On a nationwide tour to promote their latest single, “Taroun sei agay,” Noori hit Islamabad at the Rock Musicarium on Saturday. The night was high on energy, as youngsters impatiently waited, warding off the chills with steaming cups of tea and coffee. With anticipation soaring high, audience scrambled to buy tickets as the new lineup sounded promising.
Music buffs who had had seen Noori perform live in the city at numerous occasions expected the presence of a DJ and a guitar maestro to bring a different experience. “I hope they decide to revamp all their songs with the new lineup,” cheered an excited youngster before the concert.
Instead of breaking ice with underground bands, Noori stunned everyone by emerging on the stage earlier than expected. “We’re here to record tonight’s performances for our new album so I want all of you to participate and sing along,” said Ali Noor, as everyone rushed to the front of the stage.
Pakistan’s ace guitarist Faraz Anwar along with Zeeshan Pervaiz added oomph to the line up of the band, whereas the old Noori members, Louis J Pinto alias Gumby on drums, brothers Ali Hamza and Ali Noor on vocals and guitar made sure that the ‘signature liveliness’ of Noori was present in their performance.
Amidst hooting fans, the performance kicked off with the Coke Studio version of “Aik Alif”, as the brothers introduced the two new members who readily performed solos.
All time hits like “Suno ke mein houn jawan” and “Neend aye na” had everyone down the nostalgic Noori days when the band was at their peak with the release of their new album which urged the youth to stand up and make a difference. The band however seemed to have gone more experimental as they performed some mash ups of “I gotta feeling” with “Jhoomay saari zameen”–presenting an interesting desi rock version of the famous Black Eyed Peas track. The impromptu instrumental performance by Gumby and Zeeshan was another crowd pleaser as they fused drum beats with techno bass; it was obvious that the new lineup was at complete ease with the band and had gelled in well with their signature sound.
Famous for political anthems, Ali Noor told the crowd that their song “Meray log” was the crux of Noori philosophy. “When we became a band, we decided that no matter what we’ll do we’ll do it right here in this country. Noori is Pakistani,” he said. On the same note, Noor urged the crowd that it was up to them to do something for the country.
“I love the fact that all their songs are about emancipation for the youth, they don’t waste time singing love-struck or heartbroken ballads,” Shehryar, a Noori fan said while talking to The Express Tribune. In the finale, the crowd was asked to come closer so that the live video for the new single could be shot before wrapping up the performance. As everyone hooted and pumped their fists, the cameras zoomed in on them, the band gave an electric performance adding a little drama here and there right before Ali Noor lay spreadeagled on the floor to mark the end of a very charged night.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2012.
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