After having a rather boring summer this year, with no interesting gig in town and a cancellation of an annual rock festival, I could finally feel the intense excitement again when I heard that one of my most anticipated bands to see was going to take part in Java Soulnation—an annual soul music festival in Indonesia which was held on September 28-30th 2012. As their fan, it is actually embarrassing that I almost missed their performance in the festival. I knew that they had a show in Jakarta just two days before their first gig on Friday and the second one on Sunday. Then, a sudden panic attack hit me because I haven’t prepared anything at all. So, without any further thinking or whatsoever, I clicked the official site of the festival and impulsively bought the tickets.
I decided not to miss any of Theme Park’s show in Jakarta, so I came to their two gigs in the festival. On the first day of Java Soulnation festival they were scheduled to play at 10 pm on one of five stages in Istora Senayan Jakarta, called Wonderful Indonesia stage. I was there with my two besties, Fita and Reri. I arrived early at the venue and decided to see other performers before I went to Theme Park’s stage at around 9 pm. I was a bit surprised when I saw from distance that the area around the stage was still empty. But as I walked closer to the stage, I could see the band was doing sound check. I was feeling excited and disappointed at the same time because I could see them at the very front line, but I thought a quiet audience was absolutely not a good idea either. I tried to think positive and just enjoyed seeing the band prepared all the stuff they needed—which was a pretty rare view here. All the band members—Miles Haughton, Marcus Haughton and Oscar Manthorpe—with their two additional players—Ric Hollingbery and Phil Jordan were preparing the instruments on the stage, while I used this chance to take pictures (and shouted their names… a bit).
At about 10 pm, the show finally kicked-off. I was quite happy because as soon as it started, people were coming to see them. Their easy listening song and danceable tunes made the night warmer and gained more people to dance to the music. With a solid and soulful voice of Miles Haughton, a delicate guitar playing and synth from his twin, Marcus Haughton and a breezy guitar sound from Oscar Manthorpe, who sometime switched his guitar with Ric Hollingbery’s bass, I just couldn’t resist to enjoy their songs without bouncing and dancing in a synchronized move to the beats. The trio’s outfit also caught my attention actually. The colourful and quite cheerful print on Marcus’ shirt contrasted with a monochrome-coloured-clothes of Miles and Oscar who were wearing white and black shirt. That night, Theme Park entertained all of us with their already known tracks, like Mountain We Love, Milk, Wax, Two Hours, Jamaica and Ghosts, plus introduced their new song called Tonight. When they sang one of my personal favourites, Milk, the rhythm made me feel like I wanna do the walk just like in the music video. Meanwhile, the rest of the songs on the setlist were just perfect tunes for me to dance in a simple move. I felt also so relaxed at the same time.
Their second show on Sunday, September 30th, was just as excellence as their first one. They still performed impressively through their nine-songs setlist. These two performances made me think that these young lads already succeeded in making danceable pop music whether for their fans or people who haven’t heard their songs before.