Sunday, January 9, 2011

A concert of a different kind....

Avial . . . !!
Today was unique experience. I attended for the first time a live concert on the Internet. As it sounds its live video feed from the concert. The band was one of my favorites Avial. For those who know me, you probably are already scratching your heads thinking, oh no, not another Avial post, but for those alien to them let me get you up to speed. Avial is a malayalee dish, which is a mixture of different ingredients. And as name suggests their music is too. They are an Indian rock band, who sing in my native language of Malayalam. Their songs have varying elements of traditional folk to heavy rock riffs. Their music is truly unique, with heavy bass lines, very little guitar solos and song structures which don't follow the typical lyrics-chorus style. For anyone who loves music their first album is definitely worth a check out. Even though they sing in Malayalam, they've fans ranging all across the country and the world. Avial is Tony John on vocals, Rex Vijayan on guitar, Binny Issac on bass and Mithun Puthanveetil on Drums.

Now on to the concert. The concert was at a club in Mumbai and was in celebration for the launch of their website I was pretty excited for it even though i was seeing it online. Sadly the stream was single video feed and I guess you've to expect that as probably such sophisticated production costs could only be afforded by bollywood and cricket, at least in India. Anyways they began the concert with a song that I couldn't recognize, either it was a traditional malayalam folk song or song from another band I am not aware. It was pretty good, and the accoustic guitar really lend itself. Up next was a song called "Anna Kallan" from their forthcoming album. The song talks about fake swamis and priests. Tony did a real good job of singing it, and the guitar riff was really catchy. Anyone who wants a preview should check it out on YouTube. After that another new song called "Ayyo", and I had heard it previously. The version they cracked at Mumbai was mind blowing. Awesome bass riffs, coupled with a really awesome guitar work. I would say they've definitely getting the mix absolutely correct on this song. It bodes well for their new album.

By now, I couldn't help feeling that Tony was sort of getting on my nerves. Not his singing, but rather he really didn't try to mingle with the crowd. His interaction with the audience pretty lame I've to say. I really did wish somebody like him with an opportunity to really connect with a small audience absolutely squanders it. Anyways, more on that later. Little later, came the highlight of the night when guest singer Neha S Nair came out to sing the traditional song Nagumo. The singing and the fusion was amazing, it was just an incredible performance. If they do post a video of it online, you should definitely check it out.

It was at this time, the stream started acting and it went down for about 10-15 minutes, and I missed out lot of their numbers sadly. And it came up back up around the conclusion of the song Aadu Pambe. As the concert went by Tony's singing began to deteriorate, his performances on Karukara and Nada Nada were pretty bad. Its funny, I've seen lot of videos of Avial's live performance and he usually sings those songs pretty balanced, and has of late he has nailed Nada Nada. Its not like he is a bad singer, but just seems like he didn't care, which was sad and I'm pretty sure everyone will talk of bringing back the previous singer Anand which is pretty dumb.

In ending this, I would say the online experience was a sort of an Avial. It can't beat the experience of being there listening to it live, and singing along, but yet its an awesome model to bring in audiences. My respect for the band has increased even more(something I thought wasn't possible). They're truly an exceptional and unique band, which can really hit the heights as a live act with little more consistency from the lead singer. As with the rest of fans, I'm eagerly waiting the release of their next album.

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