KUALA LUMPUR, AUG 12 — A rock concert is all about non-stop headbanging.
Now imagine one where you get to feel various soundscapes, built upon elements of folk and classical sounds of India, interspersed with layers of progressive, pop, ambient and electronic textures.
That's exactly what rock band Thaikkudam Bridge offered during their concert last Saturday night in Zepp KL.
The 15-member ensemble had much uniqueness to serve with their experience showing throughout the night, given the nine years the act has been together with with more than 450 gigs, on 90 international platforms in 25 countries under its belt.
Thaikkudam Bridge may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s safe to say that after their concert here, the band have been the toast of the Indian entertainment scene in Malaysia as social media was full of praise about the electrifying show.
That's how much the multigenre music band from Kerala, India left an impact after their third time performing here.
The band, which was formed in 2013 became famous through the musical show Music Mojo, which was telecast on Kappa TV.
Their own song composition Fish Rock, was an immediate hit on social networking sites and YouTube then.
The unique sound of the band is a product of not focusing on a specific genre, composing and performing songs in many genres.
According to the group, the band’s name came with the formation of the band — near Thaikkudam Bridge at Thaikkudam, Kochi, in early 2013.
Since then, the band has gone on to win numerous awards, performed at over 400 venues and released several albums.
Its strength lies in its versatility and unpredictability thanks to nine vocalists and six instrumentalists from different backgrounds, with each individual bringing on board a wealth of diverse musical, linguistic and cultural influences creating a unique musical experience.
How did the concert go in Kuala Lumpur?
The night kick-started at 8pm with two famous Malaysian DJs; DJ Nexto from Melaka, who is also the co-founder of Pioneer DJ Showroom in Malaysia.
There was also DJ Jay from Penang, who is well known in the club scene for playing 90s Tamil hits, English R&B’s — and the the go-to guy for hyping up most international Indian concerts here recently.
With the crowd already on their feet with their favourite DJs spinning, Thaikuddam Bridge’s entrance whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
Even those who purchased premium and seated tickets were on their feet dancing.
The setup for the show was par excellence and just like how one would imagine a rock concert to be - top notch stage lighting, unbeatable sound system at Zepp KL, and the band’s unwavering energy that kept the show going for four hours.
The absence of the band's founder, Govind Menon who is also the main lead, violinist and vocalist did not affect the remaining 14 band members who made sure to put on stellar performance together.
The outfit had only arrived the night before the show and stayed up late reworking their song choices and performance sets.
Govind could not make it at the very last minute as he was infected with tuberculosis.
He however apologised to his fans through a video played at the concert.
Mithun Raju (lead guitar), Ashok Betty Nelson (rhythm guitar, vocals), Vian Fernandes (bass/vocals), Ruthin Thej (keyboards), Anish T N (drums) and Vipin Lal, Anish Gopalkrishnan, Christin Hanna Jos, Krishna Bongane, Nila Madhab Mohapatra, Hemanth Mukundan and Rajan K S on vocals played their famous medley covers from the likes of AR Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Sid Sriram, and Yuvan Shankar Raja.
Besides songs from their debut albums and Vian Fernandes performing on his own new solo offering, the band ended the concert with a bang, performing fan favourite Fish Rock.
Band members were hyped up with the energy from their fans who attended the concert and also the praise they received on social media.
Many fans have asked for the band to return to Malaysia to perform again.
Why Thaikuddam Bridge and what the organisers had to say
While many concert organisers usually receive complaints, it’s refreshing to see fans applauding organisers Venus Production for their punctuality, hospitality, lighting and of their unique choice of choosing Thaikkudam Bridge to perform here again.
The exclusive concert saw only about 1,000 concert goers as the organisers wanted to cater exclusively to a segment of their true fans to get the best experience of the band.
The co-founders of Venus Production, Ram Kumar and Shiva Ramana who were behind the idea of the concert tagline called "The Next Level”, said their inspiration came from their ideology that anyone can shine better when a suitable platform is given to them.
"We chose Zepp KL as it was able to amplify a live concert experience. This is due to its build quality and standard. The venue also caters for a large dance or rock zone platform.
"We prefer organising events where the majority are able to be themselves and dance. The small crowd is due to a few reasons. One of the reasons is that Thaikkudam Bridge has a niche following in Malaysia but I believe that has changed now.
"We are sure to have more guests if they come again and they too have high regard for their Malaysian fans. They can tell and feel the love received,” Shiva told Malay Mail.
The duo whose main aim is to make every concert livelier and to bring the Indian community together said now their next project in the pipeline is to feature artists with true showmanship.
Both educationists in their 30s with vast experience organising large seminars nationwide have been organising concerts since 2019.
"We are looking to do more concerts where people can dance and celebrate life,” Shiva added.
It is safe to say that the Thaikkudam Bridge and organisers have set the tone for upcoming concerts in Malaysia with people already waiting to see Venus Production’s next project.