NH7 Weekender Pune Day 1: The emergence of a community

Music festivals spanning the breadth of NH7 Weekender often take on the form of a pilgrimage. Acolytes come from across the country to hail their personal gods. In the sky-splitting cheers ofthousands, one can hear whispers of memory and gratitude. Often, on the five stages of NH7 Weekender, songs are played which have saved lives in darkened times or caused suddenand/or sustained delight. All that sentiment consolidates into three days, and becomes a thing of joy, beauty and absolution.

Highlights

Pineapple Express: A smorgasbord of sounds came to brood in a groove-heavy setlist. A few good men with the intention of enchantment drew the crowd into an early taste of sonic skill. Hip-hop met a violin, punctuated by a drum solo that wouldn’t be out of place in a classic rock tribute.

Sleepmakeswaves: All the way from Australia for their Indian debut, the band celebrated their 10th anniversary with offerings designed to arouse the musical mind to frenzy. They etched into the sun-blasted air a set of songs about cold, lonesome places. Tundra, in particular tossed to listeners an aural epic; you could envision shards of ice descending, manicured by purposely punctuated
aswekeepsearching: This comes as no surprise. Hundreds sang along to songs like Only You and Kalga, the band loomed over heads that banged and feet that whirred to collective ecstasy. It brought, to the wintry tinge of early December grounds, the unspoken harmony borne of spontaneous ecstasy.
Ankur and the Ghalat Family: In a world that makes it “easy to hate and difficult to love” (Ankur Tewari), they spun love. It wasn’t hard to do; you’d love a world in which you could rest upon the grass and give yourself to wistful strings seeking to inspire simple happiness.
God is an astronaut: I am assuming you don’t need this bit to be elaborated. Suffice it to say, it was their Indian debut and they played The End of the Beginning.

Truthfully, Nh7 Weekender is a difficult festival to cover. What would you do if you had stellar performances simultaneously slamming you in the face? Aching feet and a sore neck ended the day, thanks to the likes of Mohini Dey, Benny Dayal & the Funknation and…okay I have a word count I cannot exceed here. SalimSulaiman brought along Bollywood favorites, and you couldn’t get to the middle of that crowd, let alone the front. While the absence of heavy metal acts was felt, your intellect didn’t have much space to complain. You were too busy trying to keep breath and pace with The Contortionist.

Weekender State of Mind?

Achieved on Day 1.

Picture credit- Mohit Sharma, Mohit Music Photography