By Kartik Mahajan

Forgive me for I remember not what I did, saw or heard last year. ‘What a weekend that was’ wasn’t just a statement… it was also supposed to qualify as a badly put together question. I do believe that last year was one of the best years of live music and performances we’ve had in the last decade, and many hoped that that would mean a ‘damn I’m excited’ lineup this year too. While it does seem like I am on the verge of saying ‘don’t bother’ for this year, you’re wrong. There are a few absolutely fantastic artists that are scheduled to perform in whatever little is left of the year, and I have picked a few I think everyone will enjoy, regardless of age. {This is not a breakdown of their artistic sensibilities, and it’s not a critical appreciation or analysis of their music… it’s just me telling you what I think will be fun.}

EZ Riser feat DJ Mocity

EZ Riser has been making mad cool tunes for years now. Chances are you have seen and heard the Bay Beat Collective before, which is another project that EZ Riser aka Sohail Arora helped turn into a massive success. He also runs a label called Krunk, and has a couple of very cool artists signed on, local boy Pippin included. Expect to hear EZ Riser dropping some glitch hop and some electro hip hop when taking on one of my favourite artists in the city, DJ Mocity. I have written about him before while talking about the Reggae Rajahs, which he is a part of. DJ Mocity helped shape the electronic party scene in Delhi; if you were a regular on the Delhi party circuit up until a year and a bit ago, you’ve definitely heard him.

Fuzzy Logic

I am not going to lie. There are two reasons I voluntarily listen to Arfaaz Kagalwalas music. One is this and the other is this. More so the latter than the former, but don’t allow that to take away from his music. His laid back and peaceful tunes are just as visual as the videos he has to his name. If you need a break and want to laze in the sun while surrounding yourself with delicately created tunes, Fuzzy Logic is where to head to.

Luke Sital Singh

The world basically got to know of him this year, when he got noticed by the BBC. A couple of his tunes have played on the radio here, and the hassle free Brit Indie-Rock is likely to keep you on your feet with a big smile on your face, but you’re probably not going to bouncing around like at Fear Factorys’ performance.

Pangea

Metal heads, you guys probably recognise all the dudes on stage that make up Pangea – Akshay, Shadaab and Kuber. They have all been significant contributors in the music scene in the country, and have all been entrenched in music related activity, ranging from artist management, to production and venue programming. Needless to say, their talent has been recognised widely in the past, with the members having been a part of other powerhouse bands – Scribe included.

Nicholson

Chilled out, laid back tunes from a relatively low-key artist. This is another place to cool your heels, give your body a rest, and have a drink. As a matter of fact, if you are there to pay attention to the production quality and assess the thought that’s gone into what you’re listening to, then Nicholson is a great idea. Check out Nicholson’s newest video 

Skyharbor

One of the few metal bands in the country I would seriously recommend; one of the few bands you can never tire of watching. Yes, they classify as metal, but they are far from the audio assault you were picturing in your head right after I said ‘metal’. One of the most sound bands in the country, go watch them whether or not you’re into metal.

Day 2

Alo Wala

So the name sounds catchy enough, and if you look at them, they are dressed pretty quirky, and give you enough reason to be intrigued.  Until you realise that the front woman is of Indian origin, and not just that… she raps! Exactly… intrigued much? Live electronica, mingled with some massive bass, this is likely to be where everyone brings their A game to the dance floor {yes, I know its a dusty ground not a dance floor!}

Amit Trivedi 

Dev D. ‘Nuff said.

Curtain Blue

Pretty much everyone is a fan of The Circus. They have always had slick tunes, given their ridiculously talented guitarist, and also some hauntingly cool vocals, thanks to lead singer Abhishek Bhatia. His solo project Curtain Blue is so experimental that it’s hard to describe it as one thing. Check it out and decide what it does for you on your own instead.

Duke Nucleya

Ok so two things. Firstly, I barely remember anything from Nucleya’s set last year, other than the fact that I was bouncing around the entire place and had an absolute blast. Nucleya has a new avataar called Duke Nucleya, and his special set {performed in Pune as well}, is supposed to embody Nucleya’s vision of what parties are going to look like in the future. No, hitting the spacebar isn’t going to do what you remember it did Duke Nukem fans.

Goldspot

When someone is described as having qualities that are reminiscent of George Harrisson, you should stand up and pay attention. Siddharth Khosla and his band Goldspot have been to India before. I recall watching them in Bombay about a decade ago right after Joe Bonamassa. To me, Goldspot is to America what the Bombay Bicycle Club is to England, and I think this is a band with so much heart, it is a good enough reason to go watch them.

The F-16s

They are relatively new and are brimming with the sort of enthusiasm that even 5-6 year old bands have forgotten. They are from Chennai, and come with a set of influences that are wildly diverse. That’s what makes a great band, and with a few accolades and big mentions over this last year, my bets are this is going to be an increibly fun act to watch. If you have been listening to the Black Keys and the Arctic Monkeys over the last year or so, that’s the sound you’re likely to connect with when you listen to the f-16s.

The Vaccines

Ok I am just going to put this out there. Even if you haven’t heard of them, they were handpicked by the Rolling Stones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and others, to tour with them. They are quirky, and their music is a little eccentric. But turn on an album between now and Sunday, and you will certainly find a few, if not more, reasons to go watch them! Try their first album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? There is also Amanda Norgaard {she is a model by the way}. She was in one of their videos. It was a song called Norgaard. It was a song about Norgaard. It was a minute and thirty-nine. of Norgaard.