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Keeping nostalgia alive with Travis

Gisela Swaragita
Gisela Swaragita

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, July 24, 2019  /  10:02 am
Keeping nostalgia alive with Travis

Scotish pop rock outfit Travis perform at We The Fest 2019 at JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta, on Saturday, July 21. (JP/I Gede Dharma JS)

When music festival We The Fest announced that brit pop legends Travis would be one of the headline acts at this year’s event, festival goers lamented in the Instagram post, saying that they wanted rapper Travis Scott, not the band Travis.

Travis might not be an important part of the lives of Indonesia’s upper-middle class Generation Z — We The Fest’s main target audience. However, the fact that Scotland’s finest pop rock band finally agreed to perform in the Big Durian quickly aroused nostalgia among those who grew up in the 2000s. 

Nevertheless, adding Travis as a headliner side by side with Generation Z idols such as singer Troye Sivan and hiphop duo Rae Sremmurd, has proven to be a winning bid by Ismaya Live, the We The Fest organizers. More mature music fans bought tickets and blended in with younger festival-goers during the second day of the festival on Saturday at JIEXPO Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

As predicted, the We The Fest 2019 main stage was not as crowded at the end of the second day as it was for the other acts it hosted. However, many faithful fans — mostly in their late 20s or mid 30s — still flocked to the stage, waiting in anticipation and excitement to finally see their idols live. In contrast to the younger festival-goers, who dressed as crazily as they could for the event, Travis’ crowd mostly came in their everyday jeans and sneakers, some wearing T-shirts of their favorite brit pop bands like Ride, The Smiths and Joy Division.

Adding Travis as a headliner side by side with Generation Z idols such as singer Troye Sivan and hiphop duo Rae Sremmurd, has proven to be a winning bid by Ismaya Live, the We The Fest organizers. Adding Travis as a headliner side by side with Generation Z idols such as singer Troye Sivan and hiphop duo Rae Sremmurd, has proven to be a winning bid by Ismaya Live, the We The Fest organizers. (JP/I Gede Dharma JS)

When the band members, comprising vocalist and guitar player Fran Healy, lead guitarist Andy Dunlop, bass player Dougie Payne and drummer Neil Primrose, finally stepped onto the stage and strummed the intro to “Side”, a hit from their 2001 album The Invisible Band, the relatively small crowd exploded with gigantic nostalgia-fueled energy.

The band followed this right away with their 2003 single from the album 12 Memories, “Love Will Come Through”.

Frontman Healy, looking pleasantly surprised by the crowd’s energy, greeted the audience briefly before heading into “Driftwood” and “Writing to Reach You”.

Read also: Anne-Marie greets Indonesian fans at We The Fest 2019

Before singing every song, Fran told the backstory of how he wrote them. Telling these stories appeared to be his way of calming down and taking a breath. “You know, my wife’s grandmother is Indonesian,” he said. “And my wife, I don’t know why, was very shy and did not like to sing in front of people. I told her, just sing. Sing,” he said before proceeding to play one of their most famous songs, “Sing”. 

He also told stories of the songs “Re-Offender”, which was about his mother, “My Eyes”, which was about his son, Clay Kryst, and “All I Want to do is Rock”, which was a memorial for his younger years when he found out that he wanted to be a musician.

“In any kind of relationship, whether it is with your girlfriend or boyfriend, your mother or your father, or grandparents… all of these relationships that we all have, usually you will take them for granted. We become furniture to each other,” Healy said. “This is a song about that, how we need to be closer to each other.”

The audience exclaimed in excitement upon hearing the intro to “Closer”, a single from their 2007 album The Boy with No Name. 

“Damn, it feels like umrah [minor haj], man!” an audience member exclaimed while clutching his chest after the song ended, referring to the magical feelings a faithful Muslim has when making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Afterward, suddenly the three other band members left their instruments and approached Healy at the center of the stage. The four of them started to sing an acoustic, choir version of “Flowers in the Window”.

Just as the audience was closing their dropped jaws from the sweet performance that had just taken place in front of them, the band returned to their instruments and began “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”

Sarah Deshita, Ismaya Live’s brand manager, was seen singing her heart out to the song among the stage’s security, her face was bright with pride and happiness.

The band concluded its show with “Slide Show” and “Turn”, before waving to the fans and disappearing backstage.

The Travis show may have attracted the smallest crowd of any of the headliners at We The Fest 2019, but the crowd showed the biggest, purest energy, fed by the nostalgia of their younger years. At the end of We The Fest 2019’s second day, the audience of the main stage dispersed with bright faces and warm hearts, after having their longing finally answered. (mut)

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