EDM ruled the year’s live act scene even as various hues of Metal rocked the city, writes ALLAN MOSES RODRICKS
Looking back, the year saw an explosive music scene. While 2011-2012 saw only a few major international bands and artistes step into the garden city, Bangalore had a dream line-up this year. Everybody who was somebody in the music world was in town.
The biggest boom happened in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) scene with some of the biggest names in the industry headlining festivals in the city. This unexpected transformation was the result of various major festivals like the NH7 Weekender, Smirnoff Experience, Sunburn and Sound Awake among others.
Despite one of the biggest downpours the city has ever witnessed, day one of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender saw nearly 9,000 people thronging the venue and turning the torrent of water into one big rain dance. Easily the biggest festival of the year, the Weekender saw acts by Lucky Ali, Kailasa, Manganiyar Seduction, Shaa’ir + Func, Kate Miller-Heidke and DJ Sam Poggioli (Sampology) among others.
Two of the other major headliners this year were Above & Beyond and David Guetta. Popular electro house DJ/producers Steve Aoki and Congorock also led the city’s EDM lovers into a frenzy at Sound Awake. A crowd favourite would be the Smirnoff Experience in December that saw artistes Nero and Rusko deliver a spectacular audio-visual experience with one of the most scintillating stages Bangalore has ever seen.
The power-packed line-up for the Sunburn Festival featured Fedde le Grand, Paul van Dyk, Dimitri Vegas, Adam Beyer, Showtek, Wolf Pack and a range of other artistes that brought the house down with enterprising EDM. Swedish House Mafia also toured Bangalore as part of their nation-wide tour.
Meanwhile, the rock music scene which was dominant for quite sometime and established the city as the rock capital had its ups and downs in 2013. The much-awaited Fly Music Festival (by far the biggest assortment of international rockstars) featuring Limp Bizkit, Anthrax, Mastadon, Dub Pistols and others was called off at the last minute. However, traditional homebred rock lovers in the city did not need to cut a sorry face, especially since the Bangalore Open Air Metal Festival 2013 in mid-July brought in a lot more than expected. Featuring Sodom, Dark Tranquillity, Iced Earth, Animals as Leaders, Leprous and others including local bands, the massive turnout for the music festival proved beyond doubt that the rock and metal establishment in the city will never fade. Rockers also had one of the best head-banging experiences with Jessica Wolff’s tour of the city ahead of her album launch Renegade.
The Kingfisher Great Indian October Fest was another crowd-puller. Combining some of the finest assortment of Indian and international artistes and genres from across the globe, the festival saw some of Bangalore’s most recent upcoming acts like All The Fat Children and Beat Gurus sharing stage with established legends like Hoobastank, Indus Creed and others.
The near year-ending Seagrams 100 Pipers India Music Week was spread across most of the happening music venues in the city. Featuring Talvin Singh, Midival Punditz and other Indian acts, the festival was one of the best examples of the finest the country has to offer in the music scene.
On the Western Classical side, the Bangalore School of Music had a fantastic set of concerts, most of which took place at the Alliance Francaise. The venue also hosted the World Music Day with a series of local and national acts headlining the event in mid-June.
While the city had its share of international acts, the locals were not far behind. A hotspot for a range of genres from world fusion to traditional folk, Bangalore played host to number of local newfangled musicians as well as veterans this year.
A characteristic feature of the music scene is the acceptance of the independent music forte. Arati Rao, who runs music joint BFlat in the city, says Bangalore has become a pioneering platform for the independent music scene. “Places like BFlat in the city have always being open to every kind of genre and the Bangaloreans have never let us down. Bangalore is experiencing a musical revolution like never before,” she adds.
True to its name, the music capital of the country saw some of the most happening acts headlining events throughout the year. The New Year is also featuring parties with several local and international DJs ringing in 2014. Kicking off on such a high note, the music scene in Bangalore is bound to notch it up to the next level for music lovers the coming year.