I really love live music but no matter how amazing a performance was, when people ask me how it was I’m still just left with the same generic response “it was really good”. I have a hard time talking about concerts with people because “you just had to have been there”.
I like hanging on to souvenirs from my concerts because when I see them again it makes it easier for me to reminisce about whatever happened and then I can tell the stories behind them.
1. Urban Jazz Cross Over
This was my first reporting trip that I went on and the concert came together perfectly from the moment I stepped in the Gumaya Tower Hotel.
The concept of Urban Jazz Cross Over is to bring together Indonesia’s top artists from all music genres and show how Jazz can “cross over” into any genre. It was continuous set and as one song ended another had already begun and the stage would change again completely. There were always at lest two artists on stage, with 3D projections in the background and troop of dancers for a Broadway-style production.
While most reviews will talk about the biggest headliners some of my favourite performances were from the openers. My favourite set was by DREW ; some of their covers that stood out to me were “Come Together” by the Beatles, an acoustic version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “That’s Not My Name” by the Ting Tings.
I also fell completely in love with DJ Cream after he did a mash-up of the Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling” and Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York”. It worked so much better together than you would think and really showed a great example of jazz fusion. I really appreciated how he worked with the audience’s stream of consciousness and transitioned seamlessly into a slower version of “Concrete Jungle”.
At the end of the concert Achmad Albar came on stage and the crowd went crazy. I have no idea who he is but his voice had a really magical quality that made everything he sang sound so personal. I was really reluctant to leave but I had to get home at a reasonable hour because I actually have a curfew.
I didn’t stay for the press conference and I left during the last song when everyone came back on stage to perform Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” but it was the most fitting fade-out soundtrack as I left to catch a taxi. I got home just before midnight and was still in trouble but it was totally worth it.
2. The Parade
There were billboards all over town for this 3-day event and it was sponsored by Olga! Entrance was only 7,000 rupiah which is the equivalent of less than a Canadian dollar for a full night of music. Naturally, I was drawn to it but I wasn’t the only one; hipsters were there in full force.
I went on Saturday and saw a few performances one of which surprisingly included a cosplay presentation. The event is supposed to be very alternative so there were bands playing everything from Jap-rock to Screamo. We listened to some indie bands while we grabbed something to eat at a food stall and then just spent the night talking at my new favourite place, J.Co.
On Sunday I went to “The Cheese House” had some nice lasagna and was back at Thamrin Square again to see the headliner, Lipstick Lipsing. I spent a lot of time inside, shopping and listening to the DJ. And the night would have been complete without going J.Co afterwards.
3. The Indonesian Cutting Edge Music Awards
One of the best things about being an intern at Olga! is that I get invited to go to a lot of really great events. The Indonesian Cutting Edge Music Awards (ICEMA) were sponsored by Olga! and 90.2 Trax Fm radio station, which is on the floor above my office.
I went by myself there but ended up running into everyone I knew from my host-sister, work and AIESEC. I wasn’t there for the beginning but I did see a few bands and the guest performers, Endah N Rhesa.
(Photo credit: Bonnie)
I am a sucker for indie folk and musical couples so I already liked them but this duo still managed to blow me away. My favourite part was when they did their own rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and then finished by playing together on one guitar.
The night ended just as nicely– talking about music and eating pizza on the patio at Basilia.