Rahat, we don't love you that much

A Rahat concert with poor management and sound left the audience wondering what they paid for...

Hashim Numani March 24, 2011
Organized by the Pakistan Youth Alliance in partnership with Miradore productions, ‘Rahat Fateh Ali khan plays for charity’ was an event most people (with big bucks in their pockets) were looking forward to.

The security at Serena Hotel was tight. As the clock struck eight, cars started pulling in carrying the made up, designer clad women and handsome men ready to enjoy a night out.

The event looked like a high class wedding more than a concert. There was a clear division between who had more money to spend and those who didn’t.

Witnessing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan perform was an exciting prospect for me, but before I could see him play live, an annoying singer named Shumaila had to be endured. Her voice was all over the place as she molested a Reshma number. After that, Rahat Fateh Ali took center stage and appreciated the crowd by saying:
“Thank you Islamabad, you are all good sunnay walay, I love you”

He started off with an Amir Khusro qawali Man kunto maula.

He had the crowd swaying with his sheer brilliance. But 2-3 songs into his set list, things started getting monotonous, the hall acoustics weren’t as vibrant as they should have been, high ends were too high, low ends were barely audible. People soon started going out to the lobby complaining that they "couldn’t understand a single word”.

The Rahat faithful though remained seated and enjoyed every bit of his set.

Songs from the great Nusrat Fateh Ali’s Pia ghar aya, Allah hoo, Halka suroor added to Rahat's performance. Did he do justice to them? Probably not as much as was expected but he still showed that he can move audiences with his voice.

A lot of foreigners were present who were swaying to the beat of the tabla. A Spanish doctor admired the efforts put in by the organisers. Shahzaib disagreed and felt that the management sucked”. A teacher named Hina, who came to see the singer perform also complained that the management was very haphazard.

According to the organisers Rahat waived a huge chunk from his fee for the charity event - which was scheduled to be held in the middle of February but was postponed because the singer was busy taking care of some shady business across border.

The initiative was a positive one, but musically, the sound fell apart only to be saved by the brilliance that was Rahat Fateh Ali’s voice.
Hashim Numani A photo blogger who works for a Telecom company who loves to write and plays the guitar.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Syed Asad Tirmizi | 11 years ago | Reply A mere waste of words. Seems more like a person aiming to settle a personal vendetta rather than someone with a genuine critique to bring out something better.
SAAZ | 11 years ago | Reply Its good to do positive criticism. But I believe its wrong just to do for the sake of criticism. Look at the very title of this post. "Rahat, we dont love you that much". If the blogger didnot love him that much he should have come to this charity fundraiser, which attracted top politicians, generals, diplomants in Pakistan under such security situation. And that too, to rebuild schools. Like said above, the sound engineer is the one who has 25 years of experience. He played with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Junoon. Now does every concert of RFAK and Atif Aslam almost. Yes, the donation tickets were expensive - as this was a fund raiser, not a fund-drainer. Rahat was so impressed by the ambients, sound, lights and management that he has requested the event management company to do another show on June 5th, which is happening in Islamabad. Check the HD video and side reel of the event > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxbAHDI...K1xk&feature=channelvideotitle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40i57JAG3-k&feature=related
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