Decoding the Underground

We often find ourselves at loggerheads in terms of what we’re doing with our lives. Objectives, meaning and purpose seem to be at the center of self-conversation. The same goes for movements. Time and again, it has been observed that a movement without purpose never manages to really leave an impact on the masses. So imagine my plea when almost every second person that I meet ends up asking me the question ‘Yaar ye underground scene kya hai jo tum logo ne shuru kiya?’

They are, of course asking about the recently concluded first edition of the DIY Delhi Underground Legion gig that happened at Carnival Underground this weekend.

Advertised as a DIY gig where entry was purely based on a guest-list/advance booking and limited primarily due to venue constraints, the organization and implementation was nothing short of efficient.

When the gates opened at 6 and started only 10 minutes later than the original start time. Srishti Das introduced the first band as the newest of the lot on stage. The band Carnage was up first which was a metal act from Noida. The first thing I noticed about the band was that they were ridiculously tight. The guitars sounded perfect. The band definitely didn’t lack in energy either. I was surprised I had never heard of this band before. Vocals were mostly clean and the music, melodic. The band still has a long way to go, in terms of experience and making a name for themselves in the scene. The band introduced themselves as ‘nascent’ having played only a handful of gigs before.

Talking about carving a niche in the music scene, Trigger’s set was nothing short of explosive with never-ending breakdowns, mind-blowing grooves and ear-numbing vocals. The atmosphere was very conducive and supportive to the bands and a band like Trigger used it to their full advantage by keeping it fun in-between songs, interacting with the crowd and making it quite an intense experience when the songs would kick in. At the end of the set, you couldn’t help but wish the set could be longer because, us metal fans love to head bang, don’t we?

Menticide was another band everybody was interested to watch primarily because the bassist’s, Abhijeet Sanyals setup has been raising eyebrows everywhere, consisting of a home-made pedal-board and some really interesting pedals. Goes to say, the bass-tone was almost perfect. Not to completely forget the rest of the band, the music was quite heavy and the grooves seemed to be crunchy. Menticide’s been around for a while months and they seemed to be tighter than the last time I saw them. But a little more tightness still seems to be in order.

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1013865_606106299464928_1840504655_nWhile Menticide was heavy, Toxoid seemed to be even more heavier to the point where I started wondering how much more brutal can music get before someone says goodbye to their ears. Toxoid had a stage presence that seemed to stand out with the ominous looks on the band’s faces, which seemed to complement their brand of black metal music very well. It was dark, almost dissonant at places and sounded very evil. The guitar tones could definitely do better and use a lot of improvement. But what they lacked in guitar sound, they more than made up with their stage presence and the live experience.

Another point to note is other than Trigger, these are entirely new bands that are probably having their first experiences playing gigs and seemed to be doing a splendid job. Managing to find an audience of about 70 odd people that are actually there for the music and enjoy it is more than what genuine metalhead could ask for.

All in all, the gig was an initiative by Delhi Underground Legion to prove the existence of a brotherhood in the Delhi music scene. They say that they wanted to hit the minds of people leaving them desiring to be a part of the community. After the gig Facebook and Instagram were flooded with various posts on the gig. Another point made at the gig was that people always turn up if the promotion is done well. With minimal promotion and an expectation of around 50 people, almost 70 were present at the venue headbanging and moshing only with complete passion. A backdrop was set up with the logo of Delhi Underground Legion designed by Reemo Banerjee and lights were set up to make the venue look more like a real gig venue.

At the end of the gig people were only talking about how realistic the gig was with Carnival Underground looking more like a real gig venue and providing better sound than many Battle of the Bands and many venues. It is true that not being a part of this gig was an experience of a lifetime missed. Everyone present could literally feel the brotherhood and people went arm in arm to headbang with people they never met before. People who missed it, will only see the photos but never realise what they missed. However, we still longingly wait for DUL Leg 2.

From here onwards, it can only get better and bigger for the DIY scene in Delhi. Because, that’s what true music is all about, being at the center of the whirlwind.

– Supernova and Wild Child

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