“If I could make a moment last forever
This would be the one I’d choose
You and me here together ………………..”Westlife’s No One’s Gonna Sleep Tonight”.
The boys during the show (courtesy of Eny Wulandari)
Four days passed while I was writing this piece of story. Endless echoes, colorful lightnings, powerful sound system, crazy crowd, and definitely angelic voices from four faces of Westlife still linger on my mind. Thoughtful lyrics from Safe keep ringing in my ears. I still can’t believe I was part of thousand of people who enjoyed the two hours show at Tennis Indoor, Senayan, on Wednesday.
A day before the show I lost my focus on work. I came to the office at noon because I had to exchange a voucher for a tribune 1 class concert ticket on Tuesday. I arrived at Raja Karcis ticket office at about 9.30a.m. The queue was already long. I was at the 120th. Although I had yet to feel really excited about the concert, I could not concentrate well by the time I was at my desk. I kept on thinking “would I really watch the show?”.
The much-awaited day finally came. Like what happened a day before, I wasted four hours browsing for Westlife instead of working. Sorry a lot boss. Now the ambiance took over everything that I made use my working times for fun. At 12 o’clock I stopped working. I took a bath for the second time in just five hours! I chose the best dress that I have and not to forget a camera that has been fully charged few days before. Oh my God! I have been 27 years old but felt like a 17-year old girl at that day. The boys made me feel so much younger and alive.
The show was still six hours away when I hit the road at 2 p.m. I went to Education to USA, part of AMINEF’s office, to get a TOEFL certificate. Traffic was already crazy at Jalan Sudirman. Thankfully, a Transjakarta bus helped me a lot. Although I had to stand during the short bus trip, I reached Senayan area in just 15 minutes. Of course, I did not go directly to the concert. That was still at 3 p.m. instead, I went to one of the most fave places in the city: Kinokuniya bookstore!
And damn! At first glances, I did not discover interesting books at the front bookshelf rows till I moved backward and smiled widely upon reading some great titles: The Circle of Reason, Calcutta Chromosome, The Hungry Tide, and The Shadow Lines. Those are books that I have been searching ever since I finished reading amazing books by Indian author Amitav Ghosh called The Glass Palace and Sea of Poppies.
I faced a great dillema at that time: I really wanted to buy all those books, or at least one. But looking at the price, all I had to do was reading few pages quickly then just leaving the site. Fortunately, my focus about the concert saved me from spending so much money on those books. I could put my desire for buying the books on a hold. Initially, I would have planned to go to the concert venue at 6 p.m, and changed my mind for some unknown reasons.
The location between Kinokuniya store and Tennis Indoor is just some meters away so I preferred to walk. The sky was a bit cloudy and the traffic was smooth. I guessed the concert would be fine as well.
Not so many cars and still few people were seen at 4.30 p.m. I sat and captured some pictures. Few minutes after that, the crowd started to be crazy. I stood up once I heard some girls shouted. I did not why they did that. I joined the queue finally although I knew the concert was still far away though it was getting closer. Just when the gate was about to open, I was pushed from behind. I started to get panic. There was no way I would get hurt because of the boyband. That would be ridiculous!
After the gate was opened, I and others ran fast to line up for tickets checkings. The organizer of the concert divided spectators based on classes: tribune 2, tribune 1, and festival. I joined dozens of girls at the tribune 1 class. For about one hour or so, we and those at other classes stood and had small chats. Thankfully, one of the major sponsor held a question session for their loyal customers who bought the ticket concerts. The host of the show was so funny that I could not stop laughing. Thanks buddy! You made me forgetting that I was suffering in that long queue.
At 6.30 p.m, the tickets checkings began. Few from tribune 1 class were so lucky to enter the venue first. Everything looked smooth at the beginning until those at the tribune 2 class began impatient to get in the site. I did not know how that happened but a strong pushing started. They pushed forward to some security guards and could not wait to get their tickets scanned. That was how the mess was kicked off! I and other from the tribune 1 class stood up while gazing our eyes at the mess. Not long after that crazy scene occured at the tribune 2 class, those at the festival class started shouting, too. I did not know if they did do any pushings because officers at the tribune 1 class started scanning our tickets. I saluted the girls at my class because they lined up patiently while waiting to go through all of the processes.
I got a seat at the third row. I intentionally chose at the upper row to get a clearer view. One hour away from the big show and I already felt the hysteria. As minutes were passing, more and more people coming in and filling all the empty seats. Surprisingly, a lot of seats at tribune 2 class looked empty despite the fact I failed to get the ticket of the class as they were sold out in just one day.
From where I sat, the crowd at the festival class was getting larger in a short time. I noticed many men did come to the concert. So it was a bit equal between women and men in the most expensive class.
Thirty minutes before the concert began, I went to the toilet! Just look at the long queue! I can not count how many times I had to line up for the sake of the boys! Did I mention I meet soap opera star Zaskia Adia Mecca while waiting for the toilet?
The show featuring local boy band began when I was at the toilet. The crowd, especially at the festival class, was so full. Loud cheer filled up the venue when I sat back at the point where I had secured. The opening act was okay. Probably, the viewers loved them when performing medley from other boybands Backstreet Boys and New Kids On The Block. The night was a nostalgia for all of us.
The opening act was done but Westlife did not straightly come up. Through transparent closed curtain we could see few crews checked light and sound system. I was getting so impatient. Would they really sing anyway??? I was tired in holding my camera while waiting for their first glimpses.
The curtain was suddenly lifted and upbeat song was heard. Four men dressed up in long black blazer, ties, and white shirts started singing and dancing all around the stage. When You’re Looking Like That opened the show. A louder shot was heard. People started to sing along with the Irish guys. I stood up as well and was a bit busy in catching their pictures. After that, I danced and sang out loud. Just one song. And I was sweating already! The song was so perfect to heat us up!
Two songs in a row put us in a much more hysteria: World Of Our Own and What Makes A Man. I still could not believe I eventually listened to their own voices and met them though from far. I wish the clock could stand still. In a bit different music version in World Of Our Own, the boys who were no longer young kept dancing in some simple movements, and the crowd was getting so unbearable.
Since the very beginning, Shane and Mark gave gestures asking fans in the floor to move backward. At first I thought that was just a trivial thing to do since I did not see anything dangerous was happening there. But as they stopped singing after performing Safe and Home that I felt something really bad was going on. Even some members of the organizer came up to the stage and begged fans to move backwards or even moved to the tribune 1 or 2 classes. From the big screen, I was shocked to know few girls were rushed out of the venue.
I sat silent. I was anxious that they did really stop the show since Shane said they would not perform anymore if local security said no. He then asked for the fans to move to the empty seats. To calm the situation down, crews from Westlife gave bottles of mineral water to the audiences.
Thirty minutes later, the guys emerged to the stage. Nicky said the next song was a trial one. If it went well they would proceed the concert. But they would stop singing shortly should the pushings continue.
A soft music of My Love hit the venue. I actually really like the song but did not want to sing it loudly due to a fear that would be the last song of the night. The crowd looked much more relaxed. Smiles from Shane and Nicky made me relieved before the song ended. The show indeed went on again.
Some hits from previous albums — Seasons In The Sun and I’m Already There — were able to put me to get back on the show. I enjoyed the concert again, much more than before the mess.
An interesting introduction from Kian before singing You Raise Me Up amazed me in a way they do love Indonesian fans so much. He said the song was for us who brought them to where they were now. Somehow, the song look so special for me now.
Undoubtedly, the most incredible moment of the show occured when the guys was about to perform Flying Without Wings. They said the song had a special place in our hearts. And that was absolutely correct.
So, best part of the show was singing along Flying Without Wings while waving our hands for them. I was speechless! Being able to sing one of the songs with deepest lyrics with Shane was beyond words. It was just splendid! I believed I was not the only one who felt that. The audiences sang it together from the beginning till the end. WOW!!!
The following songs — I Will Reach You, What About Now, and Uptown Girl — received enthusiastic responses. Uptown Girl became the last song that closed such wonderful night.
All in all, I was so satisfied and thankful for the very rare moment. Despite the mess and less number of songs they performed, I got the best quality of all. That night answered my own questions on whether they could give out their best voices during live concert or not. Now, if someone said Westlife only sold their cute faces instead of voices, I would strongly suggest he or she to watch the concert by himself or herself before judging. And don’t blame me if he or she wants to see it again and again.
Thank you so much Westlife for the concert and all your songs. You guys make my life so much beautiful for the past 12 years. I will always pray that you will get strong and stronger as ever and hold the fifth, sixth, seventh concerts in one of your most favorite places in the world: Indonesia! (They did say that via Twitter).
To Allah swt, thank you so much for keeping the best for me, as always. I look forward for just another best things in my life….