Elvis Presley is perhaps one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of 20th century popular culture. Some of his achievements include starring in 33 successful films, selling over 1 billion records, receiving 14 Grammy nominations, winning 3 Grammys, being inducted into multiple music halls of fame, and the list goes on. No wonder his name lives on, even though several decades have passed since his death in 1977.
Last Sunday, Agent D and I were invited to Keep It Country — Televisi Republik Indonesia (TVRI)’s Elvis Presley tribute show. It was held at Studio 5 in the Senayan area and aired live from 9 p.m.-10.30 p.m. Indonesian time.
It was my first time going to a live show in Jakarta and I didn’t know what to expect. When we first arrived, we were introduced to Jimmy PresLee, Singapore’s very own Elvis Presley tribute artist. He told us that he started impersonating Elvis after his retirement 6 years ago, at the young age of 64. WOW. Never too late to follow your dreams huh.
Things got exciting as the live show commenced. Tantowi Yahya belted out a few Elvis classics as the crowd swayed along. The crowd consisted mainly of late middle-aged adults, all decked out in country outfits for the show’s theme. (I so regret not bringing along my Bali straw hat to blend in!) Elvis was an icon in their growing up years and it was apparent that he continued to hold a special presence in their hearts. ❤
After that, the stage was given over to Indonesia’s Elvis Presley tribute artist #1. A trained lawyer by profession, he totally wow-ed the crowd with his singing and guitar moves. He was strumming the guitar really hard with his fingers NOT touching the guitar strings?!. It was hilarious really.
Up next was Indonesia’s Elvis Presley tribute artist #2. This guy was even more comical. I almost fell off my seat watching his performance. The crowd got so excited that a number of them started grooving to the music on the dance floor.
The last Elvis to perform was Singapore’s Elvis Presley tribute artist. Really can’t tell that Mr. Jimmy Preslee is coming on 70 this year. He was dancing all over the stage with so much energy.
As the 1.5 hour show drew to a close, all three Elvis Presleys went up on stage and sang together. The fervor in the air was contagious; by now even Agent D and I were on our feet swaying and clapping away.
Twas’ a good night spent reminiscing the songs of old and singing along to country tunes. Although the show ended late on a Sunday and Agent D had work the next day, we left Studio 5 somehow feeling more energized than before.
And I got to know Elvis Presley a whole lot better! 🙂 🙂 🙂