Helping People Dream Again…

Music is a very good medium – if not the best – to reach out to the younger generation and for the spread of social message amongst them. And this very fact becomes much more important when we talk of the northeast, where music is ingrained in the life and heart of each and every individual, especially the youngsters. Most of the International bands, which are quite popular with the younger generation, are known more for their negative images which results in the spread of negative thoughts amongst an entire upcoming generation. As such, it is a welcome change to see a group of young – but not the least talented – musicians travel across the seven seas in an attempt to spread positive messages – that of hope and proper enjoyment of life – amongst the people, especially the younger lot.

Nashiville based U.S. fusion band, Difference United, rocked the twin cities of Guwahati and Shillong early this month with the aim of uniting differences in this strife torn region. The band has been able to enjoy international acclaim and an immense fan following in a very short period due to its cutting edge fusion of American rock and European dance music in their debut album Dream Again. True to their claim, their foot-tapping music is definitely appealing to the ear besides being in perfect sync and the crowd was left wanting for more.

S.K. Miller, the organiser of the show said, “Through these live concerts, the band desires to have a positive impact on the community and make a difference in the lives of those they come in contact with”. The band performed to a huge crowd in Shillong on January 2 for a New Year bash and to a comparatively modest Guwahati crowd on January 5 and 6. Guitarist Craig Woelber in a chat with The Sentinel on the sidelines of the Guwahati show said, “Shillong was great and Guwahati is turning out to be fantastic. Our music is basically a fusion of American rock and European dance and we are happy with such a warm response from the people of a region known for its preference for hard rock”.

The band wants to unite differences amongst people through music and when asked whether they have been successful in their attempt, drummer Chad Sylva replied, “Our aim is to unite people through music and we are trying to do just that without getting worried about any results. The response of the people of these two cities have been fantastic, to say the least and we are very positive about the outcome of our efforts”. The band members are no newcomers to the region as they have performed in Shillong, Aizwal and Guwahati, earlier as well. Brother Miller adds, “They have performed here earlier as well and they just love the place. During the last time they were here, they promised to come back again and here they are”.

The band members as well as the organisers clarified that the band’s latest tour was not a result of the ongoing strife and violence in the region. Pastor of Ao church, Wabang said, “The event was partly due to the media coverage of the happenings of the region and partly due to the fact that outsiders are slowly recognising the fact that north-easterners are avid followers of music”. The said tour was on the bands agenda for quite some time now. Craig Woelber, who joined the band recently said that the tour was on the cards much before he even joined the group. The current band members of Difference United include Whitney Lynn Smith (vocals), Aaron Miller (Keyboard), David Lowry (Lead guitar), Craig Woelber (Bass guitar) and Chad Sylva (drums).

As a band, Difference United has toured several parts of the world performing large-scale outdoor concerts, spreading the message of hope to a generation of young people. They are different and the reasons are not too hard to miss. It’s not just the music – which is a unique alchemy of Euro-pop stylings blended with an American rock edge and attitude, and then christened with forward-thinking, hope-filled lyrics – it begins with the very foundation of the band. There is an excitement in the music of DU that crosses international and religious boundaries, bringing people together from all walks of life.

Each member of DU brings his/her own unique style and personality to the group. With soaring guitar solos, David adds a rock edge to Aaron’s distinctly European keyboard style. Craig and Chad form the backbone of DU’s sound, driving the group’s signature energy throughout the show. Whitney Lynn shines as she performs the group’s pop anthems to audiences of all ages around the world. The group’s diverse musical backgrounds/styles combine to create a sound that is distinctly fresh and uplifting in nature.

The crowd turn-up in Shillong was huge, as usual despite the hang-over of the Scorpions concert in December though Guwahati did not see the expected turn-out despite the entry being free. Despite this fact, the Guwahati crowd proved to be a good one as they cheered and accompanied the leading lady during their chartbusting, Raindrops.

A local band from Shillong, Verbs opened the show on both days in Guwahati. They played both covers as well as a few of their own compositions. As a local band, it was very nice to see their on-stage presence and charisma. One of their compositions What time is it?, is mention worthy and they played very well as a local band.

If music can bring people together and if it can unite people among these differences, then let the music play on. In a world filled with strife and hatred; where hopelessness and desperation prevails, these young Americans are doing a commendable job in rallying people for a greater good through music. Their initiative is all the more praiseworthy as their entire effort is self-financed and without the objective of gaining publicity. We hope that they succeed in their mission to make people start dreaming again!

–          Aiyushman Dutta



About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on January 15, 2010, in Concerts/ Reviews, Day-to-Day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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