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

 

So Ji Sub Fan Meeting – Twenty: The Moment in Jakarta, Kasablanka Hall, April 7, 2017

Thank God for Photoshop, filters and presets! I’m no purist, and at times like these, they come in really handy.

Most K-Pop live shows in Jakarta typically won’t allow the audience to bring any type of camera, at least the ones that I have gone to (except for 2PM’s, I think). Bummer. So you only have your smartphone camera to rely on. Unless you’re in the front row seats, chance is you’ll get nothing but a stage, the screens and a tiny figure of the star(s), or pixelated images due to forced zoom in, which I always try to avoid.

Good thing when he switched roles from So Ji Sub the actor into So Ji Sub the rapper, he asked the crowd to join ‘the party’. Yah, who wants to sit while dancing to hiphop tunes, that’d be weird. So everyone got up and some even swarmed to the front of the stage, especially those in the front section, including me, hence the almost close up shots.

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Sumringah faces of fangirls (and fanboy). Cr: Mecimapro

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Tommy Page: Come Home – Upper Room, November 15, 2013

Tommy Page entered the mainstream pop scene with “A Shoulder To Cry On” in 1988. That time I was only 10 years old. But he only came to fame two years later with a smash hit “I’ll Be Your Everything” which was co-written by Page, Jordan Knight, and Danny Wood of New Kids On The Block. Unfortunately it was short-lived. The third album saw the decline of his popularity in his homeland, though he continued to have relatively mediocre hits in Asia, mainly in Southeast Asia.

In don’t think I ever saw his live show when he was still at the peak of his popularity. So when he came to have a fan meeting in a mall in Bekasi, I thought just have to go. Then I guess luck was still on my side because at the last minute, a friend gave me a pair of tickets to his “Come Home” concert. Probably Southeast Asia still feels kind of like home to him.

To be honest, I hardly remember how that concert went, however I do remember how his 2016 concert, “Up Close and Personal With Tommy Page” was. His voice, though often shaky and sometimes out of tune, still sounded like how it was on the record. I couldn’t help cringing every time he danced to some cheesy choreography. Despite the shy image, he lived up the room with self-deprecating jokes about his singing career which only add charm to his gawky and humble persona. Now looking back after his passing earlier this March, I wonder if those jokes in a way were a cry for help. Many speculated that he suffered from depression, which led to suicide.

His shows, much like his career, were nothing spectacular nor sensational. It was his melancholy songs and sincere performance that made the concert felt so heartwarming and nostalgic.

1. Zillion Kisses
2. Turn On The Radio
3. I’m Falling In Love/Missing You
4. Paintings in My Mind
5. When I Dream of You
Excerpt: I Still Believe in You and Me (With Pongki Barata)
6. I Break Down
7. Just Before (I Was Gonna Say I Love You)
8. I Think I’m In Love
10. Madly In Love
11. Don’t Give Up On Love (Featuring Citra Scholastika)
12. Time
13. Tell The World
14. I’ll Be Your Everything
15. A Shoulder To Cry On
*from various sources

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Alicia Keys Set The World On Fire Tour – Skenoo Exhibition Hall, November 29, 2013

Taken from my note after watching the concert, updated with some revisions

I would like to think that watching Alicia Keys’ last night’s concert was a ‘To Feel Experiment’. How does it feel to watch (again) the performance of a musician that I was once loved so much, but now not even a single song can be found on my iPod?

It felt weird to be honest, because I couldn’t feel even the slightest of excitement.

I remember watching Keys’ first concert in Jakarta a few years ago in 2008, cramming in the festival class and singing along to all of her songs. Each and every one of them. But I suspected most of the people only came to watch her sing ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ because that was the only song that I heard was sang the loudest from the beginning to the end. Last night? All I really wanted was for the show to be over as soon as possible because my feet hurt like hell hahak!

Back in the days, I was really into the Motown and Neo Soul sound. Years passed and I still very much enjoy them, but I don’t listen to Keys anymore. Keys’ first two albums were actually great in terms of the sound, but the third album for me saw the signs of her decline, which in line with the genre’s popularity decline itself. Keys began to scream out her songs, which in my opinion, none of them is as catchy as her earlier works. What was already corny got even cornier like those of motivational quotes. I like the singer-songwriter type of singers and it really annoys me when a singer-songwriter wrote very banal lyrics with titles such as ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Superwoman’. A real superwoman, if there is such a thing, I guess would never say ‘I’m a superwoman’, doh. She has become one of those ‘pop icon quasi feminist,’ preaching too many jargons to the point I didn’t think I could listen to her music anymore. They are just… lame.

I found the best moments of the concert were ironically when Keys brought her son, Egypt, to the stage and two of her background singers sang the classic ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’, of which no one seemed to know. So let me continue my rant here. Just like back in 2013, it’s so typical of Keys’ Jakartans audience. Very few of them seem to know anything else beyond her music, or even her hits. This Neo Soul genre seems to attract the middle upper class kids, perhaps because it was kind of brought here by the rich kids who studied in the US and were spread among their circles at first. Rather than trying to actually understand the root of Soul music itself, this type of audience seem to just superficially associate themselves with the cool façade of its’ image. It’s really frustrating when you’re in a Neo Soul concert and very few people know Marvin Gaye’s song, let alone who Marvin Gaye is.

Anyway, I only watched it out of my curiosity and just for the sake of taking some concert pictures. Thanks to my dear friend Yanne, I had the chance to re-examine the experience.

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Yanne & I. Pardon the blurry picture. None of us was good in taking selfie

Performance-wise, I genuinely think it’s still a great show, just like the first one. It’s just that I just don’t feel her anymore.

Karma
You Don’t Know My Name
Tears Always Win
Listen to Your Heart
Like You’ll Never See Me Again
A Woman’s Worth
Diary
Love You Down
Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)
Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart
101
Fallin’
I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By (performed by background vocalists)
When It’s All Over
Fire We Make
Unbreakable
Not Even the King
If I Ain’t Got You
No One
New Day
Murder She Wrote
Girl On Fire
Encore
Brand New Me
Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down

 

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Electric: Pet Shop Boys Live – Jakarta Convention Center, August 17, 2013

I am not exactly a PSB die-hard fan, but I wouldn’t miss the chance to watch their performance live. It’s the legendary PSB for God’s sake! Thank goodness luck was on my side. At the very last minute, Anya got me a free festival ticket from her cousin whose company he worked for sponsoring the concert. Woohoo!

Entering JCC, looked like it was going to be a pool of Jakarta’s “anak lama”, the scene kids and gay scenes melt into one in this one giant dance floor. And it was. It was like being in some underground gay club in London, where everybody lose themselves in disco and synth-pop tunes (pfft like I have ever been to one).

The stage might be small and could look rather empty with only Tennant, Lowe and the two backup dancers occupying the stage, but the void was filled in and juxtaposed with flashy and colourful, slightly futuristic visuals in the background, lasers and lightings, and of course their haute-couture-inspired and grand theatrical costumes. You are definitely in for a treat when there are two people with buffalo heads dancing to a creepy intro on the stage. It’s genius.  The show was truly a feast to the ears, eyes and soul. Yup, soul. No, I’m not exaggerating *rolling eyes*

The setlist consisted of 24 songs, including the encore. Sadly, “Being Boring” was not there.

1. Axis
2. One More Chance / A Face Like That
3. Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)
4. Memory of the Future (‘New Single Mix’ version)
5. Fugitive
6. Integral
7. Sample of “The Rite of Spring”
8. I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing
9. Suburbia
10. I’m Not Scared
11. Fluorescent
12. West End Girls
13. Somewhere
14. Leaving
15. Thursday
16. Love Etc.
17. I Get Excited (You Get Excited Too)
18. Rent
19. Miracles
20. It’s a Sin
21. Domino Dancing
22. Always on My Mind

Encore

23. Go West
24. Vocal

Perhaps what sets PSB apart from today’s overabundant gimmicky artists is the substance of their music and performance despite sounding “fun”, as described by Stuart Maconie in a review for Q magazine. He described their personae as the academic and the hedonist – and played on this in their public image and lyrics. An idea you cannot escape watching their concert. It was brilliantly fun. One of the best concerts ever, ever, EVVEEERRR!!!

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Anya & me smiling widely in front of the standing banner

NKOTBSB Tour: One Night, One Stage – Mata Elang International Stadium (MEIS), June 1, 2012

I vaguely remember the first time I watched NKOTB’s concert. It was back in 1992 and they were at the height of their fame, but soon to be slipping down. “Step By Step” was released 2 years before the much-awaited concert. It was the last NKOTB sound for me.

Back then, I attended one of those schools which had limited classrooms, so they split shifts. I was in second grade of junior high and all the second graders got the afternoon shift. So to watch the ‘dream concert’, I skipped school just to line up from 2pm while the concert itself was around 7 or 8pm. And I didn’t even hold the VVIP ticket, just the 3rd class one which was placed at the very back of the hall. OMG so silly! I can’t even remember how I survived waiting. Did I even eat? Maybe I was just hangin’ tough.

Fast forward 20 years to 2012, they have reunited for four years. They released a crappy single “Summertime” which video looks like a bunch of old perverts hanging out with young girls. Ew! The whole album was no better, it sounds… lost.

But for the sake of my fangirl heart who’s forever 14 at heart when it comes to NKOTB, I just couldn’t miss the NKOTBSB concert. Kind of surreal to think that I was going to watch the same idols I watched 20 years ago. It’s like a reminder, “Ah, yes, we’ve aged”.

And so have they. NKOTB was never known for its vocal strength. Even the dance-machine K-Pop idols have members who sing a whole lot better than Jordan Knight. That showed in their performance. Sometimes they sang off-tune, sometimes they lost breath. It’s quite painful to watch when that happened. But there’s almost no logic when it comes to fangirling. We were all screams and hysterical. And for a moment it was nice to remember we were once young.

1. Single / The One (NKOTBSB)
2. Summertime (NKOTB)
3. The Call (BSB)
4. Dirty Dancing (NKOTB)
5. Get Down (You’re The One for Me) (BSB)
6. You Got It (The Right Stuff) (NKOTB)
7. Larger Than Life (BSB)
8. Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)(NKOTB)
9. Valentine Girl (NKOTB)
10. If You Go Away (NKOTB)
11. Please Don’t Go Girl (NKOTB)
12. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely (BSB)
13. 10,000 Promises (BSB)
14. I’ll Never Break Your Heart (BSB)
15. Drowning (BSB)
16. Incomplete (BSB)
17. Step by Step (NKOTB)
18. Cover Girl (NKOTB)
19. My Favorite Girl (NKOTB)
20. Games (NKOTB)
21. Tonight (NKOTB)
22. Shape of My Heart (BSB)
23. As Long as You Love Me (BSB)
24. All I Have to Give (BSB)
25. We’ve Got It Goin’ On (BSB)
26. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) (BSB)
27. I’ll Be Loving You (Forever) (NKOTB)
28. I Want It That Way (BSB)
29. Don’t Turn Out the Lights (NKOTBSB)

Encore

30. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) (BSB)
31. Hangin’ Tough (NKOTB)
32. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) / Hangin’ Tough (NKOTBSB)
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We actually looked better than 20 years ago, didn’t we? The Blockheads: Tria, Astrid, Me, Iva, Muning, Rina, Kiky, and Astrid’s sis-in law

Sara Bareilles – Kaleidoscope Heart Tour, Tennis Indoor Senayan, May 12, 2011

Never before have I lined up at 5AM in the morning just to get my hands on some concert ticket, and never since. But I was so in love with Bareilles after her “Gravity” became my breakup anthem and my go-to song in the karaoke for quite some time, I (and Nira) decided to just go for it.

The concert hall was covered in black with no fussy stage decorations or crazy lighting. Everything was simple and humble, just like Bareilles. As oppose to her sad love songs, Bareilles is actually a very witty performer. She threw jokes about how she loves it that her audience love depressing songs.

She sang a total of 15 songs with “Gravity” as the finale, mixing the what-she-called “depressing” songs with the upbeat ones. She even did covers of CeeLo’s Fuck You and Beyonce’s Single Ladies. It’s too bad though that she only played a snippet of “Between the Lines”, my other favourite song, as an impromptu and that was only because it was requested by the audience too. Also missing from the playlist are The Light, Basket Case, Breathe Again and Send Me The Moon.

Bareilles always kind of reminds me of Carole King, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the simplicity of their music, they are just as is. In a good way. Her performance was also like that. No gimmicks, just Bareilles. It was not spectacular, it was heartwarming.

Intro (Kaleidoscope Heart)
1. Uncharted
2. Fuck You (CeeLo Green cover)
3. Gonna Get Over You
4. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (Beyoncé cover)
5. Many the Miles
6. Hold My Heart
7. Jakarta’s Awesome Jam
8. Basket Case
9. City
10. Between the Lines
11. Love Song
12. Bottle It Up
13. King of Anything

Encore

1. Let the Rain
2. Gravity
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The Crybabies: Alf, Nira, Rizal, Sheila, Me, Putri, Icha and Putri’s friends