Heavy Metal Rises in The East – Heavy Metal in India

When India is mentioned, a lot of people think about Hinduism, the Taj Mahal, Mahatma Gandhi, and spicy delicacies like curry. However, when people connect the Eastern subcontinent to music, most individuals would readily think of mainstream Bollywood movies with their colorful, traditional attire and songs that are fit for a musical number with tens of participants. Quite contrary to the popular image of India, the country has recently seen as well the rise of other genres of music. Foremost among these is the popularity of the heavy metal genre in Mumbai, which is now being chosen by international artists as the performance backdrop for their hardcore music.

The Rise of Heavy Metal in India

The financial district of Mumbai is also renowned as the musical hub for heavy metal fans. The area has seen several international heavy metal artist’s performances – one of the memorable ones was the Iron Maiden concert in 2008. However, one of the most significant years so far for heavy metal in India was 2015. During the month of January of that year, a two-day festival called Big 69 was launched. Fans of heavy metal were entertained and enlivened by passionate performances full of the characteristic pounding, shredding, and screaming associated with the music. The performers were definitely a  point of pride for Mumbai, and perhaps, even a dream come true to followers of underground rock and metal, as they are all homegrown local artists who amazed the crowds.

Heavy Metal in India
Heavy Metal in India

Big 69 was followed in October by the Harley Rock Riders Festival. The festival was a definite treat for heavy metal music lovers as for the opening night, the legendary band Megadeth closed the festivities. Megadeth lead singer Dave Mustaine gave a memorable performance to a watching crowd that is a mix of city locals, Non-Mumbai citizens, and even many foreigners. The energy of 2015 was followed up in 2016. In November of that year, famous rock icon Slash came to Mumbai with his band, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. Slash and his band gave an epic performance in a grand and fitting venue – Bandra Kurla Complex’ Reliance Jio ground.

Heavy Metal Venues

Mumbai, the heart of India, and at present, the center of heavy metal music and culture in the country, is home to various concert and gig venues for this hardcore genre of music. One of the biggest concerts of 2015 for heavy metal, the historical Big 69, was held at Richardson and Cruddas, a former steel mill factory located in Byculla in the eastern suburb of the city. The remnants of the factory such as the sloping tin roofs and the gigantic metal support columns create the perfect atmosphere for savoring the signature sounds and shredding vocals of heavy metal. The setting is also perfect for such loud and hyped music as heavy metal because of the factory is located away from other buildings or residences.

On the other hand, Slash’s concert venue, the Reliance Jio is a state of the art facility with the best sound system and an upscale venue for the enjoyment of fans. There are also smaller heavy metal venues like Hard Rock cafes found in Andheri West and Worli. One of the most popular is the Blue Frog, which hosts tribute nights and mini-concerts.