Hoobastank set to rock Shillong

Shillong, June 28 (IANS) American rock band Hoobastank has arrived in Shillong promising a high voltage performance Saturday at the historic polo ground in what is arguably India's rock capital.

This is Hoobastank's maiden visit to India.

The four-member band, fronted by Doug Robb, has been actively touring to promote its last album "Fight or Flight" at shows organised by the United Service Organizations for American troops across the world, including Iraq.

"I always wanted to come to go to India but this show just happened all of a sudden and my first reaction was, 'Let's do this,'" Robb said

The band, accompanied by a three-member technical team, landed at Assam's Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Thursday, from where they were taken to Rikynjai resort at Umiam, about 15 km from Meghalaya capital Shillong, following a non-stop journey from California.

"We (the band members) are aware of Shillong as the rock n roll part of India. It is indeed an experience to start their journey from the heart and soul of a part of India, which belongs to Rock," Roubb said.

Up to 8,000 music aficionados, lots of them metal maniacs, are expected to throng the fifth ground.

The police are not taking chances and have decided on four rings of security at the venue to avoid any security breach.

"We shall send back anybody smelling of alcohol. No one in an inebriated condition will be allowed entry," a police spokesman said.

Local musicians and fans are expecting a great show.

"We only want to see the dawn of Saturday (June 29 ) so that we can drive down to polo ground and listened to Hoobastank's live concert," Mathew Sohtun, a Hoobastank fan, said.

"We have only seen classic rock acts till now and this is a welcome change for all of us youngsters," Senti Longchar, a resident of Nagaland who will be travelling with her friends overnight by bus just to attend this show, said.

Hoobastank, which has had over 10 million copies sold worldwide, has a huge fan following in India and are coming "just" to Shillong as a part of TNT-The Northeast Today, Magazine's sixth anniversary celebrations.

Hoobastank fans not only from India's northeastern states are heading to Shillong, but fans as far from Mumbai have already booked the tickets for concert aptly titled "The reason is Shillong".

"We were initially quite disappointed that Hoobastank will not be playing in Mumbai but we have decided to fly and see them in Shillong than never get another chance," Mumbai-based web designer Satish Jain said.

The Northeast Today (TNT), the highest selling magazine in India's northeastern state, is headed by Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman who is also the head of the royal family of Tripura.

"Since TNT owes a lot to its readership for making it where it is today, the magazine thought that the celebration should be one big party for all of those who believed in us," Pradyot said.

Hoobastank has many hit to its credit namely "The reason", "First of me", "Crawling in the dark", "The letter", and "If only and Magnolia", (which is dedicated to Doug Roub's daughter) have ruled the billboard charts in recent years.

"The Crowd is excited and wants them to play mostly from their latest album Fight or Flight and we also hoped they goanna unveil few new tracks from their soon to be released album," Amar Rai, one of the organisers said.

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