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Reviews

RSJ Live Nites ft. Undying Inc, Zygnema, Phobia, and Colossal Figures - Sept. 15, Blue Frog, Delhi

gig Reviews Sep 17, 01:20pm

A memorable evening of madness and frenzy ensued at the third edition of RSJ Live Nites, held at the Blue Frog, Delhi on September 15. Colossal Figures, Phobia, and Mumbai's Zygnema, and, of course, the unmatched Undying Inc, all put up explosive shows that had the violent audiences begging for mercy by the end of it. Aditya Varma tells you more.   
 Photo Courtesy: Vijay Kate

September 15

RSJ Live Nites

Blue Frog, New Delhi

Colossal Figures, Phobia, Zygnema, Undying Inc

Homecoming! The much awaited night at the Blue Frog posts an important flagstaff in the history of metal music’s salvation in the capital. RSJ Live Nites is like a resuscitative device, constantly defibrillating the huge mass that is the metalhead community. It is nights like these that not only revive, but spawn the birth of new metalheads. Forgive my being honest with you, but I am one such diseased being. Having spent most of my adult life in Bangalore, I fancied myself a true metalhead, proud of being part of an extremely secure and intellectual crowd; things were just different back then. Coming back to Delhi, it was like I was the only one; and slowly enough the blood-thirsty, war-mongering pseudo-sociopath in me just died. Therefore, I was really looking forward to this night; having said that, I shall strive to maintain journalistic objectivity.

What is a metal gig without its share of sleepers, watchers, hecklers, bloopers, head-bangers and moshers? And, Live Nites had it all. Obviously, I was late for the gig, like always, and found myself at the end of a long queue of eager metal fans waiting to be let loose; which in turn resulted in me having missed the first set completely, that were Colossal Figures. Now this, according to a few in the crowd, was the biggest mistake I could’ve made, but well, nothing could be done. The place was packed; the pit in front of the stage was a battlefield and I couldn’t shirk the feeling of a certain amount of pride as I walked in and looked at the sheer volume of the mass present.

Phobia took position on stage and I could feel the anticipation in the air around the room; shit was about to get heavy. Anirban Chakraborty from RSJ walked up on stage and fueled the fire; “Live Nites is for the people, by the people,” is all I can remember him saying as the crowd resounded with barbaric affirmation. Phobia kicked off with a bang and they really owned the stage. Delhi’s progressive/experimental metal band certainly has a way of weaving notes together; melodies and progressions, intricately arranged on the brutally grim face of metal riffs. And, the breakdowns, oh (!) the breakdowns had the audience only a hair’s breadth away from discarding all instincts of civic sense and self-preservation, and tearing the whole place down.

You probably know about Zygnema; if you don’t then you guys are missing out on some serious ear crunching music; these guys breathe more metal than most of us put together. Vocalist Jimmy Bhore came up on stage with what looked like a bruised forehead and a look that clearly meant business. These guys, all the way from Mumbai, had everyone in a relentless death grip; I personally felt the vocals were the best of the night, the guitars were crunchy, and Jimmy was sending the crowd into a frenzy. ‘Machine State Hibernation’ and ‘Discrimnate’ were part of the set list, fueling circle pits as malevolent as they come.

Blooper moment #1: This was the moment of truth; Jimmy Bhore looked at the horde in front of the stage and growled: “I want you guys to make the biggest fucking wall I’ve ever seen!” And, for a brief but extremely awkward moment, the crowd had a confused look on its face that suspiciously expressed something like, ‘What the hell is he talking about?’ But, no sooner had this moment arrived that someone somewhere in there remembered what a wall was and how you make it. I looked upon the crowd like a father looking at his baby taking its first few steps, as they separated into, well, ‘the biggest fucking wall you’ve ever seen.’ It was an emotional moment. Surely enough, the Wall of Death collapsed sooner than it was supposed to, but at least now we know what it is.

Now came the moment everyone had come here for: Undying Inc took the stage with a war cry from the crowd and a few hundred horns staring up at them. Everyone braced themselves for what was about to happen; and then ‘Membraneous’ happened. The band kicked in full throttle and threw the crowd into some serious moshing and circle pits; the ensemble of instruments on stage was now a WMD. The vocals were guttural and viscerally harrowing; just the way I like them. The bass and guitar work was punchy and well thought-out. At some point the band faced a problem when the microphone for the vocalist had to be replaced; it ran out of juice, I guess. But would this break the flow of the show? Hell no. The mob screamed “Drum Solo” in unison; ask and ye shall receive. A drum solo which their ear drums could not cope up with is what they got. Drummer Nishant Hagjer is a prodigy, period.   

Blooper moment #2: If you haven’t experienced heckling, you should know that every now and then you will find a heckler in the wrong place, at the wrong time. To the gentleman in the crowd that felt it compelling to shout out “Yo Yo Honey Singh”, I bet you’re never going to do that again. The Good Samaritan with the obviously articulate sense of humor (sarcasm) was chewed up and spat out by vocalist Shashank Bhatnagar, reminding him that he was in the company of men now.

At the end of the day, this gig was a much needed boost to the out-of-breath metal circuit in Delhi. The bands rocked and thrashed harder than anyone could bear; it couldn’t have been better. Metal is finally marching back home, and I’m proud to be a foot soldier.

Relive the gig by viewing our photo gallery

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