For long Freedom Jam has been showcasing some of Bangalore's upcoming musicians on the block with their original compositions. In fact most of the bands have played their first gigs in Freedom Jam. Previously held in Palace Grounds , with the event spanning over 3 stages and covering 50 bands, Freedom Jam 2009 was organized on a much smaller scale than before, amidst all the rumours of the jam not happening at all. Held in Alliance Francaise, the venue (a small auditorium) was just not the right place for a gig of such magnitude.
This year Freedom Jam strictly themed the gig around originality, asking registered artistes to play only original compositions. But when the gig finally took place, the story happened to have a different plot altogether. With most bands playing covers of usual international metal acts of Metallica and Lamb of God that too in the most bleakish way possible, the most fundamental theme of Freedom Jam i.e. originality was corrupted right from the beginning. The gig started with a bunch of 13 year old school boys calling themselves 'Original Fakes' playing an eclectic mix of Coldplay and Green Day covers. And they were not the only band playing covers as there was another band named Metalhead, covering Metallica and Lamb of God in a pathetic manner.
There were such large numbers of covers playing bands, that I can go on ranting about them. In fact I think I would mention the exceptional acts now. Swine Blue, an alternative act were one such band who played some catchy compositions. And so were another alternative act, Plunge who deserve a mention here for their orignal tracks. But the artist worth mentioning here would be American Idol finalist Sean Michels who played some of the most heart-warmimg blues compositions one can ever hear. The guy also knows his way around the guitar too play some of the most melodious riffs heard in a long time. Metal acts Alternate Paradox were another top notch act with some gut wrenching growls providing the headbanging factor for the gig.
Inspite of these original performances I was dispappinted not to see any known metal acts from the city. But it turned out later that due to the organizer's poor slot allocation, most metal acts refused to turn up for the gig . Some of those acts were brutal death metallers Abandoned Agony and tech death outfit Inner Sanctum, of whom the organizer apparently had never heard of! Over all Freedom Jam 2009 was a gig best forgotten. With very few memorable moments, Freedom Jam was not the gig that once captured the glory of the city's live music scene.