Event Review: A:M Festival 2018 | Article by Indie Accent


Event Review: A:M Festival 2018

by: Valerie Dante

People nowadays tend to have a large appetite and interest for live music, and lots of festivals have facilitated that need. Prasetiya Mulya University didn’t want to miss out on the action as they held Absence of Mute or A:M Festival as a multi-genre music festival that is based on the concept of a musical journey.

Held at the 5th of May, the festival was flooded with musical performances, such as Barefood, Ariel Nayaka x BAP, and Diskoria that was divided into the main and the outdoor stage. Things got interesting when Fourtwnty took the stage in the wee hours of the evening. They warmed the crowd up with songs such as “Realita” and continued with “Aku Bukan Binatang” that Ari, the vocalist, delivered so eloquently it almost looked like he was storytelling rather than singing. Even though the crowd was painfully stiff at first, the pop group got them to sing along at their most popular songs like “Zona Nyaman” and “Diam Diam Ku Bawa.” Interestingly, in the middle of their show Ari asked the audience to raise their fists up in the air and singalong as the band played an instrumental version of “Indonesia Pusaka.”

Also playing at the main stage is The Groove as one of Indonesia’s senior pop band. Emitting joy and energy, the twenty one-year-old band kicked it back with some old tunes such as “Dahulu” and of course to save the best for the last, “Khayalan.” Despite the generation gap between the band and most of the crowd, The Groove definitely succeed at filling up Kuningan City’s Ballroom with sways and singalongs.

To spice things up, A:M Festival brought two international artist and L.A.-based future-funk producer Yung Bae was the first to take the stage. Behind the DJ booth, Yung Bae played a set that was filled with vibrant remixes spanning from a twist on Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” until Tyler, the Creator’s “Boredom.” With Jakarta being the last destination on his Asia Tour, Yung Bae gave it his all as he got the crowd hyped up and dancing along with his sick beats. The certain crowd-pleaser was his remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA,” people were vigorously jumping and shouting the verses as the venue become as electric as it can be.

Moving on to the main event, Mac Ayres quickly took over as the scattered youngsters haste away to find their way near the stage. Ayres who’s best known as a composer, singer/songwriter, and a producer is accompanied on stage by two other dudes playing drums and a sax. With a simple stage layout, Ayres opened up his performance with “Calvin’s Joint,” a tune that feels refreshing even though it has an ‘oldie’ feel to it.

“Wow, I can’t believe this is happening, you guys are amazing,” the 20-year-old said as he just finished talking about how he started off as merely a college kid Soundcloud singer. After that, much to everyone’s surprise, Ayres performed “Easy” which might as well be his most popular song. The crowd was singing along at the top of their lungs as the singer shows off his vocal ability and radiates funky vibes.

The New York native continued by singing some of his tunes such as “The Devil’s in the Details,” “Slow Down,” “Drive Slow,” and “Show Me.” Ayres’ music was a beautiful blend of soul, R&B, jazz, and hip-hop that kept the crowd wanting for more. After the encore chants recites, Ayres heads back to the stage and sang a rather slow tempo song, “Lonely” as a closing to his performance as well as the festival. Although this was his first time coming to Jakarta, Ayres genuinely looked like he was having so much fun playing music on stage and that energy was transmitted to those who were watching him. His simple yet soulful music was like a breath of fresh air that we needed.