Just like we said on this blog about us, we have no specific genre to be focused here. We basically listen to everything and now it is time for us to write a review about a superb performance of a Japanese rock (J-rock) band called L’arc en Ciel—or we can also call them simply as Laruku—on May 2nd 2012. Their show in Jakarta, Indonesia was a part of World Tour 2012 as a celebration for being in the band for 20 years. Other than Jakarta, L’arc en Ciel also visited Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, London, France, New York and Singapore.
A day before the gig, the band that consists of Hyde (vocal), Ken (guitar), Tetsuya (bass) and Yukihiro (drums) held a press conference at Hotel Mulia, Jakarta. In this presscon, the band received a platinum award for their latest album, Butterfly, from Sony Music Indonesia as well as answering some questions from the attendees with a help from a Japanese translator. In this session, Hyde, Ken and Tetsuya answered most of the questions while Yukihiro, who’s known as the shy drummer, just spoke a little. When they were asked about their thoughts and plans in Indonesia, Ken greeted “Selamat Siang” (“good afternoon” in Indonesian language) and then said that he liked Indonesians for being so full of smiles and how everybody smiled at him, just like everyone in the room. He also said that Jakarta was a beautiful city and he’d like to have a walk here. Meanwhile, Hyde talked about Indonesian food he liked, which was nasi goreng (fried rice) and he planned to have it that night. Hyde also said that he was shocked when he first arrived in Jakarta for its horrible traffic. After talking about the people, food and traffic, Tetsuya shared his thought about the skyscrapers in Jakarta. He loved skyscrapers and if he had enough time, he would love to go around the city. Meanwhile, the silent and shy Yukihiro told us that he hadn’t any plan yet and he complained a little about the air conditioner in his room that was too cold.
Laruku had their first show in Indonesia at outdoor field in Senayan area, Jakarta. Apparently, the band preferred outdoor show and they promised to give a great and all-out gig the next day. They were very pleased that they had so many fans in Indonesia, including 10,000 people who were going to see their performance and Hyde said that he would be in Indonesia earlier if he knew that the band had such a lot of fans here. As a band who has been together for a long time, they said that the job description of each member became clearer and they were now like family—with Hyde as ottosan (dad) and Testu as okaasan (mum), added Tetsu. Facing the changes in music trend for the last 20 years, the band said that every member could make music and their sense of music became better and better which made them caught the trend very well and put it all together in their music.
Fans in Indonesia should be very happy because the band’s performances in Jakarta will be one of four shows documented in this series of World Tour.
Okay, now let’s move on to the gig on this Wednesday night. I went to the venue in the morning to redeem the ticket. I was very surprised to see there were many fans around the place when it was still only 10am, 10 hours away from the gig. I was even more surprised when I heard that some of them had been there since 8am. Wow. I saw so many excited fans that morning. After had some business done, including meeting and having a meal with friends, I went back to the venue at 4 pm, when the first gate was opened. There was a long queue at the entrance and my friends and I managed to get in and stood in another line before we finally entered the venue at around 6.30pm. The audience of the show was divided into three classes—VIP (front rows, with a IDR 1.2 million or about US$134 or €100 ticket), Premium Festival (middle rows, with a IDR 850,000 or about US$ 95 or €70 ticket) and Regular Festival (back rows, with a IDR 500,000 or about US$ 55 or €41 ticket).
With a huge stage (size 16×11 meter) and catwalks (size 40×1,3 meter) on each side of the stage, L’arc en Ciel really satisfied the crowd by performing energetically, walking to every side and corner of the stage and adorably (a bit hilarious actually) interacting with the fans. The band kicked off the gig by singing Ibara no Namida, from their 7th album Ray. Without any pause, Hyde, Ken, Tetsu and Yukihiro performed their songs, Chase and Good Luck My Way from their latest album, Butterfly. Hyde looked really beautiful with his braidy hair that night, wearing black and white clothes, showing a bit of his shoulder that made his fan girls (maybe some fan boys too) go crazy. Meanwhile, Ken’s and Tetsu’s suits were more colorful and Yukihiro in his dark coloured shirt, sat silently with his drums in the back. By the time they sang Hitomi no Juunin, Hyde’s fans were melted by his gorgeous appearance, covering his hair with a pretty floppy hat. Along with Tetsu and Ken, he sat and sang the song very gently, yet with solid voice. Later that night, we also have a touching moment when we saw Hyde was crying as he sang Forbidden Lover. But no worries, all the fans still had so much fun especially after the band performed My Heart Draw A Dream when Ken greeted the crowd in Indonesian language. Not only a simple greeting, such as “Selamat Malam” (“Good Night”), but he also told a long story about what he did in Jakarta, like went to Kota Tua, swam at the pool and bought some souvenirs for Hyde. All that was told in Indonesian slang language, which was really funny and entertaining. Later on, Tetsu, who’s known for his habit throwing bananas to the audience, also greeted in such silly words. I don’t know whether it was the crew who had this fun idea or the band themselves who asked them to write something hilarious. This was maybe the one and only gig I’ve ever attended when the bassist said: “Apa kalian mau pisang saya?” (“Do you want my banana?”) and “Apa kalian mau jilat lolipop saya?” (Do you want to lick my lollipop?). Oh my… They really know how to entertain their fans.
What I really admire about Laruku’s gig was their perfect preparation. Beside a huge stage, the band also brought a gigantic screen which played animated videos and camera shots from the very beginning of the gig until the end of it. A high technology screen showed brilliant animations that somehow really synchronized with the music they played. The rhythm of the songs perfectly matched everything displayed on the screen or vice versa even when they improvised the music.
With all the 19 songs within two hours they played on last Wednesday night, I am quite sure that every body who came was pleased with the band’s performance. The rain, which was suddenly pouring on their 16th song, Anata, also didn’t stop the fans from enjoying the concert. Some fans thought that it was such a perfect coincidence as the ballad felt more moving in the middle of the rain. Even nature seemed to be drowned in the mood and ‘cry’ in happiness because of this absolutely amazing band.
- Ibara no Namida
- Chase – English version
- Good Luck My Way
- Drink It Down
- Hitomi no Juunin
- XXX – English version
- Forbidden Lover
- My Heart Draw A Dream
- Seventh Heaven
- Driver’s High
- Stay Away
- Ready Steady Go
- The Fourth Avenue Cafe
PS. Big thanks to my college mate, Lania Rakhma for the pictures! x