Saturday, December 31, 2005

Written by a close friend of mine.

'One pissed off rocker' narrates the doomed saga behind S.K. Somaiya's Rock show.

S.K. Somaiya had tried to organize a rock show on 16th December, 2005, with sad results. Three locally famous rock bands Xenon, Zephyr and Schools were scheduled to perform on the campus ground at 6.30pm, but for reasons known only to the organizers, it started only by 9.30. Being a die-hard rock music lover, I was willing to wait an eternity, but was annoyed at the unnecessary delay. The Fashion Show competition which was supposed to conclude by 6.30 exceeded its time limit by at least an hour. The pointless parade of the girls and boys on stage did nothing to soothe my anger. Being a girl, it’s difficult for me to stay out so late in the night and I kept checking the time and cursing my fate alternatively.

Then we got to know that, instead of Xenon and Schools, the show would have two other bands playing; one Old Monks and the other a new band called Revival. While Zephyr didn’t know what to expect, as they had never played this far in the suburbs. Revival were hoping for some moshing action. Pretty innocent fellows, I must say. Finally Zephyrs were given the stage and began their usual sound check. The band found it difficult to get their sound right, and most of the crowd, ignorant about sound check, started making fun of the proceedings on the stage.

But the night for dumb surprises was not over. The singer Vaishali Samant arrived. The unruly and wild crowd became very excited and started dancing when she sang Aika Dajiba. She left the crowd in high spirits and happy mood. But this only made things worse for the bands, which were a bit unsure of playing Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin in front of these Samant fans. Most of the crowd were unaware of rock music and were attending the show either to brag to their friends about or expecting some DJ to belt out some dhin-chak music. They kept passing obscene and rude comments about the rockers and soon the cry of ‘Go home’ went up. I have never been so embarrassed in my life. Why couldn’t they wait quietly? The crowd that night ruined the image of our college, I doubt if these bands would ever play in Somaiya again.

Once the bands started playing, many people left the pandaal and at the end of the show there were only about ten people remaining who actually enjoyed the music. Each band could play only two numbers, thanks to the lack of management skills and the fashion show. But anyway, the bands really rocked. Old Monks had this vocalist sounding exactly like Robert Plant. He belted out two Zeppelin numbers. While Revival had us moshing to Iron Maiden, Zephyrs ended the show with Sweet Home Albama. It was tragic that there was hardly anybody, who had had any inkling of what rock music is, and there wasn’t anyone who even tried to understand what it is.

The bad crowd and the delay of the show turned me off, but the show was worth all the trouble despite having some problems with the sound. After the show, my friends and me had a chat with the rockers, who assured us that they had enjoyed playing even though the crowd response was bad. And I know they were just being polite. With a handful people enjoying the music, there was practically no crowd at all. On a parting note, one has to open up oneself to the different forms of music available out there. Experience it all, to become wise enough to decide what kind of music is good for you and what is not. Check out what they are offering sincerely, and if you don’t like, just move on. Hope this message is taken in a positive sense.

Lastly, Rock and Roll ain’t noise pollution!!!