My first live music concert was Rolling Stones in Bombay in 2003. With my parents. Yes, my parents introduced me and my brother, Arpan to the finest music and the best way to enjoy it: LIVE.
My family is a bunch of music freaks. My parents agreed to a trip to Bangalore just so we all could attend Iron Maiden, back in 2009. My brother is the seed planter, at 13 years of age, he convinced our parents that this was a lifetime opportunity that we cannot miss. Into the circle of fire I followed them, into the middle I was led.
That was just the beginning (what a start, I must say :P). Since then, I have attended some phenomenal live music concerts. And for me, the real concerts are those with metal-heads, mosh pits and high energy performances where musicians actually play their instruments and really sing the songs!
So here goes my rock concert lowdown:
Iron Maiden, Bangalore, India, 2009:
The overall experience: My first ever Metal concert and I was whipped! Spending the entire day at the venue in an environment of constant build up to the show. We arrived in the morning and played games, chilled, sat about and just took in the vibe. As the day progressed, the anticipation increased, but there was enough to do to pass the time. For instance, playing Guitar Hero. Arpan flashed his skills and won a T-shirt!
And then we were right up the front of the stage. But unfortunately, not in the mosh pit. Of course, Maiden took it away in the best way possible. We enjoyed the electrifying performance to the hilt!!
The band and the music: Memorable opening act by Parikrama (they have opened for Maiden thrice!). We met with Sonam sir (lead guitarist for Parikrama) who was our guitar teacher at the time, so it was more than perfect.
Aces High: What a damn start to the show! And Hallowed Be Thy Name is special for very many reasons. I don’t think I can forget how I tried to learn the bass guitar part for this song: did not get too far. But there is something about this song which takes me to another world altogether.
Yes, we sang along Fear of the Dark in the classic live style. And kudos to the Bangalore crowd for knowing the lyrics to all the songs! We truly ran to the hills.
Partner in crime: Arpan. Happened because of him. And parents of course, who by the way also attended the entire concert!
6 years later I met Musheer & Pranav who happened to be at the very same concert! Insane, right?
One thing i’ll always remember: a 51 year old Bruce Dickinson flying around the stage. Can I ever forget that?
Download, Donington Park, UK, 2012:
The overall experience: This is the epitome of metal festivals. 3 days, 6 stages, 100,000 attendees, 10th year of Download. I mean what? It was a dream come true. It was mad, crazy and wild. The muddy ground and terrible logistics were the two backdrops. But hey, we can’t complain that much.
The premise was to watch Metallica live, after the disastrous attempt in 2011.
And we got was: Metallica, Black Sabbath and Megadeth!! Plus a trip to London, Liverpool and Manchester because we wanted to attend this festival. I love my parents 😀
The band and the music: Effing insane line-up. Metallica was on FIRE! The performance, set up and presence of James, Kirk, Lars and Trujilo was mindblowinggg! They performed the entire Black Album, not the most exciting I have to admit, BUT IT’S METALLICA! Also got goodies such as Master of Puppets, The Four Horsemen and Battery.
Well, while Metallica was headlining on Day 2, Dave Mustain performed in sunlight on Day 3. Hey hey, ok I still got my Hangar 18, Sweating Bullets, Symphony of Destruction & A Tout Le Monde.
Black sabbath headlined on Day 3. A reunion at an apt venue! I had a mad time when Iron Man came on. Kisses to the guy who lifted me up so I could capture Tony Iommi 🙂 And yes, Ozzy has got the performer charm!
Partner in crime: Arpan! We planned the entire trip, festival logistics and ensured we knew every damn song that was part of the setlist before we reached there. Haha
One thing i’ll always remember: The best for last. Live performance of my favourite Metallica song “One“. Just. made. my. life.
All the headbanging, screaming and shouting out lyrics resulted in insane whiplash.
I conclude with my rock concert D-Day Checklist:
- Setlist: The first important thing: which songs, what order, what’s encore. Have to know every song because c’mon you have to shout it out
- Attire: Band tee, jeans, sneakers. I play it standard
- Camera: Ok, it is important. But I took the first row for watching live, not recording. So just the main shots.
- Arrive early: It’s usually the whole day. Get in early, there are merch stalls, drinks, more awesome people like yourself. Hang out and get in the vibe. Also essential if you want to stand right in the front line (I won’t have it any other way)
- Nerves, excitement and a natural high: I don’t need any inebriation. But you can have your pick! Everything is just an arm’s length away, yes, everything.
- Helpful folks all around: People offered to click photos, offered to lift me up so I could see/capture photos- both in Bangalore and Donington Park.
- Headbang: Hair open and go for it
- Water: Constrained space and nearly no breathing space means you must have water on you and be ready to push around to claim back your spot.
- Banter: Before it all starts, a lot of it is waiting, anticipation. So you indulge in a hell lotta banter
- Mosh pits: I love the shit that goes down there. It’s incredible. There has got to be a female mosh pit somewhere?!
- Opening bands: Respect them and give them your love.
A sample of the banter: The audience made friends with this security guy whose job was to stay on the stage the whole time. And we were shouting “836, 836”, yeah there was nothing to do between bands 😛 And then this guy writes 836 on his chest – true love, true love.
~Watch out for the next post about my other two music concert experiences~
Note: Photo Credits for Headline Image: http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk