| It was music for a cause for Zubeen Garg when he performed at the Sishu Shanti Samaroh in aid of children from violence-hit families in Assam on Saturday. Picture by Eastern Projections
Dec. 31: In Shillong, music rolls along. And how!
The Meghalaya capital lived up to the title and theme song of a musical New Year bash as a 20,000-strong crowd let its hair down for one last time in 2006. As dazzling fireworks lit up the first hour of 2007, Police Bazar Square played host to a heady fusion of music, food and, well, some more music.
“This is awesome! We are in our 16th year of some very memorable performances, but we have not seen anything like this,” said Vikramjit Banerjee, lead guitarist for Calcutta-based rock band Krosswindz, after an exhilarating opening act.
Organised by the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum with support from the Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation, the show began at 8.30 pm as local bands Felixis and Snow White got the crowd into the groove with some oldies and classic rock ’n’ roll numbers.
They strummed the right chord, which Krosswindz then tuned to a “rock”-solid crescendo with some breathtaking renditions of everything from The Beatles and Pat Metheny to Pink Floyd.
Guwahati faced some good old music too, though not from the vigilante Asom Sena, with bands belting out foot-tapping numbers to take the city into the New Year. Despite a stern warning from the moral policing unit of the All Assam Students’ Union, the city’s party scene ranged from the traditional to the funky. Fashion shows, DJ nights and buffets — leading hotels, lounge bars and discotheques dished out an array of options for Guwahatians.
Mizoram heralded 2007 with roof-top performances at Millenium Centre, a local mall. Youths also gathered at the Temple Square to celebrate under the open skies. Amidst the revelry, church bells tolled to mark the first moments of the new year.
In Manipur, Imphal’s Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre resounded with the notes of The Great Two Nights, another concert. The programme, which will continue till tomorrow, is being organised by Sana Konung Semgat Lup. Proceeds from the show will go into the renovation of the Manipur Palace.
In Nagaland, a diktat by the NSCN (I-M) banning all late-night entertainment led to virtually no celebrations at all.