I don’t mean to doust the fire of enthusiasm that is burning bright in your hearts, O readers, but we need to back up a bit before we go further.
A few hours before the gig, I happened to meet Scribe in the green room. Time & again, us Score pups (as they like to call us) have always done something to rub this band the not-so-right way. For this reason, I had my guard on & spoke at a speed of 120 words per sec, focusing all attention to just the evening’s concert and spazzing oh-so-royally And here’s what they had to say:
Chennai’s music buffs by no means restrict their listening to just local bands. and so although Scribe was not aware of any veritable fanbase in the city, they certainly existed in the massive crowd that turned up that evening.
And yes, lungis were worn.
Back To ProShow Scenes!
Scribe took stage and set up in minutes. Their Dum Hai Toh Aage Aah video promo was common fold by now creating a loud impact every time, nevertheless. And for the time they occupied onstage, it was pure madness.
Vishwesh lapsed comfortably into his mother tongue & thus gathered audience nods even from the non-metalheads. So eager was he to showcase his Tamizh skills, I remember a random line somewhere in a song going Ottagakatha Kattiko (the Rahman no). Another bout of good ol randomness later on was when midway through an intensely metal song, there came an old recorded version of a Bollywood tune. It was things like this that kept people on their toes when not headbanging & rampaging in wall of deaths.
While not watching out for his Tamil peppering, the audience was entertained with an interactive round of ATM – Abuse The Mixer – a game that was becoming increasingly popular that day. The sound guy was being jabbed at innovatively until things were set straight. Scribe had issues with their sound too but they were evident only to the band and did not test the patience of the audience.
Listening to Scribe for the 1st time live, their music felt like too much going on. This leg of the concert had everything: Lungis (& eventual throwing of the same into the crowd), two simultaneous mosh pits that had just shown meek beginnings during Blind Image; it was just a barricade separating the two. In time, after the onslaught of I Love Pav Bhaji, down it went. There was a circle pit (had hordes of people charge in circles – led to dust circles soaring up). Vishwesh goaded the audience for volunteers to stay on the surface for an entire song. I personally lost it during their last number Gunda Banne Ke Liye Danger Dikhna Mangta – the rushed vocals & pounding riffs sparked off the adrenalin well & good.
But they weren’t done yet. Call it the Saarang effect but artists seem to come here with an agenda to make it memorable. Scribe called for an onstage mosh. So we had the members of Inner Sanctum, Blind Image & for a quick bit, even two people from Vildjartha, whamming into each other on stage. Sorry, just saying it like it is. But it was one of those defining onstage moments that making an evening unforgettable. Scribe had taken off a huge burden from the prime event by exploiting our senses bare.
The evening was back on track, better than ever.
Vildjartha were visibly enthusiastic when they got onstage. Right after Scribe, they held onto the aura and promised us a killer show. So it was pretty lame when 10 minutes later, we heard a gut-wrenching bzzzzck. Uh Oh. Something was wrong. Again. It definitely sounded like equipment fail & the band had to soundcheck again, pretty much. The OAT arena was beginning to look like a campsite of hopeless refugees; lying down, singing desolate Why This Kolaveri’s in unison every now and then. That day, everyone must have prided the knowledge of a sound engineer at some point in time.
Case in point also being that the IIT arena is never a gamble. Once people get in, getting out is out of the question unless never returning. And not many would have the heart to do that after money time and energy spent, lets face it. My rampant concert attending in recent times has acquainted me with this only-too-familiar feeling at most such gatherings – helplessness.
Earlier that day, Vildjartha mentioned how their Russian stopover was so different compared to how India welcomed them. Seriously, we are awesome as a concert audience. Mostly.
After what seemed like half an hour to 40 minutes, Vildjartha started their set. The determined-to-enjoy crowd indulged for the next one hour. I was quite stumped at the music, though. It was slow, drawn out heaviness not meant for frenzied headbanging. Ambi djent was apparently what they were playing and quite frankly as someone not so big on that, it made no sense. But for every one raised eyebrow, there seemed to be 50 to 60 people hanging on to their patterns. Each of Vildjartha’s songs didn’t sound unique or separate. Upon discussion, I believe what was being lauded by the audience through of slow mo headbangs was the technique. Yeah, okay. As long as the target audience is satisfied….
Sincere appeal to Saarang: You guys have brilliant stage, lights & sound (barring the travesty of proShow 2). Please call slightly less obscure bands. When Opeth came for IIT-M 2009, it enabled Chennaiites to hold their noses up in the air for months at a stretch. I think its time for another booster like that 😉
SCRIBE: NAVNEETH B
VILDJARTHA: PRAVEEN S R