On Saturday, February 11, as part of the 2012 Kala Ghoda Festival, there were two AWESOME MUSIC CONCERTS at the steps of the Asiatic Library.
Niladri Kumar and Friends
Superb display of rock music by Niladri Kumar and his incredible musician friends. One could call it Fusion music because the centerpiece was a sitar and there was also a table; but this was an exhibition of Pure Rock. It was a soul stirring jam session by extremely talented musicians. Each of them performed a remarkable solo.
Niladri Kumar (Sitar/Zitar): His modified RED ZITAR (combination of sitar and guitar) half the time sounded like an electric guitar. Unlike a regular sitar which has 20 strings, Niladri’s “Zitar” has only 5. The “Zitar” also has an electronic pickup which makes it sound like a guitar. The speed and control with which Niladri Kumar played his Zitar was awe-inspiring.
Gino Banks (Drums): Gino’s solo nearly stole the show. He played the crowds well getting them to clap to the different sounds from his drums. His acrobatics with his drum sticks caused a frenzy among the crowd.
Sheldon D’Silva (Bass Guitar): Sheldon made sounds on his guitar which did not see possible. He used his guitar both as a string instrument and a percussion instrument. TERRIFIC.
Vijay Ghate (Tabla): Good competent table solo by Vijay Ghate.
Deepak Pandit (Violin): Deepak played a beautiful piece from his just released album.
The Raghu Dixit Project
Raghu Dixit and his band played a terrific set of Hindi and Kannada rock songs. Raghu Dixit and his band were professional, well prepared and they put on a great show. All 5 band members wore their trademark “Lungis”. Raghupathy Dixit was supremely confident and got the crowds to do exactly what he wanted. Incredibly he got the crowd to sing a Kannada song and the crowd joined in with great gusto. In addition to Rahu Dixit, who dominated the show, the other standouts were the flute player and Vijay Joseph on the electric guitar. A special note for the superb light show during the songs; it added to the overall effect.
NOTE OF CAUTION
The Asiatic Library Steps were overflowing with people for the concert. Once the show started, it was near impossible to get onto the steps. This led to some people doing crazy things like climbing the walls and railings to get onto the Asiatic Steps. Concrete that holds the railing in place is coming off. The railing on the right of the Asiatic Steps (towards VT) sways when people lean against it. There is a strong possibility that it may collapse if too many people lean against it. The mob can get dangerous.
Here are some suggestions for those who are planning to visit the music concerts on Sunday, Feb 12, 2012.
- Reach early (at least 1 hour before start) if you want a seat on the steps.
- Once on the steps forget about a toilet break, because you will not be able to get back to your seat.
- Vishal-Shekhar’s concert will attract large crowds. Be prepared.
- Stay away from the step’s railing; both on the steps and under them.
- If you are late, watch the concert from the side. There are large screens where action on the stage is shown. The sides are less crowded.
- Ladies planning on coming alone may want to reconsider and come with a group of friends.