An eclectic group of youngsters gathered at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) auditorium Thursday night to witness Ali Gul Pir aka Saeen perform “Waderai Ka Beta” live for the very first time. From Flying Officers of PAF Base Masroor to a bunch of youngsters from Lyari, an interesting group of fans wandered about, as one inquired “Saeen ka show kab shuroo ho ga (When will Saeen’s show begin)?”
The show started half an hour late with Pir walking onto the stage to give the crowd their first live show of a song that has become a YouTube sensation. The first thing one noticed was his T-shirt, which bore the image of a man surrounded by girls – all sharing a common moustache. The lyrics “Saaen tau Saeen, Saaen ki bachi bhi Saeen” were printed in white across the front. The rest of the evening was full of humour and antics. Apart from all the music and jokes, three gifts were presented to the winners of each of the following categories: “Best Mooch” (moustache), “Best Dadu Ki Rani” and a “Tony Award” for the most “Tony”– most “burger”— audience member.
Standup comedy stole the show
The most interesting thing about Pir’s stand up act was that it was bilingual and able to tickle the funny bone of the diverse watchers. For instance, jokes about how the Valima is the most celebrated event of a Sindhi marriage were enjoyed, as Pir joked “Ab tau chori aagayi ghar ab jo karna hai karlo (Now the girl has come to your house, you can do as you please)”. He also shared funny anecdotes with the audience; like the time when the internet was a novelty and there was just one PC in the house and that too, in the drawing room. “I wanted to chat with people so I searched for Iwanttochatwithpeople.com,” said Pir. “But obviously, there wasn’t a website by that name. Then I decided be specific and talk to people my age, so I looked for teenagers.com and the link got changed into a website called teens.com. When I saw what was happening on that website I thought, I would love to chat for the rest of my life!” he said, referring to an adult website. When improvisation is done well, it doesn’t fail to impress; kudos to Raza Arif and Osama Sami for the wise, spontaneous jokes.
Finally, the song
Spoonful is a band that has been performing for quite some time and Thursday’s show reflected that they are brilliant even without Hamad Khan. They performed at the show with some brilliant covers of Carlos Santana and finally welcomed Pir on stage for song they had all been waiting for. The live version of “Waderai Ka Beta” was even better than the YouTube clip, and definitely something to look forward to for Pir’s fans. While a song like “Waderai Ka Beta” will always be enjoyed for its lyrical content, a brilliant live groove adds power. To increase its appeal to the audience however, the live version should be longer than the original, perhaps with a few extra lines, making it a slightly more captivating experience for listeners.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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