Written by Sahana Iyer
A first for this year, the third day of NH7 Weekender kicked off with a comedy act. Bengaluru-based comedian Punya Arora inaugurated the day with her act, unfortunately, in return for only a few chuckles. As the acts went on, popular comedian Sapan Verma and Comicstaan contestant Rahul Dua, drew large crowds. Parallel to these acts, Irish electro-pop musician Roison Donald or ROE sang her melancholic yet soothing songs to a slim audience.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest comedy act was of the Bengaluru-based Mast-Aadmi comedian, Biswa Kalyan Rath.
The performance began with people chanting Biswa’s name as the stage featured smoke blasts. Kalyan Rath’s jokes on the Indian banking systems got people hooting and clapping loud enough to be heard outside the venue.
As Kalyan Rath’s performance ended, people swarmed out of the indoor venue, straight to the outdoor stage to witness Dada Saheb Phalke award-winning band, Alif.
Their bold social commentary through Urdu and Kashmiri poetry paired with their ethnic music quickly packed the area. The band got the audience to sing along their choruses with them and even dedicated a song to the engineers in the crowd.
For a band performing in India for the first time, Scottish rock band The Lafontaines had people gyrating listen to their quick beats and rap. Wild cheers erupted when they greeted the audience with Namaste.
Breaking conventions of western wear at concerts, Mumbai-based singer Aditi Ramesh performed her act in a bright pink and blue saree, her band members themselves clad in kurtas and mundas. While she was seen performing slow, soothing songs with band Ladies Compartment, only a couple of days ago, her solo performance had people intrigued with her fusion of western genres and classical Carnatic music.
As the sun set to a chilly evening, a vast sea of people could be seen at the venue, all of them excited for the last day of the festival.
When British punk-jazz band WorldService Project (WSP) took to the stage, one could see the crowd dancing to their irreverent, abrupt yet energetic musical compositions.
The band donned band uniforms, their faces adorned with strokes of black paint. Composer Dave Morecroft stated that their latest album is called Serve and they wore the outfits because they wanted to “serve the audience, whose ancestors were colonised” by their own.
The statement was received with claps and cheers. They also introduced the so-called sixth member of their band, the clown character “Mr Giggles”.
The clown mask was worn by Morecroft later as they performed the song dedicated to it, The Tale of Mr Giggles.
As WSP began their last song, people began planting themselves in front of the adjacent stage for the performance of contemporary Indian band Parvaaz. Possibly the most popular Indie rock band in India, Parvaaz garnered one of the biggest crowds of the night. Fans flocked in large numbers, belting out the Hindi and Urdu lyrics of well-known songs.
As fans stuck around to witness the climax of the performance, other spectators moved along in anticipation of the concluding acts.
Concluding the night and this year’s festival was French multi-instrumentalist singer Vincent Fenton, better known as French Kiwi Juice or FKJ, one of the most awaited performances of the year.
Parallel to this performance was the contrasting Hindustani classical music of Padma Shri Shubha Mudgal.