It was October 2011 and India (Bangalore) was about to experience its second LEGEN-(and-God-knows-we-waited-for-it)-DARY international artist after the mighty Iron Maiden had parked their own plane full of memories permanently in our minds and hearts.
2011 would mark the descending of arguably an even bigger global star to India – METALLICA!
The opening (local) acts had just finished performing their sets and now an uncertain visual hiatus prevailed. The anticipation was killing us and we expected the skies to turn red any moment now!
The stage was set.
And right then, we see two huge flags being suspended from the ground up, behind the stage – HUGE red and blue flags almost as high as the monstrous stage itself. Most of us in the 25,000+ crowd did not know what this was about but it sort of caused an intrigue. Breaking the prevalent public murmur came a voice in an unmissable Scottish tone, “Hiyah! We’re as stoked as you are for Metallica, and while they’re getting ready, we’re here to entertain ya!” The stage was still dark as this voice addressed the audience so the mystery was sustained until BAM! The lights went on with the heavy musical bang and a 3-piece semi-nude band began tearing the place to shreds with their intro. It started raining almost on cue, just to make sure this image was cast in silver in my mind.
It was beautiful.
It took me a few minutes to realize that Biffy Clyro was unlike ANYTHING I had heard before. In a way, all the best parts about all my favourite musicians in the past were brought together in one awesome package, under the drizzling skies of Bangalore. I could have never fathomed how melodic songwriting and simplicity in vocal expression could co-exist with super-technicalities and intricacies that showcased some very advanced musicianship on display. It was pouring heavier with every passing second, yet it wasn’t the rain that swept me and tens of thousands off our feet. Such mature songwriting at the core of such an aggressive sound – this was NEW. I swear for a few moments here and there during their set, I forgot completely about Metallica!
Physically, I came back from this trip the next day. Mentally, different story. The first thing I did when I came back home was download their concert DVD, Biffy Clyro: LIVE in Wembley.
Ah, damn. Mind was a-blown.
I had finally found my way to what had made them a global phenomenon and one of the fastest rising bands in the world. And signed to Warner Bros.? What the…
“When we collide we come together
If we don’t we’d always be apart
I’ll take a bruise I know you’re worth that
When you hit me, hit me hard.”
I am of course referring to the song titled, Many of Horror. What surprises me is not how this song had become an anthem to hundreds of thousands of people, but that I had gone completely ignoring the existence of something as BIG as Biffy Clyro for all these years until they actually came and played in my yard!
Biffy Clyro have it all – the hooks, the unsurpassable vocal melodies balanced with carefully juxta-positioned musical technicalities coated with some outrageous high-gain badassery. My favourite part is how each song differs from the other, while keeping “the sound” intact. I have always felt a greater respect for artists who go beyond their one-hit-stardom and they do! They keep experimenting, evolving and above all, making new music like a friggin’ music factory (Their album, Opposites, had 20 tracks on it and was divided into two parts, namely ‘The Sand at the Core of our Bones’ and ‘The Land at the End of our Toes’).
For me, Biffy Clyro are the last surviving, uncorrupted, pure alternative rock band of our time. So I’ll quote a cliché that really sums up why I shared my Biffy Clyro experience here – cherish it while it lasts!