gig review : IIT Bombay presents Mood Indigo Livewire 2011 featuring Karnivool

karnivool, livewire 2011

Before any other organizer starts planning about getting down a headlining act, that we look up to, these IIT-ians at Bombay are done dealing with the leading bands and have packed them off already. Their choices cannot be doubted, because they have by far had bands that are the torchbearers of their respective genres. Ensiferum in 2008, Porcupine Tree in 2009, Katatonia in 2010 and Karnivool in 2011. Who would have thought?

Everytime December seems close I keep my ears open for the organizers of Livewire to announce an act that nobody would have thought they’d get in touch with. These young brains are given the freedom to make decisions using which they do some mind-reading and put up a show that becomes more than just memorable. My association with Livewire dates back to 2005 and onwards. With each passing year nothing changes, audiences enter the institute via the main gate, go straight and take the biggest right turn the campus has to offer and there you are at the Student Activity Centre (SAC). The line to enter the venue never ends. Nothing changes except for the scale at which the event is conducted.

So, being the media partner for Livewire it was a breeze to enter the venue and for the first time in about six years I saw the event starting from band number one!

karnivool, livewire 2011

Lineup for the evening included –

1. Hoodwink’s Circle (1st runner’s up)
2. Turnkey (2nd runner’s up)
3. Verses (winners)
4. Junkyard Groove (opening band)
5. Karnivool

Although the three finalists were fighting it out for the same title, not every band got the same amount of time to showcase their prowess on stage. That said, the bands had the attitude, they did what they could. While I would have chosen Hoodwink’s Circle for representing India at the Global Finals, the judges chose Verses. I, however, do not agree with the result nor did one of the on-looker who had this to say, “They were playing forever, it’s like they were headlining the show“. Only I am allowed to be non-anonymous on this zine.

Welcoming Karnivool were Chennai-localites Junkyard Groove who opened the doors to funky rock ‘n roll draping the entire venue with their brand of melody. Although vocalist Ameeth Thomas failed at trying to make the crowd laugh (by cracking lame jokes), his voice more than made up for everything. So, JYG (short for Junkyard Groove) should just stick to entertaining the crowd, through music. There is a new album in the making, according to Ameeth and the crowd got to hear a lot of fresh material here. This was the first time I saw JYG live, and I must say they were so much more better than a certain Thermal And A Quarter (they played Livewire in 2007). I was caught snoring during TAAQ‘s set. Before I forget, good individual talent in JYG.

8:15 p.m. Lights, camera, action, sex! Karnivool, progressive rock musicians from Australia, showed everyone why they should be remembered more often than the stupid kangaroos from their continent. Kicking-off the concert with Goliath, the band surpassed every expectation, bringing together universes of sound. It was not just about the music, but the collective effort of the five personalities who made sure everything around seems surreal for the next one and a half hours. Ian Kenny, the frontman, speaks less and emits more. Like he said, “Music is a universal language. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, music brings us all together“.

karnivool, livewire 2011

Everytime an international artist debuts in India they are surprised. It’s like they never hoped to see such reactions. Same happened with Karnivool. With hands on their mouths, the band was taken aback by the kind of love that was being showered upon them. Even I was surprised how some posers had mastered the art of displaying their undying support for the band although they’ve heard just one song by the band. Just one.

Karnivool was short of words and hence they continued performing rather than wasting any time. Their presence itself made all the difference.

Even the light arrangements were superbly done adding to the psychedelic property of Karnivool‘s songs. Before you even ask let me tell you that on-stage they are even more telling than the records. Their musical marathon continued non-stop till about 9:30 p.m. and then there was an encore.

karnivool, livewire 2011

This was their set-list for the night

Simple Boy
Set Fire to the Hive
All I know
Fear of the Sky

New Day

This concert was 2011’s biggest highlight for me. Yes, including NH7 Weekender and Metallica concert. There are reasons, and then there are reasons.

The Open Air Theatre (OAT) at IIT Powai is fast becoming a venue that would be counted on the first five fingers every time major ‘concerts’ are spoken about. Countless memories of so many artists and attendees are attached to this place. It only gets bigger and better each time, and more than anything else the organizers at IIT are making so many dreams come true. And, in case you already don’t know, making that happen is not the least bit easy.

Ian Kenny doing a Dharmendra!

[ All pictures – courtesy of Bobin James and Diane Vaz. Click on the names to join their official facebook page and check out their work. ]

And some more :

gig review : IIT Bombay presents Mood Indigo Livewire 2010 featuring Katatonia

Karnivool’s gig announcement and my first thoughts

The debut album that took Karnivool where they are today

Why you should read the Satanic Bible

Pope says child pornography is normal

All the album / Ep / Demo / Teaser Reviews

Other cool stuff on this zine

About Itihas Shetty

Is a verbomaniac. And a human being. And that's where the problem begins. View all posts by Itihas Shetty

11 responses to “gig review : IIT Bombay presents Mood Indigo Livewire 2011 featuring Karnivool

  • Sidharth

    I think Junkyard Groove’s performance was the worst I have seen till date. The new lineup just DOESNT work. Have seen them thrice before and they were most definitely one of the best 5 rock bands in the country. The new material simply sucks in comparison to the older stuff and I was very VERY disappointed. This is just something I wanted to add. There was ample scope to select a band to open for Karnivool there’s plenty of good bands around.

    • Itihas Shetty

      I cannot comment on JYG’s old and new line-up because they don’t really play my kind of music hence I never followed them. As for the part where you talked about plenty of good bands around to open for Karnivool, I completely concur with you. There are way better bands out there.

      • Praveen

        Goddess Gagged for starters.

        • Itihas Shetty

          Totally, man. In fact I even spoke to the organizers and told them to make a half an hour set possible for Goddess Gagged, since Karnivool is one of their biggest influences and the band would have lived a dream. And even otherwise Goddess Gagged have worked their way into being one of the most sought after acts today. But even the organizers had their own reasons.

          • Praveen

            Great review man, the most articulate among the ones I’ve read thus far! I was there at the concert, and Karnivool censored themselves (Hey, I guess I “messed up” again, instead of “fucked up”), which was pretty low. The other low was that they did not play Shutterspeed (despite some ladies in the front rows howling and screeching (in a true un-ladylike manner) for it to be played), Lifelike, and Illumine. 😦
            Further, I think there was a campaign on the derpbook to GG to open. Of course, in light of what you’ve written above, it appears that the said campaign was a lost cause from the outset. Do you mind mentioning those reasons? If not here, then in an email. Again, great review man, muchly appreciated.


    I won’t EVER forgive myself for missing Karnivool 😦
    and this review makes me all the more jealous

  • Rakshith Shetty

    Nice read!Best review I have read on the gig.Keep writing man!

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