The Gig Week
Blue Frog, New Delhi
Drawing Short Straws, The Lightyears Explode, Shaa’ir + Func, Pentagram
The final night of The Gig Week was electrifying – it featured a lineup of veteran musicians, and more importantly, energetic and electrifying stage acts.
Shaa'ir + Func
The evening had a lot of interesting events unfold; in particular, the dynamics between Mumbai bands and the Delhi audience. The primary complaint that I heard echoing throughout the gig by the bands was that the Delhi audience doesn’t really act like an audience should, at a gig, and I can’t help but agree with that. For example, I remember the vocalist of The Lightyears Explode, Saurabh Roy, jab the sleepy crowd a bit by saying, “Yaar, Bombay mein toh moshpit hota hai.” And, to be honest, I have observed a string of such complaints by different bands at different gigs in Delhi. Why am I telling you this? Well, because I believe the audience at a gig is literally half of the energy, and when that half is sleepy, it pulls down, the whole gig. Of course, eventually there were moments of energy outbursts; how can there not be when bands like Shaa’ir + Func and Pentagram are on stage, but there was just something missing.
The night started slow not for lack of good music, but because not a whole lot of people turned up. I have seen Blue Frog packed at other gigs before, and this was far from it; sure, as the gig went on the crowd grew a bit, but not near as many as you would expect on the final night of The Gig Week. But, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered by that much as I was busy watching Drawing Short Straws playing some of their fancy tunes. Their music was ambient and had a certain hypnotic quality to it. At the time though, I noticed an unabridged gap between the levels energy radiating from the stage and the music, and the crowd present.
Drawing Short Straws
The evening featured an array of very exciting stage acts. The Lightyears Explode are like your typically goofy, next-door guys; they just have a lot of fun on stage. It seemed more like a fun jam session than a gig, in a good way; you never know what to expect. The band gripped the crowd effectively with both showmanship and really good music. The Lightyears Explode have the typical ‘punk’ attitude and style of playing; and because they do it really well, it’s difficult to not love their performance.
Shaa'ir + Func
Now, even though the night might have started off slow and without the biggest crowd to show for, soon enough Shaai’r N Func got on stage and things changed. The music was catchy and displayed an interesting blend of electronic backtracks and catchy riffs by guitarist Randolph Correia who, by the way, played two sets back to back. One with Shaii’r N Func and with Pentagram after that, and managed to bring out the same energy throughout. Respect!
Randolph from both Shaa'ir + Func and Pentagram
Following that, the crowd nearly erupted with the entry of Vishal Dadlani on stage with Pentagram; and the band just dove into it. Again I don’t know if I have stressed it enough, but the evening featured a slew of frontmen and frontladies (well, just one) that seemed to have a natural knack for drawing and holding the audience’s attention. Be it Monica Dogra with her quirky dance moves, or Vishal Dadlani and his way of getting everyone off the ground successfully, or Saurabh Roy (The Lightyears Explode) with his jokes. And, the people loved it too; I couldn’t help but notice a hint of cohesiveness begin to materialize amongst the crowd as the evening went along. Pentagram, like always, got up on stage without a set list and just shelled out song after song. The band honored a few requests from the crowd including ‘Voice’ and ‘Electric’, and saw the crowd singing along to a majority of their songs.
Yes, the number of people in the crowd (and very often, their response) may have been a little underwhelming, but the evening was essentially just the big bang The Gig Week needed to end up, thanks to the brilliant music and the incredible stage performances. Until next year, then.
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