Reliving Rock

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 29 June 2018

A series of rock concerts by international tribute bands is being organised in Mumbai. Shankar Bala of Fourth Dimension Media tells us more about it

There is good music, and then there’s great music. The latter category features songs that have stood the test of time transcending generations in spite of changing tastes and trends. Some artists and bands have resonated with audiences worldwide throughout the years. Attending their concerts would certainly be a memorable experience. But how often do legends like these come to perform in India? Few and far. 

But while all that is changing and international artists are making their way to India to engage their fan base here, Fourth Dimension Media, headed by Shankar Bala, is planning to host a series of gigs by tribute bands to give the youth a taste of the glorious concerts by old-school rock luminaries. “It’s a very exciting phase the country is going through. There’s space for every genre with audiences ranging from 18-to 60-year-olds,” says Bala, as he pauses to consider whether the dominant EDM scene has pushed back rock music. He avers, “No, I don’t think rock has taken a back seat.”

He talks about how aspiring artists look to old-school legends to learn. “I feel the youngsters of today take inspiration from these legendary bands and singers like Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, or Joey Tempest. There’s a class in each of these singers. It’s not only the vocals which got them where they are today, they were successful because of how they entertained the audience, danced and performed live on stage. The younger lot takes a lot from them,” he says. 

The first in this series of concerts is by The Prague Queen, a European tribute band that pays ode to the original band Queen, especially the iconic singer Freddie Mercury. “The concert will have a ‘wow’ effect. It will be on par with any international event in terms of the experience that the audience will have. The bands we have tied up with has a twin resemblance to the original! Imagine the way he would sway people with his style, and the theatrics with his mic — you can experience all this at the tribute concert as the lead vocalist Jaroslav Bresky is an absolute mirror image of Freddie Mercury and perfectly emulates his stage movements, mannerisms and histrionics,” says Bala adding, “You can only see all this on YouTube, but we are bringing it to Mumbai for you to live it.”

After starting off with Queen, the tribute concerts will pay ode to Police, The Doors and Guns N’ Roses among other legends in future. “Basically it’s next to impossible to bring in such big bands to perform in India because the cost is very prohibitive and it’s a big ticket item where the event is almost entirely dependent on sponsorship. The aim of these concerts is to try to put up great shows with tribute bands to let audiences in India go back home with memorable and delightful experiences. The next step will be to pitch for the biggies,” says he.

Bala is selecting tribute bands by popularity. “For The Prague Queen, we have had to wait for almost a year. We hope the Aerosmith tribute band does not make us wait so much,” Bala says, adding, “The Prague Queen concert will be held at Rang Sharda auditorium in Bandra on October 5 and 6, 6.30 pm. The venue in Mumbai and ticketing for the following concerts have not been finalised yet.” 

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