William Shakespeare's tragicomedy 'The Twelfth Night' opens by saying "If music be the food of love, play on," by a lovesick Duke Orsino. In a concert that seemed like the greatest music lovers' gathering of the year, everyone was feeling as Orsino was in this Shakespearean play: "play on…"
The chain of events that followed 2020 – the pandemic, the lockdown, all the death and the war that still rages on – had virtually dried up the rock scene in Bangladesh. But when 'Mixtape Vol 1' was announced to the public about a month ago, people were already queuing up for it.
Organised by Dhaka Broadcast, Mixtape Vol 1 was held at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) on Friday between 3 PM to almost midnight. Dads in the Park opened the show. The rest of the lineup included Karnival, Highway, Indalo, Ashes, Nemesis, Artcell and the nostalgia-inducing Ark at long last.
Many concerts have taken place in the recent months, but this was one rock n' roll lovers were looking forward to.
"Are you going to join us?" asked the vocalist of Karnival, and nothing more needed to be said. Audiences were on their toes ready to sing their hearts out for the band.
By the time Karnival got on stage, it was already a full house. As the saying goes, "The early bird catches the worm," those who were the very first to arrive got the front row all to themselves and they stood their ground till the concert's end, late into the night.
The audience was composed of music fans of varying generations. The younger fans came to see Dads in the Parks, Karnival and Indalo, while their older siblings were enjoying Nemesis and Artcell. However, the parents were there to see Ark perform.
"I wouldn't miss Ark's concert for the world. I have been a fan of their music for years. My children came here to see Indalo and Karnival. It's a cool experience for me and my two children to be able to enjoy this concert together," said Saleh Rahman, a banker by profession and an Ark fan by heart.
The concert became so much more animated as the night went on. Every band felt a heart-warming welcome on the stage.
Indalo's songs had a cryptic bassline to them, owing to Bartman's profound understanding of deep bass grooves. Ashes brought afresh a wave of folk-ish fervour to the show. Nemesis reminded how rock is still a thing and Artcell did the same for hard rock.
The final act of the night was Ark. How long have we been waiting for Ark? Aeons and that is not even an exaggeration. But the group reminded everyone why they were still relevant and why the wait was all worth it