Mic Check: Outlandish, Mumbai, 8th July 2009

Outlandish

It isn’t often that international artists perform in Mumbai, and very often the few that do so aren’t worth watching. So when I heard that Outlandish would be performing at the Hard Rock Café – a smaller and more personal venue than, say, a stadium – I knew at once it was a show I didn’t want to miss.

Outlandish are a Danish hip hop group with a twist. It comprises of Waqas (right, of Pakistani origin), Lenny (centre, of Honduran origin) and Isam (left, of Moroccan origin and my future husband). Their ethnic diversity adds cultural and global influences in their music to give you hip hop that’s in English, Spanish, Hindi, and Moroccan.

Before the concert I didn’t really know too many of Outlandish’s songs, but whatever I had heard I’d liked. So I braved the crowds (I didn’t know the Hard Rock could hold that many people, albeit quite uncomfortably) and balanced precariously on a step in a manner that ended up being quite a workout for my abs and thighs, while my sister sat on someone else’s table and my brother-in-law didn’t move from his spot all night lest he should lose it, but I have to say it was completely worth it.

Outlandish are one of those bands that are so, so much better live than through your headphones. The energy in their performance radiated through the crowd – which they know how to work – and they performed some of their best songs by mixing them up. Hindi rap over Black Eyed Peas’s Boom Boom Pow early on in the night made it evident this wasn’t going to be a run of the mill concert.

The 90-minute set even included a short tribute to Michael Jackson, complete with an amusing attempt to moonwalk, and two guys from the audience rapping with the band. Even their backup singer, Johannes/Jonas (I didn’t quite catch his name amidst all the screaming girls) had an amazing voice.

I unfortunately don’t have any clips from the concert, but you can hear their album versions of some of my favourite songs – Peelo, Look Into My Eyes, Stick ‘Em Up (they performed a much more high energy version) , Rock All Day and Aicha (a cover of Khaled’s song). I will, however, be uploading pics from the concert soon.

Said sister is a music journalist and has now met the band three times. She was nice enough to get me an autograph, else I might not like her very much right about now.

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