We are starting a new series of posts called ‘Tour Diaries’, with the intent of bringing you all even closer to Antariksh and to establish a much better connect with all you folks. We love writing music, playing gigs, shooting videos etc., but there’s so much more to it than what meets the eye – tonnes of fun, lots of hardships, blood, sweat and tears. This series of posts will tell you stories about all that happens on every tour and outstation concerts. So here we go, starting off with the recent gig we played at Shivalik College of Engineering, Dehradun.
April 11th, 2015
- 3:30 A.M – Time to wake up – grumpy faces, tired bodies, sleepy eyes – barely slept for a couple of hours after the 3 hour long practice session yesterday to prepare for the gig. Cabs are all set to arrive at 5 a.m.! Time to get ready!
- 5:34 A.M – And the cabs are delayed (nothing unusual :P). Isn’t that expected? Maybe we should have caught up on half an hour more of sleep, is the thought in everyone’s head. Ha! With the all the gear to carry, we always have to take more than one cab to accommodate. This time its 2. gT starts from his place in one cab and heads towards picking up Vipul and Varun, and Varun Kapahi (filling in for Sonic) gets into another cab en route to pick up Sharad.
- 6:13 A.M – gT reaches Varun and Vipul. As expected, sleepy faces but filled with so much excitement to get back on the road! Load up my friends – We are off to Dehradun!
- 6:45 A.M – Everyone’s half asleep, yet trying not to doze off 🙂 Discussing our set list for the show, and adding/removing songs. gT is back to playing live after almost 8 months and is definitely the most excited of all. I mean who talks about setlists at 6:45 AM in the morning for a gig at 8 PM 😛
- 8:30 A.M – With almost 3 hours on the road, and out of the insane Delhi traffic, the two cabs finally meet at our first break at Cheetal Grand. Varun Kapahi, quite a character that he is, will be seen feasting on Bananas many a times during this trip and here he begins. Hah! His love for bananas, deserves a separate blog post altogether – so more on that, later 🙂 We guys get the grub while discussing usual things (we really don’t talk about the weather :P), and then we are off again! Vipul jumps off to the other cab with Varun Kapahi and Sharad joins gT and Varun.
- 9:34 A.M – Mr. Rajput opens his pandora box (his macbook), where he’s got Gigabytes (yes GBs) of data and ideas piled up for new songs, and we start listening to ideas that we had created way back, jam recordings, scratch recordings, demos and what not. Varun plays the latest song idea he had recorded, and immediately we are figuring out and humming vocal melodies for it. The cab driver has a serious WTF moment as to what the hell is going on. With a bunch of rockers in the cab, he knows that the rest of journey is gonna be a hard one for him with hard-rock music playing all along 🙂
- 11:14 A.M – As you can imagine, there’s tons of things to do in every active profession, so we begin discussing the vision for the band considering things to achieve in the next few months and beyond. Trust us folks, it’s more work than a full time job. gT, Varun and Sharad start discussing about tasks that need immediate attention, and we all commonly agree that we should also focus on finalising so many new ideas we have and probably think about a second album soon 🙂 This went on for a while.
- 1:30 P.M – We finally reach Dehradun, and first thought – ‘This place is hotter than Delhi!’ We reach Hotel Pearl Grand in the heart of the city ready to crash into some rest, but only to find out that there is no time for that. We have to head off to the soundcheck, and there’s only enough time to sneak in some lunch in between. Man – this doesn’t seem to be going as planned – we are desperate for some sleep.
- 2:04 P.M – Lunch is served! Oh, yummy tasty food 🙂
- 4:00 P.M – We finally kick off soundcheck. Why is it so hot here! Isn’t Dehradun supposed to be a hill station? The stage looks nice and big with enough room to run around (we love that). We kick off our usual routine with Vipul setting his drums and Varun and gT helping with the soundcheck. Then comes the bass, and then the guitars, the vocals. Then finally comes the best part – ‘Bhaiya, mere monitor pe thoda guitar bada do’ (Please increase the level of the guitars on my monitor). I think this easily is the highlight of every band during soundcheck. Vipul is least concerned and nicely tucked away on his drum throne with his in ear monitors 🙂 Happy boi.
- 5:22 P.M – We finally finished the soundcheck. Best part? No time to rest. We go live in an hour. Sigh! We were hoping to head back to the hotel room, but due to lack of time, we are instead guided into the Chairman’s room in the college. We all sit down to relax, where as Kapahi immediately brings out his bass guitar and his bananas (don’t get us wrong) and starts practicing.
- 7:25 P.M – After freshening up a bit, and gulping down some tea, we’re all set to rock the stage. We are standing backstage and the host introduces us to the crowd. gT is busy chugging down some Red Bull as crowd starts cheering for Antariksh.
- 7:25 PM – 8:45 PM – This is indeed the best part. The part that makes all of the blood, sweat and tears worth it – the part where we run around and play our hearts out 🙂
- 8:45 P.M – We finish our set list and click a few happy selfies with the crowd, who are all equally happy and joyful.
- 10:14 P.M – After the meet and greet and listening to the DJ playing obnoxious Bhojpuri Item numbers, we head back to the hotel for dinner. Goddamnit! WE ARE TIRED. But well, that’s rockstar life for you – right after dinner, we head back to Delhi. Sigh again but what the hell!
- 11:40 P.M – We finally board our cabs and leave for Delhi. Only the drivers know what happened after that, as we all were dead asleep. (We recall the drivers falling asleep while driving too, and Kapahi taking the driver’s seat. More on that later 😉 )