Category Archives: Bangalore Concerts

“Backstreet Boys to headline Rock in India ’10″: The National WTF Moment

You know, once in a while, you come across things that make you laugh. They are called jokes. And then once in a while you come across headlines that go like the one in the title of this post. These make you laugh too. But they are not jokes. They are facts. And you know something else? There is nothing you can do about it. So let me put this in some perspective before I say anything else.

Rock in India started off in 2008 as the first ever Rock FESTIVAL in India and obviously, it was held in Bangalore, which is pretty much where most of the rock concerts take place. About 8 Indian rock bands played and the event was headlined by Megadeth and Machinehead- you know those legendary thrash metal bands? Rock in India ’09 was headlined by Iron Maiden and featured a host of other international rock bands. I went to both of them and they were awesome! Headbanging took a whole new meaning during those 2 concerts! Rock in India became the biggest rock event in India in the entire year. It gave every rock fan and every metal head something to look forward to every year.

And then this happens. Rock in India 2010 to  be headlined by Backstreet Boys! Apart from the necessary, spontaneous and inevitable reaction involving the phrase WTF, one sometimes wonders if this is some kind of a prank. Come to think of it, this is definitely one prank that any sane person would be happy to be victim to. You know why? Coz the contrary is simply insane. But that is what it is. Face it gentlemen, (and a handful of ladies) the lamest, gayest, most retarded boy band of all times is going to take over from the likes of Megadeth and Iron Maiden and is going to Headline “Rock In India” and Richard Marx is also going to be playing.  Umm….just one question. Exactly where the fuck is the ROCK part in all of this??!??

I mean seriously, HOW on earth is this possible? From what perspective is this expected to make any sense whatsoever? Ok now before I spell out any more profanities, let me make it clear. I believe every one has a right to their own taste in music. Hell, even I, who am a proud rock and metal fan, started listening to English music with the Backstreet Boys! (And fortunately moved on to better stuff soon). But getting BSB to friggin headline a ROCK Festival?? Surely, somewhere something went horribly wrong!

Apparently, the organizers are justifying their headlining act choice by saying this: “There has been a long- standing request from many music fans to our website that they would like to see mainstream music and also classic rock….” and “….rock in India is a “music” festival and the headliners have already been announced. Rock ‘n India does not mean the “genre” rock only. Being a fan you have right to an opinion. Being a promoter no artist is big or small to us. All artists are respected equally and not looked down upon just because they are a pop artist! We respect their music!” (The 2nd quote is from wiki which doesnt have a citation. So not sure)

And the above statement from someone whose official website for Rock in India states the following:

“Let it suffice to say that here: it is rock for the people, by the people and of the people.The soul of rock is contained within every individual in this generation of head banging and guitar breaking. So go ahead, make some noise and let your voice be heard. If music is religion, then these bands are the gods. Rock ‘N India being the temple of music, gives a chance for every god of music to be worshipped by its followers.”

Did you read it carefully? The organizer admits himself that he is getting a POP artist! And still he doesnt see the irony of the situation! If you wanted to get BSB, why couldnt you get them to have their own independent show? You wanna make money by staging them? Fine go ahead! I am sure there are still loads of people who are stuck at the BSB phase in their music tastes. But then why the fuck should you get them to headline a goddamn ROCK Festival? That too when previous headlining acts have been gods such as Maiden and Megadeth? If DNA wants to go commercial, so be it. But why ruin every rock fan’s dreams and month long expectations by getting a well recognized POP band to headline a ROCK Festival?

You know what this is? This is an insult to Bangalore and to all the proud Bangalore rock and metal fans. Come to think of it, this is an insult to rock fans all over India. This is an insult to the very idea of ROCK. This is an insult to Megadeth and Machinehead. This is an insult to Iron Maiden. Imagine Mustaine and Dickinson realizing that they had headlined a festival which was to be later headlined by BSB! This is also an insult to all the local Rock bands who had seen Rock in India as a great platform to promote themselves to all rock enthusiasts. I mean, can you imagine bands like Slain, Kryptos or other hard metal bands opening for BSB? Imagine the crowd they would be playing to. Would they even want to promote themselves to that crowd?

To all you Indian and specifically Bangalore Rock bands: You guys are great rockers man! Don’t spoil your image by performing in Rock in India ’10 opening to Backstreet Boys and Richard Marx. Even if you paid to perform, please realize that you are only putting your image up for sale! Every single rock fan in this country will remember you as part of the band which opened for Backstreet Boys.

And of course, there is this whole other issue with the actual Backstreet Boys fans having an open argument with the metalheads and other rock fans in public forums. It made for an awesome read though. The metal head, rightly pissed off, puts very appropriate comments about how BSB are a pop act and are not eligible to headline a rock festival (Of course you have to throw in a lot of f-words to actually get the tone of the comment). In fact, I think I will put up some of the awesome comments:

“This is so cool. BSB is touring India. I cant believe this. We deserve this. India is a place where people see rock on movies like “ROCK ON”. Guys do head bannging on listening to these shitty crap and say this is rock. This is so metal!!!. F***in son of w****s… “Rock n roll soniye” is the coolest rock song we have ever heard….”–Deathhead

Dude, you got it spot on man! Fully agree…

“The greatest WTF moment of the year, and an insult to Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Machinehead fans. You can’t get BSB under the same banner. This is like portraying Hitler as the champion of human rights.”— DB

Perfect analogy I have to say..

“after 80’s hair metal, its time for some 90’s pubic-hair pop!” –Blackmore (so he calls himself)

“HELL YEAH!!!! BSB – I suggest all dudes attending gonna wear makeup and chop off their d***s before getting their gay asses stuffed at the backstage afterparty!” —Buster

“I love the backstreet boys. They are so Metal that even Lamb of God prays to them. Chris Adler bows down to Nick (I have no idea whether thats his name). Bringing BSB to Rock n’ India is the most awesomest decision anyone can take…….” —- OLDMONKMGM

I say Sarcasm Win!

Ok enough done with the comments against BSB and the potential concert attendees. Now lets hear something from the other side here. The arguments provided by the staunch BSB supporters vary from justifying them to be a rock band to celebrating BSB’s success commercially. Here, lets take a look at some of the comments:

“this is THE shit! bsb rocks…it’s gonna be one hell of a show…it’s high time we had acts like bsb/boyzone/5ive touring india! kudos dna…looking forward for this one! i love rock music…and bsb is my favourite band, along with th names mentioned above…i thought iron maiden orchestra would make a re-run…good to know that there will be less noise this time around, ‘cos I WANT IT THAT WAY!”

“oh come on guys…backstreet boys rock! i will not call them a heavy metal band, but for sure a rockin’ group! their music might not be as heavy as bryan adams, but then quit playing games was one of the best rock anthem ever heard. let’s all hold hands and band our heads as they sing those words!”  —-both comments by a guy who calls himself ROCK LOVER

Gentlemen, let it be known that it was exactly after reading the above comments, that I had to make a sincere effort not to commit suicide. I mean..where do I start? “I love rock music and bsb is my fav band..”, “Iron Maiden Orchestra”, “quit playin games was one of the best rock anthems…”. Gentlemen, let it also be known that my search for the biggest retarded and lamest douchebag on this planet has ended.

“i love love love love love love love love love BSB!!!!!!! dey rok ! i just luv their songs” —Akanksha

Ok I think I am going to puke just looking at “dey rok”.

“bsb is the greatest band on earth aftr beatles.they r only the 2nd band 2 hav their 1st 7 albums debutin within 10.n they r only 2nd band aftr beatles 2 hav sold first 2 album with sales abuv 30 million each.even ur present rock bands cant sell even one album havin sales abuv 30 million….” —- Arij

“BSB is a pop/rock band.They are guiness record holders, sho have sold over 130 million albums!its not a joke man.how many albums have megadeth sold? they sing contemporary rock, piano rock, power ballads, they are great singers.All you people who dont know that they are also a rock band, please update yourselfs, moron, they rock, they are the best.their debue rock album “NEVER GONE”, released in 2005, was 3rd in billboard list i 2005, 11th in uk, 1st in japan, 1st in australia,1st in taiwan,3rd in europe. songs like “Incomplete”,”i still”, “Just want you to know”,”Crawling back to you”, are worldwide hits, and they also got bilboard awards for this. All those people who said they are bad, all of them are a disgrace to India, let us embrace THE BACKSTREET BOYS, who have revolutionised music. Have some respect for their accomplishments, 7 GRAMMY NOMINATIONS AREN’T a joke!, only BEATLES HAVE SOLD MORE ALBUMS THAN BSB not even GREENDAY…..” —- Ridam

Ok lets see some hard facts. YES BSB have sold more than 130 million albums. Yes Megadeth or Maiden hasnt sold more than them. YES they have many  #1 songs all over the world. YES their first 2 albums sold more than 30 million copies. YES they have an enormous fan following. And YES, they are also RETARDED and fuckin’ GAY!

But here is my personal favorite comment from a BSB fan who is justifying them headlining a ROCK festival. This is just simply awesome:

“who says bsb cant do good???dey r da biggest pop band…….dey can surely rock…..” —- Avadesh

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WTF??!???

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I REST MY CASE.

Oh and BTW, if any BSB fan or “real music” fan decides to comment to air their “views”, please feel free to do so. But be warned, that by doing so, you are only making an ass out of yourself.

Ok. In all seriousness, let me state my real concern. It is a fact that there are a lot more pop fans who like to see a bunch of guys with mics dancing as compared to metalheads dying to see their gods perform. And it is also very likely that the turnout at these pop concerts are going to be higher than Rock concerts. Now what worries me is that, once the Corporate organizers realize that they can make much more money by getting contemporary pop artists to India, they will not revert to Rock acts again in the future. And THAT my friends, is my main concern. There is no denying its possibility.

But all this apart, let me also remind the readers that as of now, (Jan 22), there is no official announcement regarding the headliners on the websites of either Rock in India or the BSB. Not that I have much hope, coz I am right now half way across the planet deciding between live shows of Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Porcupine Tree. You see…I have better options. Thankfully.

UPDATE: Well now its all official. Backstreet Boys to headline a Rock Festival. Rock IS dead my friends. At least thanks to people like those in DNA who make sure of it.

Jethro Tull in Bangalore: A Concert Review

And it finally happened! I was finally able to see Jethro Tull performed live less than ten feet from me! Front row for Jethro Tull concert in Bangalore: couldn’t have asked for more…

I reached Palace grounds at around 6:15 in the evening with the show slated to begin at 7:30. After making a dash to the entry gates, Logik and I realized that it was not too late at all and so we found ourselves-for all practical purposes-standing in the front row. Soon the whole place was packed and I guess the attendance to the Bangalore Jethro Tull concert must have touched the 10k mark. The first thing that I noticed was the crowd and more importantly, the people covering a diverse age group. There were 5 year old kids and 75+ year old men. And this was perhaps the primary reason for a subdued energy level in the crowd compared to all the previous concerts that have taken place in Bangalore. So while I was really pumped up to scream my lungs out, I felt my enthusiasm would not really be shared by all those around me.  But nevertheless, the show started and for the first time in the history of Event Management in Bangalore, the show started 20 minutes ahead of time!!!! Thats right! IaN Anderson himself came out at 7:10 to introduce Anoushka Shankar and her troupe of musicians who would perform the first act. And as soon as Anoushka Shankar started playing  her sitar, I was mind-blown!

Firstly, how can one make sitar playing look so damn easy? And secondly, did you get a look at her fingers? I did, and they were pretty damn long-esp the pinky! And so the nimble-fingered Anoushka went on to play Raag Jog and followed it with Raag Panchamsigara-composed by her father- and both were filled with exquisite blends of melody and skill. It was indeed a real treat to watch her play!

And then came the time everyone were waiting for. Tull finally took stage, with Ian Anderson opening the set with My Sunday Feeling. And as he began singing, I then realized why some people had been telling me that his voice is well past his prime. But in spite of that constraint, his singing was in perfect harmony and in tune. Immediately after that, David’s bass piece sounded the intro to Living in The Past. One of the real rock songs that I have ever heard being played right in front of me by the men themselves. It was a moment to remember.

“We’ll keep on living in the past…”

The band then went on to play Serenade to a Cuckoo- an instrumental originally written by Rahsaan Roland Kirk- and played it to perfection. I have to say, in spite of his voice being past his prime, Ian Anderson played his flute and guitar to perfection- each and every note! NURSIE was the next song and this originally short song was extended thanks to Martin Barre’s extended lead. Soon after, he announced Mick Jagger-Sir Mick Jagger-one of the greatest rock musicians turned 65 recently and screamed into Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll! The entire crowd sang along for this one and I was simply just happy to be there watching Tull play.

A New Day Yesterday was next up and I was praying they would play Sossity You’re a Woman, Budapest or Heavy Horses. And I didn’t have to wait for long for them to churn out Thick as a Brick and again, as the whole crowd seemed to sing along, I was again just happy to shut up and listen to Anderson. I didn’t really know that the flute sound that appears in the intro is actually from the keyboard until I saw them do so.  Soon after that, Anderson amused the crowd with his knowledge about Global Warming and Carbon Footprints and how we needed to get back to using the HEAVY HORSES!  This was one song I was really hoping to hear them play and they belted out the entire number- all of the long song with everything falling into place perfectly! That one song really made my evening worth it.

And then, without a break, Martin Barre sounded the intro to Aqualung! It was at this exact point that the entire crowd-except the ones that were seated- went hysterical! And I for one, screamed my lungs out! The acoustic piece in the middle and then the build up to the lead was perhaps the 2 most blissful minutes of my past few weeks! Even though the lead wasn’t exactly the same as the original, it was still Martin Barre playing that and it turned out great! The song was played with a noticable reduction in the tempo as compared to the original. I guess that only extended my bliss time. And when the song finally ended, I realized that I had indeed found some purpose in life-really!

There was a ten minute break and then Anoushka Shankar joined Tull to play out some fusion stuff which I have to say, given the limited amount of time to rehearse, came out extra-ordinarily well synchronized and co-ordinated. They started off with what Ian chose to call TEA WITH ANOUSHKA and then went on to play CELTIC CRADLE- a fusion between the aboriginal Celtic music, complete with the Harmonica and Indian music with the entire Troupe performing. The  Indian flautist, Ravi Chandra Kullur showcased his prowess on the flutes on LITTLE GLASS FOLK which drew a real wild cheer from the crowd on more than one occassion! Tull then went on to play MOTHER GOOSE to wind up that set.

But no script or speculation could have prepared me or anyone for what was witnessed over the span of the next two songs! Ok everyone knew Anderson had not played Bouree and Locomotive Breath. And so it was no surprise when he mentioned the name of Sebastian Bach and everyone understood what was coming next. But what no one understood or even thought of was Anoushka’s contribution to Bouree. And that was what made this concert so damn unique!

Anderson’s Bouree could have soothed a raging elephant and when Anoushka started to accompany Anderson on Bouree, I was a little apprehensive. But it took all of 3 seconds to change my mind as Anoushka’s sitar part of Bouree proved to be a mind blowing experience! And as Logik put it, “It was the best Bouree I have heard! BTW, there are over 70 of them!” And so was the case when John came up with the keyboards for Locomotive Breath because Anoushka accompanied the band even on that song! The chord progression of the song- Em-G-D-Em/A- was played on the sitar (Dont ask me how) and it sounded as if it was supposed to have been there all this time. It was really a dream come true to have been there right at the front with Tull playing all those classics but as the show wound up, I promised myself to go to at least another Tull concert where he would play all the songs that he missed out this time around!

Now apart from the actual concert, there were a few things that I came about that I found worth mentioning. Firstly, the whole event was sponsored by 100 Pipers. And they didn’t have a single stall selling alcohol! WTF??? I was so very looking forward to drinking 100 Pipers and now I strongly believe that the Samosawala made more money than SEAGRAM’S.

Secondly, I came across some real disgusting scenes that took place right in front of me. Those of you who were right at the front of the 1100  section crowd  and standing near the left edge of the barricades will perhaps recollect thsi as well. During the second half of the concert, when Anoushka and Tull were jamming together, 2 girls came from nowhere and suddenly stood in front  of me. I was like WTF?? These chics were dressed up with a lot to hope for. And they began to pass comments that included: “Oooooooooooooh!” “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” “Cho Chweeeeeeeeet!”. One of them-the real ugly looking one- suddenly decided not to give me the satisfaction of having attended a smoke-free concert by chain smoking her way through the concert. And not just that, the physical proximity between the two of them, or the lack of it, suddenly started planting some scary questions in my head! But it just didn’t stop at that! My questions were quickly answered and my worst fears came true right in front of me! I actually saw them friggin’ making out right in front me!!!

( PUKE BREAK)

There were these real old people less than 2 feet from them but that didn’t deter their session! Aaaah! But then, me being me, I tried to find an explanation about their present behaviour. After much analysis, I arrived at two possibilities:

1. They were both stoned or

2. They were the 2 biggest phonies I have ever come across in my life!

Oh wait! I just came up with a third possibility: They were the 2 biggest phonies I have ever met AND they were stoned!!! Yeah that makes a lot of sense! But watching them do stuff got me grossed out pretty bad! I think I will  stick to my RUSSIAN INSTITUTE Series (LOGIK are you listening???)

And apart from this, I also happened to be scouting the papers and the web for concert reviews and I found only one. Now I have to say, I am really known to make the journalist’s life miserable for writing a fake review (like the Scorpions Concert) or making big time blunders in their reviews(like the Strawberry Fields thing). But alas, I could find only 1 review on the web and in that too I found just 1 blunder. I can only say that the Hindu review on the concert was really well written except for this one small piece of blunder when the writer mistook NURSIE for MERCY! It is a small thing if you are just a writer but a real blunder if you claim yourself to be a writer and a Tull fan! But I guess I will let this mistake pass this time around.

Also I didn’t get hold of any photos from the concert. So if any of you happen to have any, please do let me know where I can find them.


Strawberry Field 2008 Finals: A Review

This post would never have been written but Times of India, India’s most redundant newspaper has really compelled me to get my ass down to write a non-redundant post after a long time. Here is what happened:

I had been to the Finals of Strawberry Fields 2008 organized by National Law School yesterday evening along with my eager cousin who had never seen a live performance before. I had assured him that this was going to be worth it as Strawberry Fields was widely considered as the best Rock competition among semi-pro bands in India. Now let me put it this way.  The event took place. I came back. Today evening I get hold of TOI just to see the coverage of the show (oh and for all of you who didnt know, TOI was the main sponsor for SF 08). I go through the almost full page article. And I almost died of laughing my ass out! The nimrod, whoever it was, had probably written the most optimistic and politically correct review of any rock show that has ever taken place! Let me explain in detail now. But first let me give you my own brief review of the evening.

First finalist to take stage were BLOOD  AND IRON.  Their songs were mainly melodic metal with very evident influences of Bodom. The songs had a good rhythm and they were actually able to inject melody into all their originals. The lead guitarist was just awesome with the first lead he played but thereafter the leads became a little arbit.  They kept belting out heavy numbers with the Keyboard dude easily stealing the show. They ended with ANARCHY, which was really worth listening to. The band as a whole also had a prominent stage presence in spite of the heavy rain that lashed during their time. I may not be a sound technical guy in music but I kept feeling that they sound more and more like Bodom. A little more originial sound is definitely possible with these guys. Looking forward to more from this band.

Next up were ROSEMARY. Ok here is the thing again. I may not be a great technical music guy but I know enough music to figure out when a singer is singing on a different key with respect to the rest of the instruments. This was a glaring example and in addition to that, the vocalist as such didn’t have much of a smooth and controlled voice. Now let me get straight to the end and reveal that this band actually won SF 08. Even then, I still maintain that, apart from the bass and the bass-drum co-ordination, there wasn’t much in their originals. And their first song had very significant sounds of Audioslave like music with their next  songs sounding like Tool covers (or were they indeed Tool covers??). Somewhere further down, they switched to some kind of New age Pop/Rock and even went on to sound like John Mayer. Seriously, I am not joking! But I wil take nothing away from them in the way they covered Come Together by The Beatles. They played that one track awesome. But the rest of the time, it might have as well been some band playing backstage as these guys had absolutely no damn stage presence whatsoever. I mean I don’t remember anyone introducing the band. The guy  came on stage and just started playing! Not one word uttered to the audience apart from “This next song is called …..” And rightly so, the crowd very effectively conveyed their intentions and desires with some single fingered gestures and F-word filled phrases! But seriously speaking, the band had like zero performance value. I am not ignorant to say they are no good or anything like that. The parts when the vocalist wasn’t singing sounded very much like Tool and it sounded good. But they were all short lived. The bass was indeed good with the bassist winning the Best Bassist of the evening. But I would really like to see some more controlled and in-tune vocals man…. Anyway, congrats on winning the SF 08.

Next up were Metal Messiah who, I felt, had the best vocalist among all the bands. The important thing about his vocals was that he made it look very easy. It was as if he was born with such a voice. The band played some very hard thrash metal songs with 1 or 2 covers as well. Push It was particularly well performed and again, the singer made it look so damn easy to get that gruff voice in a controlled manner. The band had a decent stage presence as well and all in all, they were good.

After this, Chilli Potato took stage and I remember them from their visit to my college Fest- Incident ’07 where they played and won. I remember they played well then but yesterday was real bad. There was this blatant lack of co-ordination between the band members and that manifested in not being able to make out when a song started and when it ended. In spite of that, the lead for the first song that they played was awesome and I suspect he played it on the Blues scale. And dude, was that a Les Paul that you had?? And if yes, was it a Gibson???(Say yes, say yes!!) Perhaps all my fellow NITKians will recall this band as the one that performed a Rock version of Raj Kumar’s cult hit IF YOU COME TODAY during INCI ’07!! They did perform it again last night too but I guess not all the guys in the crowd had heard the original. Dude, I would watch you play IF YOU COME TODAY any number of times, but please ring in some co-ordination and also make more (and definitely louder) use of your guitar(if it is indeed a Les Paul!)

Last band to perform was GREYSHACK and by this time, I was unsuccessfully hunting the stalls for some food. Though I didn’t listen to them with full attention, the thing that was most clear was the original sound that this band had. They had these real good listenable originals and played a memorable cover of Day Tripper by The Beatles. They also played a nice medley which included Purple Haze, Hush and a couple other songs. Like I said, I wasn’t paying full attention but I would love to see this band again.

So that was the way the Finalists turned out. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I see a chic in a white T-Shirt jumping around on the stage. Apparently she was part of a band called THE EXTRAMENTALISTS or something like that. And I immediately took a strong disliking to their music. The female singer was really over enthusiastic and was also clearly singing on a different key than the rest of the group. Their originals were unfortunately pretty bland and there wasn’t anything else to look for in the music anyway. But after a couple of forgettable songs, the vocalist chic came up with this real good rendition of Beautiful Stranger by Madonna. That was followed by the only original song that actually sounded decent. The keyboards were good and the chic’s voice was properly in tune this time. But when the chorus began, it again went out of harmony. The parts of the song other than the chorus were actually good and melodious but the chorus really needs some working. In the end, the vocalist chic made some rhetorical comments like “We love you Bangalore….You rocked…etc etc” The crowd was like “Yeah Bye B****!” I am not exaggerating here but telling you exactly what I heard from many quarters.

And finally it was time for PENTAGRAM to take stage, and guess what??? There was some “technical glitch”!! And that delayed the show for quite long which didn’t really go down well with the audience. But then eventually Vishal came up on stage and said ” We dont give a f***!” and started the show without any electronic stuff. Now frankly speaking, I am not a big fan of their electronic sound and so when he said there wont be any electronic music, I was real happy. Now there is this thing about Professional acts that really draws me to them. Irrespective of who it is and whether I like their music or not, it is always a treat to watch these professional acts perform live on stage. And I was not at all disappointed when Pentagram screamed into their songs. The sound itself was so damn different and clear cut. The instruments sounded a lot more clear individually yet were in perfect co-ordination and the Bass! My god the Bass was perhaps the best part of the entire performance. You realize that the Bass is there because each and every note is serving a purpose mainly because it has a purpose of being there! But the best song performance of the evening has to be Pentagram’s cover of Freddie Mercury’s Living on My Own. That song was awesome! His vocals were clear cut and it could have as well been Freddie himself singing on stage. But unfortunately Pentagram could not play long as our famed Bengaluru Police force warned the organizers of the dreaded 10 PM deadline! So they played one last sont- VOICE- and ended the show. Pentagram’s performance was by far the best deal in the entire show. I could have as well had my dinner and left to NLS at 9:45 PM and I would still have been in time to see their performance.

Now about the TOI nonsense, you can catch the entire dumb shit TOI article on SF here, here and here . Or you can read the entire nonsense here by changing the date to 24 Nov Monday 2008. But first, I have to warn you against the sudden optimism it is likely to create. Beware of that!

First thing, the dude who wrote the article could not make up his mind if it was a 1500 strong crowd or a 2000 strong crowd. One place he says 1500 and then suddenly shoots it to 2000. Not that I expected him to count exactly how many were there, it’s just that I expected some consistency in reporting.

Next up, this writer guy says, “As the rain ceased, the mood reached feverpitch, with the crowd cheering wildly to the performance!” And he was referring to ROSEMARY’s performance! Dude, do your ears and eyes work or is it that your brain can’t distinguish between ‘cheering wildly’ and asking the band to “f*** off!”? Or perhaps you mistook the middle finger to mean the same thing as the Sign of the Horns- yeah that makes sense!

And about the Pentagram performance, perhaps you forgot the frustrating delay before their show started and if you were present at the back, perhaps you also forgot some very relevant remarks shouted by one impatient fan in Kannada including:

1. Nin Akkan! Haadu shuru mado nan Magane!

2. Eh BODA!

3. Naale haadthyeno nan magane??!!?

Etc..etc…

“Pentagram simply thrilled the gathered fans with an unforgettable performance.”- yeah like a performance that lasted for 4-5 songs! Hey didn’t that last band GREYSHACK perform more songs??? Or that chic’s band- I think they sang more than Pentagram!

“Kartikeya Dar, a St Joseph’s student, said the band had exceeded all his expectations and was ‘simply fabulous”—– 5 songs???Thats it?? That exceeded your expectations???!!??? Dude are you depressed in life or something??

“It rounded off it performance with Voice and left the audience asking for an encore.”—  First, get your grammar right and then again, you conveniently forgot to mention the ‘Timely’ intervention of our Bengaluru police to stop the show. Encore… Yeah right!

“Earlier, Shruti Haasan and her band The Extramentals regaled the audience with a enthralling performance”—Dude, do you even know how to write in English? Didn’t you learn in kindergarten that the article used before a word starting with a vowel should be ‘an’ and not ‘a’?? And now exactly when did the meaning of REGALED change from ‘to entertain lavishly or agreeably’ to ‘Getting the crowd to chant F*** off continuously’???!!??

The band proved to be a strong act, and was a hit with the youngsters.”—- And all this time I thought people shouting “Yeah Bye B****!” was a sign of disapproval….

And here is the biggest blunder! Unbelievable really, considering the fact that TOI were the main sponsor for SF ’08! Basically, the 2nd page of TOI 24 Nov Monday edition had this huge photo of 2 guys with guitars-one with lead and other with bass. Now I don’t know about you, but I would really make sure I get the caption right in such big photos. But apparently this dude didn’t bother! He put up a pic of Chilli Potato and in the caption, he has boldly written “Metal Messiah, one of the finalists, performs at The Times of India-Strawberry Fields 2008 on Sunday”!!!!!???!!!

Ah Man! That sucks! More than for all the readers who now believe Chilli Potato is Metal Messiah, my heart really goes out to all the members of both Chilli Potato and Metal Messiah! What a screw up!!But again, what did you expect? This is after all, Times of India dude!

And I am so happy that I don’t subscribe to TOI. After all, TOI has the most number of hate communities and forums for an Indian newspaper on the Internet. It’s all not  for no reason you know….

Jethro Tull in India

This post is a preview of the Jethro Tull India Tour 2008. For the Concert Review of the Bangalore Tull Edition, click here.

Finally!!!FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How desperately I have waited… How I have fantasised about this ever since I first listened to Tull! Finally this dream is going to come true. Jethro Tull is coming down to India in November and will be touring 5 cities here. And fortunately for me, I am in one of them. I wasnt here last time around when they came to Bangalore. But I am here right now and going nowhere. So here are the details:

Jethro Tull touring India in November/December 2008 with Anoushka Shankar, the daughter of Pandit Ravishankar. Tull will be touring Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata with the dates and venues also given below

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE IN THE DATES AND VENUES!!!!!

1. 27/11/08 : Kolkata, Science City Auditorium

2. 29/11/08 : Mumbai, Shanmukhnanda Auditorium

3. 30/11/08 : New Delhi, Hamsadhwani Amphitheatre

4. 2/12/08 : Bangalore, Palace Grounds

5. 3/12/08 : Hyderabad, Shilpkala Vedika Auditorium

Kolkata and Hyderabad finally get to see something!

And btw, I came across this website which has been documenting Tull Concerts since before Tull itself! They have the set list of every damn Tull concert.  Of  late, this is what the set list has been:

My Sunday Feeling, Living In The Past, Serenade To A Cuckoo, Nursie, A Song For Jeffrey, Sossity You’re A Woman/Reasons For Waiting, Farm On The Freeway, Bourée, A New Day Yesterday (incl. Kelpie), Too Old To Rock’N’Roll…, We Used To Know/With You There To Help Me, Dharma For One (incl. drum solo & Count The Chickens), Heavy Horses, Thick As A Brick, Aqualung, Locomotive Breath.

They are also expected to play some new Indo-Celtic fusion compositions.

I really wish they play something, anything from Roots to Branches. And I would go hysterical if they would play Budapest or Bungle in a Jungle. But nothing is going to stop them from playing one of the greatest discoveries of my life: Aqualung. So as long as they play that, I am more than happy to have paid for my ticket. And as far as Anoushka Shankar is concerned, she is just a bonus on my ticket!

LATEST TICKET UPDATE: The tickets are officially up for sale online!  As per my previous hunch, the tickets for the Jethro Tull India 2008 tour- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore- will be available online at Bookmyshow.com. The website started sales on 1st Nov. 08. But unfortunately, I found that there is some problem with the website as it was not opening. I have no idea when it will be fixed. So just in case, do figure out how to buy tickets offline as well in your respective city.

Also of note are the prices for the Jethro Tull concerts in all five cities. I had initially presumed the ticket prices to be the same everywhere but apparently there is a big variation.  So please keep in mind that the ticket prices are different for different cities depending on the local entertainment tax. Here are the details of the tickets in the different cities.  Also very importantly, I would suggest you go through the concert seat layout in your respective city very carefully before you choose the ticket range.

The CEO of Network 18, which is organizing this show has said that they have not received any intimation from the Mumbai police about the show being cancelled and as of now-ie afternoon on 28 Nov- there is no change in any of the schedule.


1. BANGALORE: The Tickets are priced as follows:

DIAMOND-Rs. 1900/-

PLATINUM-Rs.1100/-

GOLD-Rs.700/-

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGES IN THE WAY THE TICKETS ARE DISTRIBUTED… THE ORGANIZERS HAVE CHANGED IT!!!! The following picture will clearly explain the seating arrangement. Only the Diamond in Seating and the rest are standing. Earlier, Platinum was also meant for seating. But now it has been changed to standing.

Seating/Standing arrangements in Bangalore for Tull concert

Seating/Standing arrangements in Bangalore for Tull concert

The tickets are available offline at Music World outlets in Indiranagar, Jayanagar and Malleshwaram

2. DELHI: Now these are the prices in Delhi:

DIAMOND-Rs.2950/- SOLD OUT!!!!

PLATINUM-Rs.1950/-

GOLD-Rs.1100/- -SOLD OUT!!!!!

Again, go through the picture below for the seating in Delhi at the Hamsadhwani Amphitheatre (Pragati Maidan). Note that everything is seating and Gold means you are the farthest.

Tull Seating in Delhi

Tull Seating in Delhi

3. KOLKATA: The tickets are priced as below:

ALL TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT!!!!! The capacity itself was too less!

Diamond – Rs. 1500.00

Platinum-Rs.1000/-

Gold-Rs.750/-

GOld(Balcony)-Rs.750/-

Silver- Rs.500/-

I do not have the seating arrangement for the Science City Auditorium as there is no arrangement released on the website. I believe it will be a fully seated auditorium and I guess the Kolkata junta knows where comes what.

4. Hyderabad: The tickets are priced as below:

Diamond – Rs. 1800.00

Platinum-Rs.1000/-

GOld(Balcony)-Rs.700/-

Again, there is no seating arrangement available and I suspect this is also a concert held in an indoor auditorium. So I believe, cheaper means farther. The Hyderabad guys also note that initially the venue was given as Hi TEch City Auditorium. Now I find that it is Shilpkala Vedika Auditorium. Have no idea if both are the same or different. Do check yourself for further details regarding the venue.

5.MUMBAI: The tickets are priced as below:

Diamond – Rs. 4500.00

Platinum-Rs.2900/-

Gold (Ground/First Floor) -Rs.1900/-

Silver (First/Second Floor)-Rs.1100/- FIRST FLOOR SOLD OUT!!!!!

Here too, I was not able to find the seating arrangement map as such but I guess the seating categories are self explanatory. This is also an indoor thing I believe at the Shanmukhananda Auditorium.

As far as I am concerned, I am going for front row -obviously standing-so I already have my 1100 bucks ready!

SO you coming???

Def Leppard in India- Tour Cancelled!!

UPDATE: DEF LEPPARD HAVE CANCELLED THEIR INDIA TOUR ONCE AGAIN-THIS TIME DUE TO SECURITY REASONS. VERY UNFORTUNATE! YOU CAN FIND THE OFFICIAL CONFIRMATION HERE. THE NOTIFICATION WAS PUT UP ON 10TH OCTOBER JUST 1 WEEK PRIOR TO THEIR SCHEDULED SHOW!

The following is what I had written prior to the notification:

Ok let me get this straight. I am not an ardent follower of Def leppard. Though I have listened to a few songs and liked them, I do not consider myself crazy about them. But as my policy goes, I will be attending every damn concert that takes place in Bangalore. What with me having my own money now! So I presume I will be attending the Def Leppard Concert too at Bangalore when it takes place on October 17th, a Friday at Palace Grounds. (THey will be going to Mumbai on 19th October). In case you are not aware, they were supposed to have come sometime in May but due to the State Elections, it was post phoned. Thank God they are at least going to be here. The ticket prices are not yet out and in case they are, I am not aware of them. Will update once I learn anything new.

And BTW, I came across this website which supposedly got hold of the set list for the India tour that was supposed to be held in May. Maybe they will not retain the same setlist. But either way, here is the set list as quoted in that website:

01. Rocket 
02. Animal 
03. Let’s Get Rocked 
04. Foolin’
05. Mirror Mirror 
06. Nine Lives 
07. Love Bites 
08. (Bass Solo) 
09. Rock On 
10. Two Steps Behind 
11. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak 
12. Switch 625 
13. Hysteria 
14. Armageddon It 
15. Photograph 
16. Pour Some Sugar on Me 

Encore: 
17. Rock of Age

So I guess I am going to make myself listen to all the above songs, especially the ones I havent heard. I recently got hold of the entire collection on a CD. So no problems with the resources.

WIll update when I learn something new.

PS: Needless to say, there will be a review on the concert once I attend it.

Kenny G Live in Bangalore- A concert with a difference!

Sublime. Thats how I would describe it. Thats exactly how I would describe it. The combination of Black Dog Scotch and Kenny G, performing Live right in front of you, was just sublime. The night was perfect on the terrace of the UB City with a cool breeze and no rain clouds threatening to spoil the elegant atmosphere. Sitting on the terrace, right between the two towering buildings, in a sea of white seats, it was not difficult to sense the anticipation in the air. The couple of hours leading up to the concert were punctuated by the complimentary shot of Black Dog Scotch! They were, after all, the main sponsors and they set the perfect tone with a beautiful young lady handing out the complimentary coupons. ( I now wonder if she would have given me an extra coupon if I had complimented her on her looks…)

Kenny G in Bangalore

60ml Black Dog- On the Rocks: Thats how my evening began! And what smoothness! I could feel the Scotch mesmerizing my tongue and make its way right through to my stomach! So much so, I bought another dose soon after. And with an intention of devouring the Scotch through the concert, I began to have small sips when I heard a small commotion. The commotion sounded like something eagerly awaited and then I saw the man- Kenny G walking through the crowd, with his saxophone, playing as he passed the exuberantly applauding crowd. And then as he walked to the platform right in front of me, in the middle of the audience, and climbed on it to play his soprano sax for about 10 minutes, I just couldn’t help admiring the ease with which he was playing the instrument. And as he made his way to the stage, holding a single note for well over 5 minutes (He would later explain the nasal technique behind the seemingly impossible act!), the crowd applauded, the applause filled with awe and wonder!

At this point, I have to say that it had been a very long time since I actually listened to his music and though I remembered each and every tune, I couldn’t place the tune with its name. But with the names of the songs being displayed on the big screen, that was not to be a problem. He started off his classics with “Silhouette”- the title track from his 1988 album. And as that came to a close, Kenny G took some time out to humor the audience with his almost-perfectly-memorized Kannada in which he went to the extent of saying:

“Namaskara Bengaluru. Nanage illi thumba khushi agtha idhe. Kshamisi, nanage Kannada gotthilla…….

Thumba Dhanyavadhagalu. Iga naanu Havana Haadu haadthini”

Translation: “Hello Bangalore. I am really happy here. Pardon me. I don’t know Kannada…. Thank you very much. Now I will sing Havana”

The crowd applauded his efforts to talk in the local language. But I have to say, the experience of seeing Kenny G playing “Havana” in front of you and savoring a glass of Black Dog- on the rocks – on top of UB CITY with a cool breeze blowing over your face, was a completely unique experience in itself. The song is probably the most melodious one I have ever heard and he was playing the notes to perfection-improvising only where necessary while always keeping the melody intact! He went on to play “Sentimental” and a couple of songs from his brand new album “Rhythm and Romance”. The album happens to be a latin based one with Kenny G playing the Sax and a troupe of Latin music professionals backing him up.

At this point, I have to mention that all the band members were just simply astonishing with their instruments. Ron Powell on the percussions gave a breath taking percussion solo showcasing his prowess in a myriad of drums, bongos and the like. Vail Johnson on the bass gave the longest and a mind numbing bass solo that I have personally seen live. Robert Damper with his keyboard was a treat to watch during his solo in a song that Kenny G played just for the Piano solo. Daniel Bejarano and John Raymond on the drums and the guitar played their role to perfection.

Of course, Kenny G went on to play many more of his classics. “Forever in Love” was followed by a virtual duet with Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” which would have mellowed a raging elephant. Louis Armstrong’s rich voice must have come directly from God himself, and with Kenny G’s sax complimenting it in perfect harmony, the result was the epitome of what melody could offer. He left the stage and came back for an encore with one of the most widely awaited songs of the evening- The Moment. The trademark song of Kenny G. And sitting in my chair, as he played the notes to perfection, I realized that my high school dream of seeing Kenny G Live had indeed come true. But I was waiting for one of my personal favorites to be played and well, I was in luck! As he went into “Songbird”, I could really feel my night complete!( I would have paid another grand to see him play Eatside Jam but unfortunately he didn’t play it there.) He went on to play the Sax version of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On which, frankly speaking, was way better than the original-largely due to Kenny’s Sax replacing the ear splitting vocals of Celine Dion! He then wound up the show with Cadenza, the culmination of over 40 years of practice in which he got to showcase his skills with his Saxophone!

On the whole, I have to say, a really memorable night and one that I will remember for a long long time to come. And like I said, it was all so SUBLIME……

MEGADETH in Bangalore! – A Review

The day had finally arrived. Anyone who regularly goes to concerts knows it to be a painful experience right up to the time the main act takes the stage. And this was no exception. Rock in India started at about 2:30 in the afternoon with the Indian Professional bands playing first in a side stage after which the main acts of Machinehead and Megadeth would take place. Now only the real Rock fans know to appreciate Indian rock bands. And for all those, it was a feast on that day as about 7 well known bands performed all their hit singles. Now before I get into the details of the show, let me tell you something about the concert as such.

Now as in any concert, it was a NO SMOKING area. Yeah right! The only thing you could see there at all times was smoke! And for the first time in India, a rock concert had alcohol being sold in the arena-courtesy Royal Challenge who were the main sponsors for the entire event! So all those who wanted to get high and headbang to glory were in for a treat. Well at least that’s what I thought so! Because only after I realized that there was ‘other’ stuff in use to get high, did I understand why there was that different smell to all that smoke around me! My good friend who had accompanied me to the concert stabbed me to the ‘stuff’- like he always does. And throughout the festival, the crowd was very violent, with a hell lot of unfriendly pushing and pulling, with all of it culminating in one of the most violent mosh pits that I have seen! And that’s as much as I wanted to say about the concert as such. So now lets get on with the bands and their performances.

1) Casino Blues: So first up was Casino Blues. Apparently they had won some competition and had come all the way from Assam or something. Ok so they started playing their originals with not much of a stage presence and that really got a section of the crowd who were already drunk to start hurling abuses at the band members-both verbally and with gestures. But well, the band members couldn’t do much could they? So they just continued with their songs. They must have sung some 4 of their own. They were not bad. But I believe they are still beginners in the field of professional music and need some experience playing on stage. Notwithstanding the crowd jeers, they began to play “Where the streets have no name” by U2 to end their stint. Like I said, I would like to see them some 4-5 years from now.

2) Prestorika: I guess that’s the name of the band (or is it Perestroika?). Anyway, I had heard a few of their songs before and I liked them. I don’t remember too much about their performance apart from the fact that they were a lot heavier than Casino Blues and the crowd obviously seemed to like that. They responded with the first mosh pit of the day where a drunk dude got his shirt torn pretty bad and was happy about it! Their music was good and they had a nice stage presence. The crowd definitely liked them.

3) Junkyard Groove: Now this was one band that I was really looking forward to. I had heard a few of their songs previously and had also heard of their good stage performances. And I was definitely not disappointed. Their originals were really melodious to hear and even better were their stage presence. It was like seeing a really experienced band play on stage. They got the crowd to actually sing along their best original-“Its OK”. Now that is something that doesn’t happen all the time with Indian bands!

Lead Vocalist (to the silent crowd): “Hey common man! Say something. Say We love you, Once more, Fuck off! Say anything!”

The band really got a big ovation from the crowd which was really sizeable in number.

4) Motherjane: Ok Motherjane was very easily the best of all the Indian bands that played on that day! Now here is a piece of information hard to digest: All the band members are from Kerala and are staying in Kerala! So what you have here is a ROCK band comprising full of Mals! Now I never knew I would live to see that day! But I have and I am glad for that! Motherjane, I believe is the band that has the true potential to make it big on the international stage. Their music is a blend of rock and classical. And the best part is that it doesn’t sound incongruous at all! It would be very easy to see these guys on the street and dismiss them off as just another horde of Mallus.

But make no mistake! These guys are good! The lead vocalist was a smart looking chap with the voice anyone would die for! And the lead guitarist! I mean, if you actually saw this guy somewhere, you would think this guy was some sort of a rustic Mal. But there he was on stage with his guitar and his cooling glasses playing these mind blowing leads in classical style like a GOD! I just loved his attitude. It was like he was saying: “I am a Mal. I ROCK!” Never saw that one coming! He was my first qualified candidate for the “Cool Mal” image! Mindstreet was the song of the entire evening which got the most crowd participation and cheers! They also played a few other songs. But there was this one song during which the guitarist had some problem with the amp and he had to actually fix it during the song and before the lead started. So here is this guy, fixing the amp during the song with his lead coming up in a few moments, fixes the amp, and then goes on to play the best solo of the evening! Now if you know which was the song that he played, please let me know. I just loved that piece!

All in all, Motherjane was the best Indian band to perform that day!

5) Thermal and a Quarter: Ok obviously no introduction is required for this band! Everyone knows TAAQ. I had just gone out as they started to play. I guess I didn’t miss out on many of their songs. But even though I was very much in the arena for all their show, I don’t remember them playing Jupiter Café. Now if they did, do let me know. I was really looking forward to that. But they played their other songs and a couple of unreleased ones from their new album as well. Like I said, I wasn’t there for the entire performance but as far as I could make out, the music was definitely good!

6) Millenium: Now that was a band that I hadn’t heard at all and I wanted to see what music they played. Apparently these guys have been around for a lot of time and have released many albums. They basically played real hard metal prompting the crowd to go on a mosh rampage. I did like their music and would like to listen to them sometime. They had a great stage presence though!

7)Pentagram: Ok frankly speaking I am not a great fan of this band. Largely due to the predominant electronic sound that they have. And as this was the last band before Machinehead, I went over to the other stage where Machinehead and Megadeth would be performing. And I really didn’t pay much attention to what was going on there as everyone were already jostling for space around me.

MACHINEHEAD

Now I had frankly not been listening to them before I learnt that they would be coming down here. And even after that, I found their music too hard for me. But it was a totally different scene altogether at the concert. Once Machinehead came on stage and started hammering through their numbers, I saw this huge mosh pit next to me and I was so fuckin tempted to go mosh myself! I almost joined them but my friend pulled me back just in time! But looking back now, I wish I had moshed then. But there was no stopping Machinehead. One after another their songs started getting harder and harder. Lead vocalist Robert Flynn spoke a lot to the crowd about how they had never dreamt that they would be coming to India when they started off and stuff like that. And then he went on to say this: “Someone around here in the crowd is smoking an enormous amount of Marijuana and it is all coming over here! Way to go man!” Now that was something!

It was a true headbanger’s dream come true! That was officially the best growling I had ever heard! I guess that is what you would call Professional Growling! Machinehead was just simply too fuckin’ heavy and too fuckin’ good!

MEGADETH

Ok first things first. This is not the same old Megadeth. There is no Marty Friedman. Get that. And no Glen Drover. It was only Mustaine from the original lineup but I will not underestimate the bassist James Lemenzo and drummer Shawn Drover were already seasoned Megadeth members. But I really wanted to see how good the new guitarist Chris Broderick was. Mustaine had a lot of great things to say about him prior to the concert. Anyway, they came on stage at around 9 in the night to some deafening cheers and straight away screamed into “Sleepwalker” from their latest album. Now I might not get the entire order perfectly. So just let me know if I am wrong. And after Sleepwalker, they began one of my favorites “In my Darkest Hour”! The intro riffs were damn good but was disappointing were the sound systems. I was really surprised with the lack of sound volume in the first place alongwith the complete absence of the vocals and the lead guitars. However I enjoyed the song thoroughly and then they screamed into A Tout Le Monde one of my other favorites. I think they played the original version and not the one in their new album but I couldn’t make it out clearly- what with Mustaine making the crowd do the singing. Again, I could not make out the lead guitar at the end of the song which was really disappointing. But then the sound improved when they screamed into “Skin o’ My Teeth”.

At that time I knew that they would be belting out only their hit numbers. So then followed Hangar 18 and Symphony of Destruction! It was then that I remembered that seeing those songs being performed live by Megadeth themselves was my teenage fantasy and it was really hard to believe that it was happening in front of me! I headbanged to Hangar 18 and Symphony of Destruction to my complete satisfaction! Frankly speaking, I went hysterical when they played those songs, acting like I was out of my senses! Anyone who had seen me at that time would have surely got concerned about my mental state. The sound had improved a lot by then and I was able to hear the solo clearly. But what I was disappointed was with Chris Broderick. I mean he was the lead guitarist but Mustaine was playing most of the solos. Even in Hangar 18! Now I have no doubt about Broderick’s ability to shred and play any Megadeth lead, but he never was the highlight even in the solos! Anyway, I don’t know when exactly but I clearly remember the intro to Tornado of Souls and heard the crowd go wild. I love that song and that lead as well! And then they played “Washington is Next” from their new album. The crowd was headbanging again when James went into the bass of “Peace Sells But who is Buying”. But one song that I was really waiting for all the time was TRUST and as James gave the bass intro to it, and as the drums picked up and the intro lead came up, I saw myself getting hysterical yet again! The lead is clearly the highlight of the song and Broderick played it to perfection! I just loved that one moment in the middle of the song when it went complete silent and then next moment Broderick is ripping through the lead. That one moment, I felt my fantasy fulfilled! I just loved TRUST!

I was really expecting them to play She-Wolf or Secret Place but instead they went into Burnt Ice from their new album which involved a lot of shredding and it was good. “Before we end this tonight, we would like to just tell you how much we liked being here….And we will be back!” and then the guitar screamed HOLY WARS! That was exactly the last time that I went hysterical that night! Headbanging to Holy Wars was something that I thought would never happen. But there I was headbanging myself till my neck hurt. But again, I was really disappointed that Broderick didn’t take the stage and instead it was Mustaine all the way even in Holy Wars! Not that he was bad but a lead guitar is a lead guitar and he is the one who should be providing the style to the performance. Like I said, I do not doubt Chris’ ability but I just wish he had played a more active part in the concert. And so there it was! They had performed 12 of their hits in just over an hour. It was surely a short performance but one that was packed with a lot of energy!

And all I cared was that I was there when Megadeth came to Bangalore and I headbanged to Hangar 18 and Holy Wars! Now that’s something I can tell my grandchildren about. So if any of you had been to the concert, do leave a comment about your experience there.

PS: My good friend and I were supposed to get drunk at my home as my parents were out. Forget the booze, we didn’t get anything to eat in the first place and had to satisfy our extreme hunger with Cucumber and Carrot!

Megadeth in Bangalore

This is a preview to the Megadeth Concert as part of Rock in India Festival that took place on March 14th 2008 at Palace Grounds in Bangalore. If you are looking for a review on the concert, click here

Ok. Everybody who was anybody and who listened to some kinda music were there to see Iron Maiden at Bangalore last year. Unfortunately for me, I couldn’t make it there (and yes I still call myself a rock fan). Now before you make up your mind to bash me up for good, please listen to the lame excuses that I have to offer. Please listen to what I have to say.

(Introspecting………..)

Ok it actually makes sense for you to bash me up. Go ahead. But just make sure that I am in a state to attend the Megadeth concert in Bangalore on 14th March! Goddamnit! Finally I will be able to see them in front of me. All these years I have been living without even the smallest hope that I will someday see them live. But here I am. Just a little over a month to go and I will be headbanging till my neck breaks.

I am going to make amends for missing out on the Maiden concert by doing whatever it takes to get the front row. Even if that means standing in the queue from 11 in the morning for the Megadeth show that starts at 8 in the night!

And about the event, there is another big name band coming. The whole event is actually a Rock Festival. The first of its kind in India. So with Megadeth headlining the show, we have Machinehead supporting them! And apart from all these, we have our own local Professional Rock bands performing before them. The list goes like this:

1)Pentagram

2)Thermal and a Quarter

3) Mother Jane

4) Prestorika

5)Junkyard Groove

6) Casino Blues

7) Millenium

So thats the complete list of the bands that will be performing at Rock in India Festival on March 14th 2008. The show as such will begin at 2PM. So I presume the local bands will be playing in the daytime and Machinehead and Megadeth will perform in the night. Tickets are priced at 1000 Rs.

I have been reading a lot about Dream Theater also coming down for the Festival. Obviously it is a dream come true for any metalhead. But of what I have been able to gather info, they are scheduled to perform in Venezuela on the same day. So I guess that sort of ruled them out…But then I was later to learn from a variety of sources about the rumour of DT having cancelled the entire South America Show. Being highly unlikely, I checked out their official website and it said no such thing. So officially atleast DT is not coming to Bangalore. Will update if anything comes up…

UPDATE: I bought my passes for the concert online. The ticket cost is 1000 bucks but you will be charged another 100 bucks for the courier fee. So I suggest you buy in numbers more than 1 to save money. The tickets are due to come by March 4th or 5th.

Man, I can’t wait to make amends…..

You coming?

Front Row for The Scorpions Concert in Bangalore!

Exactly 1 year after I went to the Deep Purple concert at Bangalore, it was time for me to make up for something I had missed out in 2001 when The Scorpions came down to Bangalore to promote the album ACOUSTICA. This time I was not to miss out on the action when I learnt 1 week back that they coming down again-this time to promote their new album HUMANITY. So I made sure that I bunked my (non-existent) classes at my college NITK and came down to Bangalore to attend the concert.

Fast Forward to the day of the concert…

I find myself purchasing the ticket at the venue at 2 PM and realized that there was a late announcement of discount of 300 bucks! So I bought the higher priced ticket for 1200 instead of 1500 bucks! Also I was a little concerned about the turnout or the lack of it at that time. So I convinced myself that more would eventually turn up for the concert and stood in the queue with the sole intention of being able to make it to the front row. So after an agonizing wait of over 3 1/2 hours, we were let in and I was sane enough to make a dash for the barricades once my frisking was over. My efforts paid and I was right up on the barricades at the center of all the action! Another agonizing wait for about 2 hours which included me eating my “lunch”-a burger-which, coupled with the can of Fosters Beer that I had in the afternoon, kept me conscious through the show.

Eventually, NERVEWRECK, the opening act came on stage to perform. I had seen them perform previously at my college fest INCIDENT this year. So I knew they were good. Especially the bassist. Though a section of the crowd booed them, I have to say that most of the crowd appreciated their act. Anyway, eventually, at 8 PM, THE SCORPIONS came up on stage!

Now here is the thing. I have seen a number of bands play on stage and all that they end up doing is play music. They completely forget that there is this other aspect of entertainment as well. And that is where THE SCORPIONS are the best! Man! Was that a performance! Totally electric right from the word go! They opened with a number which I hadnt heard. (To be frank, it had been quite some time since I listened to them. But I surely did remember all the classics!) They then played a couple of songs from their new album HUMANITY. Almost everything that they played new was quite heavy and I liked it. The first song that they played that I was really looking forward to was THE ZOO. I really really love that song and the muted guitar intro the song got me up and jumping! The whole crowd sang along :

“We eat the night, we drink the time
Make our dreams come true
And hungry eyes are passing by
On streets we call the zoo”

Thing was that initially there were quite a few songs which I hadnt heard. Maybe they were from the new album or some old thing that I hadnt heard. Either way initially the songs went through pretty quick. But things really slowed down, and rightly so, when Rudolph got out the acoustic and Klaus told the crowd “It will be good to play something on the acoustic guitar. This is Always Somewhere!” Man! This is one song that really brings back a lot of things from quite a long time back for me! And to see it being sung by the man himself, standing 10 feet in front of me was a real dream come true. This was followed by another classic “Send me an Angel” which again, I have to say, was a treat to just shut up and see Klaus Meine do the magic!

I dont recollect each and every song that they sung. But I definitely remember when Matthias gave the intro to HOLIDAY! “Let me take you far away…you’d like…a holiday!” Quite literally the whole crowd was singing! Who wouldnt! The mood the song created when you are standing in the front row is probably something that you will make sure you tell your grand children about! They then returned to their hard hitting numbers. They screamed into BLACKOUT, ripped through BIG CITY NIGHTS and a few others. But I was really impressed with their new song-HUMANITY. There are a few songs that you will really love when you listen to them the first time and trust me when I say this one tops the list! This is simply an addictive song with meaningful lyrics, heavy stuff and at the same time it was melodious! Very few songs can make that happen.

And somewhere in the middle, all, except drummer James Kottak and Bassist Pawel Maciwoda left stage and there you had it! The drum solo and the bass solo! To state that Kottak stole the show during the entire concert would be an understatement! He was full of energy and kept egging on the crowd from behind his arsenal of drums and cymbals! Perfect timing and significant variations in the drumming, coupled with the frequent spurts of water that he let out from his mouth making it look like a fountain(hardly gross given the energy with which he was involved) easily made him the best entertainer of the evening! Maciwoda too played his part ripping through Voodoo Child on his bass with the Wah-Wah turned on fully, followed by intro to Enter Sandman! And when the rest of the group returned, they went on from where they had left.

The rest of the concert was for the classics only! “Tease me Please Me” again got the crowd pepped up. But needless to say, they had saved the best for the last. Klaus said, ” Bangalore, we were here a few years back…we liked you then…and we are STILL LOVING YOU!” And there it was! Something everyone was looking forward to!

“If we’d go again
All the way from the start,
I would try to change
The things that killed our love.

Your pride has built a wall, so strong
That I can’t get through.
Is there really no chance
To start once again?
I’m loving you.”

Slow and easy-thats how Klaus Meine took the crowd through the soft melodious numbers and it was epitomized in the way he sang “Still loving you”. Immediately after that he went into something even better-Winds of Change! Looked like the entire crowd suddenly began to showcase their whistling skills alongwith Klaus for the intro! And with the entire crowd singing the song, Klaus, as he did many times before, pointed the mic to the crowd itself. But I have to say, even at the fag end of the concert his voice was still as smooth and melodious as it was at the beginning. And so when he finally screamed,”Bangalore, we will not leave you until we ROCK YOU LIKE A…..”, the crowd finished “….HURRICANE!” That was exactly the instant when the entire crowd went hysterical! Man! That was a dream come true for all present there! It was really the most electrifying experience of the evening! What with Rudolph, Jabs and Pawel displaying their guitaring skills through the song! And once the song was done, I really thought the show was over. The crowd was screaming for one more. Frankly, I wasnt hopeful as they had just belted out their best number! But once I saw Rudolph getting his acoustic guitar, I knew what was coming! And when he played the intro to “When the Smoke is Going Down”, I felt the evening complete! That was one song that I had to see them play and finally it felt as if that was one of the best evenings I’ve had since a long time! And when they finally grouped together right in front of me for the last time, I was happy to have just been there and seen them perform!

Now please allow me to bring to your attention some arbit things that happened during the show:

1) There were these really over enthusiastic girls right behind me throughout the show who were jumping around, beside and on me(which incidentally I hoped was more than just mere consequential!). Now what happens if you have two screaming girls right behind you at a Scorpions concert? Simple: You get a hearing impediment! Thats right! My hearing is really screwed up, even after a full day, thanks largely to the insanely high frequencies of the females voice behind me. I am going to see the ENT doctor tomo.

2) There was this dude right next to my friend, who I later learnt, was nothing more than a zombie! It was as if he never existed. My friend mocked him on quite a few occassions drawing cheers from the junta around him! Dude! Get a life!

3) And as is the case in any concert, the NO SMOKING arena turned into nothing less than a smokers’ paradise with the atmosphere getting all hazy hazy in due time. Also I couldnt help but identify the smell of weed on quite a few occassions and searched around for the stoned but couldnt find them. I guess they were too high for me to spot!

4) Now anyone in the front will clearly recollect the woman Klaus kept pointing at. Now the only sensible reason I can think of as to why Klaus would point at this female is that she was the most visible one! Thats it! She was as huge as huge needs to get to be pointed out from the front row. Needless to say, she was all like “OMG Klaus pointed at me! Klaus pointed at me!” Yeah now shut the F*** up!

5) There were a few morons who thought it would be cool to throw things at the stage. Thankfully none of them connected with the band members.

6) Unfortunately the crowd turnout this time was far lesser than what it usually is thanks largely due to the non existent publicity. But it was still sizeable nonetheless.

7) I switch on the TV channels in the morning hoping to see a report on the concert and also the possibility of seeing my face in it. But what do I see as breaking news? Check this out! “The Great Khali loses in WWE!!!” What the F***????? Firstly, since when did these news channels begin to report on WWE? And secondly, if that dude loses a match, so F***in what? Is that news? I mean dont these morons know that WWE is just a bunch of made up shit for entertainment? I mean this shit was practically on all news channels for the major half of the half hour news upto about 4 in the evening! OMFG!

8) Now here is the most funny thing: After my futile wait to see my face on TV, I was searching today on the net for an article on the concert and I came across this article by Times of India(btw, I dont read subscribe to TOI as it is widely acknowledged to provide the lamest news possible). Now before I say anything, I would anyday place a huge bet on the fact that whichever moron wrote this report (some dude by name Prashanth G N) never went to the f***in concert in the first place!! Seriously…. if you read his article, he claims that The Scorpions sang YOU AND I and UNDER THE SAME SUN! I wish! Apparently this sorry dude thought that those songs were popular enough and ‘assumed’ that they would sing it in the concert! Man you better go commit suicide than giving some sad and wrong reviews. You are a disgrace to journalism! Oh btw, TOI SUCKS!

9) I narrowly missed out on catching one of the scores of drum sticks that Klaus was throwing away. Fortunately my friend got hold of one. (Damn! He refused to share it!)

10) And I must have seen the Hero Honda Hunk ad enough number of times (32 to be precise) to be persuaded to go blast the first Hero Honda Hunk that I saw! Anyway I would like to thank Hero Honda for making this event possible and succesful and blah blah blah…. Oh btw, I was being sarcastic.

I will be putting up my pics and giving links to some of the videos that my friend took with his mobile cam. That will be in a day or two. So watch the space for more. And if I have missed out on any other important thing that happened, please feel free to let me know in the comments…

5 Feet from Deep Purple…

Ok so here is the deal. I will tell you what exactly had happened and then what happened next and then you yourself decide how much of an impact the second thing had on me. So here is the first thing that happened:

My mom fell in the bathroom and had two of her bones at the ankle broken! Basically there was absolutely no connection between her leg and foot. Trust me it was that bad. Now to add to this let me tell you one more complication. The bathroom where she fell was in Kanyakumari and we stay at Bangalore! So all in all it was a really harrowing experience on those two days when she had to be taken home (read hospital) and then operated. And the day after her successful operation, was the second thing. DEEP PURPLE IN BANGALORE!!!

And I had already bought the tickets. But needless to say I was in really no mood to go there with my mom in the hospital. But I also knew that if I didn’t go, then my mom would feel very guilty about being the reason for my disappointment. So I went. The following is a detailed account of the concert that I will definitely rate as one of the best things to have happened to me.

I was going to the concert with my friend from Joseph’s who is by and large the walking encyclopedia regarding music and football. He never forgave me for missing out on the Dire Straits concert. Anyway his cousin was at the gate at 1:30 pm which was going to be opened only at 5:30 pm! I joined him at 3:30pm. My friend came along at 4:45 with a quarter of Vodka! We split it up. I guess I badly needed it. And then we were let into the ground. The stage was massive. I ran like my life depended on whether I get the front row or not. And I finally I was able to get hold of the barricade. Front row at Deep Purple concert! It was like a dream come true for me!

The wait was agonizing to say the least. What with all the sad radio playing some arbit radio station who were apparently sponsoring this event! Anyway at around 6:40, Galeej Gurus came on stage to open the act. Ok here is the thing. Nobody came there to see them. But to be frank,they played well. Their originals were good. And the crowd applauded them covering Black Dog. But like I said, nobody came there to see them perform.

And some more waiting. And then a little more. And there they were! All of them-Gillian, Morse, Glover, Pierce, all of them! And they started right away! The crowd was screaming! They started off with a track from Purpendicular. Went on to play a song from their new album and then they had the crowd on their feet singing to Strange Kinda Woman!

“ There once was a woman,

A strange kinda woman.

The kind that gets written down in history”

Thank god I knew the entire song by heart. But deep inside I knew what I was waiting for. Not for Smoke on the Water, not for Highway Star….. I was waiting for Perfect Strangers. Pierce started the keyboard and it sounded like Perfect Strangers. But it turned out to be Lazy! Nice one though… And then there was Morse on the lead….right there right in front of me! And boy did he play like theGod himself! He was on the lead…solo lead…..just him. And he went on to play Sweet Child o’ Mine, Back in Black and Heartbreaker! He also played Contact from Bananas.

And then there was Pierce on the key boards. Blasting away the crowd with all the low frequency sounds. And as he was finishing it, he started off with something else. Something that I was waiting like crazy. Perfect Strangers!

“Can you remember, remember my name?

As I flown through your life….”

Damn man! I went hysterical! I was all over myself. It was like some spirit had taken over me! And what a lead Morse was playing man! The way he held the notes at the end of every line made my life worth living! All songs had extended leads. Then came the hits, one after another.

When a blind man cries.

Fireball.

Space Truckin’.

Rupture of the Deep.

And then after much deliberation, they started with Highway Star! Damn man! Gillian’s voice was just phenomenal! But I was still waiting for the lead of Highway Star. And it eventually came. Steve Morse on the guitar for one of the best leads I have ever heard! And by god, he made it look so easy man! I have seen semi pro bands play the same lead with much effort and concentration. But this man was just playing it like he was swinging a cricket bat! It was child’s play for him! And it came out just scintillating!

And immediately followed Smoke on the Water! Wonder how many people on this planet have been blessed to have listened to the song and liked it! And wonder how many among them had the opportunity to see it being performed live! And wonder how many among them have been blessed to see it happen right up in the front row! Trust me when I say I am blessed!

SMOKE ON THE WATER….FIRE IN THE SKY!

And then they left..only to come back for oncore! HUSH! HUSH! Had them on the feet again! And they signed off with the song that had got me to listen to them in the first place. The first song I heard of Deep Purple! BLACK NIGHT!

Glover’s introductory solo bass performance lead him to play the bass for black night! The crowd started yelling to the tune of the bass. And then the drums came and there was no looking back! It was Black Night all the way!

“ Maybe I will find on the way down

The line that I am free…free to be me..

Black Night is a long way from home…..”

And they signed off with an extended lead- Morse playing the guitar….standing on the speakers!!! He stole the show that night! No doubt about that!

And I felt life worth living! It had been a long time since I felt so alive! And I don’t know when I will feel the same again! And like I said, the timing of the concert couldn’t have been more apt for me. After all the stress that I underwent, I guess I really deserved it!

DEC 17TH 2006 will remain in my memory as one of the best nights ever….

And for those of you who only wished you were there, I really pity all you guys. For those of you who were there, I guess you know what I mean….

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