When an audience sings along, you know the band has arrived. Chances are everyone at Carlsberg's Rock Yatra on Saturday will know the lyrics to 1974 AD's "Pahilo Junima". You could say a band with enough fans to warrant a concert in Nepal's biggest stadium, has definitely arrived. Ten thousand people, those fortunate enough to get tickets-even if it is in the nose bleed section high up on the bleachers, are expected to attend.
1974 AD began when six young men got together in 1994 to share their love of music. Eight years later they are probably Nepal's most popular and best-loved band. They've come a long way since their early jam sessions in Nirakar's garage. The band has had several high-profile gigs, including a US tour earlier this year, and several successful albums to their name.
The 1974 AD sound is what Nirakar Yakthumba, the bassist and unofficial spokesperson, describes as "fusion rock". They love to experiment with styles and genres. They believe music is best shared, live and with a positive message. Their consistent dedication to music and a steadily climbing profile led to celebrity endorsements from Royal Enfield and Carlsberg. The latter is the sponsor for Rock Yatras in Kathmandu, Dharan and Pokhara.
The band has used their rock star status to promote many social projects, probably inspired by the Irish band U2, who they admire. They've donated time and money for the Jasutara Art Foundation and raised funds for the Red Cross in Nepal.
Two days before the first Carlsberg Rock Yatra the band was hard at practice. Sanjay Shrestha, the percussionist, even confessed to feeling a little nervous. 1974 AD has no opening act for their show. They are the starters, the main event and the grand finale to what promises to be truly spectacular.
Carlsberg Rock Yatra, 4PM onwards 14 December at Dasrath Rangasala.