18th Edition of Palm Expo was yet again a successful event with a wide range of pro audio products exhibited, some of the best musical talents on stage and a lot more.
We take you through the two main stages of the expo: Harman Live Arena & Yamaha Stage.
Day one of the show kick started with an array of memorable performances from some of the most notable musicians in the industry.
We got a chance to closely witness and personally interact with most of the artists and here’s a low down on all that transpired on day one:
Harman Live Arena
Despite being noon on a weekday, the arena was brimming with people, thrilled and pumped to watch the industry’s finest.
The dynamic Sivamani commenced the performances at the Harman Live Arena. His riveting and energetic performance was matched by rapturous responses from the spirited audience.
Next, Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café enthralled the crowd with their soulful compositions. The neo-fusion band carved out a unique soundscape while conducting a conversation between Kabir and the audience through their music. While they played their staples such as Chadariya Jhini and Hoshiyar Rehna, they also played Muniya Pinjare Wali, a song that they haven’t released yet and are still in the process of recording. This song featured heart-warming interplays between the violin and the mandolin, backed by nifty bass parts.
After a brief hiatus, Bollywood singer-songwriter and composer Samira Koppikar took the stage. Maati Ka Palang was one really noteworthy performance from her set. The renowned Ravi Chary largely enhanced the delivery of the song through a dexterous Sitar solo. The gig took an unexpected turn when U2’s With or Without You found its way into a medley along side Arijit Singh’s Samjhawan. The set ended on an optimistic note with an upbeat Konkani song inspired by a lullaby that Samira’s grandmother used to sing to her.
Post an impressive performance by the Mitali Khargonkar Collective, the absolutely phenomenal Taufiq Qureshi and his band Mumbai Stamp concluded the show and we couldn’t have asked for a better finale. While Taufiq worked his magic on the djembe, the rest of the band played on drums and trashcans. The band’s reproduction of train sounds, Taufiq’s vocal textures and the harmonious synergy amongst the band members is what made their grooves so solid and unforgettable.
A small crowd waited patiently, with their phones all ready to capture Lydian Nadhaswaram’s, surreal performance.
The child prodigy left the audience flabbergasted all through his 20 minute long, power packed drum solo. Though only 12 years old, he displayed the maturity of a far more experienced drummer and could traverse through the drum kit with stupendous ease. After watching Lydian, one could tell that he has mastered the art of polyrhythms. Moreover, he also had some remarkable drum tricks up his sleeve – towards the culmination of his solo, he was swiveling a stick in one hand while still maintaining the groove with his other hand. He was extremely delighted to be showcasing Yamaha’s Absolute Drum Series.
Classical pianist Nise Meruno then brought down the dynamic levels from a forte-fortissimo range to a more mezzo piano decibel, through playing moving arrangements of popular songs on Yamaha’s digital piano. He played crowd pleasers like My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, River Flows In You and Kiss the Rain by Yiruma. The audience seemed to be pleasantly shocked when the pianist from Nagaland played a medley of some of Salim Merchant’s songs.
Kolkata based M Sonic reversed the mellow vibe at the Yamaha stage through their relentless rock renditions of some of Bollywood’s most adored songs. The day ended with some valuable insights by Salim Merchant on the Yamaha Montage 8, on how dependence on technology is making music suffer and on how chords and chord progressions are quintessential in making or breaking a composition.
All in all, both the live entertainment spaces: the Harman Live Arena as well as the Yamaha stage had spectacular acts to offer. While Yamaha exhibited the splendor of their instruments primarily through performances by solo artists, the Harman sound was enriched by fairly large ensembles.
Day two’s roster featured a majority of some distinguished fusion acts, percussionists and sitar players.
Here’s a detailed description of all the performances that made the day extremely indelible:
Harman Live Arena
Art Rock band Daira set the bar for energy levels really high on the beginning of Day 2. They kept the crowd gripped all along through their throbbing grooves, unanticipated stops and seamless transitions between dynamics. This reliably solid band seems to be big on innovation – in addition to their painted faces and the lead vocalist’s interesting attire choice, the guitarist was seen skillfully using a drumstick over the fret board at one instance and the lead vocalist switched between his voice, the trumpet and the kazobo from time to time. They played two songs from their first album and the rest from their third album, which is in the making currently.
The next segment presented a bunch of the country’s most prominent percussionists. V Selvaganesh and S.Swaminathan captivated the audience with their exceptional talent. Dipesh Varma’s act whipped the crowd into a frenzy when the set commenced with a dhol ensemble that played incessantly for long minutes amongst the crowd.
Ravi Chary Crossing’s sublime presentation graced the stage soon after. The Sitar virtuoso’s transcendental melodies backed by Sangeet Haldipur on keys, Satyajit Talkwalkar on Tabla and two of the country’s top jazz musicians – Sheldon D’silva on bass and Gino Banks on drums made for a beautiful amalgamation of Indian raga based music and jazz. One extraordinary feature of this performance was the way in which the band played in unison – so crisp and so tight. This lent their overall sound a distinct cohesiveness.
The day ended with a stellar performance by the Adil Manuel Collective. Fourteen indie musicians came together to present a range of some swell funk and R&B tracks. Right into their first song, one could tell that the band members were wonderfully in sync and that they were feeding effortlessly off of each other’s energies. This free flowing vibe resonated remarkably well with the audience.
Sitar Rhapsody, a world fusion ensemble led by Chirag Katti commenced the day 2 performances at the Yamaha stage. The band’s engaging, intricate and high-energy performance cast a mesmerizing spell on the crowd. Big smiles and nods of approval unfolded in the audience when Chirag and Friends played their version of Norwegian Wood by The Beatles.
Louiz Bank’s Gangashakti took the viewers by storm. It was almost hypnotic to witness the mélange of North Indian classical music, Carnatic music and jazz. With the crème da la crème of musicians on this collaboration, there was no room for second guessing the exquisite quality of their compositions.
Susmit Sen Chronicles concluded the performances at the Yamaha stage. Even though it had been a long day for the expo goers, their vigor and enthusiasm didn’t seem to diminish while Susmit Sen delivered his harmonically rich and rhythmically strong works.
With so many inspirational performances from the most gifted and hardworking musicians across the country, day two definitely didn’t disappoint.
We can’t wait for the 2019 line-up and performances already!