Javarockin’ Land 2013: A Roller Coaster Ride of Rock on Jakarta’s Anniversary

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 | 8278

Adding to the festivities in the capital city Jakarta celebrating its 486th anniversary on 22 June , the Karnaval Beach, at the Ancol Dreamland Theme Park was stormed with the biggest wave of rock. Here the largest rock festival in South East Asia, Java Rockinland 2013 (JRL 2013) shook the shores with some of the most spectacular music performances from 22nd to 23rd June 2013.


Returning after last year’s absence, the two days festival brought over 50 performances on 7 stages overlooking the gorgeous Karnaval Beach of Ancol. Earlier on Friday, 21st June 2013, at the press conference held at Borobudur Hotel , Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu underscored the significance of the event for Indonesia’s creative industry and tourism.”Through this event, Indonesia’s creative individuals are given a media to showcase their talents alongside international performers. Also, through the event, Jakarta can rise as a tourist destination, both on the national and international level.” She also added that the most important message sent to the international world through events such as JRL 2013 is that Indonesia is capable of staging events of such magnitude and that Indonesia is a perfectly safe country to visit.


A roller coaster ride of rock, that is probably the best expression to describe the atmosphere of the two days’ rocking fiesta. With all genres of rock played, ranging from soft rock, pop rock, punk, electronic, rock n’ roll, blues, hard rock, alternative, speed metal, industrial, thrash metal, grind core, and even those not easily categorized or described, the JRL 2013 was truly an event that indulges one’s hearing senses. But, not only for the ears, the stage act and overall performances of some of the bands were really exceptional and rarely featured on regular rock shows.


The rocking fiesta kicked off on Saturday, 22nd June 2013 at 16.15 Western Indonesia time with Indonesian Bands’ Xiruz on Chevrolet Stage and Gigantor on Propaganda Stage. The scene of the festival heated up as Metal Band Siksa Kubur took on the Rockin’land Stage and fired up the audience with fast and heavy distorted sounds of Metal. Moments later, it was the turn of Blues to enter the scene of JRL 2013 as Indonesia’s latest Blues sensation Gugun Blues Shelter fired up the audience at Tabs stage, Jokingly, vocalist of Siksa Kubur said on stage “this is the only festival where you can hear the sound of Metal and Blues at the same time”


Led by one of Indonesia’s guitar master Eet Syahrani, Edane became the first to take on the Indosat Im3 Main Stage. Bringing their all time hits such as “The living dead”, “Rockin’ in 82”, “Bla-bla-bla”, and “Kau pikir Kaulah segalanya”, the band really got the crowd jumping off their feet as the sun went down on the Karnaval Beach horizon.


As night grew, hordes of metalheads formed in front of the Indosat Im3 main stage as they prepared to welcome the “father of crossover thrash” band Suicidal Tendecies. Screams “S.T, S.T,S.T” were endlessly shouted as the band finally entered the stage. Sure enough, with fast beat music, semi-rapping vocals, and endless movements on stage, the audience was kept in a constant frenzy. The band also put up a special performance as Mike Muir and friends brought Arian, vocalist of Indonesi’s renowned metal band Seringai to sing along. Bringing hits such as I Shot Reagan", "Pledge Your Alligence", "You Can't Bring Me Down", Free Dump", "Subliminal" and "Ain't Gonna Take It", the band successfully turned the scene into a “moshing” party where the crowd danced aggressively on a rotating motion. As pinnacle of their performance, they again pulled more members of the audience and filled up the stage with an ecstatic crowd who could not believe their experience.


The roller coaster ride of rock slowed down a bit, as Sixpence none the Richer eased up the scene at Rockin’land Stage with sweet and soft songs such as the phenomenal “Kiss Me” and “There she goes”. Later, it was 90’s alternative band, the Collective Soul to turn on the hysteria at the main stage. Again the crowd went wild. Those who shared the 90’s music scene must be very familiar with hits such as “December”,”Gel”,”River Flows”,”Precious Declaration”, “The World I Know”,”Run”, and more. The band actually paused their performances as fireworks lit up in the distance at midnight precisely.” Beautiful isn’t it, Happy Birthday Jakarta” said vocalist Ed Rolland. The hysteria of the first day came to its end as Collective Soul played their most renowned song “Shine”.



The Second night saw some of the most exceptional performances from Indonesia’s finest rock bands. From the flower city of Bandung, Pas Band and /Riff got the audience to sing along to some of their popular songs, while the main stage belonged to the frenzy of Gigi.


Unexpectedly, on the 2nd night, Governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo -who celebrated the anniversary of the city just a day before- arrived on the scene of JRL 2013. Without any special treatment, the governor who is known to enjoy rock music walked among the audience as he watched some of the bands’ performing.



After being heat up with funky dance rock sounds of Gossips, the main stage welcomed the performance of the highly anticipated pop rock band Sugar Ray. Charismatic vocalist Mark Mcgrath greeted the audience as the band appeared under the hysterical applause from the audience. As the band played “Someday”,”When it’s over”, “Answer the Phone”, and “Every morning”, the crowds jumped off their feet as they sang along to every word of the songs. A special twist was presented, as Mark called two members of the audience to a dance battle on stage. The dance session brought a lot of laughs and applause from the audience and truly gave an exceptional experience for the two lucky persons.



As the pinnacle of the two days rocking fiesta, the legend of Hard Rock Steelheart was brought to the JRL 2013 scene when the full moon rose to its highest point. Although they may be the most “senior” among the other performers, these veteran rockers proved to be even more powerful than their younger comrades. With hits such as “We All Die Young”, “Everybody Loves Eileen”, “Love Ain’t Easy”, and even a classic cover from Led Zeppelin’s hits “Black Dog”, the band truly wowed the audience with their musical skills and stage act. While Suicidal Tendencies may have puledl the crowd to the stage, Milenko Matijevic dared to go the distance as he walked off stage and greeted the audience on their turf. The two days rocking fiesta finally got to its pinnacle closure, when Steelheart played one of the greatest ballad songs of all time “She’s Gone”.


While it may have been shorter than its last edition in 2010, the two days rocking fiesta of Java Rockin’land 2013 successfully presented a different side of a rock show. The magnitude of the show has always been huge, and this time it was added with deeper attention to the variety of genres played. Thus, Javarockinland has become a rocking fiesta not just for metalheads, punk rockers, blues mania, and others, but moreover, a rocking fiesta for all: Indeed, a Rollercoaster ride of rock.