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Old 9th December 2015, 16:57   #1
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Default NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

NH7 Weekender was held in Bangalore over the weekend and it was such a fantastic experience for a lifelong music buff like me who attended it for the first time that it ensured I will keep going back year after year. I was surprised to find that we don’t have a thread on this musical extravaganza that brings together Indian and international music artists and is held in multiple cities across India. This is my experience along with subjective ratings on a 5 star scoring system that is a factor of the music played, stage presence, audience involvement and just about anything else that mattered. Oh and I threw in a lot of photos as well. Needless to say, your mileage may vary.

Here was the line up for the two day musical extravaganza in Bangalore.

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Of course the name at the top of the list stands out, to the extent that it was the biggest attraction by a very large margin but at the end of two days, I learnt that star power doesn’t necessarily translate to the best concert experience and I was pleasantly surprised by the artists that actually impressed me and those that didn’t. The event had a total of 5 stages with several stalls set up in between and there were several activities that made for quite an entertaining two days. Mercedes showcased a couple of AMG cars that not too many people ended up checking out though they weren’t looking at drawing people in by droves for sure. OLA had a remote control time challenge around a fixed track that was a steady crowd puller and was quite challenging.


Day 1 started off with Bombay singer, songwriter Nikhil D’souza and the combination of his lovely voice, powerful lyrics and very catchy tunes left quite an impact on the crowd that was slowly milling in. I had heard of a couple of his songs before NH7 (quite liked them) and I was very impressed by his on stage charisma and music writing. After listening to his full set, I know I would definitely pay money to buy his albums and he is one artist whose star is rapidly on the rise. Overall, a great choice to kick off the show.

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Concert Experience Rating : 4.5 stars.

Recommended Listening: I loved quite a few of the songs that he performed but there is one that tops the list but just about and that is Because, because because. Other notable songs that I would strongly suggest you lend an ear to include How do I make you feel good, Simple kind of love, Beautiful Mind and Storm without a sky.

Next up was another singer songwriter Mahesh Raghunandan who was accompanied by a very talented lady named Grace on the cello. The melodies were haunting but the lyrics to some of his songs were self admittedly moody and contemplative which was a different pace from the opening act. It was quite a good performance but it wasn’t for everyone. The highlight was the cover of the Jason Mraz song 10,000 M which was quite impressive and moving.

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Concert Experience Rating : 3 stars with a bump up on account of the excellent cover.

Recommended Listening: No song of his really stood out but I would suggest you check out this early Jason Mraz video of 10,000 Mo*********.

The third act was a band called Maati Baani but we didn’t stick around for long after their first song as it wasn’t exactly our kind of music. Too short to rate.
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We walked across the grounds to check out the other acts and reached just in time to catch Indian rapper Brodha V’s very catchy Aigiri Nandini which has been one of my favourite songs by an Indian musician in recent times. The rest of the performance was energetic and the crowd was really into the group.

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Concert Experience Rating : A solid 3.5 stars.

Recommended Listening: I have to go with Aigiri Nandini for both the music and the quirky video which is actually well produced.


Last edited by GTO : 10th December 2015 at 15:11. Reason: Removing ********** :). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th December 2015, 17:00   #2
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender (Bangalore) : Day 1 Continued

Noori is well known as a pioneer in the rock music scene in Pakistan and they enthralled the crowd with their electric performance. Brilliance is in the details and it is the small things like the way musicians carry themselves on stage, how they interact with the audience between songs etc that make all the difference between a really good live event and a great live event. In that respect, they came across as the most legit stars at NH7.

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Concert Experience Rating : An easy 5 stars.
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Old 9th December 2015, 17:08   #3
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender (Bangalore) : Day 1 Continued

The collaboration between Bangalore based folk rock band Swarathma and Lebanese rockers The Wanton Bishops has resulted in another favourite track of mine, Lay it on me and I was really looking forward to Swarathma's live performance. They have a nice unique sound and their members have quite some stage presence and were quick witted as well. The highlight of their set was the debut of their new track with Clinton Cerejo and singer Bianca Gomes but they were badly let down by the sound engineers multiple times. The audience could hardly hear Bianca and Clinton and on another occasion the playback sound stopped altogether which meant the band had to stop their song while the issue was fixed before continuing. Thumbs up to them for dedicating a song to from Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland who passed away last week. Anti climatically, the band had to put a premature end to their performance due to the persisting technical issues.

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Concert Experience Rating : 2.5 stars with the sound engineers solely responsible for the missing stars.

Recommended Listening : I still feel their best song is Lay it on me.

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Old 9th December 2015, 17:11   #4
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Default re: NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

Mod note: Thread moved to Shifting Gears.
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Old 9th December 2015, 17:16   #5
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender (Bangalore) : Day 1 Continued

Even though there was a 45 minute gap between the performances of Swarathma and A R Rahman on the same stage, quite a large section of the crowd chose to wait to ensure they were closer to the stage when the music maestro took over. The reception that he got when he entered was thunderous with people shouting and screaming for him as they anticipated an unforgettable night filled with the biggest hits. And his one and a half hour performance that followed was in a word ….. disappointing. I bet you didn’t see that coming.


First off, the song selection was questionable at best. A R Rahman’s body of work is well known but he chose to play songs that were popular but not necessarily his biggest hits. Half way through his performance, people realized that they weren’t getting the best of what he had to offer and in between songs they were screaming for his most famous hits. Towards the end there was a palpable air of discontent as people realized what was happening. Secondly, the fans just ruined it. We were right up front but didn’t enjoy the performance as the crowd was screaming for every little thing that he did. Stand up -> Screams. Walk towards rabid audience -> Louder screams. Sit down to play piano -> Screams. I’m sure they would have screamed just as loudly if he dug his nose on stage! It appeared as though the people weren’t there to listen and experience the music either but instead resorted to shouting (not sing) along to his songs.


Thirdly, he wound up his performance at 10 PM with such an unremarkable song that I don’t even recall which one it was and thanked the audience and walked off. The crowd was left baffled by the sudden turn of events and went into the familiar “One more song” chant before slowly realizing that they were adding to their own misery before they wandered off.


It wasn’t all bad, mind you. The songs were very well produced and the talent he had on stage was quite remarkable as the solos by the lead guitarist, bass guitarist, percussionist etc demonstrated. I was worried about A R Rahman’s name casting a shadow over the rest of the artists on Day 1. It turned out that his name ended up doing the same over his music instead.

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Concert Experience Rating : 2 and I’m being generous here.

I will share my experiences from Day 2 over the next few days.

Last edited by neil.jericho : 9th December 2015 at 17:18.
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Old 9th December 2015, 19:58   #6
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Default re: NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

Nice, thanks for a nice writeup with some great pics! Not really a fan of too many genres of music so I usually don't go to these concerts. I would have just stuck around only for the rock bands
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Old 10th December 2015, 18:01   #7
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

I went to the Pune edition of NH7 last weekend. I didnt enjoy it much for a couple of reasons.

1. We had 2 kids (my nieces) and had to constantly watch them with all their running around.
2. We had a Sr. Citizen (my uncle) who we couldn't leave home alone and it was not the best experience for him.

Overall it was ok. I enjoyed Niladri Kumar, the Sitar Maestro, the best.

Totally disappointed with AR Rahman's line up of songs. Didnt feel that the wait was worth that much hoopla.

The crowd was decent however i saw just too many people wasted and lying around.

Will i go back next year? Maybe with friends but definitely not with family.

Cheers,
Raj
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Old 10th December 2015, 18:12   #8
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

I see "Thaikkudam Bridge" in the list. Were you around when they played? If yes, then how do you rate them?
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Old 11th December 2015, 06:10   #9
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Default Re: NH7 Weekender Music Festival, Bangalore

I enjoyed reading your thread. With all the band names, i can listen to new talent now and then. Thanks for that !

I love the song "lay it on me" by Swarathma and wanton bishops. Its kinda personal to me since i learned guitar religiously with Varun Murali(Swarathma's lead guitarist). Good to see him go places !
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Old 12th December 2015, 15:40   #10
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Default Day 2 : Mad Orange Fireworks

The act that I was most keen on watching live at NH7 was Bangalore based rock band Mad Orange Fireworks which has just released their second album in November. I have both their albums and love their signature sound which they call orange rock. They were supposed to open Day 2 but unfortunately one of their band members fell sick while they were on the way to the concert and had to be rushed to the hospital. They are a great live act (Ive seen them perform on multiple occasions and their Beatles tribute in particular was fantastic) and there were several fans who were asking the NH7 crew about whether they would be performing or not.

Concert Experience Rating : NA

Recommended Listening : My favourite song is Get Lost which doesn’t have a video but is available on soundcloud. Other popular songs include On the Ledge (version 2), Break my fall, Black hole with L'nee Golay and the very popular live act Feet Aint Moving. I really cant decide between these two so watch both!




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Old 12th December 2015, 15:43   #11
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Default Day 2

Since the crowd was let in late the overall schedule went for a toss as compared to Day 1 where every act started on time. On Sunday, we had to go around and ask the crews at different stages who was performing when. While talking to a couple of regulars, I found out that this was the norm at NH7 rather than an exception. We watched a couple of rock bands that were bereft of lead singers and while they were talented, I missed the lead vocalist experience. We didnít catch the name of this band but they did well. The drummer is a dead ringer for a service advisor at the Royal Enfield SVC that I frequent. On second thoughts, it probably is the same guy!
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Concert Experience Rating : 2 stars. A solid performance.
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Old 12th December 2015, 15:47   #12
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Default Day 2 : Arka

We caught most of the performance by contemporary fusion band Arka who had the crowd solidly behind them. If you like this genre of music, Arka should definitely be very high on your list. Like the rest of the crowd, I really liked the singerís vocal range and the guitarists in particular had a couple of nifty solos that showed their prowess. Oh and those dreadlocks on the bass guitarist were great!

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Concert Experience Rating : 3.5 stars.
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Old 12th December 2015, 15:52   #13
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Default Day 2 : Sky Rabbit

Sky Rabbit is a very popular electro rock band from Bombay and they had a big contingent of vocal fans who were very eager for their performance to start. In fact, the fans were so eager that they were rudely booing Arka who was slowly winding up their set. That aside, the actual performance from Sky Rabbit was among the best that we witnessed at NH7 and their sound is just lovely. They got a huge cheer from the loud crowd once they started playing their monster hit Hilltop which is another favourite of mine. The very REMish sounding Anti coke Ganapathi elicited another huge round of cheers and audience involvement as well though it was the first time I was hearing it. Its official, I am now a fan of Sky Rabbit!

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Concert Experience Rating : 4.5 stars on a platter

Recommended Listening : This is a tough choice between Hilltop, Anti Coke Ganapathi and In Our Times all of which are really good. Iíll go with In Our Times for its eccentric lyrics but be sure to check out the others.

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Old 12th December 2015, 15:55   #14
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Default Day 2 : Pierce Brothers

I had never heard of the Australian duo Pierce Brothers and they were easily the biggest surprise act of NH7 with their explosive performance. The brothers brought the roof down and had the crowd dancing along to their high energy songs and their stage presence was just phenomenal. They mentioned that they were winding up 18 months of touring and their extensive experience performing in front of large crowds showed. They had a very cool moment where one of the brothers was playing the guitar while the other one held up a mouth organ for him to play while also holding up a Didgeridoo that he was playing himself. Probably the most memorable moment from NH7.

It isnít easy to come in as an unknown band to a 2 day event that is dripping with talent and have the crowd buzzing about your performance at the end of it. The Pierce Brothers did it with ease.

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Concert Experience Rating : 5 stars. Someone call the sheriff cause the Pierce Brothers just stole the show.

Recommended Listening : A lot of good songs but Overdose really stood out. Flying home and Blind Boys Run are other catchy tracks.
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Old 12th December 2015, 16:00   #15
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Default Day 2 : The F16s

The F16s are a Madras band that braved the floods to make it to Bangalore in time for NH7 and classify their music as alternative indie / dance punk. A simpler definition would be heavy rock and while it isnít always my cup of tea, I donít mind such music on occasion. We did hear quite a few people mention that they want to be present when F16s plays. We didnít catch their whole set as we wanted to watch Mark Ronson perform as well. I felt their performance was a little too loud though regular concert goes will say that there is no such thing as being too loud at a live event.

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Concert Experience Rating : 2.5 stars.
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