Rockin' with the fresh lot

Karachi is getting back to its eventful self with concerts happening every other week

By Insiya Saeed

Lights, Camera, Energile, Music! That is what it was all about on the 22nd of September at the DHA Country and Golf Club. The night was rightly called 3M: Mauj, Masti, and Music! The invitation asked people to be at the venue at 9 pm sharp. But it wasn't until around 11:00 that the show kicked off. The show was sponsored by a refreshing drink and it really was a refreshing night but there were other reasons for that. The venue was jam packed by mostly teens and jawaans of the city.

The show was being recorded for TV so all the performances were recorded and no body showed off the real talent (if they had any) by doing a live performance. The hosts for the night were the funny and witty Ali Salman along with Neera. I must also mention the two girls dressed in yellow waving a bunch of balloons on the stage. I myself was wearing a yellow and ended up looking like the sales girl selling tea and the energizer! A warning to all those smart asses that every time you go to a concert make sure you know what colours you should and shouldn't wear!

First up was on the refreshing night was not so refreshing Amir Saleem. Some how I just feel that he is not the kind of material to be "performing" songs. He lip-synced two songs one of which was Kaghzon Par,a song that has been making its rounds on the TV these days. As he was about to leave Ali Salman (whom I've heard is a really close friend of his) asked Amir to sing a couple of lines live. He then sang an entire song which wasn't too bad but it surely seemed too long!

Next up was Naeem Abbas Rufi in a plastic zebra striped shirt which was, to say the least, looking gross! But I am pretty sure that it will not look all that bad on TV. His first song was Kadee Tay Hans or better known as Bolve a Punjabi song that was liked by the crowd who had slept by the end of Amir Saleem's performance. One wishes that the guitarist who were playing with Rufi had done better coordination with the singer. In my humble opinion even if the singers are not performing live the musicians should know what their job really is and play accordingly. His last and third song was "space-fully" (read especially!) for the world peace. The song was pretty good and we hope that we'll see peace taking over the world in the near future.

Next in line was the cute looking new kid on the block with really good hair! Ahmed Jahanzeb was welcomed by screaming girls and hooting boys. Although comments of all sorts were being passed all through the show, I noticed that Jahanzeb has a really good sense of hearing. He replied back to a couple and voila! The hooting stopped! Or at least until his performance. He wasn't just lip-syncing but he was singing live over recorded songs. And just in case you are wondering his micro phone was switched on! It was highly appreciated by the crowd who knew the words to both his songs; Tu Jo Naheen and Aik Baar Kaho, that have been creating waves on the radio and TV these days.

After his really cool performance, Neera emerged from behind the stage! She then made an announcement for a lot of (pure)entertainment-hungry gentlemen! A dance performance by Reja who surely was a very pretty lady adorned in a white dress. She danced to a song from Yeh Dil Aapka Hua and a song by Hadiqa. The crowd (read men and guys) enjoyed thoroughly!

It was after this performance that the moment every body was waiting for came. The lucky draw that will decide the energized winner of 25 lakh rupees! The name was picked by Bushra Ansari. The winner was announced to be Mrs. Noorjehan from Karachi. Hanif Raja was up next. All I can say for him is that he cracked up the audience who were on the floor laughing to his side-splitting jokes. Although I am not too fond of such comedy; the jokes were very close to reality which made them very humorous. He said his good byes but he was sent back to entertain the crowd a bit more.

While he was making us laugh a drum kit was being arranged in the back ground. And that's when I knew who's next. Noori! Their first ever performance in Karachi was mind blowing! They were cheered on to the not so large stage by high-pitched and earsplitting girls! The band has been going through some changes in the last few months. First their drummer Farhad left and Gumby joined, and now Ali Hamza (Ali Noor's younger brother) joins them too as a lead guitarist! (A pleasant change though!) And of course we have Ali Jafri as a permanent member. They kicked off with their soul drenching performance by Manwa Re, the song that really got them into the big bad world of music! The crowd obviously knew the lyrics and sang along really well. Then they did Tum Hans Diye, the song that has been making its well deserved rounds on the private channels. This is when I realized the draw back of the seats that we were supposed to sit on. If there would not have been the chair system people would have been able to jiggy a little more! Finally they rocked the house with their title song from their debut album, Suno Kay Main Hoon Jawan. It was an out-of-the-world performance and apparently I was one of the few who knew the lyrics, as this is an un-released song. On Noori's discussion forum on the site ( one gets to read about the comparisons being made between Noori and Junoon, Noori and EP, and Noori and Aaroh! Who's the next best thing? We'll just have to wait and see until the album gets released!

Phew! That was some performance by Noori. Next up was the dude from Dubai who's been drooling over his Layla since his debut album got released. Shahzaman did a few songs that were pretty good but it was when he announced to sing Layla that the crowd broke into an applause accompanied by a lot of screams. And once he kicked off voila! Reja came onto the stage in a black long dress with a short white shirt on top of it. Her dance performance was highly appreciated by whom else but the jawaans of our country!

Next on the line up was a new guy Shahzad Chandi whom the crowd enjoyed thoroughly. He was a mixture of the well known bhangra guys from across the border, Daler and Sukhbir. In fact, even the lyrics and compositions matched a lot. I wonder if it was mere coincidence! But most of the people shared the same opinion that within a couple of years he'd make a name for himself. He left the stage twice but I guess there was some problem with the CD player because every time he used to step out another song would start playing. And he'd have to come back. See that's another draw back of not-at-all-live-performances!

After he left Ali Salman entered. He wanted to know if we wanted Layla again. Well, we didn't! So we all screamed no! But it seems he wasn't there to take our answer, he was just there to give us a shock of calling back Shahzaman once again!

By the end of this performance people had given up all hopes of seeing Jawad Ahmed and Najam who were one of the main attractions on the invitation card. As I did get a chance to listen to Jawad performing at Baqai University the same day as he had promised to play at the Golf Club, I wonder what actions the organizers will take.

All in all it was a wonderful concert and pretty well organized with a lot of security guards roaming about to keep the situation calm. I just hope that these concerts happen more frequently and the entertainment starved Karachiites learn to behave themselves at public places.

 Courtesy Instep, The NEWS International