SHRADHA PAL/JESSICA RAI
KATHMANDU: Mikkel Lentz, clad in black a tailored suit, black tie, white shirt with a red guitar glides on to the stage, the heart skips a beat, and you know Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) is right in front of you. One by one Jascha Richter vocalist and on keyboard, Kare Wanschaer on drums and a new member bassist (only for the show) take to the stage and you hear Richter singing.
Richter mesmerises the crowd and the view appears like a symphony where Richter leads and the people like an orchestra hum melodiously. The ambience however doesn’t remain stagnant as Richter announces “We will include a live video of you for Anyway You Wanted.”
A roar of appreciation engulfs the venue and a few people wave the national flag, try to stand on an elevation and put their hands up to be noticed.
The tempo builds up as Richter says, “For us less is more,” the sound of acoustic and drums engages the audience and he sings I’m gonna be around. You know the song is going to end and don’t know what to expect, all of a sudden Lentz descends from the stairs and walks through the red carpet towards the audience. Losing control often witnessed on television makes absolute sense right here, right now. Just in time, Richter says, “I know men in the town are wild, but I want to ask you a question — are the ladies equally wild?”
Before the sentence is complete, he gets his reply… Wild Woman is the song that follows.
People’s expectation heightens and in the middle of singing Someday Richter announces, “This is the last song.” The crowd disappointed yells “No”. But the band leave the stage. Puzzled and disheartened everybody disperses, but a huge round of applause halts their steps. Yes! the scenes repeat, Lentz, Richter and Wanschaer walks back on the stage seducing everyone once again with their all time hits — Breaking My Heart and That’s Why you Go, only this time with the final numbers, MLTR bids farewell, leaving everyone nostalgic marking November 19 as their most memorable evening.
Behind the scene
KATHMANDU: The crowd went wild for Michael Learns to Rock (MLTR) even before the band appeared on the stage. “We want MLTR! We want MLTR…” went the chant. With each of their cheers, the band members, who were waiting to go onstage, brightened up with a smile.
Enthusiasm was witnessed in their actions. They were calm and trying to focus for their first performance in Nepal. After they hit the stage, there was no stopping in the flow of their soulful ballads and rocking numbers that had the whole audience lose their voice with shouts and screams.
The MLTR Live in Concert that was held on November 19 was a successful one. But it wouldn’t have been so without the hard work of people from technicians to stage producer to the organising team. Backstage when the crowd was waiting for MLTR’s performances, these people were running around to get the work done to make the concert perfect.
“It is our rush moment and a critical time for us,” mentioned one of the workers backstage before MLTR went onstage. “Musicians have specific demands and not meeting their basic needs becomes an issue,” added the worker wanting to remain anonymous.
Though, everyone was in a rush to perform their duties, they made sure the band members were well taken care of. The band members had their private space while Jascha Richter and Mikkel Lentz came out and checked out the venue and the crowd.
Meanwhile there were people who didn’t miss the opportunity to have their pictures taken with Lentz, who politely agreed.
Security guards were on their alert best. And the members of Mt 8848 and Sabin Rai, who opened for MLTR, were also on the scene. They were taking a chill pill after their performances.
People like Bikrant Shrestha, Managing Director of Silence Entertainment, was working towards the grand and most waited moment — MLTR’s performance. “I am totally looking into stage production which includes coordinating and synchronising everyone, setting up music system and getting the bands ready,” he informed. According to him, he was working hard so that the mistake that had taken place in Bryan Adams’ concert with Nepali musicians because of bad music system is not repeated.
Fans have their say
I am a fan of MLTR and I enjoyed their concert thoroughly. I had not expected that it would be so successful. But I liked whatever they played today. Overall, the concert, the way the crowd appreciated their songs and sang along is the best part of the concert.
— Bishnu Chemjong
My favourite songs like That’s Why and 25 Minutes took me back to my school days. And feeling their presence and seeing them live in front of my eyes was fun. The concert was great and enjoyable.
— Manisha Lepcha
It is good that they played their old songs. I am happy. I hadn’t heard those songs for long time. The concert has been a memorable one and nostalgic as well as it reminded me of when I was young. For me the concert is a hit and the choice to bring them is a wise one because people are more familiar with their songs. I have been to their concert before but I liked this one because of the crowd participation.
— Shayas Tuladhar
MLTR live concert was
awesome. I used to listen to their songs a lot and to see them perform is unbelievable. My favourite number is
Someday, when they sang the song I was in another world. Everything was perfect and if they visit Nepal next time, I definitely won’t miss it for anything.
— Nirmal Pandey
Amazing! I love their showmanship. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. This concert was more than my expectations and the best part is they made me go back to my school days through their songs. I would love for them to come back again for another performance.
— Preeyani Manadhar
Very good concert, I am more into rock, but I have many memories attached to MLTR. It definitely brought back all those glorious memories.
Initially when I met my wife, she told me, her favourite band is MLTR. So today, I am here with her.
— Roshan Adiga