Where: Off Kanakapura Road, outskirts of Bengaluru
When: February 19, 2011
Every year, a few thousand make an arduous two hour journey, fighting traffic in the outskirts of Bengaluru to make an amphitheatre pilgrimage to a stage under a massive banyan tree. With the coming of February, the Fireflies festival isn’t far from the mind of most local music fans. The all night fest brings down a mostly enjoyable roster of musicians, has a tradition of letting people stretch out and do their thing and even bears the few that have a drink too many.
This year the festival, armed with a new music director, was back to the form of old. There were fusion acts like the meandering Moon Arra, local heroes Swarathma, a rousing set of speed violin playing from Mysore Manjunath with his foreign horn section and a young, well meaning couple attempting the marriage of blues and shloka that were more soporific than anything else at the break of dawn. Thermal And A Quarter played a fun set with their expanded band, bringing in a saxophone player, flautist and hold your breath, even two beautiful and brilliant backing vocal ladies.
The drummers and dancers of Dolu Kunita did not disappoint either.
But the act that completely upstaged all that came before or after was Something Relevant. These boys had something more than just a certain je ne sais quoi. Charming and hyper energetic their tight grooves and original sound was carried to a different level by their collective charisma and wit. They enjoyed each and every note and beat that they were playing and therefore pulled the audience into the same enlightenment. By the end it was a full-fledged party on and off stage and Something Relevant had conquered a kooky corner of Bengaluru.