I live in India, South India and I’m atleast an overnight journey (by bus or train) to both Chennai & Bangalore in terms of a city that can attract an internationally famous band like Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Metallica or such. When the bands do come I’m usually not able to attend, as I have to plan my travel, stay and money for tickets which all together will cost me a nice bundle. I’ve always wished that we could get some of these bands to travel to Cochin for a concert or two.
Back in the 90s, just after I turned 15, I used to go to concerts performed by local bands from Kerala. My cousin Manoj & I were and still are huge fans of rock music and we’d try to attend all the concerts that took place in our city. Some of my other cousins would join as well and it would be fun as the cover bands would play all our favourite songs and we’d have a great time singing along and jumping around. There seemed to be a lot of rock & metal music enthusiasts ranging from the ages of 14-40 during those days at these events and chances were that you all had the same albums as each other. For a few years there would be a concert atleast once a month and then it stopped for a while until picking up about 5 years ago.
Anyways I got to see the heavyweights of back then 13AD and Shiva plus a few other good bands. During 1995-96 I lived in Bangalore and attended two concerts there. One was about 3 months after I started living there and featured a local Bangalore band and a Chennai band who were very popular at the time. All covers mind you but the bands were good. A funny incident happened that day, but that’s for another blog post. October 1995 also saw the biggest band India has ever produced, Indus Creed (previously known as Rock Machine) perform in Bangalore. And they had mighty thrash metal band Millennium open for them. I just had to go. About 20 of us from the college I was attending joined me and we descended on the grounds where the concert was to be played.
I was actually held up at the security check point by a stupid cop, who was suspicious of my asthma inhaler. I tried explaining to the jerkoff what it was but he was eyeing me with malice and I thought that the handcuffs would come out. However the organizers of the event was in collaboration with a big Medical College and most of the volunteers there were medical students. A couple of them spoke to the cop on my behalf and managed to get it by his thick skull that what I had in my hand was medicine. I was allowed in after a 5 minute hold up. Maybe they should have asked that cop to donate his brain for science – “unused and in pristine condition”!
Anyways, we had a couple of filler programs and my friends & I hung out at the back until Millennium got to the stage. Crunching guitars, vocals that you can’t understand but some awesome guitar work and us headbanging. There were atleast 30,000 people there that night, including some of the hottest women the city proudly claimed as their own. 90 minutes or so of the Bangalore based metal band and then Indus Creed took to the stage. They played songs from their 3 album repertoire and we rocked out. They played a lot of covers too and had a couple of political messages as well. It was an awesome night and everyone was tired as hell from all the shouting, singing, yelling, jumping around and moshing. By midnight it was all over but we still had a long walk (no buses at that time) ahead of us to get back to where we were staying. It was so worth it though.