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A night with Tokyolite

Marcel Thee

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, November 4, 2016  /  04:35 pm
A night with Tokyolite

Favorite: Tokyolite plays a brand of pop-infused funk music that has gained it fans at home and abroad. (Facebook/Tokyolite)

Funky-pop group Tokyolite will headline a concert in town, an event that is billed as a “micro-gig”, a small-sized show in an intimate setting.

A ‘‘micro-gig” by Tokyolite this Saturday at Suar Artspace in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, sets to present a small-sized show in an intimate setting. 

The concert, titled “A Night with Tokyolite”, will also feature other local bands — The Grgtz and The Railroads. It also acts as a “homecoming” show for the headliners. 

Bogor-based Tokyolite, formed in 2009, have made rounds within the local music circuit as one of the strongest funk bands around. 

Currently made up of Stevan Arianto on guitar and vocals, bassists Alexander Bramono, and drummer Bintang Aditya, the band has not released any physical albums as yet, but they’ve amassed a good number of digital releases (mostly available through iTunes). 

Though their basic sound is rooted in funk, according to the band, they draw influences from many non-funk genres, including punk, reggae, hip hop, rock and pop music, before “mixing them down and putting into one big white board of musical ideas” to “deliver catchy choruses which melodies you are guaranteed to hum along to.”

The concert’s “homecoming” tag refers to the band’s recent return to their home country after a Japanese tour, which took them to five cities in Japan. 

Along with their band name, the band’s affinity for all things Japanese is shown in their shared interests toward Japanese pop culture goodness like Popcorn Marshmallows, Pokemon and Digimon.

Their Japanese tour took the members of Tokyolite to Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto, Fukui and Tokyo. The series of shows came as a continuation of the band having taken part as an Indonesian representative at the Kansai Music Festival in Osaka. The band had previously played a show at the Asia Versus Grand Prix in Japan in 2013 but this time they wanted to extend it into a full-fledged tour dubbed the Highlite Tour. 

“It’d be a pity to go all the way there just to play one show. We’re aware that going on tour [takes] a lot of effort and sacrifice, but it’s alright. The tour’s worth the struggle since it was really our first ever tour,” Alex says.

To make up for the tour’s cost, the band played a host of fund-raising shows before they went to Japan. Their fans were there to pay support, literally. 

The hard work paid off, says the band members. Their experience there compelled the band to want to share their excitement by playing show in Indonesia, immediately after their return. They also wanted to have a show where other bands could also perform.

“Since this is a homecoming show, we want to not only perform our songs, but also jam with our fellow musician friends, share the happiness and the experience,” Stevan says.

Performing before Tokyolite, The Grgtz’s brand of traditional rock — instilled with 80s metal abound — will find company alongside The Railroads’ funk-infused rock.

The event, which will be free and open for the public from 4 p.m., and will also feature a photo exhibition showcasing pictures taken during the Hightlite Tour as documented by photographers and friends of the band, Satria Khindi and Baday Rayhan. 

The photographers claims the exhibition part of the event is something that happened spontaneously. 

“We didn’t plan it then but we figured that since the theme was homecoming, we both thought that it’d be suitable to have the touring photos here to elevate the mood of the event — especially for those who haven’t heard of Tokyolite yet,” explains Satria.

“A Nite with Tokyolite” will be the first music event to be held at Suar Artspace, whose owners see the event as an extension of their artistic interest, and as a way of exploring and appreciating music, especially — for this event — those produced by Tokyolite.

“Tokyolite dares to take risk in playing a [less than popular] genre, and they are very serious in their music process—from routine practice, to regular gigs and tours. This kind of spirited approach is always welcome and supported by Suar,” said Nin Djani, spokeperson from Suar Artspace. 

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