Bevar Sea Turns In Fantastic Headline Set At Inaugural Riff52 Gig

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

March 31st 2012, B52, Bangalore, India: It’s been a while since I last visited Bangalore, and it was exciting for me to return to the city in which I bore witness to what I still rate as the greatest show I’ve ever seen, the Iron Maiden gig at the Palace Grounds in March 2007. Since then until now, I’ve been away from India, but I kept hearing a lot of good things about the development of the metal scene in Bangalore. By that I’m not merely referring to the international gigs that come through town, but more importantly, the quality of the local bands.

Last night at B52, it was a chance for me to gauge what the city’s scene had to offer. Local promoters The Mighty Riff put together the line-up of Bangalore-based bands Bevar Sea, Dhwesha and Shepherd, along with Mumbai’s Albatross, and christened it “Riff52”. This was the first in a series of gigs that will lead up to the 2012 edition of The Mighty Riff’s main event, TMR. Judging from what I heard from these bands tonight, Riff52 turned out to be a very apt name, because the evening was filled to the brim with riffs galore. Continue reading “Bevar Sea Turns In Fantastic Headline Set At Inaugural Riff52 Gig”

Albatross Thrills Chennai Audience

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

March 30th 2012, Star Rock, Chennai, India: Mumbai-based horror-themed heavy metal band Albatross have just released their second EP “The Kissing Flies”, and last night in Chennai they kicked off their 5-gig EP launch tour across the country. They headlined “Score Night”, a weekly music event presented by The Score Magazine. It also happened to be their first ever gig in Chennai, and support came form locally based hard rock band 83 MPH. This was a special gig for me, in more ways than one. In addition to this being the first show in India I went to after a five-year gap, it was my first time seeing Albatross, and as a result, I had really high expectations from this gig. Based on what I saw, I would honestly say it fulfilled these expectations.

To start with, it wasn’t exactly the kind of setting I had imagined in my mind. Despite having been to all kinds of venues during my time in LA, ranging from absolute dumpsters to massive arenas, the Star Rock in Chennai turned out to be quite unlike any place I’d ever been to before. Located in the basement of the Spring Hotel, a three-star hotel no less, at first sight it looked a little too clean, a little too classy for a metal venue. Most of the people in the crowd were dressed in work clothes as opposed to metal band t-shirts. For a second, I actually thought I had ended up at the wrong venue. But it indeed was the correct venue, and it’s heartening to note that such places are willing to support the metal scene. Continue reading “Albatross Thrills Chennai Audience”

Thrash Veterans Onslaught Give Arena-Sized Show to Tiny Club Audience

By Avinash Mittur

March 21st 2012, The Avalon, Santa Clara CA: Some of you readers out there know that I often praise bay area thrash metal concerts. I am always happy to boast about packed houses for metal bands old and young, audiences made up of diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and ages, and a sense of camaraderie among strangers unlike any other location.

Well, this wasn’t one of those shows. Despite an insanely stacked lineup and a few hours of first class thrash metal, the bands on this bill played to only few dozen die hard fans, about a third of which was made up of myself and my friends. Despite this, every band at this show delivered stellar performances, and gave the fans that were smart enough to attend a show they’ll never forget. Continue reading “Thrash Veterans Onslaught Give Arena-Sized Show to Tiny Club Audience”

Deicide Spread Death In The Home Of Thrash

By Avinash Mittur

March 20th 2012, The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco CA: For the majority of people, the term “heavy metal” has a pretty one-sided connotation. Loudness, speed, rebelliousness, hatred, violence, devil worship, and vocals that would frighten the Cookie Monster are some of the things that come to mind for most people. There are a countless amount of heavy metal bands that defy this image in so many different ways, but perhaps Deicide is the one that best fulfills it – proudly, I might add. On this Tuesday night, Deicide brought their classic brand of death metal to San Francisco and turned in a tight, though flawed show.

I arrived in time to catch the second act on the bill, Abigail Williams. Unfortunately, due to reasons beyond my control, I was unable to get to the venue in time to see Lecherous Nocturne. I will give them the benefit of the doubt however, and assume they ably warmed up the crowd for the following bands. Continue reading “Deicide Spread Death In The Home Of Thrash”

Andrew W.K. Gives Hollywood A Party To End All Parties

By Avinash Mittur

March 8th 2012, The Avalon, Hollywood CA: Andrew W.K. can best be described as a deceptively complex mad man. Those who only know his anthem to good times, Party Hard, tend to ascertain that he just a one hit wonder who couldn’t maintain his success because of his lyrical and musical obsession with partying and loud, boisterous rock and roll.

His more hardcore fans only wish it was that simple. A quick search of the phrase “Andrew W.K. Steev Mike” is a great way to start digging yourself into the endless hole of conspiracy theories surrounding his identity, his management and even the U.S. government. There’s also his amazingly convoluted discography, which contains many random singles, albums released only in Asia, and even an experimental improvisatory piano record. His side jobs of motivational speaking and hosting a Cartoon Network game show seem to only confound matters further. Simply put, the more you get into Andrew W.K., the more likely you are to be utterly confused and flabbergasted at this inane enigma of an artist. Continue reading “Andrew W.K. Gives Hollywood A Party To End All Parties”

Vektor, Witchaven And Exmortus Unleash Thrash Attack On The Echo

By Avinash Mittur

Feb. 19th 2012, The Echo, Los Angeles CA: Back home in the San Francisco bay area, small shows by local thrash metal bands were a common occurrence. Every other weekend, my friends and I would be treated to a stacked bill with some of the bay area’s best up and comers, like Hatchet, Fog of War, Invection or Hell-Fire, usually for less than ten dollars. Last Sunday night, I was treated to my first concert in that familiar style since coming to Los Angeles. Needless to say, Vektor, Witchaven and Exmortus gave the Echo a show that rivaled the best the bay has to offer, and one that I won’t soon forget – all for the small price of eight dollars.  Continue reading “Vektor, Witchaven And Exmortus Unleash Thrash Attack On The Echo”