I can't believe I saved this. I'm usually so hopeless at saving any of my writing. That, and the fact that approximately every 2.37 days the walking menace that is my brother will find some new deadly computer virus to infect my computer with and eat all my files.
Anyway, this was a write-up after last year's Rock show at IIT Saarang (Hence the title, duh!). It WAS slated to appear in the now defunct Coredump. For the uninitiated, in the words of its ex-editor "Core Dump is an initiative of the 2001 batch CS students. Many inefficiencies at DCSE can be attributed to a general lack of awareness, and this newsletter aims to eliminate this problem, and provide a mechanism to hone the creative skills of the students of DCSE".
Basically, online newsletter started by us Computer Science students in the final year that authorities pulled the plug on after... actually, I never did find out why!
Without further ado *Drum roll*
“For those about to rock, we salute you”
IIT. Saarang. Rock Show.
I need not write any further. Those of you who were there are probably grinning to yourselves while reading this. As for the rest of you, well, lets not rub salt on wounds, shall we? Against my better instincts, I will now attempt to write an objective synopsis of what transpired that fateful night, and fail miserably. The reader is warned to proceed at his (or her) own peril.
The show was stated to start at 7.30pm and rather unprofessionally they started sharply at 7.30pm much to the dismay of a large number of patrons who had rather banked on our age old tradition of tardiness. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on which side of the stage you were) we had arrived early at about 7 and pushed and shoved our way in, where we then proceeded to further push and shove everyone else inside.
At this point, I must mention the ‘security’ measures taken at the Rock Show. Standing in the queue a good hour before commencement of the actual event itself, there were battalions of policemen entrusted with the monumental responsibility of ensuring that we do not fall out of line. We snaked our way to the head of the line where we were frisked and the contents of my bag were unceremoniously dumped and combed through. Ignoring the sticks of TNT, a .44 magnum revolver, a crate of radioactive uranium and WMDs the IITian volunteers grabbed my mobile phone with an ecstatic shout of accomplishment. After much persuasion that the tin can masquerading as my mobile phone is a prehistoric instrument absolutely incapable of taking a decent photograph at a distance of over 5 cm and that too at night, I along with my badly shaken but not stirred bag were ready to rock and roll.
We were in the Gallery and that meant no seats. We pretty much meandered across the entire span of the theatre and found a place that could give us a semi decent view of the stage (which was a mistake) and a good distance from the speakers (which was not a mistake as those who survived the night without much ear damage will tell you). Gallery tickets also meant we could walk down to the open area in front of the stage and head bang with the more adventurous crowd. You could probably get groped and molested too as an added bonus, it’s a privilege the more snobbish “chair” crowd miss out on. Me, I’m not adventurous and left the headbanging to some of my other more enthusiastic friends.
Orange Street came out to play at 7 30 on the dot. Starting off with a Prodigy number and following it up with that staple of college goers, Pink Floyd, by 8 the entire stadium was packed with hundreds of screaming adrenaline-pumped headbanging kids. Tattooed guys in Black Metallica T-Shirt and bandanas and bare-shouldered midriff baring pierced girls rocked out alongside sodabudi and rubber chappal clad college students. The music had intoxicated everybody within a 10km radius and the police pretty much had their hands full trying to keep the crowd under control. In the centre of the stadium, people were being thrown into the air and caught (I hope) by the unmanageable mob.
With everyone rocking back and forth to “Another brick in the wall” and raising hell, a wholly unexpected phenomenon started to take place. The lead singer of Orange Street, a vocally challenged individual who either got dressed in the dark that day or simply wanted to look like he was giftwrapped in large shiny pink wrapping papers for reasons unknown, was joined by a rather inconspicuous man in the background who started bellowing carnatic music into the mike. Now while I agree that dwarfing the lead singer is no mean feat (and I silently applaud his valiant gesture) Hey… Leave them kids alone.
Now, if I were politically correct I would say that Orange Street have successfully fused two diverse forms of music that any connoisseur of music would appreciate by incorporating ethnic Indian percussion notes and Indian classical vocals into the whimsical psychedelic sounds of those pioneers of progressive rock. But Diplomacy is not one of my strong traits so I’ll come right out and say that in my opinion it was [Editors Note: In keeping with our dedication to maintaining high standards of decency in this newsletter, certain portions of this text have been deleted. However, for the benefit of the reader and to provide a coherent picture and sense of continuity, we would like to state that the word used by the author is synonymous with solid waste product evacuated from the bowels]
Apart from that minor distraction, Orange Street went on to wow the crowd with a couple of renditions of Nirvana among others. Around 9 they wound up to a wholly energized and pumped up crowd. This is when the evening started to suck a little.
We were all revved up and waiting around for Moksha to get on stage next. The place was abuzz with activity and screaming and shoving and general merry making of a scale last witnessed at the 1937 Maximum Security Jail breakout in San Francisco. Well, we waited and waited and waited some more for ONE hour and finally at 10pm they start playing. Unfortunately (or not), I left within 20 minutes.
What is baffling is why the bands chose relatively more obscure songs from artists rather than playing ‘mainstream’. Now, while I get that its ubercool to play so-called alternative music, when there’s a huge throng of hot blooded youngsters ready to rock and roll and you’re already an hour late and the mob’s baying for your blood… It doesn’t seem like a very smart thing to do. Maybe I’ll never be one of those snooty-cool people who wear only black and smoke clove cigars and have a perpetual constipated expression on their face while they liberally throw about phrases like “indie” and “corporate evil” (Ok ok, I do churn out such phrases, but thats irrelevant!). Man, I walked into that place wanting to hear good ol’ Guns and Roses, ACDC, Deep Purple, Led Zepp, Black Sabbath…. All the big guys.
And well, in the end… I guess the evening wasn’t so bad. In spite of all the trippy Indian-Psychedelic-Rock-Fusion drama and the delay and everything, on January 22, 2005 I went to the Rock Show at IIT Saarang with 5 of my best college buds and we headbanged, and we got caught up in the music, and we screamed our throats hoarse and we shouted obscenities at innocent passerbys (ok, not so innocent, I did get some retaliation but that’s beside the point!) and we…. We rocked.
“Well, the night's begun and you want some fun Do you think you're gonna find it You got to treat yourself like number one Do you need to be reminded
It doesn't matter what you do or say Just forget the things that you've been told We can't do it any other way Everybody's got to rock and roll”