It was just the end of August in 2006 and it was my first ever tryst with the rock and roll scene in India. I was for the first time playing Bass (please pronounce it as base) guitar for a band in college, and my first ever gig was supposed to be at JIPMER, Pondicherry. One of the most revered Battle of Bands contest in southern India. The show was called Tinnitus (Western Music Competition). It was a gleaming night, with some of the best rock crowd I had come across. People seemed to understand here that rock was no screaming stuff but just another form of music they were so addicted to.
BATTLE OF BANDS STARTS:
The battle for the supreme bands started around 8 p.m. after much delay due to rain which had added another dimension to the already energetic and rocking crowd. The bands came, they played and they conquered. Though we did not give a perfect show but we were surely on the learning curve seeing all these wonderful bands around! We played a mix of modern rock, some punk and a hard rock number. The songs we played were: Show me how to live (Audioslave), Virus (Iron Maiden), Flavor of the weak (American Hi-Fi) and Rocking in a free world (Neil Young, Pearl Jam cover). We got a mixed response; to be frank I was so involved in playing (I was a bit nervy as well) that I totally missed out on the crowd thing. Though we screwed up the third song (Flavor of the weak) the response from people after our show was that the second and the last song were pretty good. And for the last song we even got some head-banging, applauses and rock on screams! So that went down pretty well. Though after our performance we went back stage and we were trying to find out culprits as to who screwed up the third song! To be frank I did not say anything that time but it was our rhythm guitarist but no issues cause one can always goof up while playing. It’s only about realizing ones mistake and giving a good show the next time. Another thing with JIPMER’s battle of bands is that the sound system over here is awesome. Apart from that the lighting is so perfect that it adds to the joy of playing. The Light men flicker the lights depending upon the rhythm and the mood of the music being played by the bands. So it is worth appreciation.
Moreover it was my first experience of the rocker lifestyle. People around some engineers, some doctors (JIPMER is a medical college) and rest all jerks (engineers at the most respect doctors rest all guys are unknown clans) from colleges all around Chennai, Bangalore (India’s rock capital), Calicut, Trivandrum etc had gathered for the JIPMER event(it’s basically the cultural and sports meet organized on an yearly basis). There were many other things I got to see. There were smokers and dopers all around. Some frustrated doctors were high on alcohol (one even got on to the stage and did a ramp walk when the bands were playing), some were busy rolling Marijuana joints and the extreme jerks were even snorting cocaine. Well it’s such a shame that such guys bring to the Rocker community, because they set a bad example and the youngsters just blindly emulate them. Actually Pondicherry is the dopers’ paradise. Anyways it was a fun experiencing different cultures, morons and the lovely Pondicherry. It was fun rocking!