As if love had invaded the universe in the form of these aliens running up and about in the venue, Protocol Afro started 2014’s space themed Love Garage at around 6pm. Jakarta-based band Jirapah, continued the 4th edition of this event’s line up while people started to pile up in front of the barricades. Little did anyone know, yet should’ve expected, it rained in the middle of Zero 7’s set. Fenech Soler then took the stage with their DJ set while the rain coated crowd started to fill up the EX Parking Lot.
Indonesia’s monsoon habits did not hesitate to be part of this year’s slightly early Love Garage, the rain poured relentlessly as Entertainment’s Asianesque styled intro played on as the start to Phoenix’s set. The Indonesian crowd sing-along habit may be one of the reasons of why it’s, to some extent, better to watch a concert in your hometown, it did its job all throughout the gig. While setlists-wise, there was a balance of old songs and singles taken from their latest album, Bankrupt! and it only had a slight difference from setlists taken from recent gigs. However, if anyone is a fool for setlists predictions, they would have been rather disappointed that some songs were cut off due to the heavy rain. It turned out that the encore, including singles ‘If I ever Feel Better’ and ‘Rome’, was cut from that day’s setlists as the set was wrapped up quite quickly with 1901, a renowned single taken from their 4th studio album. It seems that a second show in Jakarta will not be enough for fans of this French band. Lastly, despite the un-pitying continuous rain, some still enjoyed the Love Garage Project and Midnight Safari that finished up the night.
To sum it all up, the unwanted weather certainly did not stop Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars being consistent with his stage acts and coming down into the crowd, a great yet rather brief performance by Phoenix, awesome visuals accompanying the gig, and most of the crowd from having a good time.
Some hours before the event, SUB had a brief time to sit down and have a chance to talk with headliner Phoenix. As we greeted Thomas Mars, Deck D’arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, and Christian Mazzalai, it wouldn’t have been wrong if they were nervous about the gig that night.
It was the second time Phoenix visited and held a concert in Jakarta, so there must’ve been different outlooks for the second gig, “We want it to be better, but it’s hard because the first time was really great”. Laurent didn’t hesitate to put a ‘Fingers crossed’ in the statement, followed by laughter. Thomas explained it as like “when you go see a movie and someone told you before that it’s a great movie, you know you have higher expectations”.
While the first gig was back in 2009 following the release of Wolfgang Amadeus, their 4th studio album, they headlined this year’s Love Garage which stands with a rather bold statement “Love Can Save the Universe”. They did simply agree on this year’s theme, specifically Laurent thought it was a big statement and every truth, being that statement, is very simple and disappointing.
Following the release of their 5th studio album, Bankrupt!, they also had been touring parts of the world since mid-2013. You can’t imagine how many stories there are in each and every day in the tour. These stories, some weird, happens every day as Thomas stated, “That’s why we’ve done this for a long time”. Not forgetting to mention that they also predicted what was going to be the lead role of the gig, “I’m sure there is going to be great stories for us tonight. Like a giant monsoon rain coming? It’s going to be epic”. They couldn’t have predicted any differently.