Sunday afternoon, I was in a dilemma. The cricket match was going on in TV and the finals of strawberry fields rock fest was to start in a couple of hours. Then, Sachin got out and my last reason to watch the match was also gone. And so I headed straight to National Law School(NLS), Nagarbhavi more than 25 km from my place. I reached there in a breeze, slightly drenched ofcourse. I was surprised to see a college amidst lush greenery. The venue of the fest was still down the road. Honestly it looked like a big clearance in the middle of a forest. It was completely different from the image of the famed strawberry fields that I had formed in my mind. I could hear Pentagram's songs from outside itself. I walked straight in. Thats when the security guys stopped me for some frisking. I emptied all my pockets. And lo! there is a suspicious item. A vicks inhaler key chain that I attached to my house key. They insisted that this cant be allowed inside. Yes, they suspected that I was a drug addict carrying 'the stuff' in an inhaler. I asked one of the guys to just smell and check it. I could see a frightened "No way" look. Then, another brave guy came in, smelled it at an arm's length and confirmed that am clean. The guy who checked me said "sorry mate" with a smile. Well, I did really enjoy that incident.
Once inside, I saw Vishal Dadlani & Co. from Pentagram doing the sound check. There were only a handful of guys at the grounds then. We were treated to 'its electric', 'rock n roll' etc. After that, it was a long excruciating wait for the real show as all the competing bands proceeded with their sound check. I was also waiting for my friends to arrive. This was the 3rd and final day of the 12th edition of 'Strawberry Fields'. The first 2 days had close to 50 bands from all over India playing all day long. 5 bands came out on top. The judging for the prelims was said to be a farce with deserving bands like 'Inner Sanctum' losing out. And this allegation did have some truth as evident from the quality of some of the qualified bands. The concert started 1 hour late at 6 'O' Clock. The first band up was 'Blood and Iron'. Only the drummer Manu was the saving grace of this band. He was at his beastly best behind the not so pretty kit. One song into their show, there was a heavy outpour and half the crowd ran for cover. The rest were seen dancing and headbanging in the rain. Next up was Mumbai band 'Rosemary'. Hearing the name being announced me and my friends looked each other wondering 'what the hell that was?'. But, names do deceive. This band did kick some serious ass with their Nirvana-esque originals. Their sound did really stand out in the evening. Besides their originals, there was a great cover of the Beatles's classic 'Come together'. The audience did come together in singing along the lyrics.
your crusader Praveen