Jaded - Rockin' for a cause

An evening with five rockin' bands of the country, was just the right note to conclude the eventful week before Ramazan

By Ambreen Vahidy

It was an evening of extreme excitement for Karachiites who have really been subjected to an overdose of fashion shows and music evenings till the day Ramazan moon was sighted. Five upcoming and most promising bands Messiah, Aaroh, EP, Ahmed Jahengzeb and the hugely popular Noori played to an audience of over 3000 at 'Jaded'- the rockin' festival held at a local college in the city. As Ramazan is taken as charity season too, the mega five had gathered not only to ignite the evening with exciting entertainment, but also to raise funds for Jinnah Hospital's children's ward. Considering the charity aspect of the evening, Rs. 300 per ticket, didn't sound a pocket shattering amount.

The event was supposed to begin at 8:30 PM, but as the tradition (for most bands in Karachi) goes, the concert began as late as 10 Pm because of the sound check having been delayed since afternoon.

Messiah kicked off the evening with their usual brilliant rocking style and the very popular original track Death Of The Reaper. With an amazing following of what they called serious headbangers, it was a sight worth watching, as a boiling crowd of teenage and 20 something boys flooded the college arena thoroughly rockin' to Messiah's beat.

Messiah really gave the eager crowd what they wanted - with cover versions by Slayer, Metallica, Disturbed, Drowning Pool and some original tracks done to perfection. Jibran Nasir, the lead vocalist definitely gave it his best, not to mention Nabeel Mahfooz's excellent guitars.

Next up was the impatiently waited for - Aaroh. The Pepsi Battle of the Bands superstars were no less than Messiah - what with the enjoyable live versions of Sawaal, Aag ki Tarah, Ajnabi and Tu hai Kahan - in two words they were absolutely superb, with the credits going to Farooq Ahmed's gutsy vocals and their new drummer Jason (replacing Eddy).

But the highlight of Aaroh's performance was their U2 covers namely, Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You and Pride (In the Name of Love). Aaroh had the crowd going wild with their over-the-top performance - it was a refreshing start to gear up the crowd. In The End by Linkin Park was another of their covers to really get the audience swinging and Pearl Jam's 'Animal' were also extremely popular with the audience.

Since a music evening seems so incomplete without snacks to munch away, there was a proper arrangement for food and drinks with stalls by the city's most popular fast food joints to cater to the teeming crowds'. Needless to say there was a huge rush at these stalls throughout the concert. But not so much as when Ahmed Jehangzeb turned up on stage. Most of the males in the crowd were seen leaving the ground when he came up to perform, but he didn't mind - he had a great female following compensating for the lack of their male counterpart's interest. Girls in the crowd were singing along his every word! Besides To Jo Nahin... and Ek Bar kaho..., which had taken the audience by storm, Jahanzeb's cover version of Zoheb Hassan's Zara Chehra To Dekhao was indeed "music to the ears" in every sense of the word! An amazing cover version, if there ever was one!

Now what good is a concert if you can't have some fun out of it. And to provide just that, between each performance we had Muneeb Nawaz and Ali Kazmi (the guy from Tapal ad) cracking up the audience with their sometimes funny and sometimes not-so-funny jokes. Yes, you guessed it - they were the hosts of the concert, so we had no choice but to tolerate their so-called performances!

EP (Entity Paradigm) came up on stage really late and if they had been even a minute late, I wonder how sour the crowd would have become. I mean, for a performance expected to start at 10 PM, they turned up two-and-a-half-hours late!

But all was forgiven and forgotten as Ahmed Ali (EP's rapper and vocalist)

kept the audience entertained with his Punjabi wise-cracks in between performances of their hit numbers as Hamein Aazman, Kahan Hai Tu, and a cover of Sajjad Ali's Bolo Bolo. Their cover of Limp Bizkit's Breakstuff was sung word for word by the crowd, who seemed to be more informed about performing than EP itself! I must, however, add that their Aamir Zaki cover of Mera Pyar, went down quite well with the crowd, who really seemed to be enjoying every moment of the performance !

Last, but definitely not the least, was the eagerly anticipated and thoroughly awaited Ali Noor with his band Noori. They turned up like a breath of fresh air at around two in the morning and really shook up the crowd with their single Dil Ki Qasm and the newly released Jaana Tha Hum Ney - once again the crowd sang along word for word giving this reviewer an easy time understanding the lyrics!

Ali Noor's Suno Key Mein Hoo Jawan revitalized the young crowd charging them up for the tracks to follow. Ali Noor played an acoustic version of Mujhe Rokho followed by the girl's favourite Manwa Re - a truly mellow melodic track. Thoroughly enjoyable was their last track Jhoomay Saree Zameenwhich also wrapped up an enjoyable evening.

 Courtesy Instep, The NEWS International