Meghalaya Aids Control Society’s initiative “Meghalaya Icon” is one such event that is envisioned as a means to bring to the fore awareness regarding HIV/ Aids and it’s seriousness by using music as a vital tool in imparting knowledge about such issues to the youth of the state. This event has run a course of three years now including this year. The event is a competition of bands and musicians of various genres coming under one roof competing neck to neck with one another for the coveted Meghalaya Icon title which would ultimately lead the musicians or bands on becoming brand ambassadors of Meghalaya Aids Control Society or rather known in short as MACS.
This is definitely massive of a concept and very effective having these Icons going to every nook and corner of the state spreading the awareness to other human beings alike, especially to those who’re ignorant about such issues.
Now, coming to this year’s Meg Icon; there were 40 bands that auditioned for the Icon hunt, out of those 10 bands were chosen to battle it out for the coveted title. A couple of bands were from Garo Hills, three from Jaintia Hills and five from Shillong. The bands that stood out at the competition are Echo Dirt a grunge/punk band from Jaintia hills; this trio played a flawless set of four songs and were declared to have won the two awards: Best Theme song(Aids related) and Best drummer. Act of Violence a Shillong based thrash metal-band sent the metal heads into a frenzy with their intense stage act and hard-pounding riffs, bass and ear shattering double bass. Not only that, but this quartet also bagged the second runner’s up prize. Symphonic Illusions were pretty impressive; playing old school metal this band comprises of a line-up of five lads, one being the youngest of them all is the keyboardist whose name is Sam. On complementing Sam, we learned that he is just a kid of 13 but his sharp, pulsing keyboards techniques stole the show and he was eventually awarded Best keyboardist. Furthermore, this quintet bagged the first runner’s up title as well. Aberrant took the stage by storm, this super metal group of Shillong city comprising of a line-up of “All Stars” from renowned metal bands of this place. Ryngkat the vocalist is of Native Rules a thrash metal band; this giant of a vocalist even bagged the tilte of Best vocalist, Imti the guitarists of Dwar fame a melodic progressive metal outfit, the guitarist of Modern death metal act Project Blend Ltd. Jerry, Undead’s Bassist Ampher who also bagged the best bassist title and the man of blast beats Bhabor ex Defying Caution. All in all, their set was a furious one that tore the place apart and in addition, they won the tilte of Meghalaya Icon edition III.
The event was then headlined by former Meghalaya Icon 11Th Hour. This metal-core outfit as always delivered a platter of skull crushing riffs, ear shattering drums and a vivacious stage act.
Photos: Rundolf Mawlieh