Ides of March 2012
March 31, 2012
Venue: Fun Park, Kathmandu
By, Aashish Adhikari
Had been a month since the lineup was announced. ktmRocks’s annual gig called the “Ides of March” was held on March 31st this year. KtmRocks has stuck around 12 long years doing what it promised to do 12 years ago and that is “Support Local Scene”. Numerous bands and artists have used this platform to launch themselves in front of an audience that actually appreciates them. And some have done exceptionally well, maybe not financially but by sacking in thousands of fans who come to see them live and appreciate their music.
A music festival of this stature with all Nepali bands and one band from Bangladesh was handled superbly by the ktmrocks team as well as ISS the Sound and Stage Management Company. Nepal in the past fifteen months or so has seen an influx of some amazing international touring bands such as Vader at Silence fest, grind core gods Napalm Death earlier this month and Decapitated lined up to play later this year.
I grew up following and being a part of this scene and loving this music passionately and to see some 3000 Nepali youth packed up in the venue was one of the most uplifting and emotional moment for me. Some attendees looked like they were in grade seven or eight and I could see their sheer enthusiasm dripping off as they entered the venue.
And why wouldn’t they be it was a nice and breezy Saturday afternoon with some amazing bands lined up to play in front of them.
First to play and open the music festival were a young Death Metal act called 11 and boy was I impressed with these guys. A super tight set with some of their originals and some covers. These guys have recently bagged the third place at the eighth KCM Inter College Music Contest. And it was prominently audible why.
Next up was Devine Influence their whole set sounded like a cover of the American band Lamb of God some of the younger guys seemed to enjoy it but for me I wished they had a sound of their own and not sounded too much like a particular band.
Imperium was up next. They are a young black metal band and played tribute to some of the veterans in this genre like Mayhem and our very own Nepali Black Metal pioneers “Cruentus”. The crowd seemed to be exuberated and a huge Nepali style Mosh-pit took motion.
Some clean vocals, crunchy riffs off Anil Dhital’s guitar and what you have served on your plate is the band White. A no non-sense pure rock and roll band was a breath of fresh air. The sound engineer I assume got a hang of things right on time. White sounded amazing with their original set list consisting of songs like “Sex” and “Kamasutra”.
Next up was the band pretty much everyone was waiting for “Jindabaad” and boy did they put a show up for the crowd. I personally like this art-rock band very much and after having them on my playlist for the last one year or so this was my first time seeing them perform live and I was a happy camper. They played an all original show while the crowd sang along with them in tracks like “Rewind”, “A big F@#$% Mess” and “Inmotion” . They were also shooting for their upcoming video as they performed and this amazing crowd was going to be in it.
“Severe Dementia” from Bangladesh also the headliners for the event, carried on the baton that Jindabaad had passed on to them. A live and kicking crowd was kept that way with an immaculate set of some amazing technical death metal. They belted out some Nile covers and originals from their EP Epitaph of Plassey. This is a band to keep track of. These guys were as excited as anyone would be and were humble and genuine fellows from our neighboring country. I particularly recall one member mentioning how he wished they had an entity like “ktmRocks” in their country. This was a big crowd for them and the Nepali Metal-heads sure did not let them down.
Closing the festival was “Lakhey” an Ethinic Metal Band a brain child of Anil Dhital. Lakhey encompasses our own traditional Newari instruments into this collage of heavy sound with no lyrics and a variety of vocal chants. Having talked to Anil and seen the band sound check I was more than just eager to see this awesomeness come to life in front of me. They took forever to set up and it sounded like they needed more time. The men in blue were all roused up to finish this ASAP but I could hear my brother trying to intrigue them saying, “you guys should see this band a lakhey will come on stage and dance as the band performs”. Ok, we bought you some time now start this already and here comes a slaughtered buffalo head out as the opening riffs and percussions start to play. After the ceremonious beginning and three minutes into the song it just did not happen. What? The awesomeness that everyone was expecting. I think I would probably like to see lakhey perform again before I form an opinion about them.
Overall this was more than just a successful show this was a milestone in the history of heavy music in Nepal.