Monday, July 16, 2012

M Nasir DFP Showcase

M Nasir Showcase with MPO, DFP 13/7/12

I first heard about the concert from KSRP's promotion email, it did occur to me to go, but I didn't do any follow up on it, until after the promotion had expired.

Then a week before the concert, my friend Miele from the Muse messageboard asked me if I wanted to go. I said yes, why not. So I checked for the Friday show, fortunately it was still available - for the Upper Tier seats, as the Lower Tier were sold out already. I somehow thought that the Lower Tier seats should be more expensive than the Upper Tier hmmm...

Anyway, we managed to grab our tickets. So Miele and partner would be going for the Saturday show, while me and my partner Faz would be going for the Friday show. It was unfortunate that we couldn't seat together, all 4 of us. I wouldn't want to seat alone and not be able to discuss the performance.

So, on to the show. It started sharp at 8.30pm, with M Nasir looking dapper in a smart suit, but without any tie/bow. That was already smart for his level, you know how he always dress up ;) The opening song was Andalusia ( I think,missed the opener from my jottings) backed by orchestral music by the MPO which was lead by the conductor Kevin Field. It was interesting to hear a re-interpretation of M Nasir's Nusantara music with orchestral music. As always, the acoustics in DFP was superb, we imagined that we were at London's Royal Albert Hall. It would be a perfect setting for Sigur Ros' upcoming performance, but we doubt it'd be done here. No bands had ever performed here. The closest to a rock artiste performing here was Sting.

Sorry I digressed. It was interesting to hear the sounds from traditional instruments from the original songs being re-intepreted by the violins, cello, double bass, harp- yes! & horns section (for example). They were beautiful. It was an awesome aural experience.  My favourite was Mentera Semerah Padi, as it was an uplifting song, with bass and drums thrown into it. I'd always preferred a combination of guitar, bass and drums with orchestral instrument. Perfect harmony! M Nasir also brought in his tabla player, just to mix in some traditional sounds, and it did blend well. We felt like jumping off our seats but restrained ourselves as everyone else was primly seated. That didn't stop us from bobbing our heads, tapping or feet and waving our hands!

On a light side, he had a change of clothes once, as I guess he felt weird wearing suits. Just after the intermission, he re-entered wearing his trademark wacko robe complete with ornaments. Lol! He was high spirited, making interacting with the fans and joking with Kevin, sometimes talking to him in Malay as if he understood. The closing song was a joget number, yes, imagine a joget song with violins! It worked, miraculously. During this song, he invited the fans to dance with him, although he did ask if it was permissible to do so at DFP. Lol!

I'd say Kevin did justice to M Nasir's songs as he re-imagined them in orchestral version. I did discuss with Faz on some parts in the horns section of certain songs which I thought could be improved for more oomph, but then again, I'm not even a musician, but I thought it'd work ;)

According to my notes there were 17 songs performed, of course this is merely a piece of his plethora of songs, such a prolific songwriter, a genius! Kevin would have a hard time to re-compose his entire portfolio, or it'd have to take up at least 7 sessions ;)

I don't remember all his songs, so it was a bit hard to compile this setlist. He does not use the words in the chorus as the song title, and sometimes the song title doesn't even appear in the song!

Here is the setlist (based on my own notes, might not be 100% accurate):
1. Andalusia (probably)
2. Kias Fansuri
3. Keroncong Untuk Ana
4. Mustika
5. Bonda
6. Kepadamu Kekasih
7. Apokalips
8. Juwita

9. Hati Emas (Kembara)
10. Bukalah Hatimu (Kembara)
11. Di Balik Cermin Mimpi
12. Suatu Masa
13.Sahabat Gua
14. Raikan Cinta
15. Mentera Semerah Padi
16. Sentuhan Listrikmu
17. Ada


Thursday, July 05, 2012

Train, KL Live, 16/6/12

Sat 16/6/12

The day came. A little change of troupe member - Liza would be replacing Ezad. Well you see, when Mas tried to convince Ezad to tag along, he was a bit reluctant. Then when Mas tried to tell Ezad of one of their more popular songs - Hey Soul Sister - he was singing it to the tune of Lady Marmalade's chorus - much to Mas' annoyance. So that was it, Liza was going to replace him. Heheh...

Sorry I digress. After roars of laughter reminiscing our Surabaya trip watching the video at Mas' place, we went to KL Live and arrived just about 8.15pm. Nice timing. Due to a mix up by our office's recreation club, we had to collect our ticket at the venue prior to the concert. So we entered as soon as we got our tickets.

There was a big crowd already - as the concert is scheduled to start at 8.30pm. We were at the back standing area as we bought the cheapest ticket at RM65 from our recreation club. Being short people, the view from here wasn't the best, but it was OK because we just wanted to enjoy the music. So apologies, no good shots were acquired, perhaps you need to scour the net for better images.

I saw that the technicians were not on stage yet for soundcheck, so it seems that this show might be delayed a bit. On the playlist to appease us concertgoers were my current fave tune - Gotye's Someone  I Used To Know, some Kings of Leon, etc. Not long after, the drum and guitar tech came onboard so it's nearing showtime yeah!

Not too long a delay - as they started at 8.45pm with the sounds of a choo-chooing train coming through, then they introduced themselves - Kami Keretapi. Aha, that was cute! We are Train. They opened with 50 Ways To Say Goodbye which I'm not familiar with, but that didn't deter the crowd from getting excited. I got to admit, this has to be the least revision that I'd done before attending a concert. But although hearing some songs for the first time, they were catchy and I found myself bobbing my head and swaying a bit. It's no fun just standing still ;)

Train with California 37 (new album title) as backdrop

The familiar songs really got everyone excited, including yours truly, which we all enjoyed a good singalong to :  If Its Love, Save Me San Francisco, Hey Soul Sister, Marry Me, Drops of Jupiter and (gasp!) a cover of Don't Stop Believing. Ahaha, we the antagonists refused to singalong to that one as we are no fans of Glee. No offence to Journey - the original singer. They did a beautiful acoustic rendition of Marry Me where almost all of the song was sung by the fans. We even managed to outdo the fans from Manchester - well, according to Patrick (tak dapat menahan) Monahan. Really Patrick? ;) Ah, at the chorus of Marry Me, Mas screamed "I Will!" and we all cheered to that - then it was followed by an "I Will!" from a guy. Woof. But nevertheless we all cheered for him! Everyone was on high spirits. Mas and Liza kept on gushing on how good looking Patrick was live, and praising his singing prowess. Good on you girls. Let your hair down ;)

Marry Me - acoustic

Too bad my Partner In Crime who's a bigger fan than me wasn't here. Had to make do with a skype and phone call during Hey Soul Sister and a t-shirt. Hope you enjoyed it ;)

Praises also to Train for bringing in a full live band - complete with the horn section, piano and backup singers. And of course the much loved ukulele. Train are indeed very hardworking and do not mind investing in bringing a full band although logistics might be a headache, what more with a small venue like KL Live. With a good reputation like this, perhaps they could command a bigger crowd next time and perform at a stadium ;)

with horn section

Overall they played 17 songs in a span of 1.5 hours which whizzed through so fast. When you're having fun, time really flies.
Here is the setlist:
1. 50 Ways To Say Goodbye
2. This'll Be My Year
3. If Its Love
4. Meet Virginia
5. I Got You
6. Finally Meet My Mom
7. Calling All Angels
8. Mermaid
9. Save Me San Francisco
10. Bruises
11. Marry Me
12. Don't Stop Believin (Journey Cover)
13. Hey Soul Sister
14. Drive By
15. California 37
16. Drops of Jupiter
17. Sing Together.

Setlist excerpted from here

Ah I got to admit, this was a 'vanilla' flavoured concert for me - wholesome and fun - Train's PR are really good - Patrick communicated a lot with the fans. They know how to appease their fans -taking their fan's mobile phone, took pictures of them, then passing back the phones with their pictures as memorabilia, throwing in free t-shirts - one was signed by all the members. And heck, one lucky (and very innocent) girl even got an autographed (by the full member of the band) acoustic guitar. How about that? Awesome. Luckily Patrick chose a very young innocent girl - I wouldn't know what would happen if he had chosen Mas - or girls like her on to the stage to pose and sing with the band LOL! Although vanilla, I had fun. And it's not really wrong to have fun right? Ops, did I say I was going to behave, just stand and watch? That would be impossible I say, heheh.