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Pentagram: A Day In The Life

Following the band as they geared up for their show at the Manipal Institute of Technology

Naman Saraiya Apr 04, 2013
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Pentagram's Randolph Correia and Vishal Dadlani with their manager Anirudh Voleti Photo: Naman Saraiya

(l-r) Pentagram guitarist Randolph Correia with band manager Anirudh Voleti and vocalist Vishal Dadlani Photo: Naman Saraiya

 

Last month, Pentagram traveled to Manipal, in Karnataka, to play at Revels, the cultural festival of Manipal Institute of Technology. Nine of us, excluding the band’s guitarist Randolph Correia who joined us later from Delhi, traveled from Mumbai. Excited college students received us at the airport and we set out to the hotel, which was a stone’s throw from the venue where the band was slated to play later that evening. “Manipal is just two kilometers in all,” one of the students piped up and told us. I wish I knew better.

After a meal which involved all kinds of local delicacies and some terrible dessert followed by a nap, the band quickly proceeded to soundcheck. Except for the stage lights setup that posed a massive lag, most things seem to flow smoothly, as did the chai. After wrapping up soundcheck in under 30 minutes, the band got back to the hotel to freshen up. Fans, who recognized frontman Dadlani from his Hindi film avatar as one half of the composer duo Vishal-Shekhar, thronged for photographs in the hotel lobby.

The band soon headed back to the venue. Hand drawn Pentagram logos stood out in the green room that also included some usual supplies such as towels and refreshments, but the thoughtful event management team ensured that the room was also equipped with a fridge and a microwave. Pentagram discussed what song to open with briefly and ended up turning the setlist on its head.

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Beginning with “Ten,” from their 2002 album Up, which rarely makes it to their setlists, the band played several tracks from their last album Bloodywood that was out in 2011, followed by an amazing mashup of “Another Brick in the Wall” and Chemical Brothers’ “Block Rockin’ Beats” as well as some material from The Prodigy and even a Radiohead cover. Hearing kids humming along “Lovedrug Climbdown” as they walked around the campus was a definitive sign that the gig had been a memorable one.

After discussions about the gig in the greenroom on what went right and what didn’t, the band headed back to the hotel. As we left the venue, a crowd of students waved out and cheered. Dinner dominated the rest of the conversation on our way back. Post dinner, the band and the rest of the entourage assembled at a common hotel room to review the day’s proceedings and watch rubbish television. 

One by one, we stumbled back to our rooms and the day’s exhaustion sank in and it felt bloody good.

Photos: Naman Saraiya

Pentagram perform at Blue Frog, Mumbai on April 5th. 10.30 pm onwards. Entry: Rs 600. Free entry for women.

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