Rain on me!
In the last 6 years with the Raghu Dixit project, I think we have played about 500 concerts, and these have taken us to various parts of the world, in extreme settings and some crazy venues. But last night will be one gig that all of us remember for a LONG time.
We were scheduled to headline ‘The Great Indian Octoberfest‘ on the World Stage, and it was going to be our big gig in our hometown after months of being away. Everyone had great expectations for the gig and I think for the first time after a while, I’ve seen the band look a little nervous. Soundcheck was great, Vinod really stepped it up and sorted out a LOT of stuff for us and we were all set to go.
Halfway through our soundcheck, a light drizzle started and progressively got worse! The rain did stop 2 hours later and we got the World Stage going, with 3 bands doing short sets to catch up on time, but by around 5pm the downpour began again. And this time it seemed to be back with a vengeance.
Since the stage was not covered, and I can see why, it is not usually raining at this time of the year in Bangalore and they did go through with 2 days of the fest with brilliant weather, the sound guys had to cover the speakers and we had to stop that stage.
Meanwhile, on the mainstage, Children of Bodom was facing a similar situation. And everyone wanted the show to happen.
2 hours of waiting and telling everyone that we were trying to get the show going was not helping the situation, and for 2 more hours, we waited hoping the rain would reduce. And after close to 3 hours of waiting, it did relent, the downpour reduced steadily and was a very light drizzle and I was in a conversation with the organisers and it was a quick split second decision to just go ahead and start our show.
The band got together, told no one, changed into our costumes, picked our instruments, completely ignored what we did at soundcheck, went directly into the board, no amps, no nothing, 2 minutes to set up and off we went!
Within the first minute of us starting, I could see the entire World Stage area fill up with people, and they just wanted things to start, after having been starved of music and bugged with the constant rain. The sight of the place filling up just lifted our spirits and the energy of the whole stage went sky high.
By the time we got to our second song, the rain had increased again and Raghu’s guitar pickups were starting to make noises that they certainly shouldn’t be making. The rain water was getting into the guitar and by the end of the second song, the guitar went completely silent! But by then, the crowd was in such a frenzy that we just couldn’t stop.
It was time to do the last song and Raghu couldn’t start it off like we always do, so he put his guitar away, pulled out the tambourine from the drum kit, and we started ‘Mysore se Aayi’. It was at this time that I remember looking up and seeing all the rain drops falling on my face in the lights, thinking, I could get electrocuted any second now, but this is so AWESOME!
Everyone in that area had their hands in the air, jumping without a care in the world and I think that is a picture that will stay in our minds for a LONG time to come. When we ended that song, the noise at the stage was deafening, and when we took our last bow and put our hands in the air, we did feel like superstars
To everyone that stayed and came and watched us, I can’t tell you how happy we are and how humbled we were to see you guys there in the rain. Thank you for coming and thank you for staying! I know it doesn’t feel like a big thing reading this, but at that moment, it was like, together, we had achieved the impossible.
Thanks to Aman Rupesh Xaxa and Anthony for these fantastic pictures of that night!