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IIT Saarang 2012 :: The Lowdown On The Lowdown

I’m not the idealistic sort. No, the endless detailing & reminiscing are left to others. But post the four day extravaganza that was Saarang, I can’t help but sigh out loud as memories creep in with a nostalgic smile (see why I leave the romanticism to others?)

What’s To Laud 

Overall, the fest maintained standards in terms of:

  • Pro shows: All 3 shows were well organized in terms of crowd control & ticket sales
  • The crowd in general with their enthusiasm. I’m still trying to find a logical explanation as to how & where this congregation of high-on-music-alone people happens. Are all of them from IIT? WHERE are these people during other happening events in Chennai like (Score nights? :P)
  • Brilliant climate made everything ten times better and all setbacks (for unfortunately those are always there) 5 times less worse.

What’s To Whine 

Better MC’s please! Sure, Saarang doesn’t have a problem with audience numbers but care can be taken to ensure they are engaged well! 

Extra precaution with sound. This reached its peak on the day of the 2nd pro show. More about it HERE. 

WHAT’s in store?

Let me start off by saying the IIT Madras Saarang stage makes me teary with pride. JUST being on that stage, is an experience. Performing with that kind of gear & to an amphitheatre that large & welcoming; it is phenomenal just recalling this. And it may have something to do with the one-time entry policy but this is a venue where space fills up insanely quick & an example of great mob mentality. They were coaxed to break the rules at one point but generally, this is one of the best audiences performers can cater to, guaranteed. Not a single act that went up onstage could shake away the emotional wave that came when mounting that pedestal of glory (ok fine, no more nicknames for the OAT, bu just so you know it IS that AWESOME!). 

Armed with this kind of an asset, Saarang 2012 took on Chennai for four days with nonstop entertainment. The following posts are going to enumerate in video & reviews the fun fun FUN that ensued from the 19th until the 22nd of Jan!


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We discussed DJ Ipek’s Indian affiliations, Saarang perspective & took a trip down memory lane with her, to when it all started!

BudMcMuffin, the one-man act who manages drums, guitaring AND singing, was also very kind to tell us about his influences & his Saarang stint!


IIT-M’s light music competition, Taarang, saw four bands take the stage – mostly semi-classical & one pop rock act! Their take on IIT, making it this far and the future of bands like themselves!


Andhra delight DSP, brought on the jalsa with Rita, Ranina & Suchi on Day 2! Covering most of his hits from Kanthasamy to Ringa Ringa from Arya, it made for a fun evening! We got Rita aside just before the show where she expressed her concerns at being able to do justice to the playlist keeping in mind time constraints. A petty worry for the show was everything expected!


Nearly 15 semi pro bands battled it out for the top prize at this edition of Decibels. Metal was the most recurrent sound, which besides making the competition very unilateral, also made it very very loud. Pity that no pop or acoustic acts competed. We spoke to a few of the contenders, got some live footage of their performances & took some pictorial evidence for our archives!


Day 3 was arguably the most deafening of all three days. After the array of metal acts at Decibels & Powerchords (college level), the OAT witnessed three hardcore acts that did a killer job of warming up the crowd for Swedish ambi djent-ers, Vildhjarta. We spoke to Scribe about extending South and they really seemed to have no expectations of the evening. The video footage of them saying this just makes the irony that followed so much juicier.


We had a word with the band well before they got onstage and they DID tell us it would be heavy. Though it took a while to kick off, the concert was a one-n-a-half hour spasm of intense tones & riffage.


This Indipop act from Delhi put on a colourful performance. The lead singer, Inderpreet Singh, spared a few moments to answer our questions about attitudes in indie music & their last album ‘Ek’.


The grand finale to this eventful Saarang was hit duo Vishal & Shekar. It was the fastest 2 or 3 hours where every single person in the audience was engaged in Bollywood hungama!

So share, Like & spread the word for the efforts taking by the Saarang organizing team & all the musical discoveries that were made! We’d like to profusely thank them for their cooperation, Tejas Balasubramanya in specific.

It was a pleasure to cover the event with the kind of professionalism exhibited from their end. Normally, there is a disappearance either pre, during or post event. But the Saarang team made our lives easier by not going incognito & giving us band merch like left over RedBull every now and then. Here’s to more such awesomeness from IIT-M! 


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