They say the routes of music lie in the beats of sound, and thats what the emerging Bombay based band,The Beatroute adheres to. The Beatroute, that comprises of ex Vayu drummer Gopal Dutta, Vignesh on guitar, Biswajeet on bass, Eeshan on keyboards, and Greg on lead vocals, recently played a gig at Pizza by the Bay, previously known as Not Just Jazz by the Bay. This new and upcoming band performed a wide array of songs ranging from their originals, to covers of U2, Coldplay and the sensational Michael Jackson.
Despite the fact that they are new to the world of live performances, their music seemed to stir our attention. With a professional like Gopal in the band who has had years of experience and other band members full of enthusiasm and zeal, they kickstarted the show with Wolf Mothers ‘Joker and the Thief’, which was very well done. In their second song which was a cover of U2s ‘Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me’, we saw a very focused Eeshan almost magically produce a techno sound through the motion-sensing interface on his keyboard, as if he was talking to it with his fingers!
Then came one of their originals called ‘Nine to five’, about the working class people in the city. The song was a tad shaky here and there and a little monotonous, but a good attempt at an original nonetheless. Next up was another U2 song, ‘Where the streets have no name’ followed by another original called ‘Glow’, which again seemed to lack the punch and vigor of ‘Nine to five’.
Next up, The Beatroute went into a wonderfully done medley of Chris Isaaks ‘Wicked Game’ and Maroon 5s ‘She Will Be Loved’. Subsequently, they played another cover of ‘Smooth Criminal’ by Michael Jackson, which was completely off beat and too fast a version of that song to be sung. It sounded like a cacophony of sound, with a mix of different instruments and bad timing. Next up, they broke out into another one of their originals called, ‘This Is Bound To Happen’, which had an electronica feel to it, making it a good listen.
Then came Eeshans solo performance on the keyboard, with an assortment of ‘Chariots Of Fire’, ‘The Godfather Theme’ and ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’. Immediately after which, out of the blue, I heard Greg screaming out happy birthday to someone, with Eeshan hastily filling in a 2 minute happy birthday tune on his keyboard.
Later on, Gopal Dutta played a 15 minute drum solo, which was astounding, highlighting his prowess as one of the most technically skilled musicians in the band. The best cover the band played was ‘Sunday Morning’ by Maroon 5; it proved that they have an umpteen amount of potential in them, considering that theyve only been playing live for a few months. ‘Clocks’ was one song where they couldnt get their timing right however, and towards the end of this Coldplay number, everyone in the band seemed to be a little perplexed.
Amidst this ambience of good music and dim lights, a man came up to the microphone and proposed to a woman, on stage, while Greg retreated into the background. Apparently, this wasnt a prank, but the real deal. In so many years of having attended gigs, this certainly was a first!
After this unusual saga, the band played a rather flat version of Porcupine Trees ‘Lazarus’ and a soothing version of Billy Joels ‘Piano Man’ which made everyone in the house sing along and come together for that moment. They proceeded to play an impressive rendition of ‘Drive’ by Incubus, followed by ‘Slither’ by Velvet Revolver that had a good solo by Vignesh. All in all, a band heavily inspired by Coldplay and U2, The Beatroute will probably go a long way.