Last Friday at B69 Bajaao, hundreds of metal and rock heads gathered to celebrate the never-say-die spirit of the late Vincent Pereira. Roydon Bangera and Ashwin Sharma organized this event, which was in its third year, and certainly seemed like its strength was increasing year after year. Goddess Gagged, Summerpint Junkie, The Hoodwink Circle, Blakc and Split formed the lineup for the first of the two day show. For reasons unknown, the atmosphere was somehow a lot better than the last time round, people were enthusiastic, the bands kicked ass and everyone had gathered for the same cause, that of paying their respects to THE BEAST.
Before I write about the show, I’d like to take a minute to say that the Underground Scene in Mumbai is finally here. The crowd knows it, the bands know it and so does everyone else. After Blue Frog and Hard Rock Cafe, B69 witnessed the presence of a few foreigners; I sense good things happening for the scene.
Ever tried putting your head out the window of your car at 120kmph+ ? Well if you have, then that is what Goddess Gagged was like. Aggressive, in-your-face, heavy and melodious at the same time, truly justifying the genre Progressive/Hard alternative rock. Siddharth Basrur was fantastic with his work on the mic, and the drummer, Jeremy managed to pull out the best in him along with Arman and Devesh on Guitars and Krishna who practically killed his bass on stage, with those funky riffs and some sweet lines. All in all a great show starter and a time and paisa vasool band .
Known for their trippy and off beat progressive music amidst some ‘FULL POWER’ alternative rock, Summerpint Junkie literally made people swing people to their music, sing along and took them to seventh heaven. Well, the credit for that somewhat goes to the cheap beer! But on a more serious note, great set, an immaculate combination of genres and songs coupled with some raw high pitched vocals, got the people rolling. The highlights of their performances were a few ‘spacy’ effects and some crazy acts by the vocalist and bassist. However, people seemed a little bit disappointed with the small talk the vocalist was having between songs.
The Hoodwink Circle was the underdog of the day, with some pure, honest and true music straight from the heart. Sanjeev ripped apart the guitar with his unseen fingers during the solo with some company from Ishaan on bass, and Joshua, probably one of the most fantastic drummers in the city. Aiden, the frontman, was able to make people laugh with this witty sense of humor. The band, with some good old fashioned blues, trip hop, jazz fusion and funk got the whole B69 gang back on their feet. Clearly Joshua, Sanjeev and Ishaan were at their best today and helped the band generate an even larger fan base.
Split and Blakc need no introduction or words of praise, being the two most established alternative bands in the city. Blakc for the first time played an acoustic set at B69. Playing the crowd favorites resulted in a moshpit. I mean, if you see a mosh pit during an acoustic set, you just know that it’s Blakc playing! Shawn hogged the limelight, leaving very little for anyone else, which was quickly grabbed by Roop, with his ‘driving’ bass lines. The band never fails to deliver what the people want and generated plenty of headbanging.
Split on the other hand, played a chilled out set with two new songs, which were pretty good. They managed to get all the other bands up and listening to them, jumping around and humming with them. Varoon, the drummer was on top of his game, ably accompanied by Shekhar on the bass. Aviv and Melroy with their great soloing and mind blowing rhythm sections were able to give the crowd something to hold on to for the rest of the night until tomorrow, when Tribute to the Beast continues into its second day with the top 5 metal bands in the city, including Zygnema and Atmosfear.
It’s on days like today that I pity my friends and acquaintances who sit at home thinking, who cares, these are local bands. They have no idea that what they’re missing is some of the finest music they could have seen live!