Sun, 06 Aug 2000

Kla Project realizes its dream in concert for all seasons

By Hera Diani

JAKARTA (JP): Kla Project is a band with dozens of mellow love songs. Kla Project is a band with an acoustic, heart-melting sound. Kla Project is a band with poetic and romantic lyrics.

And watching Kla Project live in concert without being accompanied by your truelove as s/he was away or you happened to be dateless, was one dreadful experience. Sigh!

Last Sunday evening, Kla performed its concert in the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), titled Menjemput Impian, Konser Empat Musim (Fetching Dreams, a Concert of Four Seasons).

In line with the title, Menjemput Impian -- which is actually a hit from Kla's latest album Klasik, the concert was indeed a dream come true for the band who usually perform in cafes.

"Holding a big concert has been our dream for years. And boy, are we glad that the dream is coming true tonight," said vocalist Katon at the opening of the concert.

The event also marked the 12th anniversary of the moment when Katon Bagaskara, Romulo Radjadin alias Lilo (guitar), Adi Adrian (keyboard) and Ari Burhani (drum), first came together in a band and decided to give showbusiness a shot.

The name Kla is taken from the first letter of their respective nicknames.

Ari later left the band, but trio Katon-Lilo and Adi shot to fame and became one of the country's biggest pop acts, especially in the late-1980s and mid-1990s.

Together, they have produced eight albums: Kla Project (1989), Kla Kedua Project (The Second Kla Project 1990), Pasir Putih (White sand/1991), Ungu (Purple/1994), V (Five/1995), Klakustik 1&2 (1996), Sintesa (Synthesis/1998), and Klasik (Classic/1999).

They were not exactly offering something revolutionary in the Indonesian pop scene. But the trio has succeeded in combining sweet sounds and unique chord progression, and, of course, poetic but not inane lyrics, thanks to Katon.

Sometimes he writes his lyrics using words that most Indonesian people do not even know exist. Like Saujana (Sanskrit's for vision), for example.

Such words have captured the fans' hearts as could be seen at the concert where 3,000 people recited the songs word by word.

The concert started at 9:05 p.m. as noted trumpet player Happy Pretty was spotlighted on the right side of the stage, demonstrating her talent. Another trumpet player, Eddy Junaedy showed up on the left side, and another one, Didiet Maruto, was also seen on the balcony.

Several minutes later, the intro from Terpurukku Di Sini (Drowned in Here), a hit from the Ungu album was heard and the audience cheered as the trio came up on stage.

The concert was divided into four parts, or four seasons. The change of season was marked by two screens showing glances of scenery, the titles of Kla's song and the name of the season.

The stage sets, and also the trio's costumes were adjusted to suit the theme.

The first part was fall, with leaves pouring onto the stage and two dried trees placed on each side of it.

Katon was wearing a black brocade shirt with black leather pants, singing mostly ballads and in mid-tempo, the trademark of Kla.

He also showed another talent -- storytelling -- as he narrated about a guy who was cheated by his fiancee (a rather cheesy story, though), before moving into a heartfelt rendition of Merapuh (Be Fragile).

For the sixth song, Kla was accompanied by the Lacuissa choir from Trisakti University who accapela-ed to the song Tak Bisa Ke Lain Hati (Can't Alter My Heart).

The season changed into winter with an igloo, "snow" and stuff. But as opposed to the theme, the atmosphere heated up with a series of up-tempo numbers like Bahagia Tanpamu (Happy Without You), Sudi Turun ke Bumi (Willing to Fly Down The Earth) and Laguku (My Song), complete with synthesizer and sexy dancers.

And then spring came. Candlelight, stars, curtains, and the tinkling strains of a harp were more than enough to make couples tighten their embrace and loners feel even more miserable.

"The season of love..." Katon recited before singing Semoga (Hopefully), Prahara (Tempest) and Anak Dara (Young Lady).

Thank heavens, spring was soon over and summertime had arrived. Cheerfulness was in the air with Hey, Lagu Baru (New Song) -- which was rearranged with a dangdut sound and ska --, Gerimis (Drizzle), Tentang Kita (About Us), Yogyakarta, Menjemput Impian, Kidung Mesra (Tender Song) and Belahan Jiwa (Soulmate).

In Tentang Kita, the audience was surprised as singer Reza -- who is pregnant -- performed a duet with Katon.

Besides Reza, several noted musicians and singers provided back up for the concert, like saxophone player Didiek SSS, harpist Maya Hasan, and singer Eka Deli.

Apart from being too unbelievably romantic, the concert was often interrupted by interference on the sound system. Too bad!

But all in all, even though the audience was only half capacity (the ticket price was Rp 70,000 for festival class, Rp 125,000 for first class and Rp 200,000 for VIP class), the concert showed that Kla Project still rocks.