This was my first concert in Esplanade Concert Hall. And i must say that the moment you enter the auditorium, you are spellbound by the architecture. It pumps up the adrenaline even before the show begins... I did attend the 'Sufi Gospel Project' in the open air theatre. That was an awesome performance too.
All these events were part of 'KalaaUtsavam - Indian Festival of Arts' - A wonderful compilation of Indian music and art. I attended only 2 events ('Sufi Gospel Project' and Strings/Indian Ocean) and both of them were outstanding.
Back to the live concert of Strings and Indian Ocean.
My room mate had booked tickets right in the center on the ground floor - it was possibly the best place to sit in the whole auditorium. The atmosphere was electrifying. I was reminded of the Yanni concert at Bell Center, Montreal.
I have been listening to Indian Ocean for more than ten years now and it has been a dream to attend one of their live concerts. Today was the day of fulfillment.
Rahul Ram (Guitar and Vocals) first arrives with his famous 'sadhu like' beard and introduces the band. He makes good fun of Amit Kilam (Drums and Vocals). Susmit Sen, the Guitar maestro is the calm and composed lead guitarist.
Asheem Chakravarty's death in 2009 indeed gave a blow to the band as they had lost their lead vocalist. The depth in his vocals in Kandisa can never be re-created. In the concert, his vocals were done by Himanshu Joshi and Tabla by Tuheen Chakravarty.
And then, they started.. Ma Rewa, Kandisa and the instrumentals by Amit Kilam stunned the audience. Although Joshi tried to do his best, he could not match Asheem's vocals in Kandisa.
Even those who were listening to them for the first time were amazed at the mix of folk and rock. We had hardly heard five songs when they gave way to Strings, the rock band from Pakistan.
Both these are so distinct in their genre. Indian Ocean is more of a folk-rock, sufism based band whereas Strings is a traditional pop band.
Strings too played some of the audiences' favorite like Dur and others. The ones in the front row were on their toes most of the time..
The grand finale was a joint performance by both Strings and Indian Ocean. This was the first public performance of the song. It is about India-Pakistan and the sentiments of 'aam Janta' on either side of the border.
I am thoroughly satisfied with the performance of Indian Ocean, although i would have liked them to play more.. But, i guess, that feeling would have persisted irrespective of the length of the concert.
I really cannot wait until their next performance !!!