The day started with an obscene amount of tweeting (for more on the subject find me on Twitter) which lasted well into the increasingly sleepy two hour drive to the International Buddh Circuit, the venue for a much awaited event, and no I’m not talking about a certain event best suited for Goa I feel, I’m talking about the NH7 Weekender.
Now, to be honest, my experience with such events is shamefully deficient but I must say it was much more than I’d expected.
A sprawling parking area where from I could see the large crowd of people, a sort of symmetrical divide of music enthusiasts and South Delhi-esque posers, heading to the registration area. I gotta admit I was proud of scoring the under21 ticket, probably the last time I could cash in on it, but I just got lost among all the counters.
To add to things, I got a bright blue wristband, embarrassingly different from the adult pass. So, I, looking as mature as I do, went around with that band. Alcohol was out of the question. However, what was on the agenda was Vir Das & Alien Chutney.
There he stood on the stage, blending that piss-your-pants kinda humour with his music. If there is someone who knows how to get the crowd involved, it’s Vir Das. Even though it was my first time listening to him sing, it was music I could sing along to, well maybe because he sang about man boobs, Delhi girls and Harry Potter (among others), and well two out of the three I’m rather familiar with.
But, truth be told, I constantly found myself gravitating towards the Pepsi Dub Station where all the dubstep and drum n bass was going on. Now now before the judgment begins, let me just say that there is nothing like standing in a crowd, drink in hand, cigarette (FAT AUNTY GASPS!!!) in the other, and just swaying to the beats of Swaggamuffin, Reggae Rajahs and the likes. Although, I have to say, the standout for me was Moniker (Wild City DJ), with those crazy visuals going on behind the console. I entered the area with my glowing Kanye West shades (scored them from the Eristoff Wolves’ Den), and saw the crowd bathed in red, dust flying around and bodies swaying, with the music of course. Yeah, that’s the kind of experience I went for.
A quick dash, braving the dusty air, and we found ourselves at the Dewarist’s stage for Karsh Kale and The Collective. Now, again I’ve never seen the man perform live and once the lights went on and he started off on the tabla, I felt myself being swooped into this state of absolute peace. A lot of times I just stood there with my eyes closed, head swaying, as the lights flashed both on and off stage. The vocals by Shruti Pathak and Shilpa Rao were the perfect element. Of course I’d have enjoyed it a lot more if the drunken guy in front of me wasn’t jiggling and bobbing around noisily, and the drunken uncle (“hate rabba, so much alcohol?!”, fat aunty gasps) right next to me wasn’t loudly complaining to his balding friend that the man on stage was in fact not Karsh Kale.
The amount of acidic comments I had brewing in my head blurred into one. I stayed quiet. I was officially working. So, no. No Mr. Mid-life Crisis who decided to end up at an event as the NH7, I will not tell you how out of place you seem; you or that weird 40-something mother of two in her Leopard Print Jumpsuit.
Bombay Bassment was another performance I was really glad to have caught. It was one of those bands I, shamefully, had not heard of previously. However, not only was I pleasantly surprised, I really enjoyed myself. I was dancing along, copying that guy doing his hilarious Punjabi moves, and again, it wasn’t too hard to sing along.
And I guess I’m expected to write about Anoushka Shankar’s mind blowing performance, but the sitar and flamenco jugalbandi was something I only caught only on iPad video recordings.
So, cue the fat aunts gasp a third and final time because I went for the Shaa’ir + Func performance.
I went right up and got us a place near the barricade, and thank god I did because it was that barricade that kept me stable amidst all the head banging (and NO it wasn’t a metal-head head banging!!!) and the bouncing around. But really, when Monica Dogra performs in her style, wearing that big blue ocean of a skirt, singing a special rendition of “My Roots”, you can’t help it.
Oh and did I mention, that losing our voice was absolutely worth it, we got a t-shirt in return! Well, I caught it with my freakishly long arms but it was the smallest size of a women’s t-shirt.
Oh well, the evening ended on a perfect note as we flashed our sole media pass and caught a quick photograph with Monica Dogra backstage. Jealous yet?
Well, I’ll see you at the next one, and maybe we can get more photos with a lot more artistes! Even you can try… (burn).