Jokowi joins crowd to see rock band Dewa 19 in Medan

President Jokowi was seen singing along to some of Dewa 19's biggest hits, with First Lady Iriana dancing to songs from the band.


Decades of influence: Ahmad Dhani, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of Indonesian rock band Dewa 19, performs with the band during their 30-year anniversary tour in various cities. Dewa 19's third album, Terbaik Terbaik, will be the band's first vinyl and is now available for pre-orders. (Instagram/Dewa19) (Instagram/Dewa19)

February 14, 2023

JAKARTA – President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who has long been known as a rock fan, over the weekend joined the crowd who gathered at a convention center in Medan, North Sumatra, to see the live performance of legendary rock band Dewa 19, who is currently on a reunion tour.

In a video shot by the band’s singer and keyboard player Ahmad Dhani from the stage, President Jokowi can be seen singing along to some of Dewa 19’s biggest hits, while First Lady Iriana is seen dancing and waving her arms to some of the songs from the band.

Jokowi, who wore a long-sleeved brown T-shirt, could be seen reciting the lyrics from Dewa 19 hits like “Pupus” and “Arjuna.” 

Later in the concert, bandleader Dhani ordered band members including singer Ari Lasso and bass player Yuke Sampurna to greet the President.

Dhani has been a vocal critic of President Jokowi and was an ardent supporter of Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto when the former military general ran for president in 2014. 

Dhani, who is also known for some of his controversial statements on music and politics, wrote in 2014 a song that he distributed for free perceived to be a criticism on Jokowi’s political run called “Ojo Kuwi, Pilih No. 1,” a Javanese pun on Jokowi’s name and a suggestion to vote for Prabowo in the presidential election.

Prabowo himself showed up when Dewa 19 kicked off their national reunion tour last week at Jakarta International Stadium in North Jakarta.


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