On a chilly winter day, the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) was warming up its Expo Zone for the second instalment of Big Rock Day. Bangladesh's most prominent bands were prepping for the evening with a youthful crowd eagerly awaiting entrance at the ICCB gate.
Big Rock Day V.2 was organised solely by Blues Communications. The performing bands included Conclusion, Trainwreck, Powersurge, AvoidRafa, Vikings, Arbovirus, Nemesis and Nagar Baul James.
Unlike most concerts in the country that are either underground or mainstream, Big Rock Day V.2 was a healthy amalgamation of both where musical giants like Powersurge, AvoidRafa, Vikings, Arbovirus, Nemesis and Nagar Baul James shared the two alternating stages with Conclusion and Trainwreck.
The gates opened at 2.30pm and the crowd started streaming inside ICCB with tickets shaped like the vertical half of a guitar in their hands. Some people stopped by at the sales booth to grab their passes at the last moment. The concert kicked off at 3.00pm with Conclusion rounding up the crowd for the first performance of the evening, and the hype of the Big Rock was just about to start.
Conclusion's power-packed performance was followed by AvoidRafa. They began their set with Ami Akash Pathabo and it took only a few seconds for the crowd to start singing along. By the very end of the song, it was only the crowd who were singing the very last chorus of the song as the band continued playing the instruments.
Next to get on the stage was the mighty Trainwreck where they performed their popular tracks – firing up the crowd even more and intensifying the concert experience more than it already was.
Powersurge took to the stage next and performed a cover of Master of Puppets by Metallica, to which the crowd went crazy. They proceeded to heat up the show even more with songs like Sultana Bibiyana/Jatra Pala among their originals.
The Expo Zone got even more crowded and was bursting with energy by the time Vikings got up on the stage. They performed their classic originals like Ishwar and Opekkha. With their performance, the stage was projecting an array of colourful lights on the crowd that made the experience even more enjoyable.
Arbovirus came next and the crowd instantly roared with joy as Sufi Maverick, the vocalist, became visible under the lights of Arbovirus' trademark lime green spotlight. As Arbovirus always is during their concerts, interacting with the crowd is one of the things, apart from music, which they do best. The drummer, Nafeez Al Amin, could not resist coming to the front of the stage to catch a glimpse of the crowd – to which the crowd cheered. Resonating the energy of the crowd, Arbovirus performed Hariye Jao, School, alongside their all-time crowd favourite Jaalo Agun Jaalo.
As the two stages kept alternating to host the bands, Nemesis was next in line to put on a show. Starting off with Obocheton, the crowd sang along the entire time as Nemesis continued to claim the stage with their performance. Obocheton was followed by Bir, Gonojowar, Janala, among their other originals. As the sound and the bright and dominating stage lights set the crowd on a rolling boil, Nemesis concluded their set with Kobe – another crowd favourite.
As the clock ticked to 8.45pm, Nagar Baul James took to the other stage for the last act of the night. And even before James could be seen on the stage, the crowd started going crazy cheering Guru, guru, guru. Nagar Baul James kicked off their act with a bit of guitar riffing by the Guru himself followed by Kobita, Tumi Shopnocharini Hoye. Maa was the next item to be sung and Pagla Hawa followed. The crowd, overwhelmed by a night of excellent music, sang along all the Nagar Baul songs.
The success of Big Rock Day V.2 was evident in the enthusiasm of the crowd as they ran from one stage to the other, filling the atmosphere with liveliness and contentment with the performances they experienced. And this was for the first time in Bangladesh where two stages were set up in a concert on each end of the Expo Zone– designed to alternate between each performance to host the bands. The second instalment took place this year after a year's break in 2018.
Big Rock Day V.2 was a much-needed break for everyone who attended from the bustling and mechanical city life. All through the event, not for once did the crowd failed to keep the milieu of the concert full of life.