Young boys and girls gathered at Green Gardens in Peshawar on a Saturday night to enjoy a refreshing yet rare night of underground band music, fashion and entertainment. Organised by 4-Basi (a local brand aiming to introduce their clothing line) in collaboration with Click Studio and ZA Creation, the concert was followed by a fashion show.
“I’m glad that we’ve gathered at a venue like this after such a long time,” said Bilal Ahmad, organiser of the event. “Finally, something of this scale is happening in Peshawar,” adding that the team had been trying to organise this event for the last several months, but officials didn’t allow it due to security concerns.
The night commenced as various underground bands performed live on stage, with one being Yaqeen — a band with promising talent. Although the band members are young, they have earned the title of the most-talented performers in Peshawar. By performing songs such as “Bandeya” by Khawar Jawad and “Dekha Na Tha Kabhi Hum Ne Yeh Sama” by Alamgir (on public demand), the musicians proved their versatility and left the crowd craving for more.
Khumaryan, which was next in line, turned out to be another crowd pleaser. With a smooth blend of modern guitar strums and traditional rabab sounds, the band’s instrumentals left the men in the crowd in a state of ecstasy and on their feet dancing. The band is also popular for its acoustic covers in a city like Peshawar where underground music is still in its raw phase along with their typical and traditional Pashto sound — which is essentially what triggers the crowd to get up and dance.
Intishaar, on the other hand, another underground band that performed on the night, failed to impress the crowd. Their experimental rapping, which lasted barely a minute and a half, was rather disappointing. However, their performance on Atif Aslam’s “Tera Hone Laga Hoon”, managed to save what could have been their worst performance — they ultimately received a round of applause from the audience and organisers.
In addition to the concert, a fashion show was also conducted in order to keep the crowd entertained. Male models walked down the ramp showcasing modern fashion trends. Female models, on the contrary, were not allowed to be a part of the fashion show due to the security (and societal) issues.
“We have female models to present 4-Basi’s clothing line for women, but authorities are not allowing them to walk on the ramp,” said Ahmad.
Although certain incidents that took place during the show made it quite evident that the “city lacks experience” in holding such events — the sound system shutting down several times in the middle of performances, the concert venue looking more like a wedding hall, short-circuits and smoke appearing which resulted in one of the band members to jump off the stage in terror — it was nonetheless, a night to remember.
“We don’t dread the security issues anymore — we have received a lot of appreciation from the youth of Peshawar,” said Ahmad, adding that the crowd’s positive response and enthusiasm shows that similar events should be held in the future as well.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.