It’s good to know that Indonesia actually has this big event where almost everyone in this big metropolis city Jakarta is so excited about, even thou most Indonesian – just like me – don’t understand Jazz at all. I bet my most expensive shoes on that. It’s Java Jazz Festival and if you’re wondering what kind of event is that you can just click this link.
I was somehow on the side of people that are NOT looking forward to the event. That’s obvious, the venue is really far far away at Pekan Raja Jakarta (PRJ), mean need at least 45 minutes driving (with no traffic) from where I lived. The traffic will be most definitely crazy, the limited parking lot, the crowd, no phone signal at all (God only know why) and need not to mention that Indonesian is one of the worst big event organizers from my very personal point of view – you are welcome to disagree. So yeah, it’s not worth all the struggles just to see few Jazz performances.
But then a good friend, Riana, came with this interesting proposal: the ticket is free, we’ll go together (bunch of lovely girls), and I’ll ride with her. Long story short, 4.30 pm last Saturday we were embarking from Riana’s house to the event, and thanks to Dinda, I had a bite of KFC that really really helpfull in built my mood.
As I already predicted the cars queuing already long way before the exit gate on the FREE WAY to the district area, NOT even close to the venue, Pekan Raja Jakarta (PRJ). Riana was trying to find another route, and I decided to sleep, and woke up fresh at 7.30 pm right when she is about to park her car somewhere not even in the parking area of the PRJ. It took another 15 minutes walk via narrow path in the middle of very simple housing and warung-warung before we get to the gate of PRJ. But I think that was a good decision, cars already jammed around entrance gate area. It’ll take another hour for people in those cars before get in the venue I bet.
It good that’s no queuing at the entrance ticket gate, but once I set foot on the building, yes, there was great amount of people fill in the place, jostle and jamming. I thought venue this big will make the crowd more bearable, but no, people kept bumping at me and I instantly feel dizzy.
The event has 17 stages with varies of performer, local and International. So lucky us that, the proposal from Riana was including her arrangement of what shows we want to see at JJF. Hahaha. She already briefed the list on the way here. First, Soulvibe. We were late so we listened only the last 2 songs but it’s good enough for all of us, or for Riana to be sure :D. The group’s performance was cool but the sound system sucked, I barely heard the vocalist.
Then we went to next performance The Elfa Secoria: His Legacy Lives On. I was kinda looking forward for this one. Elfa’s was one of the legendary musicians in this country. He had nurtured so many good musician and singers and make them famous. It’s sad that we lost him last January. So the show was dedicated for him and his work, and it was the longest show I’ve seen in any kind of music festival I’ve ever attend, a bit more than 1 and half hour straight. It was a good show only – again – the sound systems suck! The vocalists’ voices diminish among the loud instrument (they’re good though) and no one seemed to care about it. 20 girls singing on the stage and I barely catch one word of the lyric!
The performance started with Elfa’s Student choir; 15 cute girls in red dress sing 3 songs, impressive. After that around 20 teenager girls sang 3 songs too, that I’m not familiar with, but they did quite good and they’re all pretty. God bless their souls. Then Yovie Widianto show up leading an instrumental performance with song call Speed Drive, quite cool. Then of course follow by Kahitna, with 3 songs and they did it really nice. Then this girl called Alika, her voice is nice but I find Andien is much better. Then follow by the Elfa’s Singers, one of my favorite group performance, they’re senior and very talented. Then there’s Titi DJ, okay performance, but I was astonished by Maya Hasan the Harpist, she is really pretty! Then several songs they sang together before it end. Told you, that was long. It’s like a concert.
But the funny things was not watching the performance, the really funny thing was the way Riana and Dinda try to get us a seat. We were practically running to the available seats, 20 meters from the just-open-door. Dinda was fierce! She threw her bag to the 3rd seats beside her to secure it, and all people running around disoriented to get a seat, so chaotic. We were laughing like nuts. There was this old man in front of us waving his Galaxy Tab above his head just to take photos, and Riana almost fainted due to a woman’s body odor that sit right next to her.
Everything in the event felt like a crazy struggle to get a place for ourselves. We struggle on the queuing to get into the hall, struggle to get a seat in the hall, struggle to get a seat on the food court, struggle queuing to buy the food, to get a way, to the toilet, to buy drink, to take picture in front of the big banner, and so on, and so on… so if I don’t go with Riana, Dinda, and Christy, I’ll go mad instantly. But that night we were laughing like crazy hyenas and bitching about our surrounding, that was fun!
And then here’s the most suffering part of the whole night, waiting for New York Voices Performance. The performances was take venue in the building floor 6, and the hall voyer, where we should wait until the door open is really small comparing to the amount of people that wait, and there was no air con. The show supposed to start at 11.30 pm, we arrived 11.15 pm and up to 12.00 pm, no sign at all that the door will be open. I was suffocated, my leg worn out. People were mad and half of them give up already and go, not willing to wait that long. Thank God that Riana seemed like never run out of jokes. They finally open the gate on 12.30 pm! And the room is extremely cold! Seriously the air con felt like blow to my body but I’ve been waiting too long just to give up on the air con. Hehehe.
Thank goodness that it all worth the waiting, the BEST PERFORMANCE of the night! The most brilliant quartet performance I’ve ever seen by far. I even googled them due to my awe in their performance. They performed with full Jazz band called The Ron King Big band. Oh I don’t know anything about Jazz, but I think I’m still entitled to a few amateur review on their performance especially comparing the local performance that I saw before. The sound system were not perfect but waaaay more bearable than the one I experienced before. The vocal is fantastic! Soulful!The harmonious, the Jazz soul, the song selections, and the interaction between them on the stage as well as to the audiences were really nice. They told us that the plane got delayed that’s why everything’s late, and they are totally forgiven. You got to see their profile (click here), and you should listen to them. They are beautiful! I sat there and enjoy each and every note. The coldness of the room was distracting me a bit, but to think finally, I listen to real Jazz tonight. I walked out the room totally jazzed!
The long walking back to the car was fine, I couldn’t remember how we managed to keep laughing. I truly grateful for Riana who drove us all back home, I simply amazed by her energy, and her kindness to take me home first.
I had a wonderful time, and that remind me that not all wonderful things are easy to get. But even the worst moment in life can turn into something fun and enjoyable if you have good friends around just to laugh about it. Thank you God and thank you Riana, Dinda and Christy for making the most of my Saturday.