The last time I saw Erasure was my senior year in high school. I can remember that entire day clearly. It was unfortunately the night after my Godmother (Ninang) past away. I hadn’t cried yet; I was still in denial. I was close to her, and particularly her son who was the same age as I was. During her sickness (she died of ovarian cancer), we spent a lot of time with her and those people that were close to her. After all, these were the Filipino families that I spent most of my childhood growing up with. It certainly helped they were the families that my parents would spend their weekends either playing in bowling leagues or otherwise gambling through the night playing mahjong. Us kids would spend those long nights either playing in the arcade room at the bowling alley or entertaining ourselves by playing board games, listening to records (yes, records), or even making random prank phone calls a la-Bart Simpson-style. So when we finally got the news of my Godmother’s passing, I didn’t know how to feel. This was, after all, the first time I had experience the death of someone really close to me.
Since I was a senior in high school (and therefore “old enough to make my own decisions”), I had every intention of still going to the Erasure concert as I had already paid for the ticket, and let’s face it … I knew every single word of their songs. My Mom, however, had other ideas. She felt that I owed it to my “God-brother” and Ninong (Godfather) to be there with them. That feeling of being torn between responsibility and escape was ultimately what broke me down into tears over my Ninang’s death.
I can clearly remember secluding myself in my bedroom closet and crying. At first it was over the argument that my mom and I had. Then it was about feeling guilty about letting my “Godbrother” and Ninong down. And finally it was about the loss I felt over my Ninang’s death. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stop crying, why I suddenly felt so alone and so lost for any other emotion other than sadness. I must have stayed in my bedroom closet for what seemed like hours just crying and eventually napping on and off. Ultimately (and I’m not sure if she just felt bad for me), my Mom let me make the decision as to what I wanted to do. And well, as you already know from the first line of this entry, I chose to go to the concert.
I have a feeling my Ninang was looking after me that night. It’s as if she knew I needed the distraction of this concert to let me experience a little bit of happiness in the coming days. My friends had picked me up in the midst of what ended up being one of the biggest snow-storms that year. We ultimately made it to the Masonic Temple in Detroit (after our friend made quite a few unintentional 180-degree spinouts along the freeway) over an hour later than when the concert should have started. Lucky for us, Erasure also just arrived and still had to get the stage set up. An hour after arriving, Vince Clarke and Andy Bell treated us to a great performance, allowing me to forget for a moment how sad I was actually feeling inside. I sang my little heart out that night and was able to laugh at all the silly flamboyant outfits that Andy Bell would put on. And afterwards, as we made our way to Greektown for a late-night Pizzapapalis fix, my friends and I recounted all the adventures that we had that night. I didn’t end up getting home until after 2 am that night; well past my curfew. But the next morning, nothing was said. Again, I’d like to think that my Ninang had something to do with that as well.
Now, why am I recounting such a memory at this time? Well, it’s because this past Tuesday I had the opportunity to see Erasure again, more than 17 years since that winter evening back in high school. Come to think of it now, I’m more than twice the age I was back during that initial concert. (Yikes!) It’s also brought back memories of singing and harmonizing to Erasure songs on road trips to Chicago. And it brings back yet another memory of driving to Ann Arbor in the midst of another snowstorm just to visit hubby in college.
Anyway, the concert this past week was such a great time. It gave me the opportunity to sing all the classic Erasure songs that I used to harmonize back in high school and dance that “old-skool new-wave sway.” It’s also given me an opportunity to think of my Ninang again and remember her fondly … the way I do every time I sing one of their songs.
Click on album below to view more pictures from the concert: