It is said that music soothes the savage beast. In the case of NH7 Weekender festival Pune, the music not only soothed but also awoke a few savage beasts (in a good way of course).

The NH7 festival, for music aficionados, is a place to discover new music and have a happy time. NH7 Weekender festival – Pune did not disappoint. The line-up wasn’t as strong as the one in New Delhi (considering Megadeth was the headlining act), but NH7 Pune delivered on most fronts. 

Six stages, a plethora of artists and an awesome audience made the NH7 Weekender festival a crazy one! Each stage was tailor-made, sound as well as artist wise, for a specific audience. People who were open to listening to all genres of music probably had the most fun in this festival. 
The Black Rock Arena featured mainstream Rock and Metal acts around the country. Bands such as Indus Creed, Brahma and many more performed on this stage. Karnivool was the headlining act for this stage. Overall speaking, The Black Rock Arena was a slight letdown. Apart from Karnivool, Indus Creed and Them Clones none of the other acts really stood up to the occasion. The sound was not all that great either. There were many instances where one would probably not hear what one guitar or bass was playing. Pangea, a brilliant band with a three guitar attack, sounded very fudgy. It was as if the entire sound spectrum was colliding with one another. Indus Creed and Karnivool on the other hand were brilliant (though sound wasn’t on their side either).

The other stage had some phenomenal acts that deserved more attention than they got. The Koniac Net, Imli Imchen, Bombay Bicycle Club were some of the really good bands that performed. The one band that stood out was Vir Das‘s Alien Chutney. The band was melodically catchy and lyrically hilarious. Vir Das‘s rants made the whole Alien Chutney experience even better.

The Dub station stage was a huge letdown. None of the artists really caught the audiences ear and that part of the venue was almost empty on most occasions. The fully fantastic stage was pretty mediocre. Modern Mafia (the winners of the Bindass Band hunt competition) played a pretty tight set. Split, who played on Sunday, were also quite awesome. The rest were just plain OK. I heard a lot of good things about Gandu Circus, but they unfortunately turned out to be quite a disappointment.

The Eristoff wolves den was dry on Saturday, but came alive on Sunday. Rob da Bank and BLOT!3D made the crowd go wild. Literally every person in the audience went into a world of his/her own! What made it even better was the alcohol counter near the den!

The Dewarists stage! The artists performing on this stage killed it. Trilok Gurtu was as mad as ever. Karsh Kale enthralled the audiences with his music. Thermal and a Quarter were their usual brilliant self. And Kailasa (Kailash kher’s band) sent shivers down the spine!

The artists you should catch if they playing live in your city:

1. Vir Das’ Alien Chutney – This band will make you groove as well as laugh your asses off! Vir Das‘ hilarious rants and lyrics mixed with the perfect blend of melodic beauty makes this band one of the really good live acts to watch.

2. Trilok Gurtu – The percussive genius of Trilok Gurtu is something no one should miss. Music lover or not. This man’s has the tendency to make you move and groove even if you have two left feet.

3. Rob Da Bank – If electronica is your thing, Rob is the perfect artist to listen to. His overall use of samples and his brilliant production is breath-taking.

4. Agam – This band has the unique ability to fuse Indian classical music with rock music. A lot of bands have tried no doubt, but it seems that Agam is one of the few bands that succeeded. Brilliant compositions with Carnatic/Hindustani twists makes them an amazing act to watch live.

5. Imli Imchen – This singer-songwriting genius made the audiences smile with his music. He even did an acoustic version of  Gangnam style (Now you cant beat that, can you?).

Two artists you should sell your soul to watch –

1. The Manganiyar Seduction by Roysten Abel – This was a Rajasthani folk ensemble that would probably give the London Philharmonic Orchestra a run for their money. Their music put a huge smile on the audiences faces. A smile similar to the one that your mother had when she held you in her hands for the first time. Vocal harmonies all over, Dholaks, flutes and what not playing complex rhythm patterns and yet they made it sound simplistically brilliant.

2. Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – An Afrobeat collective led by Seun Kuti (the son of the legendary Fela Kuti) left the audiences spellbound with their blend of music. A lot of African Samba, jazz and other genres of music amalgamating into one solid sound that made people go mad!
Overall the NH7 experience was quite satisfying. I am sure the audience is looking forward to more of the NH7 happiness. 

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