perform live, even if you’re not a fan."
6 pm turned to 9 pm, my legs were just about to give out. Then the organizers of the concert announced that there was a slight delay, and the concert will be underway in 30 minutes. "What slight delay? Nyeta! Namamaga na hinlalaki ko!" I said to myself.
And then just like that, the concert started. There was a countdown on the wide screen. Then I heard a female voice (like the ones you hear in airports) announcing the ETA of the starship that MJ was piloting. On the big screen you see the solar system and MJ’s starship cruising through all the planets until it reaches Earth. The countdown ends 3..2..1…. From beneath the stage the Starship bursts forth accompanied by smoke and hi-tech lighting. Everybody held their breaths until the starship revealed its passenger. The starship finally opened and MJ was there standing still with his signature pose. The crowd roared with delight. I myself (a non-fan) was a little awed by it too. "Galing hi-tech!"
It was a visual delight seconded only by MJ himself (I was just there for the hi-tech show remember?). The show lasted for two hours with MJ singing or lip-synching his famous hits. And then the show ended with fireworks of course.
After the concert, I remember how incredibly hard it was for us to go home, because there were about 50 thousand of us who were doing exactly the same thing.
Thirteen years after that grand concert, I was really saddened when I heard the news that he is gone. As an 80’s kid MJ was part of my growing up years and I thought that he would just be there forever. I remember seeing Moonwalker and Captain EO in Alimall, both short films were the opening features before the full-length movie begins. I remember singing “Thriller”(eew) and “Man in the Mirror” and I remember “Say Say Say”(a duet with Paul Mcartney), probably because of Ate Lud’s “Eye to Eye” (a showbiz talk show back in the 80’s). His incredible dance moves like the gravity defying lean in the “Smooth Criminal” video. And who would ever forget his savvy Pepsi commercials and his scandals?
Why do I remember all these things about MJ even though I’m not a fan? Probably because MJ was not just another celebrity, but he was an icon, and even in death his popularity will live on. He truly was not only the King of Pop, but one of the royals of pop culture as well. He becomes another Marilyn Monroe. All hail to you MJ! Thank you for the music. May you rest in peace. But I’m sorry MJ, I’m still not a fan.