A great gig that just fades into darkness

A great gig that just fades into darkness
Highlights

It was after a gap of a year, I went to attend a metal concert on Saturday evening—at Xtreme Sports Bar. Titled ‘Metal at the Tavern’, the gig looked to be a promising one. While I was naive to the fact that this was the second edition of a much coveted gig,

The austere scenario that refuses to change

Riju DasguptaIt was after a gap of a year, I went to attend a metal concert on Saturday evening—at Xtreme Sports Bar.

Titled ‘Metal at the Tavern’, the gig looked to be a promising one. While I was naive to the fact that this was the second edition of a much coveted gig, the ambience being much beguiling made it pretty obvious that some celebrated bands would be coming down, and yes that was true. It was a multi subgenre fest and featured some of the most crushing acts from across India, including Albatross - a heavy metal band from Mumbai; Primitiv - a death/doom band from Mumbai; Grossty- Grindcore band from Bangalore; Stark Denial - black metal band from Mumbai; Bloodmaze - death metal band from Hyderabad; Trinergic - melodic death metal band from Mumbai and Winter Gate - death metal band from Jaipur.

It would be unjust and moronically ridiculous if I do not say how good they were… The intense adrenaline rush, emblematic growl vocals, consistent headbanging with a few occasional mosh, the evening grovelled to be one ‘dooms day machine’.

Everything was at its right place… except the crowd. It had the same crowd watching and enjoying the gig which I was familiar to a year ago. And a few others busy popping their Kingfishers and Buds, and the rest walking in an out of the cancer chamber (smoking zone) hardly giving a hoot to the gig.

It would be redundant, if we continue to say that the metal scene is in a nascent stage. For we have been in the same stage for a past decade or long, and that is indeed a long, long time. The truth is metal has found its own audience while becoming a panacea for a few of them.

These are those same audiences who would go to any extent to tell you how good their music is. These are the same folks who pick up fights to say how good Lamb of God is… and is Metallica—really metal?. But then…I doubt if there is any other genre of the music which we have borrowed from the west that focus so intricately on music. Lyrics passé… some serious music is all they need. Here, every artiste gives his audience what they want, neither different was the scenario on Saturday. And when such talent finds rare audience, it turns disheartening.

Then again, metal has selective listeners, for a few it started as being a college fad, while for the others it was oft their loyalty to the bands, everyone had appreciated it once in their lives. But later on, a few graduate to a more country taste. The rest embrace a monotonous life inside a cubicle of a multi-national corporate firms with probably no tryst with music. This might have made most metalheads insecure. With new and electric genres of music making a new wave, we wish these do not fade into darkness.

Only to believe that hope is still lingering around, Riju Dasgupta, one of the key members of the organising team and ahead of his performances with his bands, Albatross and Primitiv, said in an interaction, “Well, if you sow a seed it takes time to sprout. Ten years ago if you’d told me that I’d be playing heavy metal shows in Surat, Varanasi and Nashik to appreciative audiences, I’d have found it hard to believe. Metal has always been the culture of the outsider, and little by little, more angsty youngsters are beginning to identify with it, across India.”

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