Article 41

Rock On

Live Music

(Published in Times of India, Pune on 4th May, 2002)

S ince time immemorial, Music has been appreciated best when it is in a concert-like ambience. The artist is at his finest when he is in front of an appreciative audience and the audience can never expect to see a better performance other than at a live show. These magical moments have been captured on numerous live albums over the years and I have always made it a point to catch my favorite artistes live whenever the opportunity presents itself. Recently the news of the Roger Waters concert in Bangalore, India was creating waves months before the actual date. Unfortunately, I had a singing assignment in Bombay on that date but I was relieved to know that a last minute addition was made to his tour itinerary. Dubai was added for 15th April and with me having to be there a few days later, I pre-poned my visit and reached in time to see the man in action.

The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht club is an excellent venue for a concert of this nature. The Dubai FM stations were talking about the huge crowds at Bangalore and it was with much expectation that we headed for the venue. Unfortunately, the Club has just one entry and exit and the traffic had backed up for miles. We took ages before we entered the grounds and as announced in the papers, the show was scheduled to start exactly on time. We could hear the music in the background as my friends and I ran towards the huge stage with the giant video wall in the background. A truly breathtaking sight awaited us as we saw the entire Roger Waters band in action and immediately we were transported on a trip through some of the finest popular music that this century was to produce.

The next three hours were spent in "Pink Floyd" heaven and I am sure the papers in India have given you an idea of the repertoire. It was a good three hours later that we finally headed home and as I had come to the concert almost directly from the airport, I decided to hit the sack, It did take me a while however as the strains of 'Wish you were here' just would not let me be! We had also managed to save our ticket counterfoils as my friend had got Roger's autograph on them a day earlier at his hotel. It was truly a night I would not forget in a hurry.

Living in Bombay, where there is very little live Rock or Pop Music, Dubai can veritably be a paradise! Every small club boasts of a live act and Hotels have many live bands playing in their various outlets. Fortunately, my friends made it their business to show me around the nightspots and it was truly amazing to see the incredible international talent on display. There are numerous Phillipino, Sri Lankan, Australian and Canadian bands playing at trendy clubs and I was fortunate to hear this truly incredible guitar player who played exactly like Hendrix. He even sang and looked like him and what more, he was left-handed too!

My last night in Dubai saw us hitting three clubs in a row. The band at El Rancho changed instruments with every song while the Jules Bar at the Meridian had a fabulous female Phillipino singer who could take on the best in the world. The club was packed to the hilt on a Tuesday night and it was 2am before we left. For a city of under 2 million people, Dubai really swings! It was a very tired Nandu that returned back to Mumbai for a well-deserved rest. Truly performing will always remain the backbone of Musical activity and the magic of Live music is a joy that has few equals!

Rock on!

Nandu Bhende











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