Music lovers had the treat of a lifetime with the Bacardi NH7 Weekender over the weekend. Apart from the thrills and spills of the open air ambience of the Embassy International Riding School, the music community of the city came together to raise toast to good music.
Day one of the Weekender festival saw an incredible line-up of talent on stage coupled with ecstatic energy from music lovers who thronged the open air venue in hundreds. Spread across five specially designed stages, the music extravaganza had something for everyone.
The Bacardi Arena saw Houdini Dax kick off the first day’s line-up. The trio band from Wales paved a stormy path for the other bands to follow with their refreshingly clean and classically-influenced sounds. Australian band Money For Rope came next with their dual drummer beats frenzy and shirtless performances that had the crowd going crazy with each song. Mumbai boys Scribe followed up with a sonic-heavy set of what they best describe as hardcore extreme music that took the crowd frenzy to a whole new level. Taking centrestage next was fellow Mumbai band Bhayanak Maut who with their solid metal sounds, took their performance to a raging climax .
One of the major highlights this year was the Red Bull Tour Bus which kicked off its first day on the stage atop the bus with Mumbai-based Madboy/Mink who led the way with their electro-disco soundscape and were followed by the extremely talented Mumbai-based progressive sounding band Pangea. The four-guitar powered drum heavy performance was one of the most thrilling for the rock-loving crowd. Continuing to mesmerise the crowd but this time with metal came Undying Inc. next from Delhi with their grounded and thrashy music. Closing curtains on the bus were post-punk Kolkata band the Supersonics who mellowed down the music with their clean and richly vibrant music.
The Micromax Mega Mix stage was the haunt for EDM lovers which kicked off with Sickflip and B.R.E.E.D and had a dual performance by DJ Sa vs. DJ Skip blending their artistically beat-heavy rhythms with dance frenzy. Headliners Peking Duk from Australia notched up the dance floor with their electro mix taking the revellers to an all new high.
The MTS Discover stage got its share of crowd attention with Bangalore’s own rock ‘n’ roll band The News starting with their gifted freestyle music. Sean Roldan and French band As Animals also enthralled the audience with their pleasantly comfortable music. The highlight on this stage was Ankur & The Ghalat Family who created ambient magic with their uniquely refreshing soundmark and had the crowd chorusing along joyfully.
The Dewarists stage had mesmerising performances by Adi & Sahail as well as Appleonia. Three-month-old band Peepal Tree, with their lingual twists and exciting tones were fantastic to watch and listen. Amit Trivedi brought the crowds pouring in front of the stage as he closed with his fabulous set of electronic, Bollywood and progressive music blended into one sonic feast.
Day two saw The Emerald Armada, city rockers Thermal And A Quarter and Soulmate ravage the Dewarists stage with their sound collections. The Wooden Shield, the eclectic duo of Mr. Woodnote & Lil Rhys and the beat-heavy Skrat poured out more magic from the MTS Discover stage. The EDM frenzy picked up on the second day with Klypp, Blent, Sandunes and headliner Jon Hopkins kicking up a dance frenzy.
The Tour Bus followed up with Spud In The Box and Bombay Basement with their thrilling songs that were summed up with The Dualist Inquiry Band’s perfectly blended music.
The Inspector Cluzo, The F16s and music stormtroopers Mutemath gave music lovers the perfect treat for the evening on the Bacardi Arena.
Sahej Bakshi of Dualist Inquiry sums up the festival: “Bangalore is the best place to play music in the country and what better than the NH7 Weekender to make it come together. This is pretty much as good as it goes.”
On its evolution, he says the festival has gone from an unknown concept to the pastime of our generation. “Bangalore has a very strong appreciation of niche music. Even if other places in the world find it difficult to digest. People in Bangalore have an appetite to try out anything. This is the best place to experiment, do what you want and push yourself as an artiste.”