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Gig Review: Levi’s 501 Day, Mumbai

Iconic Mumbai venue Razzberry Rhinoceros hosted a pleasant beach-side evening of electronica, rock and pop to celebrate the clothing brand’s 144th anniversary


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The beach setting for the Levi's anniversary celebrations served as the perfect complement to the music. All photos: Swaraj Srivastav

The beach setting for #501Day served as the perfect complement to the music. Photo: Swaraj Sriwastav

As part of their 144th anniversary celebrations, Levi’s transformed Razzberry Rhinoceros, one of Mumbai’s most iconic spaces, into a mini-music carnival of sorts. The event, aka 501 Day, proffered food, drinks, beach vibes and a view of the sunset to top it off.  On the roster were New Delhi-based avant-garde outfit MOSKO, Ahmadabad post-rockers aswekeepsearching, Mumbai-based electronic producer Sid Vashi, London acoustic-pop singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner and a set by Chicago-based DJ Autograf.

First up were MOSKO with their eclectic brand of dance-rock. Guitarist Moses Koul got the crowd grooving with polyrhythmic guitar chops, heavily laden with ambient loops, as vocalist Kavya Trehan swirled and twirled through her power-packed delivery. Though their set was short, the band ensured that everyone had fun. 

Aswekeepsearching, fresh off their newly released album Zia, left fans wanting more as they played an old set from their previous record, Khwaab, holding off the new material until their upcoming album launch tour. Although plagued by minor sound issues during their first couple of tracks, they soon regained momentum, ushering the audience into the ‘feels’-trip they are known for.

When the sun disappeared beneath the horizon, the scene was set for the next act, as the background turned from sun-kissed blue skies to lights in myriad colors brightening up the night. Sid Vashi delivered a heady mix of classical and chillstep. His electronica had ambient beats juxtaposed onto orchestral arrangements. The usual saxophone was missing but filled in with samples that kept the crowd on its toes.

Brit musician Newton Faulkner lived up to his name, and was arguably the best act for the evening. Following a rather long sound-check, he did not shy away from experimenting with loops while keeping the crowd mesmerized with his raspy voice and fingerstyle playing. Faulkner was a particularly interactive performer, and was able to get the crowd singing along in no time. He surprised everyone with acoustic versions of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and finished his set with a newly-composed number beneath confetti rain.

The closing act for the evening was a DJ set by Autograf. Faulkner had left the crowd on a high, from which Autograf eased them into a mellower, yet hard-hitting future bass sound. Throughout the evening, the music ebbed and flowed much like the sea beside it. The decor consisted of beanbags covered in denim and plenty of space to unwind, making it easy to believe that everyone went home happy.

Click through the gallery below to see pictures of the event. All Photos by Swaraj Sriwastav.

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