Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Roadie 101

Bangalore witnessed the final day of Kingfisher's OctoberFest this past Sunday. The main attractions were local acts Lounge Piranha and Thermal and a Quarter. I roadied for TAAQ, and learnt a couple of things that day that I thought I should share:

  • To appear busy, keep calling out random names and mentioning technical terms. Example: "Tony, that preamp needs a jumper, could you look into it? Tony, hey, Tony!".
  • Its not about what you lug around, its how many items you lug around.
  • 'To err is human' does not apply on stage.
  • A marked set list is your best friend.
TAAQ took to the stage at 8:20 PM, to soar through a brilliant set of approximately 15 well-chosen tracks of their fantastic catalogue of over 100 tracks spanning 3 releases over 8 years. TAAQ plays 100% original farm-fresh 'curry rock' (more akin to jazz rock, IMHO), and features four fabulous musicians who are masters in their own right - Bruce Lee Mani (Guitars, vocals), Rzhude (bass, vocals), Sunil Chandy (keyboards, guitars, bass, vocals), and Rajeev Rajagopal (drums).
The band kicked off in earnest with Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Bruce shone on lead guitars, displaying a great deal of proficiency and feel that was worth blogging about (see what I mean?). He said it was their way of getting the crowd on their side, though, after the show, anyone would say that it was hardly a neccessary tactic. Other great tracks included How Can I Get Your Groove, Look At Me, Falling Down, and Drunk (my favourite.. besides, a lot of folks in the audience could easily relate to it). This song had a killer groove, with some neat drumming by powerhouse Rajeev.
They also played a short acoustic set, including a rousing version of Lennon's Imagine, with Chandy on keys and Rzhude on vocals. Next came Closer To Heaven, with Chandy taking up a fretless Bass. Very good stuff. Also of note was their version of Roxanne. I absolutely loved this one, since it was a very interesting take on an already great song. Next, they performed Holy Jose, and dedicated it to a very inebriated young man in the crowd.
Cat Stevens' Wild World saw them return to the rest of the electric set. Paper Puli was pull(i)ed off really well - that riff is stuff of rock legend, I tell ya! They wrapped up their show with a brilliant instrumental Hoedown, which was a treat for all the guitar fans present.
All in all, a really tight, energetic show. It had been ages since I had last seen TAAQ perform, so this was a special treat for me. Their relentless pursuit of excellence has definitely paid off, and made them the top rock act in the city, and a force to be reckoned with, this side of the Pacific. Rock on, y'all!

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