web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Psychedelic Rainbow
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Sunday, May 20, 2007
Psychedelic Rainbow

It's safe to say that even the most casual radio listener in Malaysia and Indonesia would have heard of Nidji. The band had a string of hits, starting with "Sudah", "Bila Aku Jatuh Cinta", and then the stay-in-you-head-till-you-shoot-your-own-brains-off "Hapus Aku". I loved the song so much I played it over and over that it reduced my daughter Aiysha to tears. Literally. When we first came to Indonesia there was no escaping the tune : it was blaring in every shopping hall, on the radio, out of homes, and from the mouths of children playing in the streets.

The band must have made the same pact with the devil that signed up Led Zeppelin, because it is now enjoying the same ubiquity with "Heaven", the song used for the "Heroes" promo in Asia.

Me, lamb to the slaughter, love the song to bits.

Since moving to Jakarta, it had always been my aim to watch the band perform live, but understandably such an objective had to take a back-seat to much loftier ideals like acquiring furniture and oh yeah, sending my kids to school. Also, I have seen them on live TV shows and had always thought they sounded better in the studio.

I was wrong. So wrong. Last night, shrugging off fears that we would be the only makcik and pakcik in a crowd of youngsters, Saiffuddin and I went to the A-Mild Rising Stars concert. The show was the culmination of a nationwide search for the best bands in Indonesia; and apart from featuring the finalists, it also had a running order of performances that read like a playlist for I-Radio (or Hot FM, if you're in Malaysia).

Ungu, Samsons and Naff were billed as stars of the concert, but I was there for Nidji; as well as Steven and the Coconut Treez, a raggae band so feel-good I actually bothered to buy their CD. The pokok kelapa band was very good and by far, delivered the best vocal performance in a night marred by poor technical facilities. Andra and the Backbones, a part-time gig for Dewa guitarist Andra, was excellent as well, but I only knew one of their songs.

Nidji was in a class of their own. Giring, with his afro hair, tight pants and white shoes, was totally convincing as a frontman. The moment he pranced down the runway and broke into "Disco Lazy Time" (whatever that means), the crowd was eating out of his hands. Coldplay comparisons evaporate at this point - Chris Martin would never have jumped about with such abandon. Nidji's performance was a rush to the head, helped by the band's frenetic pace and Giring's ease with the audience : we were constantly on our feet, screaming out words. They played only three other songs : "Heaven", "Manusia Sempurna" and last but certainly not least, the massive "Hapus Aku", which was performed at twice its speed and had every one believe this was a pogo party.

By the way, we were not the only makcik and pakcik at the show. Many real mak haji's in sparkly tudungs and and pak haji's in ketayaps were also in attendance, and they rocked! Amazing Indonesia.

For more information on Nidji, go here.