Friday, February 23, 2007


Rajni sir is God
Yen vali thani vali
wo podu thalai

Manidan Mannan
Ejaman Vanavarayan
Kodi Parukuthu

Of flying pigs and decent gigs - Roger Waters Concert Review

I wish I hadnt bought the ticket online. Them buggers were selling tickets at the scene of the concert and handing out free WorldSpace radios. Not quite fair trade.

Nevertheless as I moved along with the throng, in queue, to get into the enclosure, the old heart was agog with more than a spot of anticipation. The appreciation of rock bands is a serious business to be treated on par with that of football clubs or even art. Snubbed you will be, by the powers that be if you dont BELIEVE in the right kind of rock band. And I've had my unfair share of being treated with absolute contempt and the respect accorded, exactly like TTLB does, to an insignificant microbe.

I remember once in a party where I had been regaling the audience with my penchant for highbrowed wit and sparkling repartee, I happened to mention that Def Leppard were a cool band. Suddenly the music stopped playing, people in my group started shifting uneasily in their chairs. Some excused themselves to go to the washroom and conversation drifted to the topic of how lack of taste in good music was the bane of humankind and what could be just punishment for the offenders.

That rather lengthy digression aside, the point I am trying to make is that be very careful about the rock bands you choose to like, because some of them might turn back and hit you on the head. But there have always been some bands in the history of this glorious genre which can be termed "Safe Bands". Eveyone is supposed to like them. If you named one of them in a group, no one would bay for your blood. Led Zeppelin I've realized tops this list. Queen and Pink Floyd would make it unchallenged. And probably Metallica with an outside chance. Then there are bands which very few people have actually heard but have an amazing amount of respect for like Jimi Hendrix, and The Grateful Dead. Death Metal is strictly for college kids in their second and third year of graduation. Everyone secretly adores Mark Knopfler and his burnished fender tone but very few admit it. I refuse to speak of Modern Rock bands like Linkin Park or Evanescence because they lack a reasonable length of demand history to be forecasted properly on the time series of rock longevity.

So there we have it. Me at the Roger Waters concert all agog. The opening was fabulous especially the fireworks on the stage. It reminded me of Bret "the hit man" Hart's entry for a matchup on Monday Night Raw. Some of the favourites were played early on including Mother and Wish You were here (yes, that was a gooseflesh moment).

The diversity in the crowd was astonishing. There were MDs of Multinational companies, their wives, Foreign students, expat executives, college gangs, families of four (couple and two kids), anti social looking men of the age of about 29 with CNC machine cut french beards, people with pony tails, people who work with software companies, myself and believe it or not a Tamil Iyer Mami. All of them bonded by the Pink strands of Floyd. I had a lot of fun watching this group of college kids trying to head-bang during Wish You were here. Poor little buggers.

Then Roger introduced us to his new song called Leaving Beirut, which though terribly political and all that was quite fun. Nice touch to have the lyrics flashed onto the big screen so that the crowd could sing along. America and Bush bashing is again a very safe topic. Not many people are offended by this, so that went pretty well. The much touted pink pig arrived on the scene, provided a diverting moment with its political and social graffiti and flew off into the void.

After a break there was a complete rendition of The Dark side of the Moon with some improvised guitar solos (which in my opinion felt a bit jaded), and American Idol like crooning by one of the support singers. Pink Floyd's biggest attraction for me is the quality of their words which overshadows the quality of their music, which mind you is exceptional. And Waters after all these years still sounds freshly gruff and soothing. The overall sound was decent, but not specacular. I thought the Mark Knopfer concert was much better in terms of sound quallity. And the sound special effects in the form of Michael Jackson's Thriller laugh, psychedelic chants, helicopter sounds only served to distract. These could have been done without.

Finally before the end the audience got what it had been waiting for. A rendition of Another Brick in the Wall, thought most of it sounded lip synced and directly played from a CD. The end though was mind blowing, in the form of Comfortably Numb.

And thus it ended.

Ratings out of *****

1. Feel Good Factor - **** (the fact that one made to a Waters concert is good enough. Everything else is a bonus)

2. Waters' Performance - *** and a half.

3. Entourage - *** and a half

4. Sound Quality - ** and a half

5. Overall - ***** (who tf am i to be rating Roger Waters. Isnt he supposed to be God or something?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Roger Waters Concert - Seen

Ahoy squirts! it is indeed true that I have seen Roger Waters perform live.... I have now seen Mark Knopfler, Rolling Stones and Roger Waters all perform live. Aha-ha.

Suffice it to say it was a good gig....

Review to be posted soon...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Lara Goes - Confessions of an Irrational Tendulkar Fan

I too was, like Tendulkar, a bit of a child prodigy. Only my art was that of the armchair cricketer. I was an absolute master of sitting in front of the telly and drooling over the cricket, of imagining strokes that Tendulkar could have played if he had'nt gotten out, of defending him from his prejudiced critics, of making it clear to the supporters of Lara and Waugh(elder) that the best batsman debate started and ended with SRT.

Tendulkar captured my cricketing universe like no other player. He was the harbinger of gooseflesh, of the jaw-dropping moment, of extreme dejection (when he got out cheap), of unalloyed joy and vexing irritation, sometimes all of them at the same time.

And this is how it had always been, until such time that Brian Lara, in an inconsequetial one-day match in Baroda got out in the cruelest of manners at the non-strikers end. Initially there was joy, then the thought that Tendulkar's hundred could well win this match- a much needed riposte to the SRT bashers, relief, and then suddenly utter dejection as one of the commentators mentioned that this was probably the last time Lara batted on Indian soil.

And as I tried to fight the slightest indication of a lump in my throat, the realization dawned that Lara deserved better from me. The loss of course is entirely mine.

But deep within the muddy recesses of my cricketing soul where there still remain a few strands of unbiasedness, I still bat like Lara in front of the mirror. And that is my tribute to the genius. Hope he has a smashing world cup (Tendulkar too!)