MANILA — It just dawned on him, says Paul Klein, the frontman of the American synthpop trio LANY.
He was back in their hotel room, taking a shower the morning after they had just played the first of their three sold-out shows in the country, when it occurred to him — this rare realization of how their music has made an indelible impact on the lives of their fans.
“It sounds kind of crazy but I was just praying, thinking, and thanking God really because this is just a really special moment in our (LANY’s) history,” he shares.
“To be in this band, to play in front of all these people and be so far from home — we will never take any of these for granted,” he adds.
By the end of Thursday, Klein and his band LANY — formed together with Leslie Priest and Jake Goss in Nashville — would be the first international act in the Philippines’ history to have the privilege of boasting that they had sold all the tickets to their three consecutive shows at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, one of the country’s largest concert venues.
Klein admits that they were initially nervous about saying yes to the idea of a third show. But with its success, he jokes that they all felt like maybe they should’ve offered to perform for one whole week straight.
With their music, LANY has provided their Filipino fans with anthems for just about every kind of heartbreak, especially in "Malibu Nights," their second album which Klein wrote after having experienced his own worst. Taking inspiration from pain is not a new songwriting genre by any means, but pairing these rather simple but irresistibly catchy lyrics (“If this is love, I don’t want it”) with “sing-able” melodies inspired by peak John Mayer proved perfect for your typical Pinoy crowd that needs no second invitation to act as backup vocalists.
“We love artists like John Mayer, whose guitar solos you can sing. So from day one, every time we make a groove or a melody, ‘Is it is sing-able?’ is a question we ask, or ‘Can the crowd sing this back to us?’” explains Goss when asked about what makes a good pop song.
LANY’s hits, like “ILYSB,” has resonated with Filipinos since the band made their first visit in the country back in 2017, as part of a music festival which they did not even headline. They performed great, leading to a quick return just a few months later for a series of shows in activity centers of malls — some of which proved already too small to fit their rapidly growing fanbase.
It took them almost a year to follow that up with a solo show in April 2018, although looking back, that performance felt like a tiny rehearsal to what they would achieve this week.
“This is just so different for us,” says Klein of visiting the country again. “Our fans here are so, so incredible and so cool so it's always an honour to come back.”
During their second night, Klein would enamor those same fans by asking: “I would like to come back for the rest of our lives, if that's okay?”
To stay for three days, one week, or even forever —there's no doubt over what they shouted back and how much they all love LANY so, so bad.
Check out some of the scenes from LANY's previous two performances below:
Malibu Nights Tour: LANY Live in Manila 2019 is made possible by MMI Live. — with reports MJ Felipe, ABS-CBN News