After their second visit to India, Poets of the Fall, a band that I closely follow and whose music I’m quite fond of, were here in India again. This time around it was a whole tour that comprised of 5 cities – Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata as part of their newly released album ‘Temple of Thought’. I just had to go, of course, to see them for the second time.
The concerts at Bangalore, Pune, New Delhi and Kolkata were all part of Kingfisher and VH1’s efforts, except for the sole concert at Hyderabad which was organized by the guys at Leonia resorts. The Bangalore concert was on the 22nd of August, and I happened to have three consecutive exams the next two days, as always with my college. So the Bangalore concert was out of the question. Pune was close by and the next choice, but the concert there was happening on the same day as BarCamp Bangalore XII. That ruled Pune out. Hyderabad was the next logical choice where the concert was happening on Sunday at Leonia Holistic Destination, a resort about 40kms away from the main city. So at the last moment, tickets were booked and off I went to Hyderabad with Prashanth.
We booked a bus to Hyderabad, which is around 700kms or 12 hours from Bangalore. The bus was scheduled to leave at 10.45pm and we were still at SAP Labs (where BarCamp Bangalore was hosted, somewhere about 30kms from the centre of the city) at 6pm! To top it off, I had to go to the south of the city to Jayanagar to pickup a digital camera, all while the city was experiencing heavy rainfall. It took me around 4 hours from SAP Labs to Jayanagar and back home to Rajajinagar where Prashanth was waiting anxiously with an autorickshaw. Hah! I packed in a couple of minutes (I travel often, so my travelling kit is always ready) and we reached Majestic in less than 10 minutes, only to find out that the bus was delayed by an hour because of rain. Err!
As a Bangalorean, the first thing you start to worry about a new city is how the weather will be. To our surprise though, the weather was pleasant and when we reached our stop in Hyderabad, it was actually raining very lightly. We hadn’t made any hotel reservations thinking that the place we got off would be something like Bangalore’s Majestic, a place that caters to every need of a tourist just coming into the city. To our dismay, we were dropped off at a Ring Road! There was not a hotel in sight, not even a place to eat. We made our way to Banjara Hills where we were going to meet a friend for lunch thinking we could get a hotel there at least. We couldn’t have been any more wrong. There wasn’t a single hotel in sight, and the one that we did come across after walking a couple of kilometers had no vacancy. At this point you might be wondering why we didn’t use Google Maps. We did. And that’s what got us into this trouble in the first place. Maps was wrong about almost everything we searched for! (In fact, it was because of Maps that we ended up so fscked in the first place.)
When we finally came across a busy area that happened to have a run down shabby hotel, we decided it was enough for our requirements. We went in expecting a room to be a few hundred bucks but were shocked when the manager asked 1.2k for each room, plus a security deposit of two thousand! WTH?! Having no choice we ended up paying that ridiculous amount. We just wanted to freshen up, charge our phones and get the hell out of there anyway. Little did we know that we were far from being done. The room so pathetically small, aesthetically unpleasant, and dingy that we just wanted to freshen up and get out. We were in for another shock though – the bathroom was worse than a public urinal, with an unusable loo, a dirty slippery bucket, and a shower that sprayed water more like how a garden hose would. WE. WERE. SCREWED.
Charging our phones and managing to just barely bathe, we were out of the hotel even before photocopies of our IDs were done.
We were to meet a friend of mine at Hyatt Park, but eventually ended up at Taj Vivanta, Begumpet. It was a little past noon, very early for a lunch buffet, but we were famished. Taj’s hospitality and the food was such a pleasant experience, one that made us completely forget about the prior Hyderabad hotel experience. In just the couple of hours that we were in Hyderabad, we had already experienced the best and the worst the city could offer.
We reached Leonia at exactly 6pm, the time that was mentioned on our concert tickets. We heard that the opening performance by a local band had been cancelled and that POTF would be taking to stage directly. At close to 7pm the gates were opened, and that’s when we figured out that the e-tickets were to be redeemed for paper tickets. So from the front of the queue, I watched as dozens of people went past me and into the resort. The front row had been lost. Sigh.
Nearly two hours after being allowed into the venue, two hours of standing amid a bunch of overly enthusiastic and noisy teenage girls, the guys from Finland took to the stage opening with Kamikaze Love to an audience of a thousand teenagers. Ouch! Not the usual crowd that you’d expect at a POTF concert. Blame the law school next door to the venue.
- Kamikaze Love
- Temple of thought
- Cradle in love
- Lie eternal
- Dreaming Wide Awake
- Diamonds for Tears
- Sorry Go Round (Acoustic)
- Locking Up The Sun (Acoustic)
- Gravity (Acoustic)
- Roses (Acoustic)
- Desire (Acoustic)
- Late goodbye
- Carnival of Rust
The crowd apart, the Poets played for nearly two and a half hours, one of their longest gigs ever as they pointed out, to make up for the fact that they were late. By the end, my voice was all but non-existent and my legs felt like they were going to give way anytime. I can’t even imagine how the band must have felt playing for that long. Kudos to them.