NH7 Weekender: The full report

1 Dec

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‘You’ve been gone only 10 days, but already I’m wasting away…”, so sang Brandon Boyd. It’s been 10 days since NH7 Weekender got over and I still remember each and every moment of that fabulous weekend. This was an event I was looking forward to for almost 4-5 months and I am so happy I made my way to Pune and take in the fablous music, crazy people and a little bit of Pune back with me. I return with a lot of memories.

I decided not to attend Day 1 as I am not a big fan of Electronica. But Day 2 and Day 3 were totally spellbinding.

Day 2:
We reached the venue by 3. But due to delayed soundchecks, Blackstratblues only started playing by 3.15. They (Warren) were as brilliant as usual and this time had Nikhil D’Souza on vocals. Next up was Circus who make frenetic music interlaced with guitar solos and strong bass lines. The vocalist was totally tripping. And they did a rock cover of BEP’s ‘MY Humps’. I then moved to the Dewarists’ Stage but apparently the set up had got delayed so Ankur Tewari’s set was pushed back by and hour and was curtailed to only 30 mins. That was the sad part. We then proceeded to the Pepsi Dub Station where we soaked in some reggae and dubstep music for some time. There were 6 stages spread over 17 acres. So it involved quite a lot of moving around to see the bands you wanted to hear. After Dub Station, we managed to catch Menwhopause who ended their set with a mental rendition of their encore song ‘Kaatil Sardar’ that even had a few foreigners jumping around

Next up was Tough on Tobacco. The Black Rock Arena(BRA) has considerably filled up as Pentagram were going to close the stage that day. Sidd Coutto is always in a frenzy on stage and managed to hold your attention even when his set went on beyong 60 mins. Crowd favourites like Taxi Song and Smoke some Ganja along with newer material like ‘Alone’, ‘Do what you gotta do’ etc were performed with aplomb. He even managed to make a couplet while responding to people who were heckling him from the audience. Multi-talented, witty, performer – all adjectives are applicable to Coutto.

The last act at the Rock Arena was Pentagram and they were just superb. Vishal Dadlani and gang had people jumping around, shouting Magarpataaaaaaaaaaaaa (he compared it to sex in some way and was doing pelvic thrusts to the chant) and making sure this was one of the best sets of the festivals. Pentagram mostly played songs off of the new album with some classics like ‘Voice’ and ‘Electric’. No sooner had that ended we had to rush to catch Imogen Heap who had already started playing.

This was the first time she was performing in front of an audience in India. There were a lot of instruments laid out on the stage and she was rushing to and fro to play them and create intricate music. She looked a kid all excited with her array of toys and it was joy to watch her perform. The high pitched vocals did get all squeaky when she tried but all was forgiven when she performed ‘Minds Without Fear’ alongwith with Vishal Dadlani.

If the writing seems kind of frenetic, it was just that kind of day when we were running from one stage to another.

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Day 3:
Day 3 was dedicated almost wholly to metal at the Black Rock Arena. I had made up my mind to watch Swarathma instead of Bhayanak Maut but due to the usual delays, we had to forego Swarathma as we had to catch Scribe live. We saw a bit of BM’s set. But the real promise started right at the start of the day.

Skyharbor are an instrumental progressive metal band. And considering they were playing their first ever gig, they gave a rousing performance. Keshav Dhar on guitars is an absolute wizard. If you are not a big fan of growling vocals but have a liking for metal music, do check them out. My friend remarked that they managed to hold the audience’s attention even in the afternoon heat.

Scribe was their usual mad self and this time they got a court set up on stage. Also they announced the name of their name album (hint: Mr. India). Goddess Gagged are one of the most popular bands out there and are tipped to make it big. Their set was dodged by mike problems but they still managed to get in pretty good renditions of the songs from their latest album. Their energy on stage is infectious.

But the popular vote for the most awesome performance has to go Zero. The erstwhile Mumbai rockers brought the roof down with their insane energy and stage presence. Crowd favourite PSP 12 was doled out with people singing the lyrics. They closed the set with a mental rendition of their song ‘Mariachi’. Truly a great performance capped with a stagedive by Bobby Talwar.

But the performance I was truly awaiting was Shaa’ir n Func. I am a big fan of Monica Dogra and was hoping for a chance to see her live. And boy did they live up to the expectations. Monica Dogra was in a different zone, she was twirling, headbanging, acting insane and singing, all in one go. Randolph was the proper accompaniment to her zeal with his passionate yet calm guitaring. Surely the best set of NH7 Weekender.

The night ended with the ALL-STARS coming on stage to collaborate and deliver a performance that was epic in its grandeur. Karsh Kale orchestrated the whole thing with backup by Warren Mendonsa, Jai Row Kavi and Johan Pais. The entire gamut of musicians from the festival came onstage for a fitting finale.

NH7 Weekender advertises itself as the HAPPIEST music festival and I think it stand true. I saw a lot of people smiling and generally having a good time. And that is what a music festival is all about. Yes the music has to be good. But if people have a great time, that is where you have achieved your goal. I left a very happy person. And for me, that was what the whole festival was about

——————————————————————————————————— Kunal Pawar is no SMM expert but is pretending to be one considering the amount of time he spends on Twitter. That could apply to you too. He prays for Tushar Chhajed to finally find the right kind of laptop. And wonders why purple is his favourite colour now?


3 Responses to “NH7 Weekender: The full report”

  1. Sosha December 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Considering I missed ALL of this for a set of exams, I better clear them.

    • Kunal December 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

      I hope you do too! What are you studying for anyway?

      • Sosha December 2, 2011 at 1:20 am #

        I just finished taking MA in Eng Literature part 2 exams, man. Everybody reading this story, pl keep your fingers crossed for me!

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