The City’s rock band, ‘Thermal and a Quarter’ (TAAQ) recently launched its fifth album, ‘3 Wheels 9 Lives’ at Hard Rock Cafe. There was a happy vibe that was infectious throughout the energy-packed gig.
After frontman Bruce Lee Mani brushed up the audience’s ‘taaqistory’ — or the history of the band — the members began their set of songs from the new album. While most of the audience members had not heard the songs earlier, nobody seemed to mind, since their music had a familiar feeling about it. People were seen jiving and cheering along as the band played their hour-long set.
“To put it simply, I was blown away. I think the sound in this album is quite different from their previous albums. But, the beauty of ‘TAAQ’ is that no matter how different their songs sound from each other, you know a ‘TAAQ’ song when it plays. The energy was flawless and it was quite an entertaining gig,” says Noopur Vasuraj, who thoroughly enjoyed the gig.
Halfway through the set, there was a lot of commotion and gasps, when two seemingly drunk auto drivers came onto the stage and started creating a ruckus during the song, ‘Meter Mele One-and-a-Half’— a song about how auto drivers conveniently raise their price whenever they feel like.
The band members pretended to pay them off and the autowallahs took the mic and were slurring as they told the audience not to drink and drive and instead, use their auto service after the gig. It was all in good humour and a devious, but well-planned act by the band to spice up the evening.
They performed a lot of their new songs like ‘For the Cat’, a tribute to Cat Stevens and ‘Bangalore Flowers’, dedicated to the pretty women of the City. Some of the mellow ones like ‘Surrender’, ‘De-Arranged’ and ‘Birthday’ were thought-provoking as well as soothing to the ear. Bruce was constantly interacting and talking to the audience members, which kept everybody in high spirits.
The gig was as much fun for the band as it was for those who went to hear them. “It felt like family because there were a lot of long-time fans, along with some new people who have recently started listening to our music. Even though it was new stuff, we got an overwhelming response. It makes us feel that all the madness is worth it,” says Bruce, after the show.