Concert Review: Shillong Open Air (Rain Revolt)

Review by Amal Kirti Singh | Pics by Edgenda (Shillong)

The first ever Shillong Open Air took place on 7Th June , 2014, Polo Grounds at Shillong. Shillong, also known as “Scotland of the East”, is a perfect place to host an open-air metal fest at this time of the year, when you barely want to move out under the scorching sun.

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Polo Grounds, Shillong

An open-air stadium with a nice capacity and perfect surroundings was all set to witness the first ever live show of the brutal death metal giants Dying Fetus in India. The weather was perfect for a metal concert, with mild rain and temperature around 22’C. Fans who had gathered to witness the mayhem were disappointed to learn that the tickets were divided into two price categories. I hope that the organizers will learn how “un-metal” it was to divide metal fans by keeping different ticket prices, because a big section of Dying Fetus fans had to see the band from afar, with only few lucky (rich) metal kids roaming near the stage.

I must say it was fun to see the stage come alive with all those lights and fireworks.

I’m not sure why the Indian bands didn’t get good sound. Maybe the sound engineers could not handle it well, because Dying Fetus was thunderous and their set was glitch-free.

Plague Throat (Shillong)

The official entry of Wacken Metal Battle from India this year was definitely a great choice for opening the show, as Plague Throat pleased the local crowd, and they pulled it off really well with some glitches in sound and setup. The moshing and headbanging began when a lot of people were still walking in. The band was tight, played for half an hour, and threw in Cannibal Corpse‘s Hammer Smashed Face at the end.

Cheisrah (Bangalore)

This progressive/metalcore outfit from Bangalore was definitely a misfit in a death metal concert and failed to impress the audience as well. With a little delay in the timings, the audience was already a little tired and it became a rest time for everyone when Cheisrah got on stage. With all their songs sounding very similar, the band came across as a cheap clone of August Burns Red, and people took a break to roll joints as the vocalist struggled to deliver.

Underside (Nepal)

The second “foreign” band was next to go. Initially failing to draw the crowd’s attention, Underside started to get into groove with some good cross-genre metal. With elements of black, melodic and industrial metal, the band was pretty energetic and something fresh the crowd witnessed. Their groove-ridden riffs along with a slightly doomy sound made the crowd mosh and headbang quite a bit.

IIIrd Sovereign (Aizawal)

Starting their second innings after a five-year hiatus, the death metal pioneers from the northeast took the stage. A little conscious in the beginning, the band started off with some of their new tracks which were pretty good. IIIrd Sovereign had local support and lived up to expectations pretty well. Vedanta (the vocalist) is still pretty energetic and knows how to make the crowd mosh. Full marks to them for making a fitting comeback!

Dying Fetus (USA)

The death/brutal death giants headlining the event were the big thing 1,500 fans were waiting desperately for all that evening. The band, with three killer monsters geared-up came on the stage without any delay. After the formal greetings, they directly got to business with John Gallagher thundering like a beast. Soon joined Sean Beasley with his slapping bass lines and crushing vocals. The drummer, Trey Williams, was amazing, and took the mayhem to another level. Dying Fetus played tracks from almost all the albums – from Purification Through Violence to War of Attrition. Everybody at the back and in the front made the most of the one-hour assault by moshing, circling in the pit and headbanging. Disappointing none of their fans, Dying Fetus finished the show with Praise the Lord and shook the valley of Shillong one last time.

It was the first time the much neglected northeastern got such a great concert. I hope the organizers make it bigger over the years, so that many more metalheads flock to the beautifully brutal city of Shillong.

Amal Kirti Singh is the vocalist and bassist of the Pune-based extreme-metal band Vedic Ritual.

3 Responses to “Concert Review: Shillong Open Air (Rain Revolt)”

  1. 1 ron dean
    June 16, 2014 at 14:27

    That must have been a good place to be…. Id make it next year if they manage to have it again….. \m/


  2. 2 amal
    June 17, 2014 at 06:07

    Yes ron it was an amazing place to have an open air concert with a very nice audience.better than much hyped bangalore open air.all they need is a little mainstream marketing and these guys will do great.as for next year they have already started talks with nile,amon amarth and behemoth.


  3. October 9, 2014 at 04:24

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s posts all the time along with a mug of coffee.


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