Joyland 2023 Recap: Otoboke Beaver Stole Hearts – Rain Didn’t Stop The Festivity!
[JAKARTA] – A week has passed since Joyland 2023 celebrated its latest edition last weekend. Taking place at GBK Baseball Stadium Senayan from 24 – 26 November 2023, Plainsong Live boasted more than 60 performers ranging from music, stand-up comedians, and many more. First day of the festival was met with heavy stormy rain, thus puddles were scattered across the venue as performers like David Bayu, L’alphalpha, Kamaal Williams graced the stage. A thunderstorm forced the festival to be halted during Kamaal Williams’ set, since the situation was deemed unsafe for both performers and onlookers. Wearing raincoats, people took shelter wherever possible to avoid the thunderstorm. After a 30 minute break, Kamaal Williams returned to the stage met with cheers among the crowd. We continued the festivity with Fazerdaze as she set foot once again on her ancestor’s land (red: Amelia is known to have descended from Indonesia on her grandparents’ side). She performed her hit singles including songs like “Break!”, “Lucky Girl” and “Shoulder”. Making her appearance more unforgettable, Fazerdaze sang “Shoulder” in Indonesian. The first day was closed in an epic way with a performance from Dannish band, Mew. Jonas Bjerre and friends sang their songs like “The Zookeeper’s Boy”, “Am I Wry? No”, “156”, and “Comforting Sounds”. Despite the heavy rain, the organizers swiftly drained the puddles and provided wood boards for the festival goers to step onto. Some people who were unprepared for the heavy rain had to let go of their favorite footwear as they were drenched in mud, however, we were still glad that all the performers managed to give their best.
The second day was also greeted with dark cloudy sky as drizzle of rain poured Senayan area. Not as heavy as the first day, the audience seemed to be more prepared this time bringing their own raincoat and sported suitable footwear for heavy rain that was flip flops. We came to witness Homeshake’s set as the Montreal based musician performed his songs from newer releases. Maliq & D’essentials managed to gather many audience despite the rain as the band’s hit after hit were performed. Their new single “Aduh” was also included in their setlist that day. As the night grew, we moved to Lilypad Stage to watch performances from Kurosuke as well as Surabaya’s rising soul group, Thee Marloes. Both gave us hope that Indonesian music could move across borders as they showed great live performances and songs. On the main stage, The Adams showcased their never ending popularity as songs like “Hanya Kau”, “Timur”, “Masa-Masa”, “Konservatif” and many more were met with singalong from the crowd. Wednesday Campanella proved that great live performance must be accompanied with great stage design and visual as the Japanese musician performed in Indonesia for the first time ever. Bloc Party’s return to Indonesia was celebrated cheerfully on the main stage and we ended our second day fiesta with Fleet Foxes. The indie folk band didn’t disappoint as they sang “Mykonos”. “Ragged Wood”, “Blue Ridge Mountain” and many more. A total of 19 songs during the 90 minute set answered the fans’ craving for some ol good folk songs.
The third day was definitely the driest and brightest day from the 3-day-festival as more parents along with their kids enjoyed the whole celebration as family. White Peacock area was filled to the brim that day with various activity like coloring, face painting, flower crown making, and more. We enjoyed food and beverage from F&B area as we filled our tumblers from the available water filling stations. With a more relaxed and chill ambience, we dwelled on other activities outside of main stages until it was time for veteran musicians, Santamonica to perform. Continuing our theme with seasoned musicians. Bandung’s very own Rock N Roll Mafia also performed their old time favorites even though there seemed to be a little miscommunication leading to the band wrapping up its set before due. Fresh from their tour, Grrrrl Gang performed on the big stage bringing their hit songs as well as tunes from their latest album “Spunky!”. Indie pop band, The Beths, managed to swoon us once again with their numbers like “Expert in A Dying Field”, “Little Death” or “Dying to Believe”. We wonder how they could make songs about dying sounds so peaceful. Before moving on to our goal of the day, which was watching Interpol, we moved to the stage belonging to a seemingly unknown Japanese punk band called Otoboke Beaver and HOLY SMOKES how blown away we were.
Since we were talking about Otoboke Beaver, we need to write a specific paragraph dedicated to the four-piece unit. Descending upon the stage with a choreographed dance, Accorinrin, Yoyoyoshie, Hirochan and Kahokiss wore colorful floral dresses hiding their true punk identity. Often identified with black outfit and scary demeanors, Otoboke Beaver broke all the unwritten rules of punk with their out of this world energy. Opening their set with “Yakitori”, the band hailing from Kyoto Japan gripped us in awe. Each member seemed to have an unwavering charm during their set. Sixteen songs, we repeat again, 16 FREAKING SONGS were performed with high-octane showmanship making Otoboke Beaver one of the most tireless musicians we ever witnessed. Their interactions in between songs were short and compact due to language barrier. However it didn’t hinder the band from displaying their maximum ability. Drenched in sweat, the band captured their first ever performance in the country during Joyland 2023 with a picture taken with the whole crowd. We were left speechless, gagged, and mesmerized, a truly world class performance met with great skills and showmanship! If you happen to have an opportunity to watch this band live, we recommend you to enjoy them while you can!
At last, performance from alternative rock legend Interpol closed out the night on the day 3 of Joyland 2023. We were entertained with great sound and lighting techniques during Interpol’s stage. No wonder that this band has earned the title legends as they managed to show world-class stage to us mere mortals. Songs like “The Rover”, “C’mere”, “Into the Night”, “Slow Hands” and “Evil” relived our memories from the early 00’s. All good things must come to an end, and so is Joyland 2023. Garnering 35,000 crowds as stated by Plainsong Live, the festival matched our expectations. “Thank you for all the artists that have worked so hard to prepare their performances. We’re very proud to provide stages for these artists and we hope that you could come back home with a new favorite band. Thank you to hundreds of crews, staff, merchants, partners, and all the parties involved to make this festival happen each year,” said Ferry Dermawan, Program Director of Joyland Festival. As we wait for the 2024 edition of Joyland, you can indulge in Joyland Bali 2024 which will happen on March 1st – 3rd 2024 which will host performances from Kings of Convenience. Do not miss the latest update from Joyland as you can access their website to purchase the tickets on joylandfest.com.