Sunday, August 28, 2005

Freedom a little late, but music reigns

Freedom a little late, but music reigns
Deccan Herald

Music lovers were treated to a belter of a show at the tenth edition of Freedom Jam in the City on Saturday.

The tenth edition of the Freedom Jam may have been slightly delayed, but it was surely worth the wait. On three stages — Arena, Woodstock and New Age — around 50 groups treated Bangalore to a feast with a regular topping: rock, with a smattering of blues and a spot of jazz, to an audience spread over the ground and trees at Palace Grounds on Saturday.

Those in the City who waited nearly two weeks before this year’s “Freedom” Jam actually happened, appeared contented that freedom did come, however late. There were no bonfires in the woods, like there had been at Nelamangala four years ago, before the men in khakhi made their presence felt and disconcerted the audience. It wasn’t held in Speedzone, and thankfully it wasn’t held in the cramped confines of The Club like the last two years.

The show, which didn’t take off on Independence Day eve due to a security alert, had the faithful regulars sauntering in before the scheduled start at 3 pm, and Liquid Groove strummed off the proceedings with compositions like Sail On and Dreams.

Parousia, a Chennai band, stood out with a distinct sound and some inspired rendering of their compositions Rising From The Ashes and What’s Goin’ On. The jazz was courtesy 3 Rags, a virtuoso jazz trio from Pondicherry, which elicited its share of appreciation from the audience. But the accent was unmistakably rock. Quasar, Synapse, Infinite Dreams enthralled the crowd with trademark verve, with the first unleashing covers of several Jimi Hendrix numbers, with Voodoo Child and Red House, among others. Ministry of Blues also put up a performance much appreciated.

“Woodstock” was visibly chilled-out at first, with the crowd smoking and reclining on chairs, applauding quietly. Later, the music that emanated was hardly characteristic of what was played at the famous music event that took place in the US in 1969. It might not have been “the closest Bangalore has come to Woodstock”, as one observer was famously heard to remark, but the crowd was clearly delighted that at least they were treated to some swell music.

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