After revving up last Friday night in some Hindustani Classical Music, the line up on Saturday was even more interesting. I had been observing my twitter timeline being tagged with “#NH7” for whole of last week. It was only after I saw the advert on TV I could correlate, and it was impossible to believe that such an event is to be held in Pune!!!! That to in Koregaon Park, i mean give me a break ….! Plans were on for saturday afternoon, the girls and I were to attend the Pune Wine Tasting Festival, which was held in Koregaon Park again, yeah baby, KP was hot and happening for 11/12th December.
The line up for Wine tasting was great and who would not like to spend wintry Saturday in green lawns sipping on some of the best wines available. I usually like White wine and stuck to Sauvignon Blanc, Jacob’s Creek being one of my favorite. Though I was surprisingly addicted to Chenin from Vinsura and healthy variety Biowine which contains Ayurvedic hebs and tastes awesome, although some may think of it as typical medicine, but one has to acquire taste for wine. Poonam (_alps) as she is better known, Prutha and myself had decided to meet up for this event. It was a fine afternoon, when we reached the venue the atmosphere was in equally great spirits!!! I was meeting Poonam for first time and we had a lot of catching up to do :).
The grape stomping was the highlight of the evening, and organisers invited the guests to partake in this fun activity, although it was tempting I preferred to get the grape juice only in my stomach and not on my clothes. lots of chatting and sipping, _alps and I, finally called it a day as I was to go for the NH7 event later in the night. Now whoever said Pune is a laid back and boring city, was surely not at these places in December 2010!!
As the weekend approached, the buzz of NH7 was almost becoming a scream on twitter, one such was mine also which was heard by @dhempe and he managed to get me passes for both days…woooot, unexpected this was. So flushed from the wines I made it to NH7 venue, where 2 guest passes were promptly waiting for me. The highlights of this event for me were the performances by Indian Ocean and the Raghu Dixit Project. I enjoy music tremendously for them both. Indian Ocean I had watched them at Mood I in IIT Mumbai when Kandisa was just released and it was a rage. Seeing them again after almost 8 years was a resurrection. Before them was a fusion band lead by Susheela Raman, who played some kick ass numbers never heard before and although she sang in Tamil, it was superb fusion. Rise it higher and Mamavatu, I hope I got the names correct were mindblowing.
The most awaited band and aptly the close of event at the Dewarists stage were Indian Ocean, in between the change of bands after Susheela Raman finished on the Black Rock Stage we also got a slight glimpse of Raghu Dixit and what was on offer from them next day. Public demand asked for Hey Bhagwan and they did not disappoint, with a promise that closing on NH7 on Sunday will be a rocking one. Indian Ocean did not waste any time and had the crowds tapping their toes and then jumping around almost as soon as they started, Bandeh, their infamous song from Black Friday putting everyone in a trance. Going on to “Maa Reva” and some more songs from their soon to release album, the band ended on the all time favorite Kandisa, the song which plummeted them to glory.
On Sunday, I missed the band Swarathma, they are quite hot on the music scene now, and very highly recommended by a music buddy of mine. Rock bands like Midival Punditz and Asian Dub Foundation were to playing on the Eristoff Arena, but I chose to stick to Dewarist’s stage as the atmosphere was good and so was the crowd. Reached early before Raghu Dixit was to be on, to catch the closing of Magic Numbers, an alternate rock band from UK. They 2 pairs of brother sister duo and one of the sisters on the electric guitar was literally smoking it. We have often heard of Indian bands travelling abroad to phoren lands and getting appreciated there, this is what exactly happened to magic Numbers also. I was surprised to see an evolved audience and people who had hear them before. The band members announced that it was the best concerts ever at which they have played and great audience too, flattered yes but he was just being too modest.
The most awaited gig of the evening was Raghu Dixit project, having seen a a dekko of them the previous evening, it was but the most appropriate close to the mind blowing weekend that NH7 had become. RDP came with their kitty full, and didnt waste any time in gearing up the audience with their most popular tracks, “Hey Bhagwan”, “Ambar”, “Mysore se Aayi”, “Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo” . They did have the new song about Mumbai too, but seems like will take some time to grow on me. My favorite among this list were Amber, Hey Bhagwan till i saw their Electronic Violin player who went like crazy when they sang “Mysore Se Aayi”. It was a fast paced 60minutes and not one boring moment throughout. Vishal Dadlani too joined in the crowd and Raghu made sure he acknowledged him in the crowd and thanked him for giving their folksy band a chance to bring out from the pandals to world stages, you will be surprised to know that RDP is 2nd most downloaded artists on ITunes in World Music Arena.
Overall the NH7 was superbly managed, the sound was world class and the stages was nothing like i have ever seen before, matching all norms of international standards. Each and every artist mentioned the hospitality and the arrangements that were made for them as awesome. We know that when going to a concert you dont want to be bogged down by lack of infrastructure and technical glitches, to keep an audience happy you simply need great music as promised and you bet this event lived up to its reputation. With a promise of being back again soon, the Dewarists arena at NH7 brought its curtains down and Pune witnessed a history in making.