No gloomy weather nor rain could stop the enthusiasm of Dewa 19 diehard fans to attend the Dewa 19, 30th Year Anniversary Concert at Axiata Arena yesterday. Dewa 19 set the stage on fire by their terrifying, immense and all round great stage performance.
The fans known as Baladewa had started to gather around Axiata Arena at 4pm despite the rain while awaiting for their favourite band that reached their popularity peak in the 2000’s until 2011, when the group disbanded.
The sold out concert started at 8.30pm and went out until midnight. It was intensifying with full of energy and strong vocal performance by the original members of the group Ari Lasso and Once Mekel, only to be strengthened by performances from Virzha dan Marcello Tahitoe.
The band had sung 35 songs to their fans, leaving everyone in the stadium captivated and mesmerised by the entire performance, which was truly a night to remember. Despite the disbandment, their songs remained favourites for many as they remembered word by word of the songs by heart that were sung together throughout the 3-hour concert.
Among the songs sung that stood out include: “Dewi”, “Larut”, “Arjuna”, “Juliette”, “Separuh Nafas”, “Pupus”, “Lagu Cinta”, “Cemburu”, “Sedang Ingin Bercinta”, “Roman Picisan”, “Restoe Boemi”, “Kangen” and “Cinta’kan Bawamu Kembali”. The band also surprised fans by covering the song “Careless Whispers” – a George Michael hit in 1984.
The last time Dewa 19 conducted their concert in Malaysia was in 2019 at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam in line with the band’s reunion. However, the concert was not attended by leader and founder of Dewa 19, Ahmad Dhani himself.
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Ahmad Dhani impressed his fans by his array of musical talents, from playing the keyboard, singing and performing on acoustic guitar. Once Mekel relived our memories when he sang the many Dewa 19 hits that we remember listening to and watching the music videos on MTV. We also fondly remember the tune “Pupus” which touches on unrequited love.
Post pandemic, the band had announced their 30th Anniversary Concert, 30 cities and Kuala Lumpur was one of their main destinations. Tickets for their two-day concert (9th & 10th September) were all sold out in the first hour of it going live, showing the deep support of its Malaysian fan base towards the Indonesian Lord of Rocks.
Indonesian rock bands have (over the years) left an impressive mark on many of the region’s rock fans with their take and creation of rock and roll that lingers in the ears and hearts of their fans for a long time. Fans from all ages who had made their way to Axiata Arena donning Dewa 19 t-shirts were seen truly having the night of their lives when the band performed for a nearly four hour concert.
The band, influenced by British rock band Queen, was truly the epitome of rock and roll with the touch of ballad rock signifying the embellishment of love tunes that warmed our hearts. Watching Dewa 19 live on stage to a sold out stadium was ethereal. The writer felt that this was the best rock concert Malaysia was blessed to witness since the pandemic which ravaged the world, and put a stop to concerts and live performances for two years.
Now that concerts are slowly returning as the world gets acclimatised to Covid-19, we hope that Dewa 19 will return once again in the near future. Dewa 19 is also expected to stage its final concert tonight at the Axiata Arena. The two-day sold out concert is a testament that this legendary band whom the writer grew up listening to is here to stay for a long time.
Dewa 19 rocked Axiata Arena and those attending tonight’s concert, you will be swayed away by the Lords of Rock! Rock on Baladewa’!