Tasa Nugraza Barley
A collection of Indonesian rockers and music fans joined forces on Sept. 8 to pay tribute to one of their favorite bands: Weezer.
“Who doesn’t know Weezer?” said Pradhika Ahardi, a marketing and promotion officer at Marley Signature Bar and Food, a cozy hangout in the Sudirman central business district.
Pradhika is a huge Weezer fan, calling the band a longtime inspiration for other rock acts. Formed in 1992, the four-man Weezer is one of the biggest alternative rock bands in the industry, with nine albums selling more than one million copies in the United States alone.
Pradhika said he considered the tribute show a smashing success. About 300 people attended the event. Most were Weezer fans and knew most songs by heart, but other patrons simply enjoyed the night’s festive atmosphere.
Instead of inviting a lone band to cover Weezer’s songs, Pradhika wanted the event to be something different. After brainstorming with his team, he decided on a sort of jam session, where a composite band blended from several different local acts was created. But Pradhika said he was careful not to create a sense of undue competition among the bands. “I thought it would be best if we could enjoy Weezer’s songs together in harmony,” he said.
To his delight, he said the response was positive. Up-and-coming bands such as Jibriel, Speak Up, Geez and Munky Noubu jumped at the chance to play some Weezer. Members from the bands were all Weezer super fans, like Pradhika.
Nara Prayindra, the guitar player and lead vocalist for Jibriel, lent his talents to the tribute. “It was like a nostalgic event,” he said.
Nara complained that there weren’t many Weezer-dedicated shows in Jakarta. “We should have more events like this,” he said.
He said the crowd helped make the event something extra special. “The crowd was so alive,” Nara said. “It was really a memorable moment when all the people in the bar sang along together.”
In addition to Nara, the ensemble included Farhan, the bassist of Speak Up; Lucas J.P., the guitarist of Geez; Brian T, the drummer from Munky Noubu; and several other musicians who were also eager to join in on the evening’s tribute.
“I liked the event so much, especially because they played all my favorite songs,” account executive Dessy Rianti said. “I mean, what else do you need when you have cool music and a cool crowd?”
The tribute show’s centerpiece was the jam session, but the night also featured the opportunity for open-mic performances, encouraging anyone from the crowd to belt out a few songs.
Pradhika said he wanted to create a homey environment for the event, so rather than build a typical stage separating audience and band, he opted instead to lay out a big carpet in front of the audience, creating a garage-band effect that reduced the distance and made everyone feel a part of the show.
“I wanted to build a sense of togetherness,” Pradhika said. The band and fans played Weezer’s songs for nearly four hours, including well-known tunes such as “My Name is Jonas,” “No One Else,” “Buddy Holly,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Tired of Sex.” The event closed with the eight-minute epic, “Only in Dreams,” a finale that unified the masses.
With the success of the free event, Pradhika said he planned to make it a regular monthly concept show, with each concert to be dedicated to a different band admired by fans and musicians alike. For the next gig, Pradhika said he was deciding among The Smiths, Blur, Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins.
“The response was so great, we knew we had to have another one very soon,” he said.
Pradhika said the next gig would take place on Oct. 6 and continue on the first Thursday of each month. Despite the success of the Weezer tribute, Pradhika said he was not satisfied just yet.
“We’ll make sure that the next gig will be even better.”
Marley’s Next Tribute Night:
Thursday, Oct. 6
Marley Signature Bar and Food
Energy Building, 2nd Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Tel: 021 5296 1199
Photos courtesy of Marley Signature Bar and Food