After 20 years of waiting, I finally saw Travis!
It was like a dream to me – my hands were still trembling from the excitement and I felt like my heart stopped beating when they started playing “Driftwood”.
Their performance was part of We The Fest, an annual hipster festival that took place at JIExpo. They played on the second day Saturday, 20 July 2019, and it surely did not quite fit their target audience. That was why shortly after Daniel Caesar went off the stage, the rich-looking neo-hippie teens were all gone from the festival area, replaced by the late 20s and mid-30s folks.
I went there with Gisca, and we wore our custom-made t-shirts we only planned to make the day before. The t-shirt was a plain black t-shirt with the names of Travis members, and throughout the gig, we both tried to show them our t-shirts, hahaha. Gisca told me that Andy actually saw them.
Gisca and I serving late-90s realness
Travis has been touring for their 20th anniversary of The Man Who, but their performance that Saturday was not exclusively playing that album. It was even opened with “Side”, their second single from The Invisible Band. The song is still very much relevant to what is happening in this world right now, and this particular part is a good reminder:
We all live under the same sky
We all will live, we all will die
There is no wrong, there is no right
The circle only has one side
It was followed by “Love Will Come Through”, and two of my favourites from The Man Who: “Driftwood” and “Writing To Reach You”.
Driftwood had a special place in my life as it took me to a time when I started to contemplate on why people were so easy on following other people’s way of life and drifted into the ever-changing mainstream. It even inspired me to write short poetry 18 years ago, to criticise how students at my college were slowly becoming more religiously conservative.
Another song that swept me off my feet was “Closer” – or it seemed like it swept everybody’s feet that night. With a clear night sky and a gibbous moon up above. Fran even mentioned the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing and recommended us watch the film.
Apart from “Closer”, another song from “The Boy With No Name” was “My Eyes”. Unfortunately, they did not play “Selfish Jean”, although I must admit the song would’ve been sort of out of theme compared to the rest of the setlist.
The highlight of their performance was probably the acoustic version of “Flowers In The Window” when the four of them gathered by Fran’s side and sang together. Even Andy played the guitar around Fran’s arms – awwww..
Another highlight was when they played “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?” and everybody in the audience just started singing. It felt so magical.
The final two songs were again from The Man Who: “Slide Show” and “Turn”. I just could not be happier. “Slide Show” is the final track, with a hidden track called “Blue Flashing Light”. I remember that Elang of Polyester Embassy is a Travis fan and he wrote a song with the same title. I bet he was among the crowd somewhere.
They merely played for an hour with a total of 13 songs. We really wished that they had played more! But it was still a very euphoric night for us and we all came home with big smiles on our faces.
The Monday after I made a playlist from their Jakarta setlist on Spotify, as you can see below: