Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : A Review
22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Imphal

Lukhendro Keisham *

Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Impha
Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Imphal

As a sequence to its first edition held at D.M College's NCC Ground in 2011 the Nokia Manipur came back with the Yaoshang Rock Show on 22nd April, 2012 at Y.A.C Range Ground, Imphal. Keeping up with the promises and charismatic ideas to make it an extravagance the event was the biggest rock event in Manipur till date.

June Neelu (5:00 pm), who was making her big debut in Imphal opened the show. She was a promising female solo artist from Imphal, based in Bangaluru. Featured in the then recently released Manipuri music video "Laklaroi" by B. Meisnam and selfie videos on Youtube she came to limelight and became the overnight heartthrob of the Manipuri music trend. Gifted with a clean detectable voice and backed by well balanced musicians June along with the band came down to battle out the expectations of the crowd. A very familiar tune from her was Rolling in the Deep by Andale which most of the crowd cheered.

Fringes, the classic sediments of the legendary rock and blues offered the day with its enchanted artistic form of music after June. They embarked the day with melodies from covers to originals. Born in an era of only few classic bands in the country the Fringes as seen were serious to dig down the path to fame someday. It was simply music and rest were the fans waiting for excitements to happen though a little stranded by their new faces.

The venue was half full as June Neelu came out for her second session after Fringes. With an extra flavor of the stage lights beginning to light up she was one good looking pretty face in Imphal that day. They put up a calm but cool outstanding kind of musical transaction to the fans chilling out at the taste of the grand venue set up by the Manipur Nokia Team. It was indeed a very special day for her.

Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Impha
Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Imphal

Angellica was the next. With an instrumental touch in all of its song they came up with a smoothly heavy presentation. The band was a glitter of new lights with a touch of classical instinct. It was a rare moment to see a bass guitarist took up the mike for a number. His name was Mocha Gurumayum. Heartfelt feeling is that he passed away a few days back due to a prolonged illness. Sorry that this review came out so late to him. Just as they were to wind up the band announced an album in the making which will be released within that year (2012) was a memory to recall. Rests in peace Mocha, your memories are with us in our hearts.

Silence for awhile and the whole venue roar up in sudden as they got the glimpse of the hottest band of the evening, the Apples. This all girl band from Aizawl is on their first ever gig in Imphal. They glittered the evening with a pile of covers which includes Californication by RHCP, I Love Rock and Roll by AC/DC, etc. to mention a few. These three apples simply thrilled the fans with their girly but highly energizing showman attitude. Serious behind the mike with a rock n roll guitar sounds, smashing drumming acts and a never deflecting bass back up was what the Apples were that evening. It didnít seem so hard for the ladies to still the show. They wind up with All Night Long.

As the girls exit the roar took to a new height for it was the Shades of Retribution, the lone metal band of the evening. Also they are the only band of that evening whose songs are not marked with English lyrics alone but Assamese, indeed the true tongue. We couldnít quite understand the words but the man on the mike give a brief of all the songs they did before each song.

Venomous Society, Mandatory Suicide, Satru the Enemy (from their second album), Inner Sin, etc. were some of the title meanings of their originals as translated. Shredding guitar sounds, flipping of the guitar tremolo by the lead guitarist and fading down of melodies in between the songs made them the heaviest of all the bands that evening. These dark whiskers from Assam floored the party to a loud, heavy and symbolic high. It was during their slot we came to realize that the front barricade was weak and won't last long.

Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Impha
Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Imphal

The final act of the day was the all time favorite and the greatest band of the country, the unbreakable and the reliable Parikrama. The band had played a number of times earlier in the city. They began with Am I Dreaming. It was But It Rained that brought the band closer to the fan with the later joining the song in chorus. Nitin Malikís ambient to high pitching vocal made the dense smoke filled stage into a deep lightning cloud. Out of nowhere it was hard to find fresh air due to the dust erupted from the pushing and tossing of the crowds. The older it gets the better they sound is what Parikrama was.

Sonam Sherpa, the guitarist of the band had a lighted cigarette in his machine head during one of the number. Watching him use the slide on his guitar frets reminds of the old school rock and roll era. Flashing stage lights and dense fog from the smoke machine caught the air around Y.A.C Range Ground on fire. The cops were well alerted and the horns bow in respect for the legends.

It was such a lovely sight to see Nitin Malik rub the shoulder of Sonam Sherpa from a wild insect that flew by during the middle of Tears of the Wizard. And on the other side Saurabh Chaudhry (2nd guitarist) was adjusting his guitar tune in between the play on, an act of long standing experience. Rhythm of Blue, In the Middle, Am I Evil, etc. were some of the set list to name a few more that day. They wind up with Highway to Hell.

It was a great moment to witness the greatest band of the country. With an unrelenting performance it was one of their best gigs in Imphal. It was always a heartthrob experience whenever I watch this band (Parikrama) was what I recall a fan gossip among a retrieving crowd. They made the evening short. Along with the thrilling waves from Subir Malikís keyboard the fine guitar tone, easy drumming moves, warm bass patterns, energizing violin solos and the amazing vocal pitches rippled the crowd to one of the most memorable gig here in Imphal.

But never to forget was the extra set of effort and the well crafted quality event hosting works by Manipur Nokia Team. Fascinated and truly impressed the Nokiaís Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 is the best gig ever witnessed in Manipur. Thanks to the security crew the front barricade did last till the end.

We rubbed the dust out from our vehicles parked outside the Y.A.C Range Ground and headed home safely. I would like to thank the Nokia Manipur for organizing such a great show. And most importantly the fans who showed up to make it a huge success.

Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Impha
Nokia's Yaoshang Rock Show 2012 : 22nd April, 2012 / YAC Range Ground / Imphal

Event Name: Nokiaís Yaoshang Rock Show, 2012
Date: 22nd April, 2012
Venue: Y.A.C Range Ground
Organized by: Nokia Manipur

See a Full Photo Gallery on this concert here

* Lukhendro Keisham (Club Muzik - approaching cultural infinity) wrote this article for
The writer can be accessed at and can be reach at LukhendroKeisham(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on April 25, 2014.

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