Jakarta is notorious for its traffic, but the usual hustles were nowhere to be seen in the afternoon when I arrived. The Bandung-Jakarta trip that I went through was relatively smooth, even though some friends have warned me about the inevitable traffic by taking train instead of bus. It was 5 PM when I checked my phone upon arrival in the yet to be crowded Rossi Musik. There were only few people hanging around the parking lot, while some others waited in the hall of the renowned venue to Jakarta’s music scene.
I immediately looked for Reno Nismara as one of the guys that managed the event to take my media pass, since the ones that stood by the ticket box didn’t know where the media passes are. Reno then hastily came and gave me the ticket, “Gate opens around six, Sharesprings plays on 7, okay?” he told me briefly as he waved at me and returned upstairs. This was not the first time Studiorama, 630 Recordings, and Noisewhore have brought international acts. Luckily I’ve attended most of them. One thing to be applauded about the events they handle is punctuality. If the poster says that bands start playing at 7, it will.
Sharesprings had played their first song when I decided to go upstairs as I was too occupied with some friends. The last time I watched their show was in 2014 if I recalled correctly. Been a fan from 2008, to miss their show is something that I would utterly regret. They rarely play live, and I miss watching them on stage. It was ecstatic to finally witness them playing live in Rossi Musik. I‘ve always adored Uci, their vocalist, who always seemed awkward on stage. Somehow it fits the image of music they brought; dream pop slash indie pop slash shoegaze that is crisp to the ears, sometimes meet slightly rushing drum beats that reminded me of Talulah Gosh. The 40 minutes performance left me stoned still as I was impressed. Sharesprings had proved themselves worthy in my opinion.
Then came Grrrl Gang to the stage with their new bassist. The reason being Akbar, the former one is currently studying in Birmingham. The tunes that Grrrl Gang brought on stage weren’t that far from Sharesprings, minus delay pedal and the shoegaze-y vibe. But those two had similarity in how their vocalists shared the same awkwardness on stage, although Grrrl Gang’s Angee had an offbeat sense of humor that could be likened to how middle aged men joke around with their peers on Whatsapp groups. The total of 9 songs they brought have successfully made them replace Gizpel as my favorite Kolibri Records’ band. Grrrl Gang never disappoints, except for Angee’s guitar that sometimes went out of tune. But ain’t that what folks call punk? Besides, their newest song is rad.
Two opening acts have played, which left the awaited moment that people had been raving over. Fazerdaze finally went on stage, Amelia Murray the frontwoman started the act by greeting the audience. “Halo! Apa Kabar Jakarta?”, she greeted in Bahasa Indonesia, followed by the cry of audience who had patiently waited in the 4th floor of Rossi Musik. And it marked the start of first song they played.
Half Figured being the opening song they performed, followed by the chants of masses who had faithfully memorized the lyrics singing along even from the beginning. It was nice to see Murray’s delighted face as the crowds sang along with her. Even Murray sometimes was seen smiling throughout some parts without singing because her voice was overridden by the crowds’ enthusiasm. As the band played more songs, from Heavenly Sweet, to Jennifer, then–if I’m not mistaken, the 9th song ‘Take it Slow’, the cheering and singing voices were increasingly getting aloud. “It seems so far already, it seems so far ago. I don’t know if i’m ready, I’ll take it slow,” sang the crowd, filling the atmosphere of Rossi Musik.
“(Honestly) This is the first time I hear Fazerdaze aside from Lucky Girl, turns out it’s all right!” said Daffa Andika of Kolibri Records out of sudden to my ear. Indeed, Murray’s songs are light and easy to listen to. Her songs seemed effortless, yet it still managed to engage listeners. No complicated chord, no experiment whatsoever, and no need to delve in deeper to the roots of music that Murray created. Only simplistic sweet pop songs, and the results are an EP and a full album furnished with tunes pleasing to the ears.
The intro of Fazerdaze’s most popular song, Lucky Girl, suddenly heard on stage. The outcry went increasingly boisterous as people were verging upon the border of the stage. I was among the crowd who tried to get near to the stage, although I decided to remain in my place as it was almost impossible to shove myself into the horde. During the reff, Murray dived into the crowd bringing along her guitar. I sincerely hope that the audience would be respectful and no perverse act happened. Fortunately, I thought to myself, the people who came that night were aware of what not supposed to do.
‘Lucky Girl’ ended, and all the members of Fazerdaze were seen leaving the stage even though everyone else knew that it was just gimmick. No need to shout demanding they’d return and play another song. It was true, in a blink of an eye they went back on stage to play their last song, ‘Little Uneasy’. It marked the end of the show, but the audience remained delirious.
“I could never leave you if you let me try. Go on and let me try,” sang Amelia, as if begging the crowd to not let her off the stage. But they still had to go. After the last chords, she expressed her heartfelt gratitude and disbelief upon seeing the energy of hundreds of heads that filled the space. Needless to say, the show was probably their best one, hopefully. Especially–hate to write this since this is excessively flaunted by articles across the internet, due to the fact that Murray is half Indonesian. I bet the concert would be something memorable for her, as she might have some kind of emotional connection with the place and the people.
There it was. The concert was over. Herds of audience were seen leaving the room, heading downstairs. Except for those who stayed and lingered for a while to finally catch up and take photos with Murray. The night was perfect. The only thing that bugged me a little was the sound system that a little off. Not too lousy, it’s just that the sound could’ve been done better for an event that showcased international act. But still, Studiorama, Noisewhore, and 630 Recordings have outdone themselves. Two thumbs up with my hands, and if I may add, additional two with my feet.
Text by Mirza Wardhana, translation by Nadzifa
Photos taken by Puja N. K