While protest and rock ‘n’ roll go a long way in history, it was empathy that musicians appealed for at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival that kickstarted Friday at Laxmi Lawns, Magarpatta.
From the debate on intolerance to the Chennai floods, musicians appealed audiences to recognise their larger social responsibility.
After an electrifying set as Carnatic rock act Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate wrapped up its act, they reminded the audience about the Chennai floods and had a special request, “Don’t just change the colour of your Facebook profile picture to show solidarity. Do something, move yourself physically to do something real. They need your help.”
Easily one of the most popular Indian acts, Dhruv Voyage, where artiste Dhruv Ghanekar collaborated with some well-known desi and international artists, also had something special for audiences – Ghanekar’s first ever song with a political angle. At the end of his band’s 40-minute act that featured songs from his recent Coke studio stint as well, the best received song was Revolution.
Ghanekar, who believes that artistes need to stand up and speak out had audiences screaming as he belted out, “Focus, who are the f***kers behind the mask..”
Like every year, music remained the high point of the festival with the last act of Scottish post-rock quintet Mogwai having the final say.
While post rock had long been relegated to the margins in 2015, Mogwai, who have consistently put out innovative material, owned the stage playing a delectable set comprising some of their best-known tracks such as Rano pano and Auto rock.
Despite having talent, some great songs, and with youth on their side, the UK-based act, The Clameens, failed to make their mark with audiences with Delhi based singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad’s dreamy numbers like Tune Kaha maine, sun liyaaa forcing people to sing along with him.
While ample parking available near the venues was a big thumbs-up and some lessons seemed to have been learned from the previous year’s experiences as far as traffic management was concerned, people complained of the lack of visual treats.
“NH7 weekender is as much about the design and visual treat as the music. This year, there were no art installations like the Rockness Monster which was like a giant hand-snake rising out of water or these flowers that would light up when we would sit. Those were fun,” said Nishi Mehra.