Rock worship

By Tahnee Hopman

There are rockers, wannabe rockers and serious rockers. And then there are the Gods – the Gods of rock. From Metallica to Iron Maiden, Led Zepellin, Black Sabbath, Lamb of God and Arch Enemy to name a few, their music will be featured by five local bands in their Tribute to the Gods.

Being the first time in many years that a tribute concert of this nature is being produced, all the rockers performing at the show eagerly anticipate an evening of pure rock, promising all rock fans music that they all know and love in addition to a few singles of their own.

"In fact that is what makes Tribute to the Gods a unique concert," explained Javeen Soysa, the leader of tantrum - the organizer of the show. "Rock concerts by the local bands usually feature the original music of the bands and though the audience enjoys it, that level of familiarity and relating to the music is not the same."

Set to take place on October 5 at the newly renovated Club Nuovo at 4pm, Tribute to the Gods is a rare concert in which all the bands will be rocking in tribute to those who have inspired them as well as countless other rockers around the world. The five bands – Tantrum, Fallen Grace, Funeral in Heaven, LOA and Cannabis will take the stage to offer their enthusiastic audience a treat which will not come their way for a long time.

Tantrum first stepped into the limelight of the rock music scene in 2005, having won TNL Onstage. Consisting of four members – Javeen, Akila, Arjun and Tharaka, Tantrum released its debut album, 'The Destruction Begins' in 2006 and hopes to release a second album sometime next year.

For Tantrum, the biggest challenge had been to establish themselves as serious rockers. "Back in 2002," reminisces Javeen, "we were just a bunch of guys straight out of school. We were guys with aspirations though, and it took a while for people to see that. For them, we were just young guys with an interest in rock music. We had to break their perceptions and show them that we were passionate about the music."

LOA, headed by lead guitarist Izzy and lead vocalist Dineli, is a fairly new band which was established a few months ago. They are the first female fronted rock band in Sri Lanka. Fallen Grace, coming a long way from the time when they were booed off stage at their first performance, is a comparatively young rock band with a constant desire to keep improving and experimenting.

They have all had their triumphs as well as challenges, from line up changes to breaking perceptions and finding performers. At the end of it all though, all these rockers above all love the music, love the audience and are guided by one common thing, the high they get out of performing to an enthusiastic audience.

As Javeen says, "there are many rockers around; they're all good, so there is a lot of competition. To make things more challenging, this genre of music has a relatively small audience in this country. Small as the audience may be though, they are all loyal, and whatever challenge we face, it is all worth it because of them."

Tickets for Tribute to the Gods, priced at Rs.200/- for girls and Rs.400/- for guys, will be available on the day of the show at the entrance. The electronic media sponsor for the event is Yes FM, while the print media sponsor is The Sunday Times.

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