Judika sustained his energy throughout the 2-hour concert, delivering 15 songs that were the right mix of ballads, pop as well as rock and roll
by RAHIMI YUNUS
JUDIKA Nalon Abadi Sihotang had never performed with a full symphony orchestra before.
He finally did last weekend, which was also his debut with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), a show that will be remembered as a testament to the singer’s professionalism and vocal prowess.
Judika sustained his energy throughout the two-hour concert, delivering 15 songs that were the right mix of ballads, pop as well as rock and roll.
The music arrangements were simple, yet intact and focused on delivery — “not too adventurous” as how music director and conductor of the orchestra, Ahmad Muriz Che Rose put it.
Judika, the runner-up in Indonesian Idol 2005, really showed no reservation in his performance in front of over 900 happy spectators at the full house concert.
The show opened with a spriteful overture, which was a strong hint of what could be expected for the rest of the evening.
Then, the white spotlight followed the man of the hour as he entered from the wing of the stage towards the centre, as the crowd cheered on.
Donning a black suit and a bow tie, befitting the classy performance ahead, Judika started with “Apakah Ini Cinta”, which was more like building the base for the whole night before pushing for the higher of highs.
The dynamic of the concert took a melancholic turn and visceral via “Bukan Dia Tapi Aku”, followed by “Setengah Mati Merindu”, which felt like a reconciliation to the previous emotionally raw tune.
Under the baton of Penang-born Ahmad Muriz, the renowned Indonesian pop star presented his latest single “Cinta Karena Cinta”, which was dropped a few months ago.
Those who heard the song for the first time that night easily fell in love with the melody immediately.
No wonder the song is already topping the charts in Indonesia.
Judika’s version of the song “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott, filled the hearts of the audience with wonderment and warmth at the same time.
At this point, the concert-goers had pretty much fully learned that Judika was a force to be reckoned with and capable of a concert of such a magnitude.
Not That Nervous After All…
He made way for Jaclyn Victor, the first Malaysian Idol who also wowed the audience with her glittering black-and-white dress. She kicked off the performance with her all-time hit “Gemilang”, before a duet with Judika who re-entered the stage after his short break.
Jaclyn admitted that she was nervous. “My heart beats fast,” Jaclyn said, knowing that she will be performing “Shallow”, the well known soundtrack of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born”, with Judika. “Yeah, I am going to do that (“Shallow”),” she added.
The result was, simply put, a match made in heaven. Jaclyn seemed to have contained her nervousness effortlessly and with that, concluded the concert’s first half.
After a 20-minute interval, the audience, Judika and orchestral musicians alike were ready for a stronger second half.
The second part commenced with a “The Greatest Showman” medley by the MPO, and then Judika claimed the stage again in a sparkling off-white suit.
He stole the limelight again with “Sampai Kau Jadi Milikku”. This time, Judika came down from the stage and interacted with the fans as he performed.
The second half of the show further showcased Judika’s near-perfect husky voice with “Mama Papa Larang”.
Jaclyn returned to the stage for her third and final song of the night, a duet of “Kisahku Inginkan”, which was originally written for Judika and Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.
Jaclyn said she was still nervous! Regardless, both captivated the audience with their harmonious vocals.
The energy in the hall reached its peak when Judika unleashed his innate pop character through “Bukan Rayuan Gombal”.
Ahmad Muriz raised the ante and fused a strong rock influence into the arrangement, which saw Judika baring his soul to the 900-strong crowd. Now that was certainly an experience!
The dynamic of the concert was then normalised with “Malaikat” and Judika’s crowd-favorite “Aku Yang Tersakiti”, which got the crowd singing along. Everyone could feel that at that point, the concert was left with just one or two songs before it ends.
The Best Male Vocal of Anugerah Planet Muzik 2018 delivered “Jikalau Kau Cinta” and then left the stage. So did Ahmad Muriz, as though it was the final song.
Encore? Of Course!
The two returned with two “bonus” songs — Ruth Sahayana’s “Kaulah Segalanya” and Amy Search’s “Isabella”.
The fact is, Judika followed Ruth’s footsteps as the second Indonesian artiste to hold a solo concert at the prestigious DFP.
These two songs, one is a ballad and another is a rock ballad, displayed Judika’s commanding and rather wide vocal range.
Judika’s fans, who call themselves “Judikaholics”, were awestruck that night.
It may be his first solo orchestra concert, but it was pretty obvious that the fans wouldn’t mind attending several more. Maybe…