17 Dec 2007

Night of worshipping the ‘Dewa’

Perhaps the title sounds a little too much, but that's what I observed during the concert featuring Dewa 19 held at Likas Stadium last weekend. It almost turned the venue into a shrine of a new religious cult (oops!..:=)). The concert presented by Celcom XPax draws a large crowd (probably not fewer than 5000). The security protocol is the strictest I’ve ever faced since the Masculine Concert held in November 2005. Every soul entering the stadium was screened thoroughly for dangerous weapons including cigarette lighters. However despite the strict rule banning lighters in and the venue being a smoking-free zone, ‘dragons’ were seen everywhere puffing smokes casually out of their nostrils. “Where the hell did they get lighters from?”, asked a person. “They hide it deep inside their rectum I think” replied another. “Don’t expect much from the scanning, it’s just a formality” chipped in a voice (who happened to be a smoker himself), “See! (Pulling off his cap and proudly showing his lighter) I got through!” *LOL*

The strict and slow screening plus big turn out equals bottleneck flow at the access. A large crowd was hold up outside the gate. They overflowed to the main road, risking themselves to cars passing by (no traffic officer was around to control the condition either).

While pondering why on earth the organiser didn’t use the spacious main entrance over the other side at the east, instead they chose a spot with limited space by the main road. The answer is.…”who the hell is going to notice you, if you’re not by the roadside?”. Obviously, judging by the huge banner, their target is the traffic flow at the main road. Money first mah! Safety comes last!..:D

The atmosphere inside was so electrifying (yet much more relaxing compare to outside). In front of the flashy altar.errr...I mean stage, amid blaring sound from the speakers, the impatience devotees..:=), chanted in unison ”Dewa! Dewa! Dewa!”. Their chanting turned into thunderous roar as the lights were being dimmed and thick fog pumped out to the stage. A figure slowly emerging from the thinning fogs. The crowds continued chanting on seeing the figure, only this time louder. Lights up! It turned out to be Dewa Mahabhrata…an Indian guy delivering his role as MC cum discipline teacher. He reminds the audience to stick by some rules, “kalau kamu aman-aman saja di bawah sana, kami pun bisa aman-aman juga di atas sini dong!” I quickly turned around looking at the VIP section just to find out if Musa Aman was in there! But it’s too dark to see.

He sounds so awkward speaking in Indon. Aiyoo tdambi! Tara perlu cakap Indon la! Lu tara bacakah? Ini KK juga bukan Indon!!

Enough with the school assembly session, the show starts rolling with Jinbara doing the opening act. After belting out two fast songs including Cinta Padang Merdeka, the lead singer started losing his stamina. I was wondering how he is going to cope with his next number. He announced a ‘surprise’ guest to the audience. Guess who? It’s Felix Agus! (Surprise kan! Cos he wasn't on the list of performers that night). He belted out Jinbara’s Kasihnya Laila before continued with Farhana. Jinbara themselves accompanied him live. Felix is not in his best. He sounded tired like someone who just woke up from sleep (sick? Not ready for the show because of last minute invitation?).

Dewa Mahabhrata reappeared just to say “apalah kk ni macam kurang rock lah!”. Mind you, he said this after ‘devotees’ were seen doing possessively the head banging!

Ready or not, Ella is next, belting out Rama Rama and Resah.

JENG! The moment the audience has been waiting for finally arrived. Dewa Mahabhrata eventually called on Dewa 19. After tuning up their instruments they started belting out the first of their 15 repertoires. And the crowds? OMG! Unruly…wild…insane…in fact I don’t know how to describe them precisely.

I’m not a hardcore fan of Dewa 19. To prove it, I only know a couple of the songs they performed that night such as Pupus, Sedang Ingin Bercinta and Dewi (and Queens’ I Want To Break Free of course). But having seen they performed, I feel like listening more of their songs especially their past albums. Everything seems perfect. The lead singer Once was just awesome! I set my radar closely for any glitch on his voice. Surprisingly I can’t detect any! He sings well in tuned, pitch-perfect, and energetic with no sign of losing his stamina physically and vocally (Pak! Jamu apa kamu makan pak?). I’m into bands with vocal harmony and Dewa 19 has it. Apart of the band members doing the harmony themselves, they also get help from two women as back-up singers. Their harmony was balanced. All these just lead my suspicion to the controversial cheating technique practised by some western singers (including Madonna). They pre-recorded their so-called ‘live performing’ voice in studio and miming it out during a concert to make it appear as a real ‘live’ voice. Who knows Dewa is creatively and secretly applying the same technique here! But it’s just a suspicion. They did excellent job

A young lady in the audience collapsed and carried (like a gunnysack) to the backstage by a RELA member. This happened While Dewa was performing their third song.

Dewa took a break halfway through the shows to make way for the lady trio from Indonesia who called themselves Dewi-Dewi. They are promoting their debut album here. Their sexy repertoires surprisingly received lukewarm responds from the crowds. Probably the crowd was just too tired and presumed their segment is nothing less than a commercial break.

It’s the best show I’ve seen this year. Dewa 19 simply delivered what I expected from a band with such a high calibre. It’s more than worth the RM 30 ticket to see them (actually it’s a RM 30 worth of reload coupon). So I get myself a reload coupon while get to watch some high-class gigs at the same time…killing two birds with one stone. Will I be joining the cult next time around? Hell no!..=). BTW three lucky people were awarded RM 5,000 each during the lucky draw. Pakcik jealous banget!


Anonymous said...

Good review. Here's mine:


Anonymous said...

Just read it...very nice..:)