Now normally, when a massive band decides to cancel out of a gig, emotions among fans range from sadness to manic aggression (Metallica in New Delhi, circa 2012 remember?). And then there were Stone Temple Pilots who decided to scratch off their set in India at the upcoming MTV Xtreme concert at Buddh International Circuit, Delhi on February 16, 2014. The band decided to call off their first India gig and accompanying Asia tour of India and Indonesia, and Australia citing their super-packed recording schedule. But the organziers at Live Viacom 18 thought on their feet and got thrash metal legends Megadeth to confirm the headlining spot instead. The band, an integral member of the Big Four of Thrash will now be headlining MTV Xtreme. This would be the American metal giants third show in India, and second in New Delhi. The first one being their super-loud 2008 set at Rock In India, Bengaluru in 2008 and the second more recent one at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in the capital in 2012.
Closer to home, though, a different kind of energy was brewing in the mindspaces of Mumbai groove metallers Providence, who went from opening for Stone Temple Pilots to now opening for Megadeth. All of yesterday, band members Charan Singh Pathania, Shezan Shaikh, Shrikanth Rao, Aaron Pinto and guest vocalist Sunneith Revankar’s animated Facebook updates kept us entertained.
Shaikh is beside himself when he expresses the events that have been unfolding over the past 24 hours. He says “Fuckin’ A. We’ve all grown up on Megadeth. There are times when we’d enter the jam room and bust out Megadeth tunes for fun and we’d be like ‘Fuck, man! What if we ever get the chance to share the stage with them?’ And here we are. It’s still sinking in. Watching one of your favourite bands live and opening for one of your favourite bands…two very different things.”
An opportunity probably every metal band in the country would go through 50 rounds of competition for, Providence members are stunned about how things panned out, and Shaikh explains “I don’t really know ( how they were selected to open for the gig). Probably the same way other big festivals select their artists.” But that’s about all he speaks on the topic. Going further and describing the band’s excitement, he states, “In fact, last night while we were jamming, Aaron stepped behind the kit, and the first song he insisted on playing was Holy Wars, and later on he goes, ‘So yea, we’ll be doing a sound check after Megadeth, I think,’ and everyone just lost it man. And just our luck…Stone Temple Pilots cancelled the show, and of all the bands that could come, it turns out to be Megadeth. Fuck.”
Talking about the intricacies of their set, Shaikh divulges “We are the only other metal band apart from Megadeth, and we are pretty stoked about it. Sunny (Sunneith Revankar) is filling in on vocal duties for this show, and we can’t thank him enough for helping us out. The set list is obviously “Vanguard” in it entirety, and a bunch of new songs. Last time we played in Delhi was two years back, with Undying Inc. and New Delhi totally destroyed the venue. We are going out all guns blazing as always, but this time, we are going twice as hard. It’s not every day you share stage with a legendary band.”
Providence are known to have had quite a few shifts, as far as the vocalist position is concerned, but for now, the band is in a comfortable position, and is busy penning down new music. In Shaikh’s own words, “Well, our vocalist issues have been solved. We have been recording a lot, passing around demos and rough tracking, bouncing ideas and random stuff. We’ve recorded five songs so far, and we’ve released Dante as a single. We’re hoping to get done with our album this year, but more on that later.”
Shaikh is also candid as he says “This gig is special man, and our set is is especially dedicated to all our supporters, especially Vikram Krishnamurthy, Alok Pai, Gokul Poduval ,Vishnu Vikayan, Shaurya Valmiki and Jay Andany.” As an afterthought, and also as a final gesture, Shaikh mentions “This one time, this one drunken dude came up to us and said ‘Humlog hai tumhare saath, maa chod do sabki. I miss watching you guys live.’” There you have it random drunk man- your wish has been granted now.
- MtV Xtreme will feature Megadeth, Pentagram, Indus Creed, Providence and Blakc on February 16, 2022 at Buddh International Circuit, Delhi. Passes Rs 3,500 (VIP), Rs 1,500 (general) and Rs 950 (student). More deets here.