May 17 2012
Time to reach back into the archives of my brain and bring out an old memory from my youth and share it with you. This was November 1995 (aged 19) and I was in Bangalore at that time. From my college & hostel a friend called Renjith and I wanted to go out on Saturday and attend a rock concert being performed across the metro in the evening. The band performing was one from Chennai, who played 99% covers but were known to be very good. We made plans and bought tickets a couple of days in advance and after classes were done we went back to the hostel for a change of clothes and collecting our bag (he would be staying his uncle’s house post the concert and I would be going to my cousin’s house). At 4:30 pm we went to the bus stop and waited for a bus to go to the large open grounds that served as the venue for the concert.
Almost an hour passed by and we were near the venue. We stopped to have some coffee and buy some snacks and waited near the venue to open. At 6pm they opened the gates and we were among the first to show our tickets to the guards and enter the lush green grass of the grounds. We settled with our bags near the front of the stage and waited for the crowds to fill in. There must have been around 20,000 people that came for the concert, a lot for a local band but this was before the big international bands started performing in India and the music crazy fans in Bangalore were hungry for any band to come & perform. A little later a local band who were the opening act did their 45 minutes worth of songs and they were not bad. But everyone was waiting for the band from Chennai (I can’t remember their name at all) and they did come out with a bang – I even remember the first song they performed, War -an instrumental from Joe Satriani. They were very good and they had a fantastic singer, an expat from Italy and his brother played rhythm guitars. Their lead guitarist was awesome and he did some fantastic solos.
The band went on to perform songs from Iron Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, GnR, Aerosmith and so many others. One funny incident – when the band played a slow ballad, the organizers would dim the lights and you could hardly see anything. During the first ballad a group of guys were doing a congo line or human train kind thing and they banged and bashed their way through the crowd. When the song was over and the lights were back to normal, Renjith and I found out that we were both at two ends of the ground! Not wanting to get separated, as it was just the two of us in that sea of humanity. So we decided that when the next ballad comes up and they dim the lights, we would hold on to each’s hand other to avoid getting separated. 3 songs later, the band plays a ballad and the lights went out. I immediately reached out and grabbed Renjith’s arm and we managed to not get separated even though the human train went banging through and hit us twice. Good thinking eh?
Errr, no! When the lights came back on, I looked and saw that I was actually holding on to some girl from the North East (oriental looking chick) and she was as surprised as I was to know that a a stranger was holding her arm!!!! Come to think of it, the arm was kinda soft for a guy, so I should have known that it wasn’t Renjith. I let go of her arm and went looking for my buddy – he was pushed and shoved all the way across the grounds and was just walking back to me and asked “Hey, who’s your girlfriend?” That was hilarious at the time!! Also during the 20 minute break, we relaxed with some Pepsi an were sitting on the grass when we saw two chicks walking fast and looking all nervous – some drunk Tamilian was chasing them in a funny manner and singing a dumb song! That broke us up and we were laughing for a long time. At the end of the concert we managed to get autos and got dropped at our respective places. Fun night that I won’t ever forget.