Although the decision to judge and rate concerts is a very subjective matter and is unfair , it is still possible to pick out a few ones that outshone the others. So here’s a recap of the year that is behind us, with the Top 5 International Metal Concerts of 2012 (in no particular order):
Summerstorm Festival featuring Opeth, SuidAkra:
The progressive metal behemoths from Sweden tore up the stage at the Summerstorm Festival in Bangalore in February. A lot was expected of organizers Overture, and they did a clean job in delivering Opeth to the metal-hungry Indians. The audio was very well set-up, and on the whole the event was well-organized. A barricade that collapsed during Eccentric Pendulum’s set was fixed in minutes, and that goes to show the efficiency with which Overture handled the event.
Opeth sounded very good, and those looking for ‘Deliverance’ found it. Although their setlist was slightly on a softer and experimental side, they really managed to kick ass, not to mention SuidAkra, folk metal from Germany, who put up an excellent show as well. With a turnout of approximately six thousand, 2012’s edition of the Summerstorm Festival was a memorable one, considering that it was the sequel to 2010’s performance from Lamb of God.
Nokia Alive featuring Lamb Of God, Skyharbor:
After the drama that had unfolded around the government’s refusal to provide Palace Grounds (Bangalore’s well-known arena for metal ) for any further concerts, the organizers of Nokia Alive 2012 did a very good job in pulling everything together and hosting the event in Clark’s Exotica, a little off the city’s limits.
Although the show started an hour late and the turnout was hardly two-and-a-half-thousand, the bands on the bill really gave it their all. All the opening bands were amazing, especially Skyharbor. American legends Lamb Of God then lay the venue to ‘Ruin’ with an excellent set, closing with the trademark ‘Black Label’. Vocalist Randy Blythe’s frontmanship was truly something to be marveled at.
The stage was very well set-up, and the audio system supported the bands’ sounds well enough. Clearly, the event was successful and Bangalore will definitely see a successor to 2012’s Nokia Alive.
Bangalore Open Air featuring Kreator, SuidAkra:
Bangalore Open Air’s inaugural edition, when floating around on the internet, sounded very promising. And it delivered much more than that! Supported by Wacken Open Air of Germany, a ‘mecca’ for metalheads worldwide, Bangalore Open Air flew the masters of teutonic thrash, Kreator, down to Indian soil to inflict ‘Endless Pain’ on the ears of Indian headbangers.
The local bands (Albatross, 1833 A.D, Bevar Sea, Dying Embrace, Eccentric Pendulum and Kryptos) and SuidAkra from Germany were immaculate. Kreator were up next, and brought their usual dose of ‘Extreme Aggression’ along. Opening with ‘Violent Revolution’ and closing with ‘Tormentor’, the German band ensured that Bangalore Open Air 2012 would never be forgotten.
The stage was well set-up and the audio, of a high quality. The venue could accommodate many, but only around two thousand people attended. The organizers did an excellent job on this concert and set the bar very high for forthcoming metal concerts in India.
Rock N’ India featuring Slayer:
There is nothing left to say about thrash legends Slayer that hasn’t been said before. The iconic band had the six thousand-or-so metalheads present banging their heads and moshing to an all-out onslaught of brutal American thrash metal.
Kerry King’s beard looked better than ever, and Dave Lombardo killed it on the drums.
The bands Inner Sanctum and Brahma took to stage before Slayer, and we can only look up in awe to them for having opened for Slayer. In terms of organizing, Rock N’ India was spot on – no delays, crystal clear sound, an awesome stage setup and a large venue, brought to Bangalore the planning skills of an international standard. This was easily one of the best concerts to be held in India, so, kudos to the organizers!
This was followed up by the very famous Santana, who took stage the following weekend, concluding a very successful chapter in Rock N’ India history.
Bacardi NH7 Weekender featuring Megadeth, Testament, Periphery, Karnivool:
The NH7 Weekender was a monster of an event, spreading over three cities and many days. The venues were in Pune, Delhi and Bangalore, and the festival promised too much to seem credible. However, its organizers did a good job in putting up the entire event across the cities, and giving the fans something to remember. Their efforts are very commendable.
Megadeth lay Delhi to waste with an excellent live set that saw the thrash masters’ 1992 masterpiece album ‘Countdown To Extinction’ played in its entirety. Four thousand people turned up, a testimony to Dave Mustaine’s status in the metal world. Although the stage was slightly small for an eleven-time Grammy nominated band, Megadeth more than made up for it with their performance.
Testament played in Bangalore on the same day that Gojira hit the stage in the same city, and as a result, the turnout for both was around one-and-a-half-thousand. Testament put up an excellent show, although their touring drummer was having slight difficulties keeping up. Periphery took to stage the next day, and the response was slightly better.
Most artists including Karnivool (who played in Pune)did a thorough and satisfying job in pleasing Indian masses. The audio and sound setup over the whole event was good and consistent, ensuring the NH7 Weekender a very high spot among metal concerts that occurred in India in 2012.
December’s 31st concludes a very bright chapter in India’s metal history as us locals gear up for another exciting one in 2013 (Iron Maiden, anyone?).