The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

The Festival Chapter III: Moshpit Mayhem (held on the 15th of June, 2013) promised so much for the metal-starved community of Kolkata. However, the event’s extremely low turnout has seemingly rung the death knell for future metal events of a similar nature in Kolkata.

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By now though the crowd seemed to have finally woken up from their slumber, and this was evident from their enthusiastic greeting of The Festival’s final act, Dubai’s Point Of View. POV got straight down to business and wowed the crowd with a whole range of tracks from their debut album Revolutionize the Revolutionary, which included ‘Chainsaw’, ‘Third Eye’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Unreal’ and the title track of the aforementioned album. Besides handling his vocal duties with aplomb, Nikhil Uzgare also tried hard connecting with the erstwhile passive crowd in between songs with some light-hearted banter, his attempts attaining a modicum of success. POV as a unit were extremely tight, and while they were definitely not metal, yet their brand of 90s influenced hard rock was a sure-fire hit with the Kolkata crowd. Rohit Joseph and Royden Mascarenhas in particular shone throughout with their impressive guitar work. POV’s drummer, homeboy Chirodeep Lahiri also played his heart out, and some of the biggest cheers of the evening were reserved especially for him.

Despite all the fun they were having, POV knew that Kolkata was dying for Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal to make his much anticipated appearance on stage. The moment finally did arrive – and as guitarist Mascarenhas played the theme tune of the film Pink Panther, Bumblefoot made his much-awaited entrance and he was greeted by loud cheers from the same people who didn’t bother to even clap for The Festival’s opening artistes barely two hours ago. The atmosphere within the venue had all but transformed by now and the party had finally started! And although the numbers inside were still far from impressive, the crowd did not let go of the opportunity to show Bumblefoot who the true star of the evening was. Totally drenched in their love and energy, Bumblefoot made sure that the crowd experienced an evening they would not easily forget. Apart from accompanying POV on a few of their album songs, Bumblefoot made it a point to perform a few Guns ‘n Roses ditties, including ‘Used To Love Her’ from the GNR Lies album. In fact, he not only played but sang as well – and quite impressively too! The rendition of ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ was the standout moment of the evening, where apart from Bumblefoot and the two POV guitarists, Krosswindz’s very own Vikramjit ‘Tuki’ Banerjee also joined them on stage and their four-pronged guitar jam was both a visual and aural treat. The crowd was going wild by now and it was only apt to end the evening’s proceedings with the classic GNR tune and crowd favorite, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – the audience could not ask for anything more and for the next 6 minutes there was much jumping and headbanging and lusty screaming in the house. It was the perfect paisa vasool moment for the crowd, many of whom had been vociferous in their complaints of the so-called high ticket prices (the passes were for Rs. 500 and Rs. 900 only.)