MAY 03 -
The long-anticipated grand finale of the Sprite Band Challenge—Freedom to Rock, was held on Thursday at City Hall, Exhibition Road, bringing the three-month battle between bands to a resounding conclusion. The band G-9 from Pokhara came out on top with more than 50,000 votes, and was given a cash prize worth one lakh rupees. Coming in a close second, with 43,011 votes, was Fire Tongue, while Blackout’s 2,320 votes put them in third position. The runners-up received cash prizes of Rs. 50,000 and 30,000 respectively.
Blackout opened the show with an original composition Guffai Ta Ho Nii, followed by a cover of Sabin Rai’s Daya Baya. When it was G-9’s turn to perform, they were a clear favourite with the crowd. The band explained that their first piece, Teen Ghanta, had been composed just the day before and practiced for three hours—hence the title. Their second song, Aasha Chha, was another triumph, if the ringing applause that followed was anything to go by.
Fire Tongue, the last band to perform, put up quite a fight, choosing to make a distinctly political statement. Rajnaiti was a particularly interesting piece, with lyrics that revolved around corruption in politics and Prasna, their second song, made references to various social issues.
The show also saw performances by judges Abhaya Subba from Abhaya and the Steam Injuns, Robin Tamang as well as Dev Rana, who performed an instrumental piece.
The Band Challenge had begun with 62 bands battling it out on stage, before the list was whittled down to the top six, and then the top three. The judges, however, insist there are no losers in this competition, and that all the contenders should be proud of themselves, not just the final three.
“I am really amazed to know that Nepal has so many emerging talents,” says Subba. “This is a great platform for those who are passionate about rock music.”
The results up to this last stage in the competition had been a combination of votes cast by audiences as well as marks given by the judging panel. On the last day, however, since the judges’ scores were tied, it was the audience vote that became decisive.
“We never expected to win. These four months have been great on their own, but winning is just amazing!” exclaims G-9 vocalist, Prayanta Shrestha. “It’s even more rewarding because none of us in the band have any formal knowledge of music—it’s like we’ve been learning on the job.”
Posted on: 2011-05-03 08:59