Rock in India 2008: 9 bands, One Concert

Guest Author: Prakash Rajgopal ( the guy in the Gulshan Grover beard).

Praxy and Harshal

BENGALURU, Bangalore or just same ol’ BANGY. Oh how fortunate art thee to have been the soil which played host to Rock in India. How golden is thy spirit to have seen history in the making!The biggest International Rock Festival India has ever seen! Nine bands! Two headlining acts! The chance to get 8 hours of thrash/hard rock drilled into metal heads! What a mouth-watering prospect! Which genuine rock enthusiast would miss such a historic event? One of the top four metal acts in the world, Megadeth was playing in India. Yes, MEGADETH!! It was the last leg of their United Abominations Tour Of Duty. March 14, 2008. Palace Grounds, Bangalore. After a month of eager anticipation since booking the tickets, the day had finally arrived! We all HAD to be there to witness it. And we did!

We (my friend Harshal and I) reached the venue well ahead of time, at 1 pm. As we arrived at the venue and were waiting for the gates to open, we could hear some sound checks going on inside. There were already some people loitering around, most of them wearing black tees. I could see lots of Maiden’s, some Slipknot’s, Children Of Bodom’s, Nirvana’s around along with the usual Megadeth ones. We also saw a girl and a guy walking in, with the girl wearing a Megadeth tee, and the guy wearing a… hold your breath… 50 Cents!! Yo mama, he was right in da club!!! I also saw a guy wearing a Master Of Puppets tee. I wonder what became of him. Soon, Sujoy arrived with his gang just in time for the gates to open, and we headed inside. There were two stages on the venue. A smaller stage that was meant for the Indian bands, and a bigger one up front, obviously for Megadeth and Machine Head .

Here’s a run-up of all the bands in the order of their appearances:

1. Casino Blues: The band from Guwahati formed by Joshua, the lead singer of the Independence Rock winner band-Faith. They might’ve rued the fact that their’s was the first act of the day. With the scorching sun was beating down everybody’s necks, most of the people preferred taking shelter in the shady corners of the ground to avoid being burnt. The band had some catchy numbers. But they didn’t catch enough attention. Enough said.
Verdict: Mediocre.
Sujoy’s Verdict: Joshua has got strong vocals, but it got sunburnt.

2. Prestorika:


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Saturday Night at Bangalore circa March 2008

STYX entrance

If you are a rock-addict( I mean music, and nothing related to Geology or Paleontology) in India, and you love Beer and the subsequent alcoholic preparations, and your wardrobe fashion is dominated by those Black tees flaunting the GnR, Metallica and Sabbath prints, you know which is the best place to hang out. It is Bangalore! Especially when it’s concert season. I was there for the “Rock in India” concert and the air was breathing and smelling rock , I mean grass, I mean the fragrance of beer burps, I mean all of that. We’ll talk about the concert later, here we are talking about the eternal escapism for a Rocker like me, on a Rock weekend at the Rock Mecca of India-Bangalore.The journey begins on 15th March 2008, a day after the Big-Rock in India Concert-at 6 pm from my friends’ place at Jayanagar. There’s rain and there’s Bangy’s infamous,static and most irritating traffic jams. But I was more than ready to brave all of them for the Booze, the Bass, the Beeotches at the Bar and of course Bang Bang Headbanging. Do you know the concept of Party hopping where you are so restless enough to be at more than one party on a single night. Try that when 5 glasses of LAGER are already down your throat. Anyway, first venue- STYX at MG Road. It’s still raining. Thanks to my pal’s Raincoat, I am 70% drenched. I am waiting for my friends -Praxy and Harshal to arrive.And here they are (see pic below, I am the chinki guy).

Me, Praxy and Harshal aka WALF

A cover charge of 200 bucks on a Saturday Night-pretty decent. And as we walk up the stairs, I can see a few chicks trying hard to speak on the phone and a few others staring at them. The doors open and I am hit by a WALL of shreddding guitars. It’s Hetfield and his army and the black tee brigade with the long hairs is echoing -Master ! Master! Instant reaction : Yeah with a devil’s horns Up!!! Walk straight to the Bar. Read More

Somewhere Back in Time – Mumbai GIG in Pictures

If you are one of those lazy bums who just can’t sit through the 1285 words of my previous post on the Maiden Gig in Mumbai, this is for you. And for those Maiden Maniacs like me, this is definitely for you. And for those who missed it, burn , burn, burn in ENVY!!!

The Story in Pictures .

The Pass

The Pass

The Prophet

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Metal Mayhem Mumbai Maiden-Somewhere Back in Time

Somewhere Back in TimeIn the beginning, there was darkness. And the Devil said,” Let there be Metal”. So Sir Winston Churchill speaketh, “…. we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,” and the cymbals hit hard with the guitars riffing. Mumbai screams in unison, the bass commands us to Jump, the lights go haywire, and Bruce Almighty jumps out of nowhere , over the monitors in his army cargos, and orders

“Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live. Aces high.”

I was there. HELL YEAH! I look around to see only one reaction, the headbanging, the fingers closed perfectly to show the devil’s horn and the music taking control. IRON MAIDEN ripped us all apart. And when you just wanted to take a breather, the shredder reveals another killer with the drums rolling to the Anti-War Anthem “2 Minutes to Midnight”. The crowd goes frenzy, and chaos prevails. My first bruise, my first kick on a guy’s back (now his T-Shirt reads the mirror image of Size 9), and even more jumps and pushes. Ladies who were expecting some sort of courtesy and ahem, respect, got the unexpected answers. Hilarious it was, when a lady started to roam around searching for her lost boyfriend, and my pal told her, Auntie, you won’t be able to manage yourself in the first row. It took her not more than two minutes to realize that.

Aces High

Track 3: The very AC/DC-ish Revelations. The crowd responds as Bruce commands and that’s what you expect at a Maiden gig. Personally, not one of my Maiden favorites, and add to that, the great fall of Sujoy. I do a “Konhi to Konhi” (elbow to elbow) Dance to stand up, to be pushed down furthermore. And before I could even realize, I was at row 10 from the barricade. I somehow managed to get a breather when Dicksinson engaged the crowd with his English English. My dear neighbors thought I had passed out , I replied , not yet!! Yeah right! Unaware of what was coming up next. Track 4: “The Trooper” Read More