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News |  03 Dec 2016 15:00 |  By RnMTeam

Unlikely surprises highlighted Day 1 Pune Weekender

PUNE: As Bacardi NH7 Weekender shifted its base for the fourth time since its inception in Pune, the newest home did not need to wait until the sunset to witness impressive turnouts for respective stages. NH7 Weekenders continue to surprise us with its carefully organised schedule of line-ups, a result of hosting an event of the scale for at least 20 times before, the final day of the last leg of 2016 edition kicked off with Mumbai-based alternative rock act Gumbal at Bacardi House Party. It took NH7 Weekender and one of oldest OML’s associations, Randolph Correia’s electronic set Func’s latest releases to set the ball rolling for a day-long of surprises and unmatched energy from some of the acts. The opening day of the only three day Weekender edition belonged to the acts, and their consistent ability to remind why the music festival still holds the ability to blow your mind away regardless of the time or the heat.

On Friday, that moment re-arrived through the form of Delhi-based duo Komorebi. Possibly the least talked-about act of the edition, Tarana Marwah and Suyash Gabriel may have assumed the 5:40pm – 6:20pm slot would only lead to early bird faces and empty patches across the Breezer Vivid Village arena, but two songs into the set and Komorebi had already made new fans – some curious, some unaware, but most, glad. It gradually became a task to point out one particular element that was working in Komorebi’s favour, as the two musicians picked up individual moments to garner applause from the crowd as they further escalated the vibe at the arena. The act also performed ‘Hide’, a yet-to-be-released composition, and undoubtedly, instantly, caught people’s attention and ultimately their approval. Drummer Suyash Gabriel, from the moment he sat on the best seat in the house, performed as if he had something to prove, something to showcase. And showcase, he did. At one point, Marwah missed her vocal entry into a song, but Gabriel seemed to be into the musicians’ ‘Weekender State of Mind’, however, eventually co-ordinated at the right time to let the party going. Music festivals are about the experience ultimately, sure, but it's primarily extremely dependent on the music, and Komorebi ensured the same through an effort that would go down in the festival's history as one of the finest electronic sets executed. Not often do bands create an impression early in the day, and Komorebi also reminded the fans of the beauty of curtain-raising acts. It's safe to conclude that Komorebi has evolved, musically, beyond anyone's prediction in a year, and through Friday's performance (possibly their best outing so far) shortlisted itself into 'acts to watch out for in 2017'.

On the biggest stage of the venue, Underground Authority continued on the trend of 'unsuspecting acts raising the roof' kickstarted by Komorebi early in the day. And while the Kolkata-based band had the advantage of 'post-sunset' slot, the four members had to bring in their 'A Game' to the happiest music festival, as every act would do. From a protest song concerning Human Rights violation to the band's admiration of Reggae with the help of a collaboration with Nikita Gandhi, Underground Authority's performance involved 'one song for them, one song for us' approach.

Talking about collaborations, Dualist Inquiry enjoyed support from a few friends, featuring The F16s' vocalist Josh and keyboardist Harshan, Sid Vashi on saxophone and Kavya Trehan on vocals (also the contributors to the musician's latest album Dreamcatcher), and as one of OML's poster boys ended his set with crowd favourites, dropping some best sellers from Doppelganger.

The night progressed to the inevitable as the headliner of the first day (or 'one true headliner of the country' as OML's Vijay Nair puts it) introduced his fans to the Papon collaboration (for the series'The Dewarists') for the first time, while his Bass Yatra took the eight headlining pit-stop of 2016 Weekender.

As the music did its part on Day 1, the time had arrived to judge the 'festival' aspect of the experience. The recently launched festival app steered the ease in access, tracking friends' stage preferences, SOS arrangements through sophisticated algorithms.

The Loudest Crew extends its efficiency and hospitality to yet another edition of a hassle-less opening day. Plus, as a spectator/fan/attendee, it's always an encouraging visual to see Vijay Nair, the founder, volunteering on-ground constantly coordinating with security, box office, cops further justifying how rooted the festival continues to be despite its evolution into the only profit-making Indian music festival.

The day 2 awaits for the 'one true headliner' for most promoters in the world, and although it's too early to say, it'd be interesting to see if the seventh edition ends with the highest turnout, considering - apparently - the festival moved out of Laxmi Lawns as the festival outgrew the older venue.