Bhagwaan ka memna (i used to call it bhagwaan ka bakra before someone told me memna is a better word) played the summer storm festival at palace grounds bangalore this saturday, and I WAS THERE :P
Just thought I'd put together a blog post outta my thoughts as well as badly blurred cellphone pics, and badly recorded youtube clips by others. Random as usual, kindly adjust..
Palace Grounds : I'm sure that place is designed to confuse. I mean, if any enemies were to attack the maharajas in ancient times, it would surely have been futile. There's just way too many entrances leading nowhere useful, that the enemy strike corps would just have packed up and taken a rickshaw home. We nearly did, as well. After a frustrating two hour drive through peak evening bangalore traffic, we took another 45 minutes to find the correct damn entrance. And all the maharaja's folks at the entrances, who probably mistook us for an enemy strike force, feigned cluelessness regarding the location of the concert. But get there in the end, we did. And miss the first song, we did. And scream like an idiot for the band to play the song that i missed but hadnt realized id missed it, i did.
Kyazoonga : these inept morons were in charge of the ticket counter. there was one counter to buy tickets on the spot, and one to pick up tickets which were booked over the internet. Strangely, the folks who bought their ticket on the spot made it to the concert on time. the ones like us who did the allegedly smart thing and booked online, we missed the first song thanks to the bumbling idiot at the queue for the pick up counter. i strongly urge my annual readership of 3.5 people to reconsider their decisions if kyazoonga are ever in charge of online bookings for an event you want to go to.
Preparation : how do you prepare for a metal concert, especially something as intense as Lamb of God? well, let me put it this way. the last time we went to palace grounds, it was for the Oktoberfest, and the preparations required then were pretty obvious. This time though, Chetan (my batchmate from college) asked me a seemingly innocuous "How do you prepare for this concert?" and i was stumped. In the end, i gave him instructions to wear a black t shirt, and then follow steps similar to Oktoberfest preparations.
Chetan, Sagar : Chetan did not follow instructions, and turned up in a rather bright purple tshirt. Which turned out to be a good thing. when the group got split up in the crowd, he (and to an extent, sagar too) was a six foot purple beacon we could all locate and meet up with.
The Crowd : I was surprised that this many people turned up for a hardcore metal concert. But i figured that one out later. Most people turn up for the concert experience, and aren't really really into the band. Sure, they knew a few of the more popular Lamb of God songs, especially the ones that play in the pubs, but not much more. The hardcore fans were only a handful, and you could spot them easily since theirs were the only voices singing (or is that shouting) along when the comparatively obscure songs were being played.
Moshing (and other dangerous activities) : I thought most bands these days had an anti-moshing stance due to people getting injured. But these guys actually asked for mosh pits from the crowd. I'd always wanted to give it a shot, and now was my chance. I eagerly entered the pit, and got bumped about quite a bit, and was thrown out the other end of the pit. There was yet another pit a little ahead, and this one turned out even more insane. There were a coupla jats in it, who had no clue what they were doing or who they were listening to, and they simply kept saying bh*nchod m*chod and roughing up everyone else in the pit. word of advice, never mosh with jats. in fact, try avoiding even the least violent of activities with them.
Vid Shot on the way to Row two.
Since there werent any lateral crowd segregators, it was possible to go all the way up front, if you had the stomach for it. I decided to give it a try anyway. as long as you kept a constant push in the direction you wanted to go, the movement of the crowd would eventually get you there i figured. and it did get me to one row short of absolute front. there was just one row of people in front of me. now, it needs to be mentioned here that i attended this concert stone cold sober. yes, i was at various stages termed a loser. the problem with sobriety when you're in second row is that you're painfully aware of the fact that most of the crowd there are sweaty stinking guys who are stuck to you, and you cant quite take that. so, just as i was about to give up and head for the relative safety and comfort found only on the edges of the crowd in a metal concert, they played my favourite song.
So i endured a little while longer, enjoyed the song while in second row, caught the closest glimpse yet of Chris Adler my drumming hero, confirmed that he does look as relaxed in reality as he does in the videos when he's doing batshit insane beats per minute, and then got the hell outta there.
F-Bombs : they fuckin dropped the eff bomb everytime they opened their fuckin mouths man. started off saying that they're from richmond motherfucking virginia, called the crowd fuckers every now and then, and urged us to make some fuckin noise and break some fuckin shit. they were fuckin awesome, id say but i normally dont fuckin use that many eff bombs :D .
Also, was i the only one amused when they dedicated a song to that absolute punk rock dude mahatma gandhi?
Verdict ? It was an awesome, if a bit short, concert. Their songs have helped me vent in times of utter frustration, and it was sort of a dream come true to see this. I'm betting they will return, since they seemed as surprised as i was to see the crowd that turned out. and if they return, i'll go again as i have a feeling the next concert will be even better.