Okay, I know this is a little late. Over a month late, to be precise, when other blogs by die-hard fans would be teeming with appreciation.
I could sound intelligent and say that I wanted a month to reflect and give a proper critique of the same, without sounding too enamoured of the magic that happened that night, but my candor leads me to saying I was just damn, plain lazy! :D
Okay, so more than the concert, it's the whole trip that me and my friend Teddy (name changed to protect privacy!) will remember - and not all are for the right reasons :P
So a few days into March, what looks like another day helping the Indian software industry grow, we come across rumours. Maiden in India? Naaaah.. Can't be true! And rumours continue to fly - across Orkut communities, forwarded mails, more communities, and more mails.
And then it hits us. www.ironmaiden.com announce that India is going to be a destination :D
Metalheads rejoice! The gawds were coming to Indyeah! \m/\m/
And so began the planning - Me and Teddy booked our tickets for the show, which were surprisingly cheap (DNA, you guys rock!) - and then off we went to Bangalore.
Everything was ominous - We missed our stop, and the auto driver at the next stop seemed pretty amused that we'd saunter all the way to the next bus stop only to get back in an auto :|
The auto driver must have realised we were from Chennai and assumed that we must have taken Chennai-esque auto fares for granted. But we, groggy as we were, argued and effected a discount of some 50 bucks from the originally quoted price. Reached my friend's place (dude - a big shout out to you!) and crashed.
Woke up later, had a bath donned our new Iron Maiden tees and went off to the Palace grounds. And tell you what was incredible - everybody seemed to be going there! Bangalore was alive alright... But now it seemed that there were more lives than ever!
And as we teemed into the Grounds... We knew something was going to happen - something huge. The screen - the wide spaces... This was gonna be bigger than any concert I ever attended in Chennai! The inevitable Great Indian Delay made sure things took off later than expected - but everyone was so used to this time system deferral that the grounds were filled only a good two hours late - even though some industrious ones had parked into the grounds the day before itself. Poor suckers might as well have come on the day of the show at noon - and they would have got a front row ;D
Okay, so the crowd was here, the atmosphere was building - bring it on!!!!
FTN - AND WERE THEY F-ed!!!
The first band, F*** The Name, were the GIR winners and got a chance to open. What an opportunity for these kids - you think that they'd make the most of it. Unfortunately for them and us, they made a total mess of it despite being greeted with generous applause. Slowly, but surely, a condescending attitude, and poor choice and order of songs saw them getting pelted with 1/3rds of their own name, suffixed with suitable pronouns. Yes, the sound was bad, but hell, these are GIR winners, not some local college band! Where's the soundcheck? Where's the 'Hey bas***d, increase the volume on the bass!' which came a good three songs later?!!! Come on, guys - this is not an excuse! You're semi pros now!!!
Finally, to pacify the crowd, they did a cover of KORN's 'F*** That'. Some elements of the crowd sang along, while others decided they had enough of F*** for one night!
A sad end to a seemingly talented band's great chance. F***ed up is what comes to mind.
PARIKRAMA - WOW!
Now THIS was a performance and a half! You notice the difference in professionalism that Parikarama and FTN displayed - these guys won the audience over with their humilty and humbleness ("We cannot believe we're opening for Maiden... We all grew up listening to them... Man we're performing on the same stage tonight..."). All this despite being one of the biggest names in India. Swayed the crowd. Compare this to FTN's attitude - and it's easy to see where the first faux pas was made!
Okay - as for the performance itself - mind blowing. Five originals, and the crowd sang along to 'But It Rained' and the anthemic choruses of some others - two new songs were introduced - and the lead singer really gelled with the crowd - encouraging them to yell along.
And which genius said violins cannot be used in rock? Take a look at their violinist, pick your jaw off the ground and keep mouth shut! :D
LAUREN HARRIS - WELL...
Steve Harris' daughter. Well, to be frank - she tried. But the criticisms were genuine. Pretty face, yes, but we wanted more than that. We metalheads are not like those people who let bubblegumpop singers with bleached hair become superstars. We want substance. And well, Lauren was a decent singer - but nothing extraordinary. It was obvious that nepotism, if I may use the word here, was the reason for her opening here over merit. And too monotonous it was for anyone's liking. The crowd for a while kept quiet in the understanding that Papa Harris might get offended but after non-stop, same-style crap over and over again, they just couldn't take it - and the same treatment meted out to FTN, albeit politer, was dished out to this dish.
Then came the incredibly long wait and then... Maiden :D
Next post! \m/