Sun, 20 Feb 2000

Singer Chrisye still appeals to the public

JAKARTA (JP): Pop singer Chrisye mesmerized hundreds of his fans with his popular hits in his sold-out concert at the Jakarta Convention Center in Central Jakarta on Friday evening.

Presenting songs mostly from his phenomenal 1977 soundtrack of the noted film Badai Pasti Berlalu (The Tempest Must Be Over), starring Christine Hakim and Slamet Rahardjo, the concert presented Chrisye's oldies with new musical arrangement by Erwin Gutawa.

The popularity of that album, ensured the concert was well- anticipated by his fans and tickets were sold out two weeks before opening, thanks to strong media promotion.

This also ensured the presence of the pervasive ticket scalpers, trying to rake in profits. They were seen wandering outside the concert hall prior to opening, offering tickets to arriving fans or asking the committee's officials or journalists if they had more tickets.

Chrisye's appeal is still strong and some who did not get front seats, were even willing to stand throughout the concert, getting as close as possible to the stage. Others sat on the floor. All sang along when they heard familiar songs.

In the opening, Chrisye captured the audience' attention with Sabda Alam (Nature's Voice) and followed it with popular oldies, such as Gita Cinta (Love Song), Pelangi (Rainbow) and Malam Pertama (First Night).

In the two and half an hour concert, composer Erwin Gutawa not only highlighted the new orchestration with modern instruments, but also put traditional, ethnic nuances in his arrangements. The marvelous music and terrific arrangements were further enhanced by the concert's luscious lighting.

Chrisye also gave the audience a nice surprise by performing duets with other singers, such as soprano Aning Katamsi in Matahari (Sun) and rocker Nicky Astria in Khayalku (My Imagination).

He sang Semusim (Season) along with Waljinah, a singer specializing in Javanese songs, in a "coquettish" style. The song was originally performed with singer Berlian Hutauruk.

The audience, at home with Chrisye's poised style, were really surprised when Pop group Gigi came on stage in a pick-up and performed three Chrisye songs.

In Friday's concert, the second since his 1994 Konser Kita (Solo's Concert), Chrisye engendered a unique atmosphere by staging a poetry recital by renown poet, Taufik Ismail, and the appearance of five religious figures, who prayed for the nation's peace and unity.

Hundreds of candles were lit when Chrisye closed the concert with his hit Lilin-Lilin Kecil (Little Candles). (Endi Aras)