The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ Balai Sarbini Jakarta 020312

Friday night (March 2nd), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart washed away the pains in all Jakartans’ hearts by performing at Balai Sarbini, along with two local bands—Polyester Embassy and White Shoes and the Couples Company. The four-piece-indie-band from New York was brought here to Indonesia by Revision Live as promoter in a grand launching of Chambers online store—

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart live in Jakarta

This was my first time seeing a concert in Balai Sarbini Jakarta—which is usually used for Indonesian Idol final show. Judging by the look on telly, I thought Balai Sarbini would be huge, but in fact it wasn’t that big. Well, it was actually cozy and big enough for indie band gig venue, even though there were still empty spaces that day. It didn’t mean that the band wasn’t great and famous enough, but I think there were some reasons why the tickets weren’t sold out. One of the reasons was that weekend Jakartans were given hard choices of gigs to attend. We had Java Jazz Festival from Friday to Sunday and also Roxette’s performance on Saturday. All happened in the same weekend. So, it was fair enough if people had priorities on which gigs they wanted to go to. Another reason was some people in Jakarta already had planned to see Foo Fighters in Singapore at the same day. The gig was canceled, but some of ticket buyers didn’t want to waste their flight tickets and decided to spend their time in Singapore anyway.

Lucky people who decided to see this event were entertained by two local indie bands before The Pains of Being Pure at Heart as headliner got on the stage. The show was opened at 9 pm by Polyester Embassy—experimental electronic indie band from Bandung that consists of Elang Eby, Syidik Kurnia, Ridwan Aritomo, Ekky Darmawan and Givarie.

Polyester Embassy

The second band who played that night was White Shoes and the Couples Company. They started to perform their songs at around 10 pm. This 70s-inspired-indie band from Jakarta entered the stage perfectly, began with drum solo of John Navid, followed by Ricky Surya, Saleh, Rio, Mela and Sari. White Shoes and the Couples Company showed their class by performing their hits, such as Senja Menggila and Vakansi, and they also covered Jimi Hendrix’s song—Crosstown Traffic.

White Shoes and the Couples Company

Sari brought warm to a-too-cold-air-conditioned venue with her voice and lovely smile.

The clock kept ticking and it was finally time to see the main show of this event. After doing a long sound checking which indicated that these New Yorkers really wanted to avoid any technical problems—even Kurt Feldman himself got on the stage and checked all the microphones and instruments—Kip Berman, Alex Naidus, Peggy Wang and Kurt Feldman walked out from backstage. The crowd started to cheer as they walked to enter the stage at around 11.30 pm. There was a little surprise on this gig, a very special guest. Connor Hanwick—member of The Drums who had been in Jakarta on May 25th last year—also came and played guitar with the band.

Kip Berman and the sweet Peggy Wang

The band who has released two studio albums opened their show with This Love is Fucking Right, from their first self-titled album. Other than the songs from their studio albums, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart also sang their hits—Higher Than a Star and Falling Over—from their EP. The frontman, Kip Berman who was wearing a catchy red shoes looked very attractive and energetic while he sang and played his guitar. Sometimes he greeted the crowd, said thanks and talked about another great band who performed before them—White Shoes and the Couples Company— and how they met in Hong Kong before. It was pretty funny when someone in the audience shouted that he liked Kip’s shoes. Kip answered that they were red shoes, instead of white shoes, because he didn’t wanna steal WSATCC’s style.

Kip, the very attractive frontman

Alex Naidus and Kurt Feldman (far far away behind)

The keyboardist and the only girl in the band, Peggy Wang also greeted the people who came that night, while other members said nothing, especially Kurt Feldman who was alone with his drum kit far away behind. Alex Naidus—the bassist—just sometimes smiled and waved to the crowd.

Seriously, why did they put the drum kit so far?

After singing 11 of their hits, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart left the stage. Few minutes later, Kip took the stage and did the solo. With his guitar, he sang the song, Contender, from their first album. By the time he finished this song, Alex, Peggy, Kurt and Connor came back to played their last three songs—My Terrible Friend, Everything With You and Strange.

A very very special guest on the left side

Connor Hanwick from The Drums!

At about 12.30 am, the gig was over with a lot of smiles on the audiences’ faces. It seemed that everyone who came was satisfied with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s performance. The crowd became much happier when we suddenly saw Kip came out from backstage to greet the fans. Suddenly more and more people gathered around him. I realized what a sweet person he was. He smiled, talked and took picture with everyone. Then, two other members also walked out from the backstage. Alex and Peggy also greeted the fans. Lots of fanboys who already kept calling Peggy’s name after the gig were over suddenly circled around her. Some of them also asked a hug from her. Looked like every one couldn’t resist the loveliness of this keyboardist. While almost all attentions went to Peggy, Alex decided to leave and said that he didn’t want to be in her way. Hahaha. Unfortunately, Kurt didn’t show up that time. I asked Alex where Kurt was. Alex said Kurt was coming, but he didn’t.

My ticket signed by Alex, Kip and Peggy.

Everything that happened on last Friday night was satisfying. The gig, meet and greet session (I didn’t win M&G, but I heard the story about it from my friends who had a chance to meet all members of TPOBPAH before the show started) until the way that Kip, Peggy and Alex met all their fans after the gig showed us how sweet they were. I’ve been to a lot of gigs and often stayed late to meet the band members personally. But this is the first time ever that the promoter didn’t interrupt at all. Based on my experiences, music promoters in Indonesia usually try to over-protect the band and musicians they invite. When I bumped into any band members and then said hello, asked for an autograph or took a picture with, the promoters crew or security usually tried to “get rid” of me or other fans (in the name of “they don’t want the artists to be disturbed” or “the bands are too tired”) and asked the artist to leave even tough the artist themselves usually never minded meeting their fans. It didn’t happen once or twice, but it happened most of the time. My worst experience was when the gig security pushed me while the band member I like (won’t mention who he is here) was signing my CD. There were only me and my sister at that moment and the artist obviously didn’t mind talking and signing my CD. So, that’s one of many reasons why this time I can say that Revision Live is currently my favourite promoter. They handled the gig almost perfectly, chose a nice venue, had a good ticketing system and I am quite sure they made almost everyone happy. Hopefully they will invite other favourite bands of mine next time.


  1. This Love is Fucking Right
  2. Belong
  3. Higher Than The Stars
  4. Stay Alive
  5. Heart in Your Heartbreak
  6. Say No to Love
  7. Falling Over
  8. Come Saturday
  9. Young Adult Friction
  10. A Teenager in Love
  11. Heaven’s Gonna Happen Now
  12. Conterder
  13. My Terrible Friend
  14. Everything With You
  15. Strange




About Ear to Ears

From Indonesia to Sweden.... and to the whole world.
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