Thank goodness October is coming to an end. What with the late evening monsoon rains and the blistering mornings, I for one, have had enough of this month. November is going to be more fun of course because it starts with the Weekender in Pune. It is finally upon us once again. YAAAAY. Let’s all high five because were so cool and hipster like that. (If you haven’t already checked this years line up, here it is.)
I have been thinking about the weekender and music festivals in general a lot this past week. I love being at a gig because it’s like the whole room is friends with each other. I went to my first concert pretty late in life. I was already in college and Parikrama was playing at MICA, Ahmedabad. The place was packed with a whole load of IIM, MICA and CEPT rock heads while the St. Xavier’s crowd (which included me), tried hard to look less preppy than they were. I’d tell you now, how Ahmedabad’s rock scene is pretty amazing and how we know all about alternative entertainment too, but you’d probably laugh or throw a Himesh joke at me, so let’s move on.
Of course I’ve been to more gigs since then and now I can finally say I’ve cracked the code. Gigs are not really gigs. They’re parties that are disguised as gigs. Live music can set your soul on fire because it’s happening right there in front of you and you can see it being made. I love it when people listen to music together; it makes you feel like you’re all part of something larger. It doesn’t even matter whether the person bouncing about next to you is a stranger or your best friend, when that chord is hit or the artist hits that note, you might as well be from the same womb.
Of course there are gigs that I haven’t enjoyed but the ones I have enjoyed more than make up for it. Some performances stay with me for days and days afterward. When Goldspot played at Blue Frog I smiled for a month.
The weekender last year was like that, only bigger and brighter. I have many memories, some happily obliterated due to excesses of liquid refreshment (Bring on the rum buckets! Aaar) but I especially remember bumping into people I knew from Bombay, trying to make my way to the electronic stage and getting sidetracked into staying at the Dewarist stage for a little longer. And I particularly remember running, racing, sprinting, actually, with a very close friend because we wanted to find someone and bring them to The Dewarist stage. We ran so hard and so far, fuelled by the energy we waste cooped up in day jobs that were the next step to something big, the energy of the cold evening air and the sounds of people having a great time everywhere around us. I hadn’t run that fast since I was a child and my heart was bursting. Music, like books and art, will do that to you sometimes.