I screamed myself hoarse.
After four years in Vellore, and getting to see most of the gigs around in Bangalore and Chennai, but somehow managing to miss TAAQ each time, the wait was finally over.
The show was brilliant. They started off with one of my favourites, Look at Me, and by the end of the song I was already filled with that feeling only Bruce's tu ta paraburapurooo can express. The new song, Where the State has No Name is a bluesy, catchy number and has one of those choruses that comfortably settle down in your head. A total singalong song. I really liked that they wrote this one. I've always believed that TAAQ is an intelligent band; from their lyrics to the structure of their songs, there's a characteristic subtle wit that underlies. They're classic, they're contemporary. They reach out to the audience with songs like this one, and previously, with Keep the Promise, One Small Love and Shut up and Vote.
It was the first time I heard them play their signature cover, with its long intro (oh what tones on the guitar!) delightfully breaking out into Roxanne. At this point I glanced at the bouncer, contemplating my fate if I did get hysterical. De-arranged was anything but. I love how all the parts come together in their songs. I grinned throughout the show, and everytime Bruce went hic! during Drunk I grinned a little more.
Its always interesting to observe musicians during a live show. Bruce, with supreme confidence, picking, strumming, singing away in his strong steady voice, doing his plectrum-dropping act; at the same time not losing track of the audience. Rzhude, closed eyes, completely with the flow and completely enjoying himself, his thick basslines underlining clean riffs. You could almost hear him say as he cradled his guitar: this is my baby. Rajeev, swift, fresh young energy. I squinted at him intently for a large part of the show, counting in my head. Jason (haven't heard him play before), effortlessly fiddling about on the keyboard, bringing out some mind blowing solos like it was child's play.They played a fun version of Wonderwall with some interesting chords there. Mighty strange was mighty good, so was Bend the World. Paper Puli was trademark. And finally, Surrender stole the show. (Nice harmony, shouldaii shouldaii still rings in my head.)
The only disappointment was that there was no song from This Is It. They got our groove, yes, but what happened to mom made butter skies and all that?
But moving on. You can listen to TAAQ at home, scribbling those clever lyrics down with your tongue sticking out. Drive with them to work and do a BLM into the window of the nearest car at the signal. You can jog in the mornings with that TAAQ playlist on your iPod. Blast their music on a Sunday afternoon in an empty hostel.
But TAAQ, live?
Oh what a feeling.