And ended at Fairground in Jakarta

Could not make it to Jakarta on their last tour in 2011, Friendly Fires finally gave a big check to us last night (17/03). The annual event that is held by Rated-A Avolution, Beatfest, also in a colaboration of three promoters Urbanite Asia, Berlian Entertainment, and Hybrid Entertainment put their effort as one to bring Friendly Fires and The Magician for headlining the night.

Unlike those typical Saturday nights, this Saturday was totally (and probably) one of the nights that many people have been waiting for.  As one of the most anticipated concerts in 2012, we could see a long queue at the entrance gate. People came early eventho Friendly Fires were going to be on stage at 11 PM, seemed like they really rooted and were curious to experience a massive performance by them.  As we entered the venue, we could feel a different atmosphere or let’s say an atmosphere that you always have when you entered Beatfest. We were welcomed by some of art and fashion exhibition that represents an urban culture.

Back to the track, Roman Foot Soldiers(RFS) hit the stage at 8.10 PM. In charge as a starter, they boost the crowd with their first song, “Streets Without Signs” , then followed by “The Canal” and “Higher Peak”. We didn’t need to put our ear to the ground to know how famous they are now, because we could easily hear some people sing along to their songs. The band that have been trusted to open many gigs, such as Nylon Music Festival 2011, The People’s Party 2012 and LoveGarage 2012, were praised for their electro rock music. And not forget to mention, they became a Santa Claus on the St.Patty day because they spared some of their EPs tittled “Kitsilano” to the crowd.


To boil some blood, after RFS’ performance, now the crowd is served with an alternative disco show by The Magician. If you are familiar with some of dance tracks , you might recognize The Magician, Stephen Fasano, he was a co-pilot in Aeroplane (now only consisting of Vito De Luca). There is no doubt that The Magician would change Fairgrounds into a dancefloor. Spinned some of his remixes, he did hypnotize the crowd to keep dancing and not saving their energy, because we were not close to the big show!. Furthermore, when he played his infamous remix, Follow Rivers by Lykke Li, he turned down the volume of his machine and asked the crowd to sing the chorus part, and then you know the rest, We danced till drop.

Having more than an hour of a sudden disco, the lights were dimmed. People started screaming Friendly Fires and Ed Macfarlen, but nope, it was not Friendly Fires already, we believe that something worth seeing is worth waiting. It was actually a visual mapping show starring Anton Wirjono’s holograph. So, Anton Wirjono’s holograph appeared on the stage and dj-ed. And then, there were like ten men (these were not a holograph) walked on the stage wearing a white t-shirt. The cool thing is about to happen, their t-shirt was projected with a sort of visual mapping and it went for about three minutes.

After getting an electro rock and an alternative disco performance, plus a radical visual mapping show. Now they real party has begun, Friendly Fires were finally on stage!. Ed Macfarlane with his dapper style (We bet if the concert was held in an outdoor venue and in the afternoon, he must be wearing his Hawaiian’s pattern shirt) landed on stage with the other two members of the band, Edd Gibson and Jack Savidge, and also followed by some of their additional musicians. Performing Lovesick as the first song, Ed constantly danced like crazy (as what NME said, people have to watch Ed Macfarlane’s dancing for once in their life) to get us all dance “horny”. The band who also nominated for Mercury Music Prize in 2009, blasted our eardrums in the next two songs, “Jump In The Pool” and “Running Away”. Ed Macfarlane made the whole Fairgrounds pumped with his signature relentlessly energetic moves. Eventho Ed was having a cold, In the song “Blue Cassette”, he shown his amazing vocal skill. His stunning voice brought resonance to songs like “Chimes”, “Show Me lights”, and “Live Those Days Tonight”. The eleventh song, “Pala”, soothed the crowd with a sound of chirping bird and a cosmic synth. Have bombarded the crowd with more than eleven songs, Friendly Fires played their latest single, “Hurting”, and also known as Ed’s favourite track from album Pala. Continued with “Pull Me Back To Earth” and then the craziness peaked to “Paris” which is their first single that achieved “Single of The Week” in The Guardian Newspaper, NME Magazine, and also on BBC 1 Radio Show.  After a few minutes of cheering for an encore, they wandered back to the stage and played “Hawaiian Air”, we could feel a polynesian tunes and grooves from the instrument, and we kind of expected that there would be some Hawaiian Dancers like we saw in Reading Festival 2011 (but it seems the last time that they are using them is at O2 Brixton, London). To wrap their kick ass performance, they played “Kiss Of Life” and gave a rejoicing closure of the show.

Overall, there wasn’t any greater way to start the night with Friendly Fires. From the first note of the tunes to the first dancing hips, the crowd was just as into it as a deadly energetic Ed Macfarlane. Watching Ed as he danced while singing at the top of his lungs was a uber highlight of the evening. Could catch Ed’s signature shake-your-ass moves with bare eyes is the moment and a rare privilege that you could not find from any other frontmen. Finishing the sixteenth songs with a jaw dropping performance felt like a job well done. After a show in Jakarta, Friendly Fires will continue their task to shake some hips on 4th-5th May in Spain and they also will be headlining for Lovebox Festival in London on 16th June. So, who has learned some new moves? (Alcander Alonzo/Dorothy T.)