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Lev­er­ag­ing the Rock Mu­sic Scene to a new height in Ma­nipur

Youth Street News - - Content - Ysn

Shi­rock 2017, the first-ever mega Rock Mu­sic Com­pe­ti­tion be­ing the big­gest at­trac­tion, left no stones un­turned in mak­ing it­self the “cre­at­ing his­tory” genre for all events ever held in Ma­nipur. It was the first time that a mu­si­cal con­cert of in­ter­na­tional stan­dards would give op­por­tu­ni­ties, which was long due for the tal­ented mu­si­cians from the “Jewel of In­dia”. It was no doubt that peo­ple had nu­mer­ous doubts about how the or­gan­is­ers would pull-off such a mega event, in a place where the re­sources were lim­ited, so many to do and so lit­tle time; how­ever, when the event was done, it had cre­ated a landmark in events be­ing held in the state un­til date.

To drop down a few in­for­mat­ics, Shi­rock 2017 was an ex­clu­sive en­ter­tain­ment event, a part of Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val 2017 which was held in Ukhrul, Ma­nipur. Un­like most of the grand events that hap­pen in the prov­ince, this was one of the big­gest mu­si­cal events which fo­cused on the rock genre, giv­ing a pre­cise mean­ing to the nu­mer­ous rock bands and fans in the ter­ri­tory. Shi­rock fea­tured renowne­drock Bands and Solo Artistes' per­for­mances from all over the north­east In­dia. Most im­por­tantly, it fo­cused on giv­ing the nu­mer­ous rock bands of the com­mon­wealth a chance to ex­cel be­yond the mind­set of the reg­u­lar, the Shi­rock Band Com­pe­ti­tion 2017.

Bands from all over Ma­nipur were in­vited for this fantab­u­lous op­por­tu­nity. While some may have hes­i­tated to par­tic­i­pate in such a huge com­pe­ti­tion, many other un­der­stood that this was the big­gest op­por­tu­nity that they could ex­pe­ri­ence. The win­ning prize and sta­tus were ex­tremely rec­om­mend­able. Im­pres­sive cash prizes of Rs 2,00,000/-, Rs 1,00,000/- and Rs 50,000/- for the top three re­spec­tively and six other in­di­vid­ual prizes of Rs 10,000/- each for Best Vo­cal­ist, Best Gui­tarist, Best Rhythm Gui­tarist, Best Bassist, Best Orig­i­nal Song and Best Drum­mer. It was 'the' op­por­tu­nity.

Au­di­tions for the Com­pe­ti­tion started on 8th May, 2016 at Imphal Ho­tel from 10:00 hours on­wards. Rock bands from all over Ma­nipur in­clud­ing bands who had good em­i­nence, came down to the venue to be a part of the grand au­di­tions. Ma­nipur born bands from across the coun­try, flew down just to jam in this aus­pi­cious band bat­tle. Some of them trav­elled in town buses and waited in the sun and stairs, just to be a part of Shi­rock 2017. The au­di­tions went on for two long days, with each day com­ing to a close as late as 22:00 hours. The judges took upon them­selves to pro­duce the best on the Shi­rock plat­form. While sev­eral bands had reg­is­tered and per­formed in the au­di­tions, only twelve bands emerged on top which made it to the list of Shi­rock 2017 per­form­ers for the splen­did fi­nale. They were, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der, Aces of Un­der­dog, Pur­ple Math, In­no­cent Eyes, Salt And Light Trav­el­ling (S.A.L.T) Band, Fri­day, The Wishess, Brain­storm, Khu­dombi, Ex­trem­ist, Virgo Di­a­mond, Matam and Ret­rosonic. All of these bands had to bat­tle it out with four songs, of which, one song “Holy Diver” by Dio, was made com­pul­sory. They had 30 min­utes on-stage time-frame, within which, they had to con­quer the world.

th Day 1: On 16 May, 2017 evening, Shi­rock 2017 had a flaw­less open­ing with lo­cal artistes from Ukhrul per­form­ing on stage at Bak­shi

Ground, Ukhrul Head­quar­ters. Need to be re­minded, these bril­liant en­ter­tain­ers were also screened down just to have them walk the Shi­rock 2017 plat­form. Now the of­fi­cial kick­off of Shi­rock 2017 was ob­vi­ous when Guru Rew­ben Mashangva, the brand am­bas­sador of Shi­rock 2017, came on stage. He was ac­com­pa­nied by none other than Mo­mocha Laishram, the veteran Drum­mer of the for­mer rock band 'Can­ni­bals' and Ringo Golmei, the amaz­ing bassist of the cur­rent rock group 'Phynyx'. The sight was such that the pour­ing rain could not match the cheer­ing sound of the crowd. And when Tet­seo Sis­ters started their mag­i­cal per­for­mances, it was ev­i­dent that the rain could not stop the show and peo­ple were in­creas­ingly flood­ing into the venue. Phynyx per­formed as a fi­nal act for the evening, which the au­di­ence did not want an end­ing to. Lo­cal MLA, Al­fred Kan­ngam Arthur, re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion when he sang a num­ber from Bon Jovi 'In these arms'. Later, ev­ery­one was talk­ing about the sound qual­ity that was pro­jected that night. Sound­wave, SSS and Ram­n­gachan Kaz­ing­mei Shim­rei from Grav­ity En­ter­tain­ment made it hap­pen.

Day 2: The sec­ond day was an equal glimpse of the first. A bril­liant per­for­mance by Tribal Euphony was ob­served by the

th spec­ta­tors on 17 May, 2017 as the first of­fi­cial act, right af­ter the young en­ter­tain­ers from Ukhrul had per­formed. Fiona Pachuau from Mi­zo­ram rocked the stage with her slow but en­er­getic num­bers on stage as well. Men­tion­able enough, the crowd went “Chaoba.. Chaoba..chaoba..” just be­fore “Chaoba Khudei and The Rock Band” came up on stage. These cheers did not die off un­til the band was done per­form­ing their last num­ber for the evening. As one of the big­gest names in rock his­tory from north­east In­dia was step­ping foot on Shi­rock 2017 stage, ev­ery sin­gle one in the au­di­ence was

en­gulfed with the “Girish and The Chron­i­cles” aura. Be­yond the an­tic­i­pa­tion, the per­for­mance de­fined what it was like to have a rock con­cert, pe­riod. The driz­zles could only add to the mag­nif­i­cent stag­ing at night.

Day 3: The streets of Ukhrul was crowded more than the usual. Peo­ple from all over In­dia had come to wit­ness the first-ever Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val 2017 and its ma­jor at­trac­tion Shi­rock 2017. And not quite sur­pris­ing enough, these en­ter­tain­ment seek­ers had landed their foot on Bak­shi Ground that evening. Ruthi Chalthan­sawmi Ralte from Mi­zo­ram opened the evening with her heart-throb­bing num­bers af­ter the lo­cal artistes from Ukhrul had per­formed. At the back­stage, the par­tic­i­pant bands were gear­ing up for the bat­tle. As “Aces of Un­der­dog” from Delhi (born Ukhrul) came on stage, it was but ob­vi­ous that the Shi­rock 2017 band com­pe­ti­tion fi­nale was un­der­way. Their en­chant­ing cover of Me­gadeth's “A tout le monde” had left the crowd on nu­mero uno en­ergy. Pur­ple Math (Chu­rachan­pur) came on stage as the sec­ond of­fi­cial par­tic­i­pant band for the fi­nale. The lis­ten­ers could feel them rock­ing their hearts out with their orig­i­nal tracks. The third en­try was “In­no­cent Eyes” (Imphal). The au­di­ence had no op­tion but to swing to the high vo­cal cover of “I Re­mem­ber You” by Skidrow. S.A.L.T aka Salt & Light Trav­el­ling band (Ukhrul) who flew in from Delhi, came in as the fourth fi­nale band, how­ever, the first band with a fe­male vo­cal­ist. Their ver­sion of “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N' Roses left peo­ple scream­ing child­like. With their funk on, “Fri­day” (Ukhrul) en­tered the stage as the fifth fi­nale band. Their per­for­mance of Limp Bizkit's “Take Alook Around” left the crowd jump­ing in midair. As the sixth en­try and the last for the night, “The Wishess” (Imphal) came on stage, their cover of “Where The Streets Have No Name” by U2 left the au­di­ence light­ing up their torches sky-high. Needed to be told,

they were the only band to com­pose a song about Shirui Lily called “Our pride”, which they per­formed that evening.

Day 4: Af­ter what hap­pened the pre­vi­ous night, the crowd had al­ready gath­ered at Bak­shi Ground arena by 17:00 hours to se­cure a front row view. The young and en­er­getic artistes of Ukhrul had started en­ter­tain­ing the an­tic­i­pat­ing view­ers while the re­main­ing fi­nale bands rushed to their re­spec­tive green­rooms. It was “Brain­storm” (Ukhrul) step­ping in­side the Shi­rock dome mak­ing the sev­enth fi­nale en­try but the first for the evening. They left the on­look­ers awestruck with their cover of “An­gry Again” by Me­gadeth. “Khu­dombi” (Imphal) was the eighth en­try to the fi­nale. Their mind­blow­ing cover of Me­gadeth's “Se­cret Place” con­vinced the pa­trons to hum along. In the ninth ingress, “Ex­trem­ist” (Ukhrul) who flew down from Delhi, cap­tured the heart of the con­cert-go­ers with their cover of “Pull Me Un­der” by Dream Theatre. Fur­ther, “Virgo Di­a­mond” (Imphal) en­tered stage in the tenth slot. They made sure that ev­ery­one was singing “Ev­ery­thing I Do” by Bryan Adams. The eleventh en­try was “Matam" from Imphal. Their per­for­mance of Wolf­mother's “Joker and The Thief” left the spec­ta­tors want­ing for more. The fi­nal and the twelfth en­try of the fi­nale, last band to per­form for the night as well, was “Ret­rosonic” (Ukhrul), who also flew down from Delhi just to be a part of Shi­rock. They killed it with the per­for­mance of their orig­i­nal track.

Af­ter the show was over at night, the judges, Len Gangte,

Sor­e­ichan, Nu­tan and Ahem Pan­mei had sat down be­yond com­fort to tally the scores and come to a con­clu­sion as to who will take the grand prizes home.

th Day 5: The evening of 20 May, 2017 was the heart-stop­ping mo­ment for the par­tic­i­pat­ing bands of Shi­rock 2017 band com­pe­ti­tion. It was also the in the in­ter­est of the fan fol­low­ing each of these bands and the gen­eral au­di­ence as a whole. The Shi­rock at­mos­phere was on halt as the fi­nal re­wards where to be an­nounced but then, it had to hap­pen and so it did:

The win­ner of the first prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs – The Wishess (Imphal)

The win­ner of the sec­ond prize of Rs. 1 Lakh – Ret­rosonic (Ukhrul)

The win­ner of the third prize of Rs. 50,000 – Pur­ple Math (Chu­rachand­pur)

Best Vo­cal­ist – Raj from In­no­cent Eyes (Imphal) Best Lead Gui­tarist – Reisangam from Ret­rosonic (Ukhrul)

Best Drum­mer – Chingkhei from The Wishess Best Bass Gui­tarist – Shanchui A. Samshok from Salt and Light Trav­el­ling Band

Best Rhythm Gui­tarist – Bona from The Wishess Best Orig­i­nal Song – Ret­rosonic

It was a mo­ment of cheers for the win­ning bands but a dis­ap­point­ment for the rest. None­the­less, the par­tic­i­pant bands gave it a re­silient edge and hence, the tran­scen­dence of Shi­rock. “Rugsa” took over the cel­e­bra­tions as well as the stage with their tales filled songs, leav­ing the peo­ple wan­der­ing into the sto­ry­line of the lyrics.

It is a point to men­tion that in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous de­sign­ers, Sailex and Asa Kaz­ing­mei, were show­cas­ing their de­signs for the first time in their home­town. And right af­ter the prize dis­tri­bu­tion, Sailex left the stage beau­ti­fully adorned with the mod­els who were se­lected via au­di­tions as well. The stage frame was dec­o­rated with lux­u­ri­ous Sailex's for more than 25 min­utes. The spec­ta­tors sim­ply went awe. “Pur­ple Math” and “Ret­rosonic” con­tin­ued their cel­e­bra­tions right af­ter Sailex left the stage. Their power-packed per­for­mances were but a treat to the view­ers as well as the bands them­selves. Asa Kaz­ing­mei then en­gulfed the stage with his el­e­gant de­signs. His leader gears stormed the stage, rid­ing on the well-build and beau­ti­fully crafted mod­els. Ukhrul had never seen such a glance. Asa was very happy to have shown his de­signs at the place he was born, Ukhrul.

As the win­ner of Shi­rock Band Com­pe­ti­tion 2017, “The Wishess" took stage and also the open­ing act for “Soul­mate”. They

were but hav­ing fun with the crowd in uni­son with im­mense sense of be­long­ing­ness. As the fi­nal act of Shi­rock 2017, “Soul­mate” per­formed their renowned tracks to en­ter­tain the con­cert-go­ers.

Shi­rock 2017 was an in­te­gral part of the first Shirui Lily Fes­ti­val 2017, which was or­ga­nized by the State of Ma­nipur, in sup­port from Ma­nipur Tourism. The Shi­rock event was man­aged by Youth Street News and Events.

As Shi­rock 2017 tri­umphed, peo­ple who have at­tended the most hap­pen­ing act in rock mu­sic in the state un­til to­day, as­cer­tained, “It can only be­come big­ger and bet­ter!”. And this may be very true as most of us are aware, 'Rock­star' is a myth in a place where doc­tors and en­gi­neers are the “ideal” pro­fes­sions to strive for, and hence, rock mu­sic is very less wel­comed, in spite of the huge fan fol­low­ing and es­pe­cially the rock bands that wish to make a liveli­hood through mu­sic. Well, Shi­rock has changed the per­spec­tive, a lit­tle for now and will con­tinue to do so, even­tu­ally mak­ing peo­ple re­al­ize what is not easy to un­der­stand to­day.

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