Mumbai Rockers Across Seconds Win Parx Band Hunt 2017
The instrumental prog band competed against four regional winners to take home the trophy at the grand finale of the nationwide college band hunt
For a college band, there is no better feeling than playing to a house full of fans singing along to their songs. Earlier this week, the grand finale of the Parx Band Hunt 2017, a nationwide competition which aims to find the country’s best college band, saw a massive turnout at Mumbai’s Hard Rock Café Worli on a Tuesday night. The finalists in the running were Hyderabad metallers Revival, Kolkata prog metal band Yajnyavalkya, Mumbai-based instrumental prog group Across Seconds, New Delhi punk rockers Lost Icons and rock outfit Knight Shades.
The competition opened with Revival, who grabbed everyone’s attention with their heavy drums and distorted guitars. The seven-member group split vocal duties between Sugumar Solomon and Bhanu Chaterji. Solomon was at his frontman best– engaging with the audience throughout the set– especially during the band’s fiery track “Titans.” Yajnyavalkya, who performed next, brought their prog metal grooves and strong rhythm sections to the house, churning out their original material, including their flagship song “Nightmare.”
Lost Icons proved to all of us that punk certainly is not dead. The New Delhi outfit raced through their tracks with stellar showmanship, rocking riffs and stomping drums. The group delivered a power packed set, with vocalist/guitarist Ishan Bhardwaj channeling his inner Billie Joe Armstrong. Lost Icon’s blistering display was followed by Across Seconds, who flipped the vibe with their instrumental prog rock tunes, which experiment with odd time signatures and musical dynamics. Bassist Kiran Kadadekar held the band together with his slick grooves and thick tone.
The evening’s final performance was delivered by Knight Shades, the New Delhi rock band who were granted a wildcard entry into the contest after their fantastic display in the regional rounds. Tikesh Yadav, the band’s lead guitarist, banjo player and ukulele player (we’re sure he plays more instruments too) wowed everyone with his face-melting guitar solos and deft instrument-switching. When the band performed their hit track “Happy,” Yadav had both his guitar and ukulele around his shoulders, changing between the two instruments at different points in the song.
Right after Knight Shades’ rousing performance, the host for the evening, musician and actor Luke Kenny invited the three judges– Mumbai guitarist Paresh Kamath, Gaurav Mahajan (Group Apparel President, Raymond) and Nirmika Singh (Executive Editor, Rolling Stone India) – on stage to announce the winner of the Parx Band Hunt 2017. The judges confessed that choosing a winner was not an easy decision, and that three out the five bands were in consideration before they finally picked the winning group. Without much delay, Mumbai’s Across Seconds were declared winners of the Parx Band Hunt 2017. The band were awarded prize money worth Rs. 1,00,000, Parx merchandise and more.
However, the night was not done yet. Kolkata-based alternative rap/rock group Underground Authority took to the stage to headline the event. The band got everyone grooving to their music with raging riffs, thrashing drums and scintillating vocals, bringing a fantastic close to an eventful evening.
All photos by Tushar Dhanawade; Underground Authority photos by Rajdeep Dey