Youth Nexus was most convenient – a 15 min drive from home, through Delhi University. At first sighting, the police grounds seemed almost too spacious and were sparse populated. The place was virtually a circus: Food stalls, Bunjee Jumping and an oversized ball that one could sit it and people would roll you around – had seen something like that on TV once, but that was downhill and looked dangerous. It looked rather silly to have people roll you around.
Shortly after we arrived, the inter-college music competition began. I don’t recall much of it (which is why I should have blogged about this the very next day). The first band was, I think, from KMC. Quite good. Another band sang two Hendrix songs (Purple Haze and Foxy Lady), and followed it up with a terrible Avril Lavigne number. A female vocalist had been brought in, attired much like Lavigne in a shirt and a loose tie. She sang well, but was obviously short of practice. The Western International University band came on stage, and seemed to be really enjoying themselves. They sang mostly songs by Disturbed, and even though they weren’t particularly clear (Nono on guitars was barely audible, and Anirudh’s voice was better than before, but a tad inconsistent), they crowd seemed to enjoy it. Sam Lall of RSJ, one of the Judges, was enthused and seen headbanging vigorously. What was rather disappointing was that a particular girl chose that very moment to discover her fear of heights and just about everyone was looking up, behind, and egging her on. Anirudh himself told me later that he couldn’t help but take notice.
An all-girl band from Miranda came on next and while they performed pretty well, only the vocalist is worth a mention. As you can seem, I suffer from rapid memory loss, which makes this blog crucial. Please message/respond regularly, lest I forget who you are.
The best college band, undoubtedly, was from Venky: Strong-powerful vocals, excellent lead and a cutish (female) bass guitarist to add to that. The songs seemed well rehearsed and they played a few popular numbers. My neck suffered most during their rendition of What If? which was a kickass way to begin. They also played a Coldplay number, which has unfortunately become a norm. They were stopped just after they announced that they would like to perform an OC (Original Composition, for the uninitiated). That possibly clinched it for them, but they deserved to win anyway.
Next up was Nikhil Chinappa, and the relatively comfortable space in front of the stage was crowded and packed. Call me snooty, but the crowd sucked and they were more interested in looking at Nikhil Chinappa than hear bands perform music live. Anyway, Mr. Chinappa went on to tell everyone that he loves VH1 because they don’t play that (I quote and nod in agreement) “Bollywood Crap”. He also mentioned that he won’t do the “popular thing” and would introduce the crowd to music from around the world. BULLSHIT: He just played mostly Bollywood songs and remixes of non-bollywood hindi songs. He also claimed that he was playing something called “Electrofunk”, which is a rage in continental-Europe, and will be a rage in India next year. To me, it sounded like Techo with one section of Comfortably Numb, and based on how I described it, Codey says that it could have been the Scissor Sisters’ cover of Comfortable Numb, and NOT ElectroFunk. As I’ve said before, a lack of a discerning audience allows “stars” to get away with shoddy performances, and in this case- showing off.
It was becoming increasingly cold in the open, given that were were close to the ridge, so I took this an an opportunity to get a jacket. We returned and warmed ourselves with a couple of swigs of vodka, and waited for choreography competition and some Shibani Kashyap female to finish (don’t ask me how it was, I wasn’t paying attention).
Them Clones came on stage at 8:30, and it was already freezing out there. They played Roadhouse Blues with Sonam Sherpa of Parikrama, wish some excellent jamming between the two lead guitarists. Then Vishal Dadlani of Pentagram and Sidd of HFC and Zero joined them on stage for a jam on Bulls on Parade. Okay stuff, and Prithwish of Them Clones wasn’t as strong on vocals as he usually is. The terrible, unresponsive crowd just about killed the atmosphere. Them Clones should have played more OC’s and just about everyone agrees that their OC’s are excellent, and they do them better than covers.
Zero were up next. They’re much better live than on CD (I have it! :D), which I can’t say about most other bands. They played Old Man Sitting on the Back Porch, which contrary to what most people think, is NOT the same as the Presidents of the USA song. They played another couple of OC’s and then had to leave. Because of the delayed start (three hours late), we were robbed. The most interesting and impressive part of the show was when the sitar player who was playing along with the band actually got up, held his sitar like a guitar and then jammed with their Guitar player. He also played a solo like this, and wow!
Next up were Pentagram, and the less said about them, the better. Vishal Dadlani had been in the news after throwing a mic stand into the crowd during Mosh Mania in Mumbai, and tried his best to incite the crowd. Unfortunately (or fortunately), the crowd consisted mostly of people who didn’t know much about rock music or Pentagram, and people of north east origin who didnt care as long as it was rock. Almost no body understood the “I don’t like mic stands” reference. Pentagram were terrible – the music wasn’t loud enough and the vocalist just kept jumping up and down on stage shouting JUMP JUMP with really no music to jump to. Terrible and terribly disappointing. Their albums, though, are supposedly much better. I’ve heard a couple of songs.
1. When WIU were playing, people, including the vocalist was looking at the girl who was too scared to bunjee jump
2. Some chap cleared the area around him and started doing a Mithun-like dance. Ravi, you would have choked with laughter. 😀 This should be another addition to Sideshow Bubba.
3. Vishal Dadlani’s mic stand reference
4. The view of the stage being completely blocked by mostly ghaatis/locals and north-east guys who were standing on chairs (8-10 rows of them). Almost spoilt the fun of the rock show. Selfish bastards.
5. Newspapers of the main sponsors (HT City) being put to good use in the cold – fires.
6. Excellent Momo’s. We were eating when Vishal shouted “Hey! All you M****r F****rs at the sandwich stalls – throw your f*****g food and get the f**k here, near the stage. Or something on those lines.
7. The Sitar-Guitar jam during Zero’s performance.
Day two was incredibly boring, but I’m a man of my word. I’d promised to go for it if my friends joined me for the rock show, so I went. The place was like a political rally, as if everyone had been paid to turn up.We reached late (6:30) and waited for an hour outside for the queue to shorten. We even considered leaving, given the crowd. There must have been 10,000 people there, and I wasn’t really interested. Finally, went in and talked to and observed my friend who is a protagonist in this attempt at writing. An incident took place, and it will be a part of the story if it ever gets written. Also, KK and Shaan performed. It was even colder on Day Two, but it fortunately was shorter than Day One.