The end of the year, a chance where we can all reflect on the past 12 months, and when it comes to the world of rock music lovers, we also need to remember all the gigs that came out. Some good, some bad and few great, but the Friday Night Live of 22nd December 2017 seemed to make sense for the first time in Imphal city when Chumthang Entertainment gave birth to a new live music venture entitled ‘Live@MDU’ at the adorned MDU Hall, Yaiskul with a line-up featuring four amazing new acts from the city.
Chumthang Entertainment is solely run by Bode Paonam, guitarist of Recycle, a music and event enthusiast who has been supporting the local music scene in Imphal for an unfolded period of time. Encoreis another series live music gig structured by Chumthang Entertainment. Live@MDU on 22nd December was his latest live music events assemble supported by Zound’s Music and Indo Wagen.
The show kick started at 6-ish after dark in the cold, foggy evening with just a few hardcore event-goers of the city occupying the front row next to the barricades. Megahertz, a female fronted five-pieced alternative rock group opened the beautiful evening with an amazing cover of Guns N’ Roses’ Knocking On Heavens Door. The band has been performing live in and around the city for almost a year now with Elle on vocals but for this event, they were re-defining a whole new looks of band withEchan as the new female vocalist accompanying them.It was Echan’s debut show with the band. She surprisingly endedwinning multiple hearts. They wrapped up their set with the A7X’s most powerful ballad track ‘So Far Away’. By the time the band played the A7X’s cover, the venue started to get packed.
We all know that the Indie music scene has been growing rapidly in the recent past and amazing indie music acts are popping up almost everywhere every day, among them isImphal’s own Lai Lik Lei, the second act to take the stage that evening. Lai Lik Lei who describe themselves as Post-Rock/Indie Folk act made a remarkable appearance by launching Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as their opening track on stage relishing by the crowd. A guest appearance of playing Pung (Manipuri traditional instrument) was featured on their track ‘Pari’ that resulted into totally notable fusion element in their sound. The band performed a couple of their folky tracks along with their famous single ‘Eshei’ which was released in 2016 and a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway to hell’ marking as a tribute to Malcom Young.
Eyoom band took the stage after Lai Lik Lei and the crowd had already received them with endless love. The band released their debut EP earlier this year and they have been only taking uphill since then. They belted out songs from their recent and previous releases with skipping their best materials making their set super solid. They are one of the bands who we can honestly appreciate for their artistic lyrical style. They completed their set by playing an alternative cover version of the well-known Manipuri song ‘Khangna Khangna’.
It was almost 9 pm and the venue was super packed and yet people were still coming in for the final treat of the evening. Lo! Peninsula got on to the stage as the headliner act of the evening to feed the starving ears with perfect doses of shoegaze and dream popmusic.
Lo! Peninsula made their debut live performance in April 2017 at Encore0.2, and ever since the shoegaze-trio has been making its own tiny steps one at a time. However, the release of their debut single ‘Chasing Tidal Waves’ in July was their major breakthrough that made the band travel places in no time even reaching the glorious Ziro Music Festival of Arunachal Pradesh in September 2017.
They played a set for almost an hour at Live@MDU with a whole bunch of new materials such as Nuffin, Drift which are injected with super-reverbed blurry sounds in a slightly faster tempo to their previous releases proclaiming that they’re still experimenting with their sounds. Vocalist of the band, Nitin, stated, ‘We don’t really know what it (sound) is that we are approaching, we’re still experimenting with it and the actual feedback that we receive from online social media after our single got released is a whole lot of different when we get on the stage and play live. We are not sure what our next step will be but we sure do look forward where the tides take us.”
The first run of Live@MDU by Chumthang Events wrapped up with a spotless approach in all its aspects – the venue, the ambience and the crowd. The gig also showcased a new dynamics in flagging up such indoor gigs that can help and support the local music scene which is gradually growing out to the next level, and we also consider it as super good sign.
(The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)