The musical heroes of the ’80s and ’90s aren’t about to be forgotten
Heavy Organizer, as the organiser of the second nostalgia-filled “Dek Tape” concert last Saturday calls himself, had a big smile on his face. There were all sorts of things going on around him, but what delighted him most was that all 10 of the acts on the bill managed to get the whole audience at Bangkok’s JJ Mall singing along to their hits from the 1980s and ’90s.
The big air-conditioned shopping complex in Chatuchak district was reverberating all day long, well-remembered lines sung out at the tops of many, many voices.
The hall exterior was decorated with an arty installation of compact cassettes and old cassette players, presenting great pre-show photo opportunities for the fans who would mostly have been adolescents 20-odd years ago.
Some turned up in retro fashion evoking the popular bands of the day and even further back, all the way to the Beatles. The good old times were still around.
Imp opened the stage proceedings with a set of well-known songs, such as “Plae Jai”, “Roo Suk Rak” and “Hai Kham Sanya”, and the singalong started. Proud kept the enthusiasm burning with their outstanding British pop sound.
Pause got audience members packing in closer to the stage with such memorable songs as “Yue”, “Khor Khwam” and their biggest hit of all, “Thi Wang”, with charismatic Praphap “Faint” Tancharoen doing a fine job on vocals a full 16 years after the death of original singer Amarin “Jo” Luangboriboon.
Most of the day’s sets lasted just 40 minutes. Siam Secret Service made the most of their time onstage with a string of pop-rock tunes leading up to the latest, “Sanya”. Sepia as always could be counted on for social commentary, addressing the poaching of the endangered panther and the Tham Luang Cave rescue.
Rock band Smile Buffalo got the crowd jumping with “Dee Kern Pai”, “Mai Rak Ther” and “Khor Hai Chokdee” and Blackhead kept the fans in kinetic motion with “Thon”, “Yuenyan”, “Phieng Krasib” and “Chan Yoo Tong Nee”.
Billy Ogan did the same, pounding through “La Oak” and “Sopa Sathaporn” and getting the mob singing along to “Yak Takon” and “Fang Wai Nai Phuendin”.
After a 20-minute intermission for beer replenishment, Tik Shiro stormed the stage in a white suit accompanied by male dancers for “Manut Khangkhao”, “Ror Rub Dai Loey”, “Oak Ma Ten”, “Ma Join Kan” and “Rak Mai Yom Plien Plang”. He also humbly asked permission to do his new song, “Sad Man”. Permission granted.
The concert ended with Thanapon “Suea” Intharit, who unfortunately couldn’t sing his biggest hits because someone else owns the copyright now and he can’t afford the performance fees.
Instead, he had his other tunes to offer, including “Chong Wang Nai Huajai”, “Doo Ngo Ngo”, “Fah Kap Haew”, “Ronghai Kap Chan”, “Mai Tong Siajai” and “Rak Diew Jai Diew”. No one had a problem singing along with them either, or with his surprise covers of the Scorpions’ “Always Somewhere” and Linkin Park’s “New Divide”.