In the four decades since its inception in 1971, IIT-Bombay’s annual cultural fest, Mood-I, has gathered the reputation of bringing together some of the biggest names in film, fashion and music. After hosting big international bands such as Porcupine Tree, Karnivool and Simple Plan in the previous editions, the festival will feature popular American singer and multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse and his band this year. The outfit will be the headlining act at Livewire Nite, the main music event of the festival.
“After Simple Plan last year, we didn’t want to disappoint. At the same time, we wanted a concert that could be appreciated by people with varied tastes in music. The Neal Morse Band, featuring drummer Mike Portnoy, does precisely this. Also, their music bubbles with optimism as opposed to usual progressive rock and metal, which generally explores the dark sides of life,” says Saksham Jain, head, Pronites, which organises concerts at Mood I. Portnoy is also the co-founder of veteran progressive rock outfit Dream Theatre.The students admit that bringing down artistes like these every year is no easy task. "It was challenging to get them on board. We were in direct touch with Neal and it was exciting to communicate with a personality like him. We worked hard on the logistics and shipment of his drum set as well," informs Jain.
Bringing down the right kind of band, which appeals to a cross-section of the audience (comprising mostly young students) is also another challenge for the organisers. “We keep in touch with professional bands. We work around tight deadlines and manage the budget in the best possible way, without compromising on the quality of elements or the entire fest,” says Jain.
The Neal Morse Band will perform at the Livewire night at Mood I, IIT-Bombay on December 20.