Students of Taaqademy, the music school of city-based band Thermal & A Quarter, render a stellar performance

The house lights dimmed, the crowd quietened down and the stage lit up with blinding lights as the bands flooded the audience with a torrent of blazing music. Instead of veterans the stage was filled with tiny teens bringing the music of Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Adele, Queen and John Mayer under one roof.

The story of these rockers stems from city-based band Thermal & A Quarter’s music school, Taaqademy. Under the tutelage of some of the finest musicians in Bangalore, the school rendered a memorable concert at the Taaqademy Fest held in the Alliance Française recently. With a houseful audience, the concert kicked off with a solo drum performance by faculty Avinash beating away to the unforgettable Super Mario video game theme. The versatile performance set stage for a solo guitar act by Suraj from Bangalore-based band Inner Sanctum, who is also a guitar faculty at the school.

Once the teachers were off stage, it was time for the students to steal the limelight. Student band Lunatic Fringe took centre stage and kicked off to a spectacular composition titled ‘Dominoes’ followed by covers of G3’s ‘Going Down’, Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’.

Apokalypse was next with a decent rendition of ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries and ‘Vertigo’ by U2. Own composition ‘Gone Away’ was delivered by the band with fantastical proficiency.

All-girl band Silver Lining brought in some loud cheers when they got on stage to play ‘Complicated’ by Avril Lavigne and own composition ‘Fame’, which probably reflected their own story in the school. The trio’s scintillating rendition of ‘Oh! Darling’ by the Beatles had many in the crowd singing along.

The highlight of the show was solo singer Alapna. The classical Hindustani vocalist took everyone by surprise with a voice that borders on pure angelic. Supported by guitar faculty Sylvester on the acoustic guitar, Alapna started with ‘Yaariyan’ in Hindi and went on to shock the crowd with her mind-blowing medley of ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele which meandered to a carnatic piece. Probably the crown jewel in the range of gems adorning Taaqademy’s crown, Alapna had the audience holding their breath till her last note to which she received a much-deserved standing ovation.

Her teacher Archana followed with popular versions of ‘Damadam Mast Kalandar’ and ‘Chayn Se Humko Kabhi’ to which the audience happily chorused along. Her student Abhishek Ghosh was next with a fusion classical song titiled ‘More Saiyan’ by Pakistani band Fuzon.

It was time for some entertainment after that with city-based band ‘That’s Taken’. The ‘veterans’ played some crowd favourites including ‘Suzie Q’ by the Creedence Clearwater Revival, their lumbering version of ‘Gravity’ by John Mayer and a fun-filled energetic ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ by the Rolling Stones. The show also featured stellar performances by the school faculty. It was a momentous occasion to see some of the finest music teachers from the city get onto the same platform and belt out a repertoire of originals, sing-along legendary covers and instrumentals during the show. The stage cleared to impromptu-named student band ‘Charlie’s Angels’. The ensemble rendered a soul-stirring version of the beautiful ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’’ by Bonnie Raitt.

The Zookeepers were next with their composition aptly named ‘The Zoo’. The rockers also performed the legendary Hoobastank song ‘The Reason’ and their loudest version of ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ by Pink Floyd.

Another memorable part of the evening was a solo student performance by tiny Mia on the vocals as she delivered ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’’ by Bill Withers and crowd favourite ‘Grenade’ by Bruno Mars.

The Second Floor followed with ‘Cult of Personality’ by Living Colour, ‘I’d Like To’ by Corinne Bailey Rae and their composition ‘Nevermind the Bleach’.

Without further ado, house band and academy founders Thermal & A Quarter got on stage for the final performance with ‘Bend The World’ and ‘Hoedown’ by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In classic TAAQ style, the band raised the crowd to their feet to move to their grooves. With the packed audience screaming for more, the band finished to a rousing finale leaving lingering memories of an evening of music to remember.