NIT Trichy always brought to my mind an image of a bunch of the countries biggest brains stuck together in a classroom solving a bunch of complex mathematic equations, after going to NITT for Festember '11 I've got to say I couldnt have been more wrong. Here's why!
The first time I had heard of Festember was when my band decided to send in our entry for the battle of the bands contest. Unfortunately, we didnt make the cut. Later I heard that motherjane were headlining the show and I thought to myself that we had actually been selected, I would have actually played a gig in front of my idols. Woah! I'm pretty sure I would have been shivering so bad before getting on that stage, but yes it would have been such an amazing moment. *sigh* -- Some dreams do take time to come to life I'm guessing :)
Saturday early morning, and I set off on a bumpy bus ride to the land of NITT. Reached Trichy at about 3 and headed straight for the hotel where motherjane was put up. A nice little nap, a bit of TV, and a little tea and motherjane was all set to rock the night. And so was I.
Soundcheck got super delayed because of a lot of technical difficulties, but the show did go on and motherjane took to the stage at around 9.30 PM or so.
The Panchari Melam music began to play and the stage was filled with smoke. The stage was set for motherjane. The crowd began to go wild. And soon, motherjane lit the stage on fire with Disillusioned. The energy was mesmerizing and the guys were really starting to enjoy (i specifically say guys because the guys were made to stand about 50 feet away from the stage and the girls were made to stand right in front. The only sad thing in an otherwise brilliant setting). The girls, still sitting, were clapping and cheering but very very few had gotten into "the zone".
Next up was Maya and Suraj dedicated this song to all the beautiful women that were sitting right in front. He urged the girls to stand up and get dancing. If I were asked to name two people that came to mind right away that had the ability to get a crowd going, I would say "Suraj Mani from Motherjane and Vishal Dadlani from Pentagram" without giving it any thought. Suraj got the girls going and soon there were numerous girls dancing to motherjanes tracks.
SURAJ MANI - MY SOCRATES
I love this picture :) -- so natural.. so much passion.. and so much fun :D
Blood in the Apple followed, and motherjane played the song sans the bass solo at the start of the song. The solo that Clyde plays gives the song a little more feel, or so I think and I did miss that part. But the rest of the song was note-perfect and by this time, everyone in the crowd was headbanging deliriously.
CLYDE ROZARIO - BUDDHA ON THE BASS
Deepu really seemed to be enjoying himself and he could be seen jumping all around on stage. It made for a really nice sight :)
DEEPU SASIDHARAN - SILK AND STEEL
Soul Corporations, tweaked at the start a little bit, followed. Santhosh played a mind numbing solo during the song that left me speechless. It was an extremely beautiful solo that had that unique motherjane touch, yet had many more elements that were new. If anyone has any doubt what so ever as to where motherjane is headed after Baiju leaving, trust me, they are in real safe hands. Santhosh is a guitarist that will blow your mind over and over again every time you watch him. No exaggeration what so ever, I promise.
SANTHOSH CHANDRAN - THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN TOUCH
The auditorium was then filled with the words Thaka Thakita Thaka Thakita as motherjane belted out Chasing the Sun. John, playing with a finger injury, and yet brought so much life to the song.
JOHN THOMAS - ZE METRONOME
Their newest single, No Contest, was up next and I with my short hair successfully executed ze WINDMILL! WOO HOO!! I believe that the aggresive riffs that Santhosh has composed for this particular really does suit the theme of the song and though it aint very pronounced but Santhosh has played some really beautiful parts in the song that will not fail to amaze you.
Fields of Sound, Broken, Jihad, Mindstreet followed. Santhosh played two brilliant solos, one at the end of Jihad and one after the last verse of Mindstreet. I'm sorry if I'm talking way too much about Santhosh but he was just that brilliant.
motherjane ended the gig with Karmic Steps. It was unfortunate but the gig was a rather short one because of the delays and the curfews. But none the less, it was a brilliant show and I really did think every single person in the crowd enjoyed himself.
MOTHERJANE - A BEAUTIFUL NOTE IN A SYMPHONY OF SPIRITS
I did hope they played a few more tracks, especially Maktub as Santhosh(yes him again) has added a lovely piece at the start which plays on the Flamenco Guitar(Box Guitar). It sounds so beautiful and adds a lot of soul to the song. I cant wait for the new album now. He has promised to bring in a lot of new elements and I cant wait to lay my hands on it.
Anyway, the bumpy bus rides well worth it and I must add a note to thank all the students at NITT for making it a lovely experience, and special mention to Pankaj for the hospitality and the company. Thank you all :)
p.s. Photo Credit : Charles and Vishal Nambiar