Sunday, 2 December 2012

First concert review - "80-an, Cing!"by Infinito Singers

So I went to a concert by Infinito Singers last week, courtesy of an invitation from my good friend Fenina Faine, one of their pianists. It wasn't like her to notify me about her concerts, but this time - being the ever observant friend that she was - she did because the concert was 1980's themed. And if you've been following this blog religiously, you know that I'm into the bygone era that was the '80s. The concert was held on November 24.

Anyway, before the concert the audience was greeted with a song from the gymnastics that were mandatory at schools in 1984. Let me give you a little bit of background on this one. Starting 1984, the New Order regime mandated schools to apply gymnastics for PE class, known as Senam Kesegaran Jasmani (roughly means "Gymnastics for Health", abbreaviated as "SKJ"). Every four years until 1992, a new SKJ was released with a new accompanying song.

Since I've lost the program, I can't recall the list of songs on their repertoire for the concert. However, I can recall being heavily impressed with their performance of Toto's "Africa", in which the singers made sound effects of rain, wind and thunder merely with their hands and legs. Mad props for conductor Irzam Dastriansyah.

Overall, it was an amazing concert. Some of the audience, especially the past middle age ones in the VVIP rows who clearly remembered the '80s, even gave a standing ovation and screamed for more. At this, the singers, percussionist and two pianists (including Fenina) performed Irene Cara's "Fame" one more time ("Fame" was their last song). This is where a blunder occurred. The singers performed some "Fame" (the TV series)-inspired dance moves for the song, and only the girls in the front were sure of what they were doing. The guys looked unsure of what to do. All in all the choreography was out sync.

The second blunder was the costume. While I liked how they captured the fashion loudness of the '80s, one female main singer in particular caught my attention - and not in a good way. She was wearing what seemed to be a pink spandex catsuit with a black tulle skirt. It wouldn't have been so wrong if (a) she had been slim and (b) she hadn't been wearing a hijab. Clearly the concept of hijab-wearing here had been misunderstood and Infinito should prevent this from happening again at their future concerts.

After the concert, the song for SKJ 1988 was played, and I applauded whoever that emerged with the idea of using SKJ 1984 and 1988 songs to greet and farewell concert-goers. Before I forgot, the concert was actually opened by a medley of theme songs from famous 1980's TV shows, which was another smart move. As a whole, the concert was a tribute to a dynamic era in which youth in Indonesia found freedom in extravagant fashion, good quality local music that far exceeded music of previous decades and national economic boost. A life never to be experienced again in the coming eras.