lightcraft is a band that has seen the world. Formed in Malaysia by several Indonesian students, the band has performed on stages in different continents, with the latest being the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) in March 2017. Just a couple of days after they returned from the United States (there seemed to be a jetlag-like confusion whether it was three or four days previously), the five-piece and KONSERKU held a homecoming concert. It was also their first full solo concert ever.
The band had so much to tell about. From how they saw the likes of Krist Novoselic and Rachel Yamagata in SXSW, rolled with industry people, watched or shared stages with bands they like, to how they found their current bassist, Aldi, and how they’re trying to prevent him from leaving them again. (Not because he doesn’t find being in lightcraft enjoyable, but because he’s a student, and plans to continue his study in Australia.)
And tonight, March 25, 2017, at IFI Jakarta, in front of friends, family, and fans, they had the chance to not only share their experience in words, but showcase how far they’d come in terms of music. Walking onto the stage to a playback of Final Countdown, the band members took their positions, and soon kickstarted the concert with Living Animation. Vocalist Imam and guitarist Fahri invited the audience to clap their hands. Fahri was wearing the nasi goreng T-shirt like the one he sported on the concert poster, drawing teasing comments from the audience.
Throughout the concert, among songs of ambitious sounds and haunting guitars, the band members took turns throwing jokes, with the audience freely shouting interactions back at them. It couldn’t be helped: after all, there were relatives and old buddies among them. “We have fathers, mothers, aunts here,” keyboardist Enrico went on to thank them for coming. Right after that, his keyboard experienced some problem. Fahri joked, “What, nervous because mom and dad are watching?” Imam deadpanned, “No, because we’ve never played in front of as many people as this.”
The parents attending did make them have to be careful with their jokes and swear words. And Imam looked so awkward when, after covering a bit of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time, he introduced their next song, the first ever they’d written as a band. He performed the song on an acoustic guitar with violinist Bimo. The audience giggled when they found out that Imam’s source of nervousness was the lyrics, which bluntly portrayed what he was going through at the time of the writing: Rejection by parents. “You tell me to be a real man / you shouldn’t be in a band… please don’t treat me like a child now.” He quickly apologized, “Sorry mum!” when the song finished.
Some other musicians joined lightcraft on stage that night: Bimo on violin, BeniBono on trumpet, and rising singer/songwriter Woro, whose thick, fluffy voice complimented Imam’s beautifully in songs like All In My Mind.
The pace of the concert was a bit slow at the beginning, with a lot of talks including by drummer Yopie who actually didn’t get a mic for speaking, but it picked up during the latter half. They also tried to involve the attendees more during Hello Goodbye (taken from the album Colours of Joy). They admitted that they’re not a band who’s very interactive with the audience, but they’re learning to be so. Thus they asked the audience to join the chanting in this song. After a bit of training, and hint from Imam, they filled the auditorium with ‘there is no place for fear’ at the right part during the song.
They also performed some new songs, including bass-heavy Walk on Fire, when the stage turned red and Imam alternated between singing, inviting people to clap their hands, and jumping. Woro and Bono returned for Another Life, a song about refugees that were released as an EP back in November 2016. They closed their longest set so far with the glorious Living in Words and Letters.
lightcraft has seen the world, and they’ve come home enriched.
lightcraft hopes to tour more in Indonesia and release a new album this year. Be on the lookout.