When a thoroughly indulging drug like Katatonia is playing somewhere around, there should be no place for second thoughts. Wielding your soul with immensely enriching and mature music, Katatonia was a rightful pick by organizers at IIT Bombay to headline one of the biggest college events in India. This also shows that the understanding of IIT-ians and the rest of us does match at some level. And when Indus Creed, who regrouped this year after having called it quits in the late-nineties, were to open for Katatonia I did not want a delay for the proceedings to get underway as the evening looked all set.
But like always it was the initial fuckups that the organizers at IIT-ians are known for. They lure you, call you closer and kick you where you don’t want to be kicked. If there is anyone who has never attended a moodi event then you would have atleast heard as to how difficult it is to enter the venue. I, along with a group of friends made sure we were the first ones to enter anyhow. And still we managed to miss the first band Abraxas‘s performance. Well done, nerds. Entered and saw Abraxas packing up and Guillotine getting ready. They were followed by Purple Asparagus and Goddess Gagged. It had to be a tough call for the judges as it seemed a good day for all four of them.
The band that eventually stood higher up on the podium for winners was Abraxas (Pune) followed by Purple Asparagus (Kolkata) and Guillotine (Delhi). With the competition out of the way it was time for the Indian headliner Indus Creed. They are back with a lineup that includes a mix of old and new talent. Indus Creed as of today has Uday Benegal (vocals, guitars and programming), Mahesh Tinaikar (guitars, vocals), Zubin Balaporia (keyboards, vocals), Rushad Mistry (bass, vocals) and Jai Row Kavi (drums, vocals). They came and made quite a mark.
With most part of the crowd (including me) watching this band for the first time the season of rock they brought helped take our minds off Katatonia for a while. Sure they had quite a name during their initial phase in the late-nineties but a comeback is not always easy. Indus Creed has had a safe landing now too and only a very small crowd was seen going out during their set. They played for almost an hour with their list also including crowd favorites Pretty Child and Top of the Rock. And then the lights were turned off.
A little about what Katatonia means to me and my existence. This band makes music like anyone else out there but very few have an emotional connect. Katatonia‘s music is all about mind, body and soul and they always introduce this human factor into their music. If they talk about ghosts they take you through it and if they are depressed you cannot be smiling. So how eagerly they were awaited can be figured out easily with all of that.
At this gig the term ‘moshpit’ (which I had overheard but thankfully did not happen) was used in the wrong sense and that too for Katatonia. Not adequate. Clearly showed that the crowd at IIT did not know what they are listening to and even why. But with the first few rows filled with the just described jumping crowd that can be found everywhere, the rest of us could take our positions at the right places. Five white figures dressed mostly in black took the stage at around eight thirty with their first song Day and Then the Shade ready to blast. I had somehow bagged a backstage entry and was hopping between the stage and sound console. A video from the gig I found on the video whoring site.
The tracklist shows this was the best they could do in the one and a half hours they graced the stage. They had played the same set at Stockholm, Sweden on fourth of December, and given the duration I had a feeling they would play the same here. I couldn’t get a grip over myself when I saw the same list unfold.
Day and Then the Shade
Onward Into Battle
The Longest Year
Saw You Down
Ghost of the Sun
For My Demons
The gig sure came to an end but what was derived out of it has not. It won’t either. Sounding as if the voices were coming from someplace else, the performance was more of a complete experience and the pleasure derived was paramount. And with the sound also in place Katatonia lovers did not compromise on any aspect. Twenty first December, 2010 would be when I attended the best concert of my life. I had a heavier chest by the end of it and I salute Katatonia for existing in the first place. Jonas and troupe, we miss you. It’s fucking hard to get over the fact that you guys have left. Come back soon!
[ mortal being behind the camera was Manasi Kale ]
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