Parikrama Fires Up a Freezing Hell!

IMG_5414The pronites at IIM Lucknow’s Manfest 2010 saw a lot of delays and cancellations because of the foggy weather. However, the one thing that did beat the weather right on the first day was the rocking concert by India’s most well known rock band — Parikrama. This was the 5th Parikrama concert I was attending and so I really did not expect much since I expected a similar line-up of songs as I had heard before. However, to my delightful surprise Parikrama has come up with a lot of original songs and their performance has become much better.

The concert began with one of their new compositions, In the middle, which has a very AC/DC like sound. Vaporize has a much more original sound with a lot of violin built into it. Rhythm and Blues was a refreshingly new sound by Parikrama. Their website tells me that the original song was recorded with Usha Uthup. I would like to see them performing live together sometime. Then came the first cover of the evening. It was Iron Maiden’s Trooper which was done quite well. At this point a special mention must be given to the new drummer Srijan Mahajan, without whom Parikrama could not have performed such songs. When vocalist Nitin Malik picked up the acoustic guitar, I was quite sure they are going to play their favourite song “Yellow”. However, the surprise continued as they played another original — Am I Dreaming, a song dedicated to Lord of the Rings. No rock concert is complete without a bit of profanity. It struck when Nitin explained the true meaning of the words “Load up”. This was followed by another LOTR inspired song — Tears of the Wizard. Unlike most of their other songs, this song has much more heavy metal touch to it.

The age of classic rock was then brought back as Parikrama played a medley of Pink Floyd songs followed by the Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Although couple of other amateur bands played “Another Brick in the Wall” that evening, Parikrama showed why it has been India’s most popular rock band as it gave a spectacular rendition of the song. The crowd went bonkers when guitarist Sonam Sherpa broke into the tune of “Saare Jahaan Se Accha” in the middle of the song.

Parikrama’s signature songs “But it Rained” and “Open Skies” were also well received by the crowd. If there is one member of the band who was most loved by the crowd, it has to be the violinist Imran Khan, who makes “Open Skies” the song that it is. Another original “Whiskey Blues” saw an amazing jam between violinist Imran Khan and Subir Malik on the keyboards. Listening back to the original, I think we all missed Shambhu Nath on the tabla. After another one of their originals, Screaming Town, Nitin announced that the last song would be a metal version of the Clapton classic — “Wonderful Tonight”. As much as I would have liked to hear it, they did not disappoint us by playing their own rendition of the rock anthem “Smoke on the Water”. And before Nitin could even say anything more, the crowd was already cheering for AC/DC. So the evening ended on a very high note (quite literally) with the AC/DC song — Highway to Hell.

The band members that did not find a mention above did not really go unnoticed. Bassist Chintan Kalra with all his tattoos is the true rock-star of the band. Saurabh Chaudhary on the guitar was probably the quietest face of the group but nevertheless did his job quiet well. One of the reason’s Parikrama has remained the most favourite band for rock show’s in India is because of the amazing chemistry the band members share with each other which is quite evident on the stage.

Parikrama brings a perfect combination of original compositions and covers to the stage. With a lot of non-rock instruments such as violin, mouth organ, tabla — the sound of their original compositions is extremely refreshing. Although they may not be my most favourite Indian rock band, Parikrama proved it yet again why they remain the most popular rock band for college fests!