They came, they saw and they blew us away.
When you look up Rock For a Cause, you come across their promises to put together extravagant, high quality gigs to encourage the Music Circuit in the country, all the while taking their causes seriously. High claims you would say? But think again. The concert organised by them at the ICT Grounds on Sunday was just what they’d claimed. And so much more.
So let’s pick up from where I left you peeps the last time:
Something Relevant had just managed to accomplish their standard goal of inspiring atleast 338 women in the crowd to leave their boyfriends for them. Fire on Dawson was geared up in black (?) all ready to play and we were, obviously, hovering around the food stalls, stuffing ourselves, figuring that it’ll atleast take 30 minutes for the soundcheck. But little did we know the alien and highly professional ways of the mighty Fire on Dawson, who were done with it in less than 10 minutes!
Bundled up and brought down from Germany to play for Child Rights And You by Rock For A Cause, Fire on Dawson is an eccentric blend of four completely different and extremely talented individuals – There’s the serious and diplomatic Martin, the amused and amusing Markus, the Indian and opinionated Ankur, and Max, who although couldn’t speak much English, was the sweetest musician we’ve ever met – All brought together by their love for good music.
Rock for a cause, only rocks for a cause. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before they bought in Fire on Dawson. Alongwith being known for their excellence in music, they’re also known for addressing various issues plaguing mankind through their lyrics.
This gig was their second show in India, and judging by how everything was going, they couldn’t wait to play more. Their first gig in the country was attended by over 5000 people and was a humongous success as the one on Sunday.
Excerpts from their interview:
Markus (On their gig in India last year): The whole experience was challenging and astonishing. So our first gig was in Chandigarh, and they were expecting 5000 people and we just couldn’t imagine how this would work. After all, it was our first gig in a different country. So before the gig, I needed a wire for the electric, so the guy managing the stage goes like “Ok, no problem,” and right out of nowhere, he whips out a live wire and rigs it. And I’m thinking – if a single wire comes off when we’re playing in front of 5000 people, we’re DEAD. But surprisingly we never had any problems!!”
“But I did manage to fall down…:
Then, on being asked by our very own unsubtle Squyd if he (Markus) plans to do the falling down act again – “Uh no, it won’t help the cause much… But maybe Max will take off his shirt this time.”
Meanwhile, at the concert:
Martin and Markus had taken their power stances while Ankur and Max shared the macho yet tender good luck look; the crowd was already trying to break the barricade. As they began playing, it was clear why Fire On Dawson was Rock For A Cause’s choice for headlining the event. Their sound, so melodious, yet with that crisp edge, was like biting into a fresh juicy piece of lettuce. Their new album, Prognative (yep, not a word), defines the combination of progressive, rock, alternative and other bits and pieces, which make them sound like they sound now. No two songs of theirs are the same in terms of songwriting, music, feel, theme.
Back to the interview:
Ankur (When asked about the changing sounds): “When you go for a movie, you want to see something unexpected. That’s why we don’t stick to a particular sound”
Martin: We all have different influences. So we all put out own input in each songs
Markus: We try different approaches to songwriting so that we don’t get stuck in the same lane.
And the performance continues:
They kicked off with crowd favourites – the most sung along being Olives; beautiful music, beautiful, beautiful lyrics. Abutting Olives, was Stuck In Infinity, another one of my favourites. It talks about love, abandonment and most of all, regret. Also, some pretty sublime guitaring by Markus there.
Next was Hit Me, a haunting song about child abuse. Although Ankur’s voice could’ve used a little more of that punch, he ended the song with a masterpiece of an ominous scary laughter. Fire On Dawson are known for making music with such causes as their themes, which made them an excellent choice to make some music for spreading awareness about children’s rights.
Of causes and more:
Markus (On what causes affect him the most): My main cause would be better education. Because I believe it sets the foundation for a peaceful society.
The show ended with Ankur’s brainchild Lakeerein. It was conceived when Ankur decided to channel his unrest about the situation of lines dividing everybody, through music. Being originally from India, he always felt a little out of place and dissatisfied with social barriers and divides that the society had created. So while working on their new album, he decided to address the gnawing issue. It was his way of protesting against the things which are not working for us.
Amusing losses of translation:
Markus (When asked just how did the rest of the three relate to Lakeerein) : “Initially we kept asking Ankur what it was about and he would say stuff like it’s about sex, the next day he would say that it’s about Hitler and we’d be like c’mon man!”
The end of it all:
Before we knew it *insert clichéd goodbyes* , it was time for the show to end. Ankur ended it on an introspective note, speaking about how there’s nothing more important than doing something which makes you happy, instead of pursuing something just because everybody tells you to. All the engineers in the house chanted their agreement in unison; we won’t be surprised if 70% of engeering aspirants change their major to design after that speech.
It’s heartening to see Rock For a Cause making a conscious effort to come up with ingenious ideas to spread awareness about different social causes. In this generation where the attention span of the youth is only 30 seconds or so for topics not related to few choice things like Music, blackberries and leather, it was absolutely genius of Rock for a cause to combine one of these few attention worthy things with an important cause. A hearty pat on their back for this genius of an idea.
Special Thanks: Everyone @ Rock For A Cause
Photo Credits: Aarthi Kannan @ Rock For A Cause