Reviewed by Ashiqur and Shaun:
In what was called the “Night of a lifetime” ; 2nd of February 2014 witnessed history being made at IIT; Guwahati campus as for the first time the local music lovers were to witness an artist of a legendary stature take stage on the eve of Alcheringa 2014; the annual fest of IIT Guwahati .
Yes, the God of Guitar , the world’s fastest guitarist and the finest shredder ever, the great Michael Angelo Batio was to weave his magic on the people who were to be present at the venue and take each single one of them to a journey of a lifetime.
The IMM team had its own plans beforehand. Being the official media sponsors of Alcheringa ; the IMM team were engaged in covering the event and interviewing guest bands who were to play there. Following great interviews with virtuous Mexican/American band “Villalobos brothers” and a scheduled interview with one of India’s finest metal band at present; “Undying inc” ; the 2nd of february promised to be another great day.
The IMM team arrived at the IIT campus on “the day” as early as 6 am in the morning from the office premises. The day was going to be hectic and as we waited for an interaction with the guitar God himself ; the sun bore down heavily on us. After about 5 hours of waiting at exactly 11:20 am ; Michael came out of the guest house and as we were the only media group present inside the premises and we the only ones covering the day extensively ; Michael waved to us and directed the devil’s horns sign towards us…For a split second we were star struck but I guess that is natural. A few minutes later the team was called for an interaction with and by the legend. The interaction was just beyond any words can describe, as we came to know that he was not only a genius with his guitar but one of the most down to earth person you could ever meet .He signed mementos exclusively for the IMM team .
The evening of the 2nd of Feb ; 2014 saw probably the biggest attendance in the history of Alcheringa.With people waiting with bated breadth; MAB took centerstage and started what would in a little over an hour’s time be the “Night to remember”. It was a phenomenon waiting to get unleashed as the crowd exploded letting out all their pent up emotions. MAB’s performance was as usual tight beyond explanation and the way he was playing hust seemed as if it was child’s play. Seeing him live was an experience just very few are lucky enough to witness. Well God has been kind. Mab belted out his famous OCs and did his own versions of Deep purple; Jime hendrix and Metallica numbers. It was a moment worth every second…The highlight of the show came when reciprocating to everyone’s anticipation Michael started playing his famed Double guitar and showed his ambidextrous talent. Personally i was all mushy and the moment was priceless. A treasure for the eyes and ears.
The word “Unbelievable” was so puny to describe what MAB was showcasing on stage. He even played a few more numbers when the crowd requested. He also took a snap from the stage of the crowd and said that it was a memory he will take back to the US. The pic was also uploaded on the social networking site Facebook and in his caption he thanked the people for supporting him .
The show was world class by the Legend but The organisers really did show their immaturity at hosting show of such a magnitude. For starters the sound system provided by the Alcheringa management team was pathetic beyond words. One of the output speakers even snapped in the middle of the show and the crowd for a brief period could not hear a thing. Secondly the arrangements made for public viewing were just a big joke in itself as the so called VIPs were given an area completely on its own and the general public had to watch the show from 80 to 100 yards back. When we went inside to the so called VIP area we realised that the distance between the barricade and the last seat in the VIP area was so much that a small district could fit in there. I guess it was a rock show and not some early morning yoga session going on there. Rock/metal shows have always stood for equality to everyone. I guess every MAB fan wanted to see their hero up close and personal. But sadly it was not to be. Binoculars were the order of the day for the crowd.
But apart from the two glitches kudos to IIT; Guwahati for doing such a fantastic job again as far as the whole fest is concerned. I seriously felt the locals needed someone of such a legendary stature to come and play here and IIT made it possible and i think every music lover present on that night should give a heartfelt thanks to IIT; Guwahati. The MAB show was phenomenal inspite of a few glitches from the organisers and I hope next time the organisers will prepare better and do a great job .The crowd were thrilled and satisfied to see the legend in action but the technical glitches were unbearable for them as well and they voiced the same opinion.
But all in all MAB was just enthralling and was worth every second watching him play. Thank you Sir for the endless joy you showered on us. The rest as they say is HISTORY