Johnnie Walker The Journey ended this weekend on a spectacular note! And we came away with many a reason to love it.

With offerings of theatre, cinema and music, Johnnie Walker The Journey has slowly risen to be a one-of-a-kind event, fostering inspiration in every way it can. It is not merely a stage for internationally reputed artists to perform, but it successfully attempts the inimitable connect between the artist and the fan. In a milieu that is encouraging performers of all kinds to come to India, what JWTJ achieves is truly noteworthy. And if its 2015 edition is anything to go by, then the gathering is meant for immense brilliance. We look back at all the things we loved about its recent run.

The all-star act

With a lineup comprising of Giorgio Moroder, Explosions in the Sky and Tycho, with a theatre performance by the illusionary mind-bending artist Leo and with a cinematic piece calling out the brilliance of the great Marlon Brando, The Journey had it right even before it officially began.

Utilising this to full value, they expanded the slate of performers across a schedule that called for intimate conversations centred around inspirations, much before the actual performances. The candidness in the chats made for great down-to-earth moments bringing the emphasis back on the reason we all were there – our love for art.


A tribute to Marlon Brando

An actor, a star, a legend and an enigma. Marlon Brando has had a career replete with some iconic roles; even as his acting chops were sometimes passed off due to his superfluous good looks. The documentary, Listen To Me Marlon, by Stevan Riley is an invitation into the life of the exceptional man. The definitive story to Marlon Brando’s life as told by hundred of unreleased videos and audios recording by Brando himself, Listen To Me Marlon is a cinematic journey to the genius’s life.

Steven Riley Talk Session at Johnnie Walker The Journey

A talk with Giorgio Moroder

An institution in his own right, the crowd of people that had gathered outside the talk arena to be able to attend the chat with Giorgio Moroder was a clear testament to his legacy. The legendary composer had several topics to visit, a career spanning some of the greatest disco and electronic hits of our times and his debut performance in India that finally came to be. It was an absolute delight.

Giorgio Moroder Talk Session at Johnnie Walker The Journey

The Bombay connect with Explosions in the Sky

For the talk session planned with Explosions in the Sky, it was guitarists Munaf Rayani and Michael James present to chalk the journey of the band. Munaf, though, spoke of his deep seated connect with the city of Mumbai. Before moving to Pakistan, and then subsequently Austin where Munaf was born, Mumbai was, in fact, his mother’s birthplace. From wanting to be filmmakers first, to the humbling emotion the band fandom in India gave them, the pair had several anecdotes to share.

Explosions in the Sky Talk Session at Johnnie Walker The Journey

An engineering talk with Scott Hansen of Tycho

Tycho’s Scott Hansen is a domineering figure in the world of electronic ambience. Despite his fame, the frontman spoke of his issues with anxiety and performing to the crowd, something he has only recently been able to overcome. But above all, it was his love for engineering that had the audience cued in. The visual designer and producer spoke about the poetic finesse abled by piecing a machine together; something that makes his music sound as unique as it does.

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Food and drinks courtyard

With Johnnie Walker as the anvil, food and drinks were bound to be delectably on point. With a range of alcohol, from whiskys to cocktails to beer, with the Johnnie Walker products in abundance. The food options, too, were aplenty from scrumptious burgers from Woodside, hotdogs from Desi Deli, pizzas from Little Italy and savouries from Hopping Chef.

Spell-binding brilliance of Leo

Leo’s gravity-defying act was the avant-garde theatre piece we didn’t know we needed. The illusionary act was every bit as eye-catching in person as one would consider it to be on paper. The two-dimensional piece was replete with theatrical eccentricities, visual hallucinations and mind-bending acrobatics, enough to send the audience tizzy.

LEO performs at Johnnie Walker The Journey_3

Symphonic harmonies of Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky were the first to take the stage at the Music Arena. With no visuals, and a blinding light show that put the crowd in a trance, their sound was set to a deafeningly haunting reverb, ruminative of their harmonies that moved through sonic waves of highs and lows. From progressive melodies to post-metal thrash phases, it was as complete a set as any other. And what heightened the experience was watching the band in their absolute element on stage. Each moving to the rhythm of their instrument, in tune with its every note. It was pure hypnosis.

Explosions in the Sky at Johnnie Walker The Journey

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Audio visual spectacle of Tycho

Tycho’s Scott Hansen is a master of visual imagery. A graphic designer, he’s famous for having composed design elements that sit perfectly well with every tune he’s ever composed. Tycho’s debut live show was every bit the audio-visual spectacle you would expect it to be. It was larger than life; composed of graphics that perfectly elevated the ambient sound in the music. What was noteworthy was Scott’s abundant use of the synth, as it flowed mellifluously through the set in various faction, shape-shifting as the song demanded it to. What an overwhelming experience!

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Reliving nostalgia with the legendary Giorgio Moroder

Career-spanning would be the phrase to best describe Giorgio Moroder’s headlining set. From his hits with Donna Summer from the era of disco to his more contemporary hits with Daft Punk and Britney Spears. At one point, Giorgio teased us with his remix of Avicii’s Levels too. It was dance music in all its glory as he brought down the evening with his never-waning enthusiasm, treating the crowd to nostalgia the way only he knew how to!

Giorgio Moroder at Johnnie Walker The Journey