Lamb of God weekend-II  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

few of the tickets

Having finished with the apetizer, we were all charged up for the D-Day. The night was long with partying going on till the wee hours of saturday. The day dawned on us with the arrival of a 10 member battalion from back home making it 20 people at home. What followed was hours of nostalgic talk on our previous concert experiences and many rounds of leg pulling. And then there were the photoshoots. As time wore on, it was time for the pilgrimage to Palace grounds. And thats exactly when the rain Gods decided to open up a bit. Anyway, we all stuffed ourselves into the van and proceeded to the venue. It was an experience, zipping through the Bangalore roads with metal blaring from the speakers. Although some among us were scared of the police stopping us.

Thankfully, it hadn't rained at the grounds. 3 of the opening acts were already over by the time we reached. From what I heard, Bhoomi was at the receiving end of the crowd's wrath and Boomerang impressed with their RATMesque style. I was disappointed at missing the Bombay based metal act Scribe. Their CD was impressive and so was waiting to watch their live act. And according to reports they did strike a chord with the audience. The moshpit became active around the time when they played. As we reached, the last of the opening acts, 'Extinct reflections(ER)' were getting on stage. And we all jumped into the pit with our own trademark moves, which did result in few poor souls eating some mud. ER was nowhere near the perfection that they attained, the last time I saw them. Lack of practise maybe a reason, considering the fact that the guitarist flew in from LA, just for this one last gig. It was suprising to see Randy blythe, the vocalist of Lamb of God, watching them intently from the sidelines. Without the airs of being such an international star, he was quietly appreciating the local acts. As ER got over, it was time for a long break to set the stage for the virginia metallers. It was a time to meet all old friends who had landed up at the arena. I bumped into bloggers vinay, dikshith and sanjay. and also some others. Members of bands from kerala like the down troddence, purple blood and crimson wood were in full force. The sad part for me was that I couldn't carry my cam inside and had to be content with some dirty clicks from mobile. But then, I spent only a few minutes in clicking as it was more fun with your hands free.

And after more than an hour of roaming around and waiting, the lights dimmed on stage. We slowly started moving in. Blue tinted bulbs began to shine and the opening strains of 'The passing', the opening song of LOG's new album 'Wrath' were heard. As the short song subsided, LOG was on stage with 'In your words', accompanied by a blast of lighting effects. Yes, there they were. Chris Adler, the modern drumming God flanked on both sides by Bassie John campbell and guitarists Willie Adler and Mark Morton and led by the inimitable Randy Blythe. The opening scream of 'In your words' sent shivers down the spine. The moshes had already started in full swing. It was pushing and shoving all around with some searching for a space to breath. 'Set to fail' followed, the song name signifying the opposite of what Lamb of God was going to do this day. The sore point was a little bad mixing in the sound console. The drums were perfect, with each kick reverberating in everyone's hearts. But the guitars and vocals were drowned out. Even Randy's open throated screams sounded feeble sometimes. And this condition stayed throughout the concert. Wish the organisers gave a little more importance to the sounds, as its been a bane in international rock fests in India, most notably the Megadeth one. By the time they started belting out their classics, I had somehow reached the front row and stayed there for the rest of the show. 'Now you've got something to die for' had most of the audience singing along. And as it happens with bands visiting India for the first time, LOG were surprised too.

randy blythe(mobile click)
the band, thanking the Indian metalheads(mobile click)

one of those 'moments'(mobile click)

Willie Adler and randy blythe(mobile click)

Randy dedicated the song 'Contractor' to Mahatma Gandhi, descibing him as a punk rock dude. Ofcourse, he meant it with all respect unlike what some misinterpreted it to be. Chris Adler evoked a sense of awe with his brilliance. This guy deserves a big bow because he started drumming at the relatively late age of 22 and mastered it in such a short time. Rather, he has grown into a drumming God. Classics like 'laid to rest' and 'walk with me in hell' followed. There was no reprieve for the audience unlike traditional concerts where the band goes off stage and gets back with an encore. It was all over in a flash. 15 odd songs in the gap of about 75 minutes. 75 minutes of non stop headbanging, pushing, shoving, broken noses, flaring tempers and mixing sweatdrops. And then, the stage was clean. Everyone waited for the encore, but had to walk back disappointed. Still, the sense of achievement was on view, on most faces, of having watched one of the best metal bands of the modern era. This classification won't go down well with LOG, who are in there just to make music rather than compete. But then, I can be sure none of them will ever read this blog and so I can take the liberty to classify them. And its not right to end without thanking the 2 youngsters Arpan Peter and Vivek Venugopal who floated the event management company 'Overture' and made this concert a reality. Whatever be the glitches, this guys and their team deserve a standing ovation for pulling off something of this magnitude. And yes, DNA can think twice before bringing in gay pop bands to rock concerts. You've got competitors here, guys who has passion for the music rather than an eye on the 'market'.

The exponents of Pure American metal sent the audience into a tizzy with the unrelenting brutal assault of metal. This concert means a lot to Indian metalheads. To know what 'Lamb of God' has done to the metal scene in India, you just need to listen to the numerous Indian bands inspired by them. That distinctive drumming style and breakneck riffing are aped(no disrespect meant here..cos aping LOG is no mean task) by many a band in India, much like Metallica, Slayer and Iron Maiden inspired many in the 80s and 90s. Lamb of God is truely the deserving flagbearer of metal in the noughties and beyond. And it takes guts and passion to stay true to the roots, to stay brutal...as ever!
a part of the battalion

droopy eyes, but soaring spirits in the wee hours of saturday.


Dedicating this blog to Ronnie James Dio, the high priest of heavy metal who passed away recently.

your crusader Praveen

Lamb of God weekend-I  

Posted by Praveen in , , ,

If there ever was a perfect weekend, this defenitely was one. The three days of metal mayhem started on Thursday. Giving the first day a miss, we decided to start the action on Friday. The Lamb of God pre party was arranged at Zero G in residency road. What I loved was the location of this pub- on the 10th floor of a building housing offices of the likes of RBS, IBM etc. The concert pit was even more interesting. It was set up inside a swimming pool, which was drained completely. And then there was the wide open sky above with the occasional lightning painting all kinds of scary graffiti. All the elements of an underground concert, only that it was above in the skies.
Eccentric pendulum



Out of the eight bands that performed, the pick of the evening were Abraxas, Eccentric pendulum and devoid. But abraxas from Pune did tower over the rest with their highly energetic performance. It was with their performance that all hell broke loose and the moshpits erupted. Having heard their name quite a lot in nationwide rock discussions, it came as a surprise to see this really young bunch. But the age was inversely proportional to the tightness to the band. I became a fan after the first song. Eccentric pendulum, with heavy leanings on the progressive side did bring much needed variety to the evening. Vibhas, the drummer had gone a few notches above, compared to the last time I saw him. Another star drummer of the evening was Manu of escher's knot, but the band as a whole failed to make an impact. Devoid, the old schoolers from Bombay were the unlucky but eye catchy band. Unlucky because they could play only one song after making such a long trip to Bangalore. And as they proceeded to play the second song, the moron sitting behind the sound console pulled the plug, much before the 11 PM cut off time. Folks, musicians deserve a lot more respect, especially talented ones like this. And pulling the plug in the middle of a show is not the way to do it. Anyway, Devoid's 'beer song' became an anthem among the tuborg sipping audience there.

Abraxas




Devoid

The disappointment of the evening was the mysterious absence of 'nothnegal', the headlining act comprising of former members of kalmah and chimaira. Either this was a publicity stunt by the organisers to bring in the audience or the band might have pulled out in the last minute. Either ways, the organisers could've atleast shown the courtesy of announcing it to the crowd rather than ending the show abruptly. Still, no complaints. Because this evening served as a warm up and an apetiser for what was to follow on saturday...the biggest day of them all...in the next blog ...

your crusdaer Praveen

Its time- Lamb Of God in India!!!  

Posted by Praveen in , ,


Now you've got something to die for!!! The long wait is gonna be over this weekend. The kings of new age heavy metal, 'Lamb of God' will grace the palace grounds in Bangalore on May 15th as part of the summer storm fest. Its a band which has inspired many Indian bands, most notably Bhayanak Maut. The Indian metalheads have left behind the now infamous 'fRock in India' snub by DNA. A new event management company 'overture' floated by a couple of city youngsters proved that an international concert in India is not the monopoly of DNA alone. The metal mayhem will start off from thursday with a show by 5 Indian bands at Furtados, Koramangala. And then there's the pre-party for the LOG concert happening on Friday at Zero G,Residency road. Its headlined by Nothnegal, a band from Maldives comprising of former members from bands like Kalmah and chimaira. Over the next 2 days metalheads from all over the country and from our neighbouring countries will descend on Headbangalore. As the city reverbrates to the screams of blythe and the legendary drumming of Adler, we can expect another memorable day in Indian concert history.
The ticket's ready!!!!!!!!

And those who still have not discovered the band, am adding a list of 12 must listen songs....

1.Laid To rest
2.11th hour
3.Hourglass
4.Black Label
5.Red Neck
6.In your words
7.Set to Fail
8.Now you've got something to die for
9.Omerta
10.Again we rise
11.Dead seeds
12.Blacken the cursed sun

Recommended watching- Concert Videos-Walk with me in hell, Kiladelphia

To those who want to see it all online, here's link to their youtube channel- Lamb of God Channel


And if you need a formal invitation to this concert, here it is...right from the horse's mouth..2 lines from the lyrics of the song 'Redneck'

"
Just one time!

This is a motherfuckin' invitation,
The only one you could ever need.
This is a motherfuckin' invitation.

"

your crusader Praveen

A Raja, a big raja & a goonda coalition  

Posted by Praveen in ,

Karunanidhi & A.Raja(right)

Karunanidhi visits Delhi only when the need arises. Most of the time Delhiwala politicians come to him, licking his feet to prop up their coalition governments. And he, by some means or the other makes sure that he's holding the right end of the power baton every time the general elections are over. And it has now come to a stage where he sees some plum portfolios like IT, communication, textiles etc as his family's or party's private property. Most of the time, the games he play to get these portfolios for his party can at best be called as extortion. Even after the last general election, when there was a clamour to keep the big thief Raja out of ministership, cunning Karuna refused to budge. He told Sonia in no uncertain terms that he wants raja in the ministry, come what may. Yes, he was sure that giving this ministry to someone else may cause the murky dealings to be uncovered. And now that its become clear that money amounting to a cool 60,000 crore has been siphoned off by raja during the 2G spectrum auction, the noises to kick him out were louder than ever. And there comes karuna again with his dark sunglasses concealing the deceit in his eyes.

This time, the scriptwriter in him has come up with caste card to rescue raja. He says raja was victimised because he was from a lower caste. Not surprising, coming from a man who rose to prominence with his 'anti-hindi' agitations. Evoking petty regionalistic, relioginistic and caste sentiments comes naturally to this old man. As soon as he arrived in Delhi last week, he grandly announced that Raja wouldn't step down, come what may. This, even before he discussed the issue with the congress. He was so sure that the spineless party will bent 361 degrees to satisfy allies like him. And as expected, after the meeting the congress spokesman spat out what Karuna asked him to, "There's no credible material to justify action against Raja. And this comes from a party which threw out its own minister 2 weeks back, on a non-existent 'private' sweat equity. So principled they are that they think 60,000 crore of public money disappearing in thin air is a small matter. The tapped phone conversations of Raja with a corporate middle woman Nira Radia throws up enough proof of wrong doings. And the funniest part is that this was available with the UPA even before the last election results were out. Manmohan Singh's hands maybe clean. But as long as he persists with such crooks and bends and sucks to sunglassed criminals, he can never lay claim to the glory of being super clean.

Its to be seen how far Karuna and his likes plays the power game. Another of the ugliest of the games was played in the Mullaperiyaar dam issue. (For the uninitiated, Mullaperiyaar is a dam located in the periyaar river in kerala from which tamil nadu is drawing water from 1886). Even after it has become clear that raising the dam height will cause loss of life of epic proportions in the adjoining areas in kerala, Tamil Nadu was hell bent on going forward with the same. The Kerala offer to build a new dam in the place of the 135 year old dam which may burst any moment, was also not accepted. And to further their dirty aim of scuttling any thought of a new dam, the DMK used their coalition powers at the centre. It tried everything to stop the formation of an empowered committee by the supreme court to study the safety of the existing dam. Thankfully, the judiciary prevailed over the coalition games and the committee was constituted in February this year and will submit the results in 6 months. Its to be seen how their recommendations will be implemented by the central government. The same coalition games has been playing out in blocking the formation of the immensely useful transshipment terminal in Vizhinjam. 60 years since its first plan, this natural port which could've brought a lot of revenue to the nation remains a dream just because some parties tried to play the regional card. (Its another issue that there's another lobby within Kerala, which is scuttling the development of this port).

And so, the coalition games go on. The UPA has bent and flipped many times over. Its a pity that even after getting such a strong majority this time, the congress is squandering an opportunity to teach its coalition partners a lesson. Britain, which is going to get a first taste of coalition government in 36 years, will do well to learn some lessons from this ugly games. The conservatives(leading party) should take some lessons on what not to do while heading a coalition government and how to deal with crooks like Karuna and Raja.

pic courtesy- The Hindu

An unrelated link-Read this shocking story of how the land mafia evicted a nun and 60 odd mentally ill inmates from a destitute home in Kerala. And this is the land where the 'communists' rule!

your crusader Praveen