Paper Edition | Page: 14
Fans, and perhaps even foes, have been eagerly awaiting the return of singer-songwriter Nazril Ilham, better known as Ariel, to the stage.
The frontman of the hugely successful band Peterpan was released from a prison in Bandung, West Java, on July 23 after serving most of his three-and-a-half-year sentence for pornography.
Loyal fans have kept on the lookout for glimpses of the singer during his incarceration, from the occasional interview from behind bars to an impromptu prison concert where he sang some of the band’s hits, which was relayed to those on the outside via YouTube.
Free from prison, Ariel is back, but today now no longer using the name Peterpan (even if many people continue to use it for convenience sake). In August, he announced a new name of his band, Noah (the renaming was a legal necessity after two founding members of the multiplatinum winning group departed on acrimonious terms in 2006), and also with a new album, Suara Lainnya (The Other Voice).
Since Ariel’s release, he has performed at a Jakarta café — he gave a touching rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You” — and also on TV music variety shows. But the big event on Sunday, which is also the singer’s 32nd birthday, is Noah’s scheduled whirlwind one-day tour of five Asia-Pacific nations for the official release of Suara Lainnya.
Dubbed the “five-nation, two-continent tour”, the one-hour concert series kicks off in Melbourne at 9 a.m. Indonesian time, continues to Hong Kong (3 p.m.), Kuala Lumpur (5:30 p.m.), Singapore (10 p.m.) and concludes with its grand finale at Gandaria City in South Jakarta at 10:30 p.m., according to official broadcaster SCTV, which will air the Jakarta concert live.
The band, which has large fan bases in the region, will reportedly use a private jet in its attempt to set the world record for the most performances in different countries in a day.
“For the five-nation concert, Noah has prepared physically and mentally well in advance, because the band’s concert schedule in September is very tight,” band manager Binyo was quoted as saying by the TV station.
Ariel is expected to perform numbers from his new album, including the hit “Separuh Aku” (Half of me), as well as many of Peterpan’s famous numbers.
Observers will probably be watching closely to try to determine if Ariel has not lost any of his legendary stage presence, and also if his girlfriend Luna Maya is among the audience. Hopefully, Noah and Ariel will be able to entertain their fans with good music without any hardline disruption of the concert.
It will be a record-breaking effort, but not something completely new for the five-man band. In 2004, when Peterpan was at the height of its fame after the release of Bintang di Surga (Stars in the Heavens), it performed a “record-breaking concert” in six cities on the nation’s two major islands of Java and Sumatra.
The band performed in Medan, North Sumatra, Padang, West Sumatra, Pekanbaru, Riau, Lampung, Semarang, Central Java, and wound up in Surabaya, East Java, to enter the Indonesian Records Museum.
— Bruce Emond