black tour, dharan \m/

i haven’t even found time to write about the aringal incident and i am back from a short trip to dharan. left on friday morning and back by sunday afternoon. we took the bus. and well, to summarize it all – a 30 hour bus ride (to and back), one night stay in dharan with a successful concert.

the concert was organized by ktmrocks with the laligurans club of dharan. it was the first concert in line of the ‘Black Tour’ i.e. black metal music. there were a total of four bands from kathmandu – Aimbase, Hatebook, Garudh and Antim Grahan and four from dharan –  Vile, The Flesh, Catacombs and Next Level to Energy.

i don’t really get this genre of music and never listen to it either. my intention of traveling with the four bands was for the experience of it all and to see concerts out of kathmandu. one of my friends is in one of the bands that performed from ktm side, so i thought it would be great to tag along and see their fan base in dharan with my own eyes. i’d heard that dharan youth are pretty into metal and stuff and well, it’s 100% true.

it was a bandh in dharan and with no public transport, folks from itahari came on rickshaws to the concert. how amazing is that? well, concerts never start on time. and instead of 2 it started at 4, but with a huge crowd. i’m sorry that i missed the dharan bands because i was spending time with one of my school friends, who studies in dharan. even so, there were a line of bikes when i got there…and dharan folks don’t ride honda shine bikes. they like the big pulsars and yamahas. yeah so there were a long row of those on the road when i got to the venue – the british gorkha community center, located on the lower part of the city. tickets were at Rs 100 each.

the concert went on till 9 pm, very smoothly..no police intervention and no fights (well, we’d heard that concerts in dharan mostly end up in fights re). there was load shedding and the event was running under generators. the ceiling fans weren’t working and it was so freaking hot. but that’s like any other concert even in kathmandu, indoor ones. the space was about the size of mahendra police club, now nepal police club i think.

some pics:

since i have no idea how to judge the music, i am going to just write about the crowd and the crowd’s antics. Hahahah. Well, the typical head bangers were in the middle of the hall with their own circles. Going on and on with their head banging, regardless of whichever band was up and whatever songs they were playing. there were the non head bangers at the back. i was at the back too. And then there were the fans right up front, the crazy fans. It was a good mix, I’d say. For most part, I was going in and out, not able to bear the heat, the cigarette smoke and of course, the blasting music. Sitting outside was good enough to hear them perform.

Antim graham was the highlight of the concert of course. they go back to 2004 (right around when ktmrocks was also starting) and are probably one of the few bands that’s come so far. Their line up has changed but with the vocalist, key boardist (is there such a word?) and the lead guitarist remaining consistent.

The crowd was shouting out for antim grahan way before their turn. It was crazy. They were saying ‘sparta’ ‘300’ and stuff. I had no idea why. I used to go to concerts in 2004-05, but since then I’ve no clue on what’s been happening in that scene. well, the first song had an audio clip from the movie ‘300’. I was surprised that about half the crowd recited that part in unison…literally! I hadn’t imagined that they were such huge fans. And that was the most amazing part of the tour. Not saying that the other bands were not good, but this was way over than I’d expected.

When they performed ‘forever winter’ and ‘infected’ it was crazy. A fan threw an antim grahan t shirt to the vocalist and made him wear it…and then someone threw another antim graham t-shirt and the guitarist wore it. They were like throwing t-shirts up on stage like crazy and well, the vocalist was displaying it to the crowd and everybody was yelling like hell. Hahahha.. . it was such fun. I was just standing there alone in the back and smiling to myself. And well, when they had to take of the t-shirts and give it back, someone from the crowd got the vocalist to take off his own t-shirt and give it to him. Hahahahahah….and well, that’s never happened before. Absolutely nuts. And yeah, the guitarist threw one of his many rings too.

I left as soon as their session was over. The fans were coming in to take photos like crazy (I think I’ve abused the word by now, but I can’t better describe the situation in any other word.)  I’d never seen this much of a craze in Kathmandu. Maybe it’s also because it was the first time these bands had come to dharan. Anyways, it was a very very successful event in terms of the turn out and the crowd reaction.

As for the bus trip, I made some new friends. There were 38 of us in total. I didn’t talk to everybody but well, it was a fun ride. We left at 6 am from Kathmandu and reached dharan after 8 pm. It was somewhere close to 9 when we actually got to the place where we were going to spend the night. It was the samudayik ban’s bishram ghar. It was an okay place. Beautiful but needs a lot of maintenance and cleaning up. There was a mini zoo next to it.

On our way to dharan, we stopped at that ‘hamlet café’ which has stone slabs for tables and they don’t let people sit on it. And they make horrible tea. I knew that so I just had coffee. We thought we would eat lunch at malekhu or muglin but well, we only stopped at pul no. 3, in makwanpur…way after hetauda. Gosh, I was going mad with hunger. The food was so piro but I didn’t want to get hungry later so I ate up. And well, when we reached lahan I had to get some eno (eno on, acidity gone) into my system. Hahahah.

After the concert ended at 9 pm, we packed, ate dinner and left at midnight from dharan. Made small pit stops and a big one at hetauda since the driver had to rest. The non-sleepers had joined him inside the cabin. It’s a risky business to drive at night. It was around 6 am I think when we got there.

Lunch at malekhu and then off to Kathmandu. forgot to mention that i was on the last seat and it was one hell of a bumpy ride. oh my goodness….we got bumped off our seats like about 6 inches every time we got on a speed breaker and on bad roads…hahahahahha

Since I had a friend in dharan and since he was free, I got to ride on his bike and go to places. There was no public transport coz of the bandh and walking in that heat….not so fun. went on a bike tour of BPKIHS. Had some yummy pork momo and meetha paan at Buddha chowk. Stimes I just love to eat paan. Went to meet a friend’s mom. Met another dai from school and talked about the old days. Had ‘iced cappuccino’ at MC. J went to bhanu chowk to buy akhbare khursani and churpi. And then went to the concert. I think I got a lot of things done for a day in dharan. I had a really nice time. i’d go to dharan any day (but not when it’s way tooo hot).

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