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Queensryche to Make India Debut at ShiRock Festival in Manipur Next Month

The American heavy metal veterans will be joined by fellow countrymen, rock band Steelheart between April 24th and 28th

Rolling Stone India Mar 29, 2018

American metallers Queensryche will make their India debut in Manipur in April. Photo: Courtesy of Century Media

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If there was ever any doubt as to how much North East India loved its rock and metal, we have another convincing addition ”“ Manipur’s ShiRock Festival, which will host prog/heavy metal band Queensryche and rock band Steelheart for their debut performances in the country between April 24th and 28th in the town of Ukhrul.

One of the leading metal bands through the Eighties and Nineties, Washington’s Queensryche are best known for their 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime, one of the most widely heard and lauded concept albums in prog metal. Two decades later, they’re still going strong, with work on their 16th album ”“ the follow-up to 2015’s Condition Human ”“ currently underway. Although their classic lineup included vocalist Geoff Tate, the band roped in Todd La Torre in 2012, who not only filled in as frontman but also became involved in contributing ideas as a drummer for their 2013 self-titled album.

Connecticut-bred Steelheart, for their part, emerged from the Nineties but kept the heartsick glam-influenced metal sound at their core, scaling the Billboard charts with songs such as “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” as early as 1992.

What sets ShiRock apart ”“ and rather, gives it quite a bit of legitimacy ”“ is that it’s organized by the Government of Manipur’s tourism department, as “a ticket-free international music festival to promote the conservation of our endangered state flower Shirui Lily and to promote young talented artistes, which will in turn promote eco-tourism in Manipur.”

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What started off as a local district-level Shirui Lily Week in 2012 scaled up to the Shirui Lily Festival in 2016, with last year’s edition hosting ShiRock for the first time, hosting North East favorites such as blues band Soulmate, hard rock/heavy metallers Girish and the Chronicles, Nagaland folk group Tetseo Sisters and Manipur’s own veteran folk artist Guru Rewben Mashangva.

Although the full lineup for the 2018 edition is yet to be revealed, another big draw remains the band competition held exclusively for North East groups, with the winning prize standing at a whopping ₹10 lakhs, the runners-up will receive ₹5 lakhs and the third placed band takes home ₹2.5 lakhs. While ShiRock Festival kicks off on April 24th, auditions for the band competition take place on April 9th and 10th in Imphal and between April 12th and 13th in Guwahati.

More details here.

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