Monday, November 03, 2008

The Great Indian Rock Show

Magical lights, Smoke, Screeching music, Huge speakers,  Head banging, Dope, Madness, Passion... Put all these together with some more lights, screams,beats, bass,and wilder head banging -you have a rock show.

"You have to come to The Great Indian rock show"-my friend urged me. "I have been waiting to attend GIR for 6 years!".

Now, i am music illiterate plus tone deaf and i don't have one iota of music running in my viens. I am as oblivious to rock as i am to pop or any other kind of music. The closest i ever got to rock was hearing Limp Bizkit's Mission Impossible track as it was my ring tone on a monophonic mobile handset. And people who know rock even remotely would agree thats as close as Bush got to catch Osama.

But considering the next option would be attending a class, I chose to experience another world.
And another world it was.

As we entered Prgati Maidan in New Delhi i saw a queue as long as Sonali's legs. I have never seen so many guys dressed in black, with Levi's jeans, long hair, sporting a goatee, speaking accented english with fuck after every alternate word, at one place. There were 2000 or more such guys and gals wearing Zaplin, Clapton, Nirvana T shirts looking part of some cult. 

I, wearing a full sleeves shirt and a modest John Players Jeans, clean shaven with neatly cropped hair was looking like a freak show!

"Are these guys for real?"- I asked my friend. But he was already making conversation with one of the guys in front of us

"They are tuning their Bass guitar now"
"Yeah! The noise is fucking crazy man, i feel like i will fuckin attained nirvana tonight. "
"The voice is coming from sub woofers, they haven't even plugged in the main speakers"
"Fuck! That is so awesome man"

I listened to this conversation with interest and asked naive questions about Lead guitar, Bass guitar, drums, vocalists and audio equipment which my friend was happy to tell. I also enquired about Death metal, Heavy metal and other bare essentials to satisfy my curiosity.


The show started with a performance from Level 9, an Indian rock band with a female vocalist. An unusual combination to start with and some music which i didn't really like. Some people were enjoying it but rest were horrified and made statements like

"Get off the stage, you bitch!!"

I felt happy that, what i was not liking was not liked by many. Their performance was marked by occassional brilliance of their drummer who made the crowd go wild with his beats. In the end the group perfomed a song by U2, where the vocalist tried to invlove the crowd as well.

Vocalist: "So you guys like U2??"
Crowd was stunned as if she had insulted their mothers, sisters and grannies in one go.

Vocalist: "I can't see you guys, because i have the spotlight on me, but i hope you guys are having a good time!!!". I thought she was really cute to make a statement like that.


After the act was over the next band that performed was "Undying Inc". A heavily bicepped man walked up to stage and started screaming so loudly that i fell a few steps back. The vocalist was holding his chest and screaming so violently that i feared his guts and pancreas would spill out on the crowd. But no body else cared about his pancreas and seemed pleased that they were getting the real rock now.
The crowd was with him and soon joined him in a community head banging ceremony. After one of his performances, the vocalist asked

"Fucking Delhi!You know what the fuck is coming to fuck you now" (Yeah, he had a liberal tongue)
Every one nodded intelligently and screamed Oh YES!!!!
I was like okay, let's see.

He screamed with even higher intensity and crowd banged their heads with matching spine crushing gyrations while their heads spinning in elliptical motions.

I tried to copy that but my neck pain got the better of me. But it was intoxicating and after some time i got the trick. You have to bend your knees, thurst your pelvic and take your head up and down to the maximum you can.

I saw some guys in the crowd going wild and pushing each other. They were throwing themselves on each other and running away. I thought crowd has gotten out of control and a stampede is inevitable. I asked my friends to step away but they said its ok and normal. They even have a name for such logic defying behaviour. Its called a mosh pit.

Act 3 and Act 4 followed.

What i really liked was Them Clones performance of Zephyretta. It was a breath of fresh air amidst all the metal. What i realised that i like music only when the words make sense to me. For me the lyrics are more important than the music. Well it took me rock concert to realise this.

What followed was the ultimate performance, more like what you associate with a rock concert. The last band to perform was Satyricon a norwegian band. I mean just check out their web site they are the real deal, the mean look, the long hairs, the attitude.

They took quite some time to check the sounds and the lights, which got annoying and boring after such ear drum squashing music. Mean while:

Me: "Do i smell hash all over the place?"
My friend: "Oh Yea! The perfume is all around..."
Me: "Well, some one is having a happy time"

But when the band began the public went out of their minds. I have never seen so much wildness. I began to head bang as professionaly as if i was born listening to rock. The passion was all engulfing.

The scene on the stage was out of this world. Three guitarists with long hairs had there knees bent. There upper body was pushed back at an angle of 30 degrees. Yet they managed to hold their guitars, and twist and turn their heads with all hair in front with such ferocious rpm that wind mills would be ashamed. 

I being some what detached and dispassionate  human being saved my neck from permanent damage but i am pretty sure most guys would be having neck-bandages for at least a week. 

As we moved out a guy commented "Tonight, my life is complete!"
Well, i didnt really satisfy my self actualization needs but nevertheless

Rock On! 
Depicted usually by folding your middle and ring finger and placing your thumb over them.


AsMi said...

Hey how are you doing now? hope no broken bones and twisted muscles?

Enjoyed reading your experience about the GIR...keep writing!

Tikna said...

brother.. it is the very best description of a rock concert ever... you do me proud!! (i don't know how the hell.. but wtf) and of course i really did miss out on it...