Last Thursday saw the Carnatic-progressive Rock outfit Agam play at the Hard Rock Cafe in Bangalore. I've been a big fan of the band and their music from the very first listen. More importantly, so is my mother owing to her passion for Carnatic music. She was upfront and center when Agam played at another venue in the city and is a big fan of theirs. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it to this gig. I was looking forward to some 'mother-son-bonding-over-rock-music' time.
When I reached the venue, there was a long line of people waiting outside that went around the corner of the HRC building. The last time I saw such a crowd for a gig was when Indian Ocean played here about four years ago. After purchasing a rather over-priced beer ( Rs.500+ for a Corona), I managed to find a spot in the jam-packed gig area.
The band started almost on the dot as scheduled with Brahma's Dance and moved on to other crowd favourites. The band also gave us a preview into some of their new material and played two of the crowd favourite covers with Dil Se and Aaromale. The gig ended with their Coke Studio hit Malhar Jam. The energy in the crowd was great and this helped the band really improve their performances. Everyone in the band have become far more confident on stage as a unit and as individuals. The sound at the HRC has always been unpredictable, and was a bit of a let down this time considering I've heard Agam at other venues play a similar set list and sound way better. The sound of the drums was off and flat at times. HRC also needs to get some better lighting which has pretty much been the same ever since they've opened.
A good performance, but nowhere close to the last gig of theirs I had been to at Counter Culture. That was the best gig where the sound, light, the audience and everything else worked in the bands favour. Eagerly awaiting Agam's next album.