Fri, 03 Nov 2000

Rock the nite away with the 'Rockestra'

JAKARTA (JP): Three rock groups--Slank, GIGI and Dewa--will share the stage tonight (Friday) at the Plenary Hall, Jakarta Convention Center.

It is indeed a rare occasion considering the venue, but what will make the night special is that an orchestra will back them up. It is another venture of Erwin Gutawa, a fan of the three groups, after he succeeded in doing it with other singers, such as Chrisye.

The idea came up after Erwin was asked by GIGI to arrange an orchestral number for the group's special Tribute Concert last year. He found the last experience enjoyable because the audience were more relaxed and spontaneous although a string lineup was onstage.

Other reason, "I just like them all - their music, their work and the way they play," said the arranger about his choices. "Besides, their music have such a strong character and they can be categorized as a super group with many hits already," said the musician who is known as one of the country's best keyboard and bass player.

With a catchy title "Rockestra", the concert will involve 85 musicians - almost double the number at Chrisye's concert last year - and an impromptu choir. The stage can hold a maximum of 140 people.

Each group will sing their hit songs for 45 minutes and some guest artists will give their best acts too. Among them Ahmad Albar, Roni Harahap and Jockie Soerjoprajogo - supposedly representing the 1970s rockers while the rock queen Nicky Astria is projected as the symbol of the 1980s.

Asked for a musical surprise he prepared this time, Erwin was a bit puzzled. "You just have to see the concert. What I can say is they will play together. They even composed a song together during the rehearsal but they haven't figured out the title yet," he said.

Still, expect his quirky touch on the 30 songs he has to arrange. Only a few weeks ago, Erwin delighted the audience of Harvey Malaiholo's concert as he tuned out his upbeat, modern version of Keroncong Pasar Gambir - a keroncong number.

Tickets range from Rp 80,000 to Rp 175,000. Fifty percent of the tickets have been sold, mostly for second and third class seats.

--Helly Minarti