Friday, 17 February, was witness to an eclectic blend of musicians, all converged on one stage to show their talents and win lots of hearts. Akashavani Habba, a week long festival by AIR was held to portray, showcase and promote talented musicians across all art forms and music streams. The AIR Rock Marathon was one such event that was held to bring out the talents in the city to perform in front of a 3-member judge panel.
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11 Bands registered for the event. Nine of them showed up and three won their respective prize money and a chance to play on FM Rainbow. Participants from all age groups across the society took part to share the stage with fellow musicians. Teenagers,grown ups, homemakers and working professionals took time off play music, if not for the prize, for the love of music.
All Bands / participants were given a time limit and certain set of rules to follow in order to be eligible for participation and also for the prize money.
The Rock Marathon, inaugarated by Chetan.S.Naik, Station Chief (programmes) began at 11:30am and concluded at 7:00pm.
The first band on stage was Apples and Oranges, a three-member band that played a beautiful blend of soulful music and jazz, with a touch of eastern and western influences. Mahesh, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist says that their music is more philosophical rather than anything else and that, their songs speak of the band’s thinking and understanding of life.
Next up was The News, a two-member band, which played their songs of contemporary pop rock style. The songs emoted a very good sense of jazz progressions on the acoustic guitar, played by ankit. The songs also portrayed a sense of pathos and joy paired by nicely timed chord changes. "Music, being the foremost passion, the songs has been composed around the beliefs of the band members but yet simple in thoughts," says Ankit, the frontman.
The 3rd band on stage was Chicken, a two-member band, headed by Kenneth Wilson of Ceasar’s Palace and Moon Arra fame. Though a seasoned musician himself and having won awards and accolades in various national and international level performances, he gave the acoustic guitar accompaniment to his fellow female vocalist only to be supportive and help her perform for the love of playing. They played cover songs of Michael Jackson and Kansas. " The cover songs are very popular and have an intricate instrumental section and it was a challenge to play them, though, in our own style," says Wilson.
Next up was Errors, a five-member band that played a nice fuse of metal and soft rock, blending the infamous death metal growl with soft vocals, surprising the audience and the judges alike. While the band was checking sound whilst growling, what came later was a nice change that was welcomed by all since the city’s music scene had seen enough of hard core metal acts, and the fusing of soft growl with melodic singing caught everyone by surprise. "Why give or play the same old metal grind core throating with hard-hitting when one can do so much more than just that," says the band. They also quoted the band Swarathma, for having taken their advice about creating new music and the inspiration they got to draw from that band.
The fifth Band was Hungry, a five-member funk rock band and winners of the Rainbow Jam, Rock Marathon Festival. A great treat for all those who were present, the band started of with their own composition ‘Kiss my appetite’ for the first half that kept the audience grooving. They came back with another own composition called ‘Keep your towel on’ and did a medley with Sheila Ki Jawani and Nada Nada by Avial. The frontman, Sonal, displayed fantastic stage presence and brilliant vocals that made everyone admiring the act. Having recently played for Channel[v] launch pad event in Goa, the band is preparing to travel to Gwalior for the headlining act in a college fest. "I would like to see the band in the national and international circuit in roughly 2-3 years," says Vinod, the bass guitarist of the band.
The next few acts on stage were by Lotus and Daggers, Night Signs and Paper Sun. While Lotus & Daggers played covers of Richard Marx and Dream Theater, Night Signs played beautiful soft rock and they also believe in the fact that ‘Simple is Beautiful’ and Paper Sun gave a taste of soft and psychedelic music. All the bands experimented with different styles in music and brought to the fore, the love they all have, for music.
The whole event was compered by Deepa and was presided over by the station director.
Hungry was the show stealer and won the 1st prize, followed by ‘The News’ and ‘Apples & Oranges’ winning the 2nd and 3rd prize respectively. All the winning bands will be getting an opportunity to perform live with the FM Rainbow station.
The Event concluded with the speech by Chetan.S.Naik, the station director and the encouraging factor of the event, who said that AIR has never been more privileged to help bring talented people on stage.