Reza Artamevia – Konser Pertama 2018, The Pallas, April 25, 2018

Reza is back. And she’s back with a bang.

Not that she ever really left, but she was kind of not around too after “Keyakinan” (2002) and a series of personal life’s controversies. Of course, there is “The Voicer” (2009), a compilation of some of her best works with two additional new songs, but that to me didn’t sound loud enough.

Fast forward to 2018, she finally makes a ‘comeback’. This time it’s only with a single, but it’s enough to make the small concert jam packed with old and new fans. I guess it’s not exactly the song, but it’s her that people are missing.

Reza came to prominence in 1997, the same year I entered University. She was among a few Indonesian artists embracing the Pop/R&B/Soul/Dance sound which was quite happening around the time. She has this distinctive deep raspy voice that makes her voice immediately recognisable. With great songs and fashion-forward style, she instantly became the “it” girl of the era, not only in the music industry but also in the fashion world.

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Thank you for the high chair, The Pallas!

I’ve seen her performances a couple of times back in the days, but never in a solo concert. So “Konser Pertama 2018″ is a must, despite the meniscus tear and a crutch. Good thing I decided to still go, because it has got to be one of the best and most fun concerts I have ever been. Song after song threw me back to the 90s, to my first year in the University and also (uhm) my first ‘serious’ crush (pfft I don’t even know what’s that supposed to mean).

Reza was as amazing as ever. Despite the slight unsteady start, she quickly held it together and getting more steady and powerful as the concert went on. With the support of three rising musicians, Petra Sihombing, Rendy Pandugo, and Teddy Adhitya, she performed all of her hits, I think. I couldn’t remember if she left out any of them.

Performance aside, she really is a testament of what a ‘stagegenic’ is, where almost not a single photo of her comes out bad. In the history of my hobby of taking amateur concert photos, only two artists fit that made-up term, Lisa Stansfield and Epik High’s Tablo. Reza is the latest addition to the group. It is even more so when the photos are taken while the ‘photographer’ sitting down and only able to try to raise her hand higher with a view that was partly blocked by a sea of people also trying to capture the same mesmerising object.

Konser Pertama 2018 only proves that she, if not already, is truly a legend.

PS: Bear with me. It’s going to be an outpoor.

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Reza featuring Petra Sihombing  Satu Yang Tak Bisa Lepas
Reza featuring Teddy Adhitya – Cinta Kan Membawamu Kembali

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Reza & Rendy Pandugo

Reza featuring Rendy Pandugo

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Reza featuring Rendy Pandugo – Biar Menjadi Kenangan

Reza Artamevia

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Pertama, the first hit song

Reza Artamevia

Reza Artamevia
OMG!

Reza Artamevia

Hope this will be the first of many more Reza’s concerts to come.

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Rendy Pandugo, Reza Artamevia, Teddy Adhitya, Petra Sihombing
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Rendy Pandugo, Reza Artamevia, Teddy Adhitya, Petra Sihombing

 

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Dionne Warwick and Vanessa Williams – International Java Jazz Festival 2018, Jakarta International Expo, March 2, 2018

I have to say that the International Java Jazz Festival has lost some of its charms for the past couple of years. It was never a pure jazz festival to begin with, but this year’s special show’s acts were probably the farthest out from jazz (hello Lauv and Goo Goo Dolls!)

But Dionne Warwick was a performance I didn’t want to miss for sure (thank you Astrid for the last minute free ticket, yeay!) Especially when I was so into the 60s soul, R&B and Motown music. I still do now, but definitely not as intense as back in the days. Plus a Vanessa Williams’ wouldn’t hurt, too.

Warwick opened the show with two of her biggest hits of all time, “Walk On By” and “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) *insert squeal* She then went on singing another 8 songs (though I think they should be more than that. At least I remember she sang “Anyone Who Had A Heart”. Or maybe I’m hallucinating?) Warwick looked thinner. It even felt like she was out of breath at times, but she was captivating still nonetheless.

1. Walk On By
2. You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)
3. Heartbreaker
4. Message to Michael
5. This Girl’s in Love With You
6. I Say a Little Prayer
7. Alfie
8. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)/Waters of March (Águas de Março)
9. That’s What Friends Are For
10. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

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Dionne Warwick
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Dionne Warwick

The first night of the three-day festival ended with Vanessa Williams’ performance. The beauty pageant queen turned R&B and pop singer turned actress turned stage performer performed a wide range of songs, from her early Pop and R&B chart hits to Disney soundtracks to Broadway musical tunes. Her notes still sounded on point, but for me, nothing really special about her performance.

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Vanessa Williams
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Vanessa Williams

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Oh, and will you please do something about the lighting next year, Java Jazz? They all looked rather dim, they made the stage looked dull.

Sheila On 7 on Concert – The Pallas, March 1, 2018

Throw hard back to college years!

This song is one of my favourite songs of all time, and Sheila on 7 is also one of my favourite Indonesian bands. So I wouldn’t miss a chance to see them performing live in a concert.

Unfortunately, the venue’s condition was just a major letdown (or was it just me?) The sound system and lighting were quite poor. An amateur like me definitely struggled to take good pictures, though that was not supposed to be an issue, but still. The sound system was quite bad as you can hear from the video. To make it worse, the Pallas has this huge island bar placed in the middle of the hall, which actually makes the place not quite suitable and proper for a music performance as some audiences are sandwiched between the bar and the lined VIP areas.

The group’s performance was also not quite as spectacular or as stunning as I expected to be, but the songs obviously made up for the lack of their communication skills.

1. Sahabat Sejati
2. J.A.P / Bila Kau Tak Disampingku
3. Seberapa Pantas
4. Pemuja Rahasia
5. Lia Lia Lia
6. Tunjuk Satu Bintang/Dan…/Itu Aku
7. Anugerah Terindah Yang Pernah Kumiliki
8. Sephia/Betapa
9. Radio/Kita
10. Film Favorit
11. Hari Bersamanya
12. Kau Kini Ada/Temani Aku/Generasi Patah Hati/Perhatikan, Rani!/Pria Kesepian
13. Lapang Dada
14. Melompat Lebih Tinggi
15. Sebuah Kisah Klasik
Encore
16. Berhenti Berharap

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Duta, Eross, Adam
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Sheila On 7
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Sheila On 7

Potret & Phoenix – We The Fest 2017, Jakarta International Expo, August 12, 2017

I seriously can’t remember why I forgot to post these photos of Potret and Phoenix after I posted the Epik High ones.

Potret was one of my favourite bands back in my university years (though I was not much of a band person back then). It was their catchy tunes and as is/cheesy lyrics that hooked me right away. Years passed and I still found myself enjoying their earlier hits.

As for Phoenix, well, I can’t say much about this French band. I only know two songs. Yes, two songs! And they were from Phoenix‘s early days. Not really my cup of tea. And the performance fell a bit flat for me. But they made nice photo objects, though 🙂

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Potret featuring Ayushita, 1/5 of Melly Goeslaw‘s Bukan Bintang Biasa

Phoenix

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Laurent Brancowitz

 

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Phoenix
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Phoenix
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Thomas Mars & Deck d’Arcy
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In the crowd

Epik High – We The Fest 2017, Jakarta International Expo, August 12, 2017

Epik High 9
Tablo & DJ Tukutz

I am in love with Tablo!

He is one of the most ‘stagegenic’ performers I have ever seen. I don’t know whether it’s the pose, the clothes, the hair or all of those things rolled into one, but they work really well in turning Tablo into a very photographable object. He reminds me so much of Lisa Stansfield. Almost not a single photo of them comes out bad.

I am not a fan of Epik High. In fact, “Shoebox” is their only album I ever listen to. I do know Tablo though, as Haru’s dad in KBS’ variety show “The Return of the Superman”, but that did not make me want to listen to their music right away.

It was a strange coincidence that just as soon as I began to re-listen to “Shoebox”, which basically a constant looping of ‘Amor Fati’, Epik High’s collaboration with Nell’s Kim Jong Wan, ‘We The Fest’ also announced that Epik High would be included as one of this year’s festival lineup not long after. And thank goodness that it’s an international music festival, because it saves me from the stingy Korean concerts’ ‘no camera’ rule.

Having never seen any of their full performances before, not even on YouTube, I didn’t know what to expect, but Epik High really blew me away. They are very attractive and energised with Tablo running around from one side of the stage to the other. It is undeniable that he is the magnet of the group. Tablo is another great example of how ideally a frontman should really be. He nonchalantly made fluid conversations with the audience in between songs, thanks to his fluent English. The fact that he used to live in Jakarta for 3 years in his early age is probably the most awaited subject that the audience hoped Tablo would talk about. He said that it is the first time that he returned to Indonesia after so many years. Tablo pulang kampung!

Epik High’s performance was impressive not because it was carefully designed, like most of the K-pop acts I have seen before. No big stage, crazy lightings or choreographed dances, and sadly, no ‘Amor Fati’. The stage is very simple with some K-drama & K-movie clips weirdly playing in the background (maybe they are related to the lyrics, if only I understood Korean). It’s only them, their music and their engagement with the audience, and those alone are enough to make them the best performers of the night among others I’ve seen that night, Phoenix and Potret. They are truly EPIK!

1. Born Hater
2. Up
3. Get Out the World
4. Burj Khalifa
5. Eyes Nose Lips
6. Map The Soul
7. Rich
8. Love Love Love
9. Kill This Love
10. High Technology
11. One
12. New Beautiful
13. Fan
Encore:
14. Don’t Hate Me
Epik High 3
DJ Tukutz & Tablo
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Tablo
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Tablo

 

 

 

Epik High 29
DJ Tukutz & Tablo
Epik High 32
DJ Tukutz & Mithra Jin
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Tablo
Epik High 45
Epik High

2017 CNBLUE Live Between Us in Jakarta – Indonesia Convention Exhibition BSD, July 15, 2017

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Lee Jung Shin, Kang Ming Hyuk, Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Jong Hyun

I have a chronic case of being in love and in hate with CNBLUE. I have to say, their music is not brilliant. It’s not even on par with, let’s say, Nell or Kiha and The Faces. Though earlier albums are pretty good, recent albums have been frustration after frustration. This seems to be a problem with a band that’s treated like an idol group. Instead of digging and exploring their musicality and messages that they want to convey, CNBLUE seems to be more infatuated with the idea of concepts, just like any other money-machine idol group. Concept album is great, if you have things to say. Important things, and not some spring-inspired sound. WHAT… THE… HECK!!!

But the thing is, you can always count on their live performances. They have always been great. At least from what I saw on TV and YouTube. And the “Between Us” show is no exception. Despite the poor sound system and the hall’s acoustic (I caught Jong Hyun a few times looking quite upset because of the mic’s volume and probably his troubled monitor. A few times he and Yong Hwa sang off-key too), they gave a high-octane performance, which I have to say largely thanks to sugar-rushed Yong Hwa who looked like an energizer bunny high on steroids.

They went on 2,5 hours almost non-stop and with little conversation in between. I have no problem with that as long as they deliver a stellar show, which they did. Yong Hwa is admittedly a commendable frontman. It’s safe to say that it was practically he alone that carried the group’s interaction with the audience. I would love to hear more from Jong Hyun (as he is my so-called bias in the group and also one of my favourite voices in K-pop), unfortunately the sound system problem just ruined the chance to listen to his deep melancholic voice at full capacity. Having said that, though he’s supposedly my bias, it was Min Hyuk who really stole my eyes. Cute and sexy at the same time (pardon my being a perv).

I’m really glad that I decided to go at the last minute, otherwise I’d regret it. To be honest, it was We Got Married that brought me to CNBLUE, as cliché as it may sound. After two years of wasting my time on shipping Lee Jong Hyun & Gong Seung Yeon, wouldn’t it be a complete waste if I didn’t go when I had the chance? Yup, I know. Excuses, excuses LOL.

Now, out of the boys’ performance topic, I have to say that I’m really, really satisfied with my phone camera. No, we’re not talking about professional smartphone photography, just the regular amateurish fan photography. Some of the more high-end smartphones don’t even fare well in the low-light condition despite the massive stage lighting (I’m looking at you, iPhone). Compared to the more sophisticated Android phones, I’d say it only loses in the detail department. And sound. Hence, I didn’t record many videos (other than I ran out of space LMAO).

What bothered me, of course, since I didn’t stand in the middle, most of the photos came out being too asymmetrical. To those who know me well, they’d know that it bothers the heck out of me. So I had to give in to Photoshop, again, to make some stretches and fine tuning without changing much of the original photos. I think.

So here they are. For once, I’m being less picky and just post them all.

Setlist (based on 2017 CNBLUE Live Between Us in Seoul)
1. Intro
2. Radio
3. When I Was Young
4. Domino
5. I’m Sorry
6. Can’t Stop
7. It’s You
8. L.O.V.E GIRL
9. Sweet Holiday
10. LOVE
11. Lie
12. Blind Love
13. Royal Rumble
14. In My Head
15. You’re So Fine
16. Face To Face
17. Wake Up
18. Feeling
19. Coffee Shop
20. Cinderella
21. Between Us
Encore (Acoustic)
1. Catch Me
2. Manito
3. Young Forever

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Lee Jong Hyun
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Jung Yong Hwa
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Lee Jung Shin & Lee Jong Hyun
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See how energetic Yonghwa is?

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My poor quality video. The sound’s so messy 😦

 

 

 

 

2PM World Tour ‘Go Crazy’ 2015 in Jakarta – Istora Senayan, March 28, 2015

Edited from my previous post published earlier here:

Finally! I got the chance to watch The (arguably) Best Looking Bunch in Idols Universe’s concert (it’s the title I crowned them after having watched too many episodes of Inkigayo).

2PM World Tour ‘Go Crazy’ 2015 was my first K-Pop concert experience and I was really impressed. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t know them earlier. Had I known them as well as I do now, I would’ve made time to watch their performance in the Blackberry’s Live & Rockin’ Concert in 2011. Back then, it was only Suede that attracted me to go.

The show started at 6.30 PM sharp and it lasted for 2,5 hours. Pretty long I say. But due to my stupidity, I only managed to get into the concert hall when it was almost the second half of the show. I have to admit, these boys didn’t disappoint. Based on my previous experiences watching boyband concerts which all happened to be the ‘first-world countries’ boybands’ (LMAO), I think this was the first time that I felt truly mind-blown.

The problem with those first-world boybands is that I often feel that they don’t give their all at times. They are often caught laughing or giggling from inside jokes at the back of the stage. I get that they might be exhausted from all the shows they have to do, but here’s the problem. Some fans have to save a lot of money just to see their idols live and up close. For some it even takes months or even years to do so. So if they’re acting like “What country is this again? Oh, we might as well make a stop while we’re around”, that’s just unacceptable. New Kids On The Block was kind of like that when they had their first concert here back in 1992.

It was a completely different case with these boys. Throughout the concert (which I only got to watch half part of it), I hardly caught them fooling around with each other, at least not until the very end of the show. There was also no hint of boredom and tiredness. Everyone focused on entertaining the audience. So was when they had to bid farewell, it came across as a sincere goodbye. No repetitive saccharine sweet words of parting. My guess is (which still needs to be proven by watching more K-Pop shows) that it has something to do with Korean psyche to serve others pleasantly. It translated seemingly genuine as “we are here because of you” rather than just a mere lip-service.

The only problem I had was that I didn’t grow up listening to their music. I have no memory whatsoever about them in my adolescent years. So even if their performance was mind-blowing and hard-hitting, it didn’t really hit me that hard, though it did leave a wide smile on my face.

But then again, it could be just a problem with the sound and the melody. I can totally be immersed in Kim Dong Ryul’s songs because they give the same feeling of memory melancholia like those of The Carpenters’, for instance.

1. Heartbeat
2. Without You
3. HOT
4. Go Crazy! (미친거 아니야?)
5. 10점 만점에 10점 (10 Points Out Of 10)
6. The Word, Love (사랑한단 말) (Taecyeon & Chansung)
7. Please Come Back (돌아와줘) (Taecyeon & Chansung)
8. Rain Is Falling (비가와)
9. I’m Sorry
10. Come Back When You Hear This Song (이 노래를 듣고 돌아와)
11. A Night Like Tonight (오늘 같은 밤)
12. Hands Up
13. No Love (Intro) (Jun.K)
14. Sexy Lady (Intro) (Wooyoung)
15. Superman (Jun.K & Wooyoung)
16. Sexy Lady
17. I’m Your Man
18. A.D.T.O.Y. (하.니.뿐.)
19. Love Is True (Nichkhun & Junho)
20. Sayang Semuanya (Chansung)
21. Dekat Di Hati (Chansung & Wooyoung)
22. Again And Again
23. Tired Of Waiting (기다리다 지친다 ), I Hate You (니가 밉다), As Soon As (마자) (Medley)
24. I’ll Be Back
25. Don’t Stop, Can’t Stop
26. Game Over
Encore
27. 이별여행 (Farewell Journey)
28. Hands Up + Go Crazy! (미친거 아니야?) (Medley)

 

Their pronunciations of RAN’s “Dekat Di Hati” was actually quite impressive