Bob Dylan had rasped,Like a fool I mixed them,and it strangled up my mind in the song Memphis Blues. On Saturday and Sunday,the Bacardi NH7 Weekender,one of the biggest music festivals in Delhi,mixed together several elements as well. Six stages sprouted on the 25 acre ground next to Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida,and 18,000 music fans turned up in glittering waistcoats and colourful wigs.
Those who attended the first day,were treated to some raucous torrents of music at the Black Rock Arena,courtesy the countrys oldest rock bands such as Indus Creed,Pentagram and Parikrama. Of course,people werent there only to listen. When Vishal Dadlani of Pentagram shouted,You have made the drive,now make the flight,the youngsters in the crowd took this as a sign to start moshing a dance where audiences run around and slam into one another with violence-laced excitement.
The day had begun early in the evening with an energetic set by Delhi-based band,Circus,while,on The Dewarists Stage,Adi,Suhail and Tarun belted out their fusion tunes. Mumbais Vir Das & Alien Chutney,a comedy-rock band,was also a hit with the crowd,singing explicit songs such as Delhi chick. It wasnt easy to please the crowd,as Kolkatas Gandu Circus realised. Despite a decent set,the group did not click with the crowd. The Raghu Dixit Projects set,on the other hand,had the crowd dancing though they presented only four songs such as Mysore se aayi.
Day 1 ended with sitarist Anoushka Shankar playing classical music to people who had been bobbing to rock,metal and dub step. She performed with a flamenco troupe to play tracks from her last album Traveller,and even those in varying stages of intoxication stopped to listen.
On Day 2,The Dewarists stage had stiff competition from Megadeth. The musicians here fought back with some high-energy acts. Among them were Swarathma and Reggae Rajahs. Just when the audience thought that Midival Punditz had been left behind in the EDM game (theirs was a slow start),they upped the ante with tracks that revelled in being tech and synthetic.
But the evening,apart from Megadeth,belonged to Shillong-based blues rock band Soulmate who arrived with their blood-and-guts vocalist Tipriti Kharbangar and with lead guitarist Rudy Wallang striking chords that we did not know existed. The extravaganza now moves to Pune and Bengaluru.