Of late, Delhites have been lucky enough to attend some rock solid gigs. The year started with a bang with the likes of Pentagram, Shaa’ir and Func, Menwhopause who delivered fairly impressive shows. Heaven’s Down formerly known as Ashtoreth are one of the icons of the Delhi rock scene and it goes without saying that a lot was expected from this gig.
Let me start this review with an honest confession. The sound setup of Hard Rock Café – Delhi sucks. Period. Luckily, since this was a Dire Straits tribute gig and the band did not unleash their hard rock roots, there wasn’t much damage done (it would have sounded horrible otherwise, courtesy the rather disastrous sound setup of HRC-Delhi).
The audience was in for a surprise as Leo Anderson (Keyboards) took up the reigns as the lead vocalist and Malan (Lead Vocals) handled the harmonies and only sang lead vocals on classics such as ‘Sultans of Swing’. This tactic worked well and Leo proved to be an exceptionally good Mark-Knopfler-equivalent, if I may say so. Sudarshan Chetrul was back on drums and he provided the much needed dynamic push to the performance making it truly electrifying, something that I always felt, was missing.
The band mesmerized the crowd with ballads such as ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and other soulful performances such as ‘Communique’ and ‘Brothers in arms’ which revealed their versatility.
The rhythm section was tight as ever with Pranav Garvi (Bass) and Sumit Sharma (rhythm guitar) holding the band together, setting the stage for their master lead guitarist Manjit Joseph. Joseph wowed the crowd with his virtuosity. His improvised solo on ‘Heavy Fuel’ was absolutely scintillating. They ended with the last song of the gig – ‘Money for Nothing’ which was slightly underwhelming as it was played without the signature quaky wah-wah laden tone.
Overall, the band really shined through the performance and did justice to Dire Straits by p(l)aying a wonderful tribute!