| 16 Jun 2024
2012: Top 10 live concerts in India

MUMBAI: 2012 has been an exciting year for music fans with some of top international acts coming in to perform in the country. Our domestic stars too fared well in their tour circuits- that is the off shore centres from Dubai to the European, US and South Africa cities which have sizable diaspora populations.

Going by media coverage, audience interest and sheer caliber, top honours easily went to the foreign artists- solo/ bands. The reason is simple enough: production is on a much larger scale, professionalism in terms of performances, marketing and PR. From niche international and alternative acts like DJs who are now regulars at clubs in the big metros, 2012 international heavyweights like Guns N Roses, Metallica and Enrique Iglesias.

Notwithstanding, being overshadowed, local acts have been gaining strength to strength over the years with better stage presence, superior and more original compositions and multiple platforms to perform on and a willing audience, their base is restricted to.

Since most acts played at multiple venues namely Mumbai (which lost a number of top acts due to sundry reasons), Delhi, Bangalore and Pune- the ‘average review’ received or performance at a show is considered.

Also taking many factors like ticket sales, international reputation, crowd response and of course live performance’s list best live shows of 2012:

10. Opeth: Over 10,000 metal heads gathered at the Summer Storm Fest in Bangalore and sprained their necks head banging to the pulverizing metal mayhem caused by Swedish band Opeth.

9. Korn: Grammy winning Nu Metal band was greeted by a sea of Black T-Shirts as they tore through Delhi and Bangalore. Major tour stop Mumbai lost out to ‘heavy rains’ and ‘security’ reasons.

But for those who got to see the band on their ‘Path of Totality’ tour would vouch that the band was a class act. They played tracks from their new album-‘The Path of Totality’- including hit singles ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’. They easily won over the packed venue(s) by including hits from their previous four albums.

8. David Guetta: The sun, sand, Goa and DJ David Guetta. The Frenchman, who has sold 15 million singles, played to an ‘exclusive’ crowd of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) lovers at Baga Ground in Goa. Couldn’t ask for more.

7. Slayer: Following a superlative build up by local metal bands like Brahma and Inner Sanctum, Slayer the multitude of head bangers why they are on top of the metal pecking order. The band crash and burned and got their fanatical fans into a frenzy with ‘World painted Blood’, ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Angel of Death’ to a frenzied Bangalore mass.

6. Sean Paul: A junior star among heavy weight, Jamaican Grammy winner Sean Paul showcased his unique ‘Dance Hall’ style of music- rhythmic beats, thumping bass lines and sensual lyrics to Indian fans. The production left a little to be desired but Paul and his troupe- two DJs, back up dancers cum singers gave the audience their money’s worth and more with hits like ‘Temperature’, ‘Never Gonna be the Same’, ‘Give it Up to Me,’  ‘I'm Still in Love with You’ amongst others.

5. Megadeth: A hugely anticipated show from a universally acclaimed metal band whose influence has stretched from the late 80s throughout the 90s to present day. Their brand of metal crunch with catchy melody has attracted millions globally and thousands in India.

The band let out their hits- ‘A Tout le Monde’, ‘She Wolf’ and classics like ‘Peace Sells but Who’s Buying It’. The icing was the performance of the whole ‘Countdown to Extinction’ album.

4. Enrique Iglesias: The Latin poster boy has a huge fan base in India and his 2012 stop was his second (his first being in 2004) covering Pune, Bangalore and Delhi. The Latin superstar did not disappoint his fans and sang his hits ‘Rhytm Divine’ ‘I Like How it Feels’ to ‘Bailamos’. His Pune show however was marred by clashes between police and organizers Only Much louder (OML).

3. Carlos Santana: The Latin guitar legend was the major highlight of 2012 concert circuit. Possessing a strong fan base among the Classic Rock lovers and contemporary rock listeners thanks to his record breaking ‘Supernatural’ (1999) which sold 15 million copies and won 9 Grammys, expectations were high and Santana exceeded them all. On stage at the RockN India concert at Bangalore, armed with his PRS guitar, the 65 year old gave a superlative performance complete with his classics like ‘Black Magic woman’, rendition of ‘While my Guitar Gently Weeps’ to his new tracks from ‘Shape Shifter’ his 27 studio album.

2. 'Arties Festival' Chamber Music Concerts' NCPA: Some of us not understand it less like it but chamber music is as complicated as a trash metal riff or simple as a three-chord rock song. Having said that, connoisseurs of the music would rarely think of listening to anything else.

In contrast to its predecessors, the much awaited bi-annual festival in its 10th edition saw superlative performances of  Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Debussy’s works selected by  Gauthier Herrmann and NCPA chairman Khushroo Suntook the audience.

Soprano Karen Vourc’h  made her second consecutive visit to India since last March.

1.  Guns N Roses: ‘The Most Dangerous Band In The World’, the legendary LA hard rock n roll band Guns N’ Roses finally made it to India. Though most of the original line up were missing- Slash, Duff Mc Kagan, Izzy Stradlin, Steve Adler- the lone remaining Axl Rose made sure they were not missed by the Indian fans. He more or less succeeded.

Rose and his new posse put out an extraordinary show- three hours long with all the hits and deep cuts. Rose also proved that although he might not be as fleet-footed as before he could still strut on stage and hit the high notes. There were patches where Slash’s guitar was missed, the thousands of fans who came to watch the band perform at Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi were stunned into submission by the sheer force of the band’s performance.