Karachi is set for two very different concerts on Saturday night, but only one being held. Atif Aslam’s much-awaited concert at Benazir Bhutto Park was canceled after organizers “failed to get the necessary permits,” confirmed a post on Aslam’s official Facebook page. This is the story of the concert that has been through.
The upcoming action of Karakoram, Kashmir together with Battle of the Bands participants, Neon, ends the Covid-streak without a Karachi concert in District 19 in the Korangi Industrial Area. Backstage looks like an alumni dinner; even those who did not appear, such as Asim Azhar, Tamasha, and Auj, appeared to mark their existence and show gratitude for the live performance which finally progressed uninterrupted.
The crowd up front had started cheering the band up before they could even say ‘Hi’ and everyone wanted a part of what they were missing; an adrenaline-pumping live concert. Neon starts the process and confirms it Muscle Car made it onto the set list, mainly as the crowd begged for it. Prior to this, they featured newer numbers including, Government of Synth, Chillah Kaat and Chandni, along with the cover Lots of love and Mera mahi, all of which set the stage for larger and more mainstream action; Karakoram and Kashmir.
“It’s always a challenge being the opening band and after a year of not performing at all, there’s this uncertainty,” Neon bassist Zeeshan Athar told The Express Tribune. “But it turned out to be a brilliant experience.” Their drummer, Athar Saeed also said, “I am performing after 14 months. I have to entertain myself by playing on Shaadi before, but that doesn’t count. Incredibly enough, although we made a few mistakes at first, but they all worked out well. “
Instead, Karakoram performed their latest album Ailan and Jang, and literally, waging war on the stage. Sherry’s powerful growls, Zain Peerzada’s intense riffs, and Omair Farooq’s skillful bass playing coupled with Bilawal Lahooti’s praiseworthy timing on drums are too perfect not to impress.
“To be honest, we all really want to get back on stage,” said Khattak. “Being a rock band, concerts are our way out to absorb energy and adrenaline helps us to write more music,” he added. “All of this happening in our hometown, where it all started, is an added bonus for us.” Khattak later emphasized that the whole band was very excited, they could play the whole night, especially since the audience knew almost all of their songs, even though they were weeks old.
Peerzada, who also played with Takatak, praised the venue, the audience and especially the arrangement, which belongs to the Demo Room. “Playing the show after one year feels really good. The crowd made the effort and the trip from Lahore to Karachi was well worth it. I can’t wait for our next show here. “
Karakoram only played two live shows before last year’s Covid-19 outbreak. One of them was at the Lahore Music Meet and the other at the Koblumpi Music Festival Islamabad. “So, I don’t know if the lack of live performance made us rust, but we practiced as much as possible and allowed ourselves to lose on stage!” said Farooq.
And then came Kashmir with their never ending utopian dystopia. The only band whose sad music reminds them of one of the little things in life they need to be grateful for. And after the thunderous roar had passed, the crowd needed a breath of fresh air.
Kashmir started out with instrumentals and quickly moved on to Bhaago, after that they put on their famous show, Pareshaniyan, Parwana Hoon and Dhoop. Their heartwarming set-list also features Amir Zaki’s set-list Mera pyaar, and the audience joins in singing the evergreen lyrics. Kaaghaz Ka Jahaaz had to be played twice due to high demand and covers of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights provoked the audience to shake hands. But of course, Khwaab, stole the show night and day, set an immediate record for all the critics who believed Kashmiri was just studio fluent.
“Judging from the crowd and friends who attended, we thought it was like before. We enjoy being on stage, the audience engages with us and we are completely immersed in the moment, ”Kashmir said, as a whole.
It is important to mention here that prior to this, Shamoon Ismail’s concert was canceled halfway by the authorities due to SOP violations.
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