The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music
Music has always been the paragon of human expression. Words and chords can coalesce to form a cadence so beautiful that it can unite the entire human race and make it sway to the rhythm. In lieu of The Local Train concert, conducted by the Rotaract Club of Manipal, everyone learnt a valuable lesson. Music is where barriers are broken, where languages hold no relevance, and where politics has still not found its way. Stories are narrated, love is confessed, and passion is exemplified as the musician dons the cap of an artist and paints his masterpiece out of strings. In such a fickle world, these quality compositions have their footprints firmly planted on the shores of time. Such is the aura of music, and artists must strive for such levels of excellence or be slaughtered at the hands of the countless critics out there.
Words fall short to even begin to describe The Local Train and how they stole the show on the 18th of February. The band is clearly popular in Manipal, considering their recent performance in Revels 2016. To have them play twice in a year is something unheard of in the college circuit; nothing short of a miracle. Credit must be given to the Rotaract Club for their perfect execution of the concert, which came under the banner of Nawaazish’17- an event where a portion of the money made from the tickets would go to charity for women empowerment.
This was not your average monotonous Saturday evening. A gargantuan queue, starting from the back gate of AB1, extended well beyond the IC and comprised students eager to witness – many for the first time – a band that always promises to deliver on the big stage. Needless to say, it was well worth the wait.
Raman Negi held the mic, Ramit Mehra and Paras Thakur tuned their guitars, and Sahil Sarin positioned himself by the drum-kit. The extremely patient crowd could not hold in their excitement any longer, and everyone started to cheer. The Local Train had arrived.
Every time Paras produced a magnificent riff, every time Sahil swirled his drumsticks in the air, every time Raman sounded out a melody, time froze. The crowd was caught in the web that the band had spun, with songs like “Aaoge Tum Kabhi”, “Choo Lo”, and “Dil Mere”, amongst many others. They head-banged to glory during up-beat songs like “Bande” and “O Ganje”. They also understood the pain of being blinded by love, as seen by their poignant performance of “Yeh Zindagi” and “Kaise Jiyu”. MITians lost themselves to the music and rightfully so. The Local Train was no ordinary band.
One fact was made clear during the course of the concert- Manipal loves the Local Train and the Local Train loves Manipal more. In between two songs, Raman proudly confessed how they loved performing here. At this junction, the crowd drew their loudest cheer, and why not? It is not every day that a band tells you your college is their favourite place in India. These claims were implemented too. The band is releasing a new album in September 2017, for which an entire scene of one music video was shot that fateful night.
The night reached its peak when, even after performing for a good two hours, the chants of “once more” echoed throughout the Quadrangle. The drained-out members made it back to the stage and performed one last time with the same enthusiasm as they performed the first. The concert was done and dusted. With sore throats and memories to last a lifetime, the crowd called it a night.
The Local Train was formed in the year 2008. Ever since, the band has refused to bow down and turn into a sellout. A wise man once said that we must never aim for success. We must aim for excellence and success will naturally follow. The significance of this statement holds true for these musicians in their endeavour to become the best band in India. Their desire to keep churning out brilliant Hindi songs, tour the country, and play for college fests, stems from this principle of theirs, which is what brought them to perform during Revels’16 in the first place. Nawaazish’17 saw a band which was in love with music, and caused everyone else to fall in love with it too.