The arrival of Deep Purple caused the City of Solo to become uproarious on 10 March 2023, when around 10,000 spectators filled the Edutorium UMS Solo venue. From mid-day, people arrived around the venue. Those who arrived first generally wanted to queue up in front of the gate and have the opportunity to get a front row position. Others were chasing official merchandise and food and drink.
Deep Purple Live in Solo, Indonesia
Rhoma Irama, Soneta and God Bless – 10 March 2023
Words and Photography: Umar R / MetalTalk Indonesia
Afternoon, the sun begins to set, and the venue starts to fill up slowly but surely. Around 7.10 pm, we can hear the intro Smoke On The Water playing, but it’s different because you can hear the sounds of instruments such as tabla, bamboo flute, mandolin and brass section.
Instantly the cloth covering the stage falls, and Indonesia’s biggest Dangdut band, led by the legendary Rhoma Irama, was playing the Smoke On The Water intro tribute. Dangdut music is an original genre from Indonesia, originating from Sumatra Malay music which is influenced by Hindustani and Arabian music.
Rhoma Irama is the King of Dangdut who has been active in the Dangdut scene since the early ’60s and is famous for combining Dangdut and Rock music. One of Rhoma Irama’s biggest influences in rock music is Deep Purple, and he incorporates Blackmore’s guitar sound into his Dangdut music.
The appearance of Rhoma Irama with his band Soneta as the first performer before God Bless and then Deep Purple was a big surprise because it was not previously announced. Soneta received a standing ovation from the audience in the venue. This is something genius from promoter Anas Alimi ‘Rajawali Indonesia’ because there is an indirect connection between Rhoma Irama with God Bless and Deep Purple.
Delivering four of their flagship songs, including Nafsu Serakah, Seni, Badai Fitnah and Hari Berbangkit, they successfully opened the event. There was only a small incident when a Deep Purple production team member ordered Soneta to stop while delivering the Smoke On The Water intro. Even though it’s just a tribute, there might be a little miscommunication.
After Rhoma Irama and his Soneta rocked the UMS Edutorium, God Bless were getting ready to go on stage, with many of the crowd already fans.
The stage darkened, and then the recording of Huma Di Atas Bukit and then Musisi played as the opening. God Bless immediately kicked off with Blablabla, followed by Kehidupan.
Frontman Ahmad Albar greeted the audience and said this was a big history for God Bless because it was the second time they had performed with Deep Purple. The first was in 1975 on Deep Purple’s first visit to Indonesia.
Ahmad Albar also greeted Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who was watching from the VIP seating area with his wife, Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo. President Joko Widodo is a music lover and a Metalhead. God Bless continued with Cermin, a song with a prog-rock nuance, followed by Bara Timur, preceded by the strains of a dynamic and stomping Balinese Gamelan.
After that, Anak Adam was performed instrumentally, then Bis Kota. Two rock ballad numbers, namely Panggung Sandiwara and Rumah Kita. From the moment God Bless entered the stage, the audience always sang along.
God Bless closed the action with two loud songs, namely Semut Hitam and Trauma. God Bless were impeccable, with only a little interference with the bass drum sound that was too loud.
You can read about Deep Purple, here.