Keeping Rock Alive: Stonehenge
As the number of local acts grow in Bangalore, more and more platforms have emerged to showcase talent. A total of 9 bands played at the Doff Pub, Bangalore on the 15th October as a part of the Stonehenge Festival organised by Ancient Mosquito. Headlining were new favourites Space Behind the Yellow Room while opening band Big Monkey Jam were playing their first ever gig.
Starting extremely late, this venue, which was hosting a rock show for the first time, wasn’t badly designed in terms of sound and most bands were audible and clear. Openers Big Monkey Jam weren’t half bad for their first show. With some classic rock grooves and innovative compositions, they belted on with the bassist playing some really interesting styles and the singer Sunhith, who is a professor, speaking almost exclusively in Hindi to satiate the hordes of Hindi-speaking students that he managed to pull along as crowd. They were followed by 1 Fret Away, who were quite disorientating while on stage. Playing some jarring palm-muted riffs and simultaneously singing ‘This is not a metal show’, their sound wasn’t set very well either and Nerita, the bassist, looked extremely unconfident while playing. The same song was quite catchy though and saw numerous people making their own versions of it through the day.
Welwet Rose were next on stage, and were a little drowned out due to the presence of five guitars on stage. An unwise venture especially in context of the size of the stage. They did, however, manage to get the audience riled up for a few hit covers and set the tone for the boisterous and happy drunk crowd that were soon singing along. White Mug took the stage next. Their unconventional styles were interesting, and with the mammoth of a frontman looking just like Yogi Bear wailing along to his acoustic and some slick basslines and solos to complement them they were really good. Broken Membrane, Grey Matter and ¾ Gravity were the next three bands to go on that saw the show move towards evening. Blends of metal and hard rock that moved into some louder stuff and then back to covers, this time Metallica, where ¾ Gravity had most of the audience grooving to Nothing Else Matters, and Grey Matter sang along to Anime.
Going alongside all the music were a couple of art stalls. The art collective Realm had some really psychedelic art on display, while on another table, Kraayonz Tattoo Studio had some very interesting designs up.
Co-headliners Defyd went on raring and full of energy. However, their sounds outside were very scratchy, and the guitar tones too harsh on the ear to fully appreciate their dynamic. With a short set and singing that just didn’t hit the spot, the drumming too, wasn’t tight. Headliners Space Behind the Yellow Room came on just before 9pm. After a long day of music, these post-rockers, who are riding the shortcut to fame via some killer compositions, timely promotions and hard luck, blew everyone’s minds. Unorthodox, yet natural, harsh yet subtle, their dynamic was very appreciated among the crowd and they made sure people went home humming their grooves.
Stonehenge was ultimately organised well despite the delay and was at a decent location with decent sound. However, upon my discovery that no bandS got paid, even the headliners, it was curious where the entrance money was actually going.