Dec 14, 2009

Big, Bigger, Biggest: Mr. Big finds India Loudest

And so it shall be said for a good long time to come. On Wednesday evening, possibly the biggest celebration ever in mind in the history of entertainment in Nagaland shook a pitifully gasping Dimapur District Sports Council stadium. Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey simply came to be with Nagaland, and just plain took her heart away.

At the Dimapur stadium, American rockers Mr. Big led a teeming, sweating and fervent mass of humanity into the good old hard rock tradition of good noise. Organized by events group Finishing Touches, Mr. Big’s Dimapur show heard a motley set of selective hits even the most remote house in Nagaland has a cassette of. And fans rejoiced.

For good reasons, not a number from their recent ugly offerings Get Over It (2000) and Actual Size (2001) was played. Not that the multitude would have wanted them. Thankfully for fans like Nagaland’s who have a taste for everything that is being played by everybody, Mr. Big did not disappoint. Numbers from that terribly indigestible Mr. Big (1989) debut album to the international chart-busting Lean Into It (1991) and Bump Ahead (1993) albums were dished out to the gathered hungry. And the fans devoured it all up, gratefully. And notwithstanding Nagaland Pollution Control Board’s recent circular on noise pollution, fans competed to beat one another’s decibels.

Mr. Big inaugurated the celebrations with their 1991 first hit single Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy. Also called The Electric Drill Song, Mr.Big educated the fans in the judicious use of technology to make life meaningful – Eric Martin fished out an electric scrapper to wring out notes from Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert’s poor guitars. The stadium rejoiced. From there, a slew of singles came: Take Cover, Had Enough, Fool Us Today (from the Japan hit Live at Budokan). Then hits including the one song every budding Naga guitarist has had to learn to play, came – Green Tinted Sixties Mind (from Lean Into It).

The billboard #33 hit had the crowd rejoicing and right into Alive and Kicking. Interestingly, here, a momentary lapse of Paul Gilbert’s fingers during the bridging solo in Alive and Kicking, proved that even guitar gods like Gilbert, are humans too – he played a set of progressing notes right into another deviant key. The Honorary Dean of Japan’s GIT institute realized the off-tune and returned home to the key the rest of Mr. Big was playing.

And that was before the band began one of the two Mr. Big song even Naga mothers have hummed at least once. After Green Tinted Sixties Mind, Eric Martin teased the already ignited stadium: “Are there any girls here? Let’s hear the girls!” To the terror of the males, a seriously keening, shrill and ear-blistering thunder of female sounds emerged from the women in the stadium! With that, Mr. Big’s Just Take My Heart Away took away the hearts of Nagaland’s gathered faithful that evening. Dimapur stadium was the lead vocalist on this one.

Singles and hits came and went. Temperamental, Price You Gotta Pay and Take a Walk. The stadium was nearly fainting by now. Crowds filled every possible space. Sweat rejoiced with singings, summer stink with space and so on, practically. As the stadium went all the more wild, Mr. Big announced a song that drove fans wilder – Wild World. The stadium was again the lead vocalist, on this one.

But for worshippers of guitars and everything to do with 12-bar finger runs, Billy Sheehan and Gilbert did not disappoint. The two played a couple of impromptu adaptations on some Mr. Big’s solos. Another highlight of the show was Gilbert and Sheehan each donning twin-necks for a session before launching into the completely rocking The Whole World’s Gonna Know (from the Bump Ahead album). Solo sessions from Billy Sheehan, Gilbert and one from Pat Torpey had the crowd in ecstasy. Mr. Big cranked up the adrenalin levels of the screaming wildlife with arena-scorchers such as Addicted To The Rush and Rock and Roll Over.

It was truly an evening of its kind Nagaland will for a long time not forget. And now you have noticed something missing in this news report – of course, they played To Be With You. The stadium would have wrung the Mr. Big members’ necks if they hadn’t played it. Simple.


  1. Wish I was there? Good stuff and keep writing!

  2. Thank you Vikas, yes, it was a great time we had - except the part where a colorful mixture of sweat and community stink did good rounds thanks to the huge crowd :)

  3. Am totally pissed off that they cancelled their tour short! Their next stage was in Aizawl(Mizoram)...(rumour has it that bassist Billy Sheehan had trouble in his hotel room in Nagaland...bed-bugs!!!). I had one chance of seeing my favorite band perform LIVE...missed it bcoz someone couldn't keep their hotel rooms clean and bug-free!!! WTF....