Independence Rock- A taste of Avial  

Posted by Praveen in , , , ,

"61 years ago, we won our independence. 23 years ago, we won our right to rock"

Armed with this tagline, Independence rock was expected to blow us off our feet. Me and my friends attended the Bangalore leg of the annual fest which was held this year at the mecca of Bangalore rock-Palace grounds. Our main aim was to watch 'avial', our very own malayali rock band who were headlining the fest. We reached there right on time at 6 and suprisingly a rock show got off at the scheduled time for the first time. The first part of the fest consisted of 4 bands who battled it out for a place to represent the zone in the mega finals. To tell the truth, only 2 bands impressed me and the other 2 bands were not much to write home about. 'Heretic', with their brand of nu-metal impressed one and all with their raw energy. Their originals and the slipknot cover were superb. But, the bad sound system which are the nemesis of any band that opens a rock fest came to haunt them too. Still they held fort. Guitarist Abhijeet was calm and composed and delivered some killer riffs. LOved the vocalist too, especially the way he interacted with the audience. Next came in 'Inner sanctum', the local band and they to put up a decent performance. Forgot the names of their original stuff. Moshpits were seen coming alive here and there. All the bands and the compere made it a point to bash the government for the retrograde step of banning nightlife after 11. There were lots of F-words flying around and at one point the whole audience screamed F off to the Government.

The next band was the gospel rock band 'White Noiz' and they were a big disappointment. The way the vocalist was jumping seemed comical. Some of their antics reminded me of the prayer meetings of protestants. This spare time we used up in roaming around the stalls setup there. Next came up 'Rainbow bridge', the band from Chennai. They were a lot experimental and that exactly was the reason for their downfall. They had an extra vocalist who dabbled in some carnatic based stuff. But the problem was it didn't seem to fit in. There was some artificiality that could be found in their songs. But, in the end they won the prize and the ticket to play in the finals which left us disappointed. Still wondering who judged the competition. Now, it was time for the serious action as the pro bands were to come on stage soon. We missed out the first band 'synapse' as we left to fill up our crying stomachs. Still, we managed to catch one song and it sounded great. The 2nd band on the pro menu was 'Karma 6', a band promoted by Bollywood music composer Sandeep Chowta. They concentrated on playing covers of Coldplay, Foo fighters, Arctic monkeys etc. Their covers were all neatly done. The comparative sonftness of the songs ensured some female support also. They played one of their original hindi songs too. But, I just couldn't understand the idea of playing covers in a festival like this, which is said to promote original Indian rock. Hope, next year the organisers will look into this before deciding on the pro bands to headline the fests.

AVIAL times

So, it was time for the highlight of the evening,'Avial', to take centrestage. They took a long time to set up which didn't go down well with part of the impatient audience. The time consumed is justified considering the mammoth kit that drummer Mithun was using and also the time for setting up the computer which was used to make up for the absence of the DJ's turntables. Vocalist Tony was clad in a Kerala style 'mundu'. They launched into their performance with 'Aaranda'. The vocals were not heard loud enough but that was made up with the audience singing along most of the lyrics. Lots of non-malayalis were heard singing the songs with immense difficulty and with a heavy accent. Next came 'chekele', describing the plight of a poor farmer and his wife. The 'Thakathaara thakathimithaara' line took the audience into a trance. Guitarist Rex was in full form and dazzled everyone with his easy solo playing. Bassist Naresh Kamat was style personified and had quite a lot of the female population drooling over him. But that didn't seem to affect his playing as he delivered the punching lines with machine precision. Mithun was slamming his way to glory behind the drums. The next song on the list was 'aadu Paambe' and quite a few in the audience were trying some snaky steps. Vocalist Tony was doing lots of antics on stage which sometimes seemed out of place and over the top. He could've done well by avoiding some of the feminine gestures which he displayed on stage yesterday. Coming to the song, the guitar work was especially good in this song.

Next up was their first ever song, the evergreen 'Nada Nada' which has seen quite a metamorphosis over the years. From the old days of' Jigsaw Puzzle' to the old 'Aviyal' and now the album version, this song still has not lost its sheen. But, the original vocalist Anand was sorely missed in this song. His raw exhorting cry of 'Nada Nada' is hard to match. Still, vocalist Tony managed to salvage pride as he did well in all parts except the 'Nada Nada' line. 'Arikuruka' came in next and the crowd were headbanging hard. There was some moshing happening out there. 5 years back, anyone would've laughed at the idea of moshing to a malayalam song. But not anymore. After this song, they bid us goodbye only to comeback and play the rain song 'Karukara'. The female vocalist's part was streaming from the computer and Tony did well with the male part. The dream like guitaring added to the soothing effect of this song. By this time, our throats had gone completely off with some serious non stop screaming and singing along. They again bid goodbye only to come back again for one last song 'Ettam Pattu', which Tony described as having no special meaning at all. After this song, the show ended once and for all and only the song 'Njan Aara' was left to be played from their album. We gave our original CDs to be autographed by each member of the band. After some small photo sessions and small talk with the band, we started our journey back home. The clock was inching close to 12 by then.
me and Rex chettan
PS-The 20Km bike ride after 12 through the almost vacant roads was exhilarating. Been a long time since I got a chance to speed on the city roads(Blame the traffic). Though the cold wind did sometimes trouble me.
PPS-Waiting for october 17, when def leppard plays live in Bangalore

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at Tuesday, August 26, 2008 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



6:10 PM

Crap! All good things happen just BEFORE I end up there! :(

8:39 PM

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