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Rock festival hits Jakarta’s
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Beat blast: American crossover trash legend Suicidal Tendencies performs at the Java Rockin’land on Saturday night. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)
Beat blast: American crossover trash legend Suicidal Tendencies performs at the Java Rockin’land on Saturday night. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Jakarta’s scorching Saturday afternoon became a breezy, moonlit evening as IM3 Java Rockin’land 2013 began rolling on Carnaval Beach in Ancol, North Jakarta.

The two-day festival boast seven stages — each host three to four shows each day, promising a total of 60 performances throughout the event. With overlapping schedules, the festival is set for a head-banging mood around the clock.

Opening were alternative rock group Xirus and thrash metal bands Siksa Kubur and Gigantor.

Headliners on Saturday were pop duo Sixpence None the Richer, rock outfit Collective Soul and crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies — all from the US.

Suicidal Tendencies was among the few bands that gathered a large crowd in the evening, greeting fans and spectator with a unique blend of thrash metal and punk “Thank you to those here tonight that have waited a long time for us,” outspoken vocalist Mike Muir told the headbangers.

Other foreign performances were Hellogoodbye (from the US), Kensington (the Netherlands), This Sanctuary (Australia) and 88 Balaz (Taiwan).

With only seven international bands from a total of 29, local acts stole most of the cheers on Saturday.

Loyal fans of Gugun Blues Shelter (GBS) and Sore enjoyed exciting performances from their idols. As one of Indonesia’s few prominent blues-inspired bands, GBS has a crowd of its own.

Fans moved and sung along with the music band’s groovy sound, getting soothed by top tracks like opener “Marching Strut”, “One Heavy Night” and closure “Love Your Life” at Tebs Stage.

The band — which has guitarist-vocalist Gugun, bassist Jono and drummer Bowie — treated the stage as if playing in some small, intimate night club.

Twenty-four-year-old Dio Nugroho said that GBS was one among several reasons that made him and three of his buddies come to Rockin’land. “It’s always fun to watch them on the stage. So smooth, yet so fiery at the same time,” said Dio.

A moment later, Sore with its music signature played casually in the indoor Dome stage.

“Bogor Biru (Blue Bogor)” was on Sore’s song-list in the first day of the event, delivering a little excitement to Sore’s fans as the song is barely played on stage.

“This may be our only second time playing Bogor Biru,” said vocalist-bassist Awan Garnida, representing four other members Ade Paloh (guitar, vocal), Mondo Gascaro (keyboard, vocal, composer), Bembi Gusti (drum, vocal) and Reza Dwiputranto (guitar, vocal).

In another corner of the festival, fuzzrock band Morfem presented theatrical gestures from vocalist Jimi Multhazam as the Jakarta-based band blasted uptempo distortion tunes.

The band played more songs from their second album Makan Tuh Gitar (Eat the Guitar!) like Hey Tuan Botimen and Legenda Berbalut Ngeri.

Morfem set the spectators on fire when they play a medley of three songs from punk rock luminaries The Ramones: Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!, KKK Took My Baby Way and I Wanna Be Sedated.

More rock performances are set for Sunday, including US acts alternative-po-rock Sugar Ray and electro-pop-rock Gossip.

Also playing on Sunday are local acts, among others, Gigi, Pas Band, /rif, Roxx, Deadsquad, Andra and The Backbone, J-Rocks, and Endah N Rhesa.

Program coordinator Eki Puradiredja said the event aimed to find a balance between various music genres. “I would recommend the spectators to go for indie acts that have recently made a comeback like Rumahsakit, MUSIKIMIA, and Cherry Bombshell,” Eki told The Jakarta Post.

Sunday event gates will be opened at 3 p.m., with the last performance set to play at around the midnight for a total of 31 performances.

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