PESHAWAR: The young women, who attended a live music concert held exclusively for them, could not get enough from the performances at “Hum Jawan Musical Fest”.
Organised by the Department of Sports, Tourism, Archeology, Museums and Youth Affairs on Monday, the event was hailed as a musical celebration for female youth, and featured a performance by well-known Lahore band, Roxen, along with opening numbers by Pushto singing veteran Bakhtiyar Khattak and leading Hindko singer Afshan Zebi.
While the crowd was small, as it was limited to women, their enthusiasm and energy came as a surprise to Roxen band members, who have performed in Peshawar once before.
“We were not expecting such an energetic female crowd,” said vocalist Mustafa Zahid, adding that given the restrictions on women in the province, audience turnout was encouraging.
The band opened with ‘Toh Phir Aoo’ and ‘Tera Mera Rishta Purana’ which were included in the soundtrack of 2007’s Bollywood movie, Awarapan. They also performed hit singles from recent years, including 2009’s ‘Bujh Hai Gaya.’
The audience was enjoying the music so much that they demanded an encore when Roxen concluded the show. Unfortunately, the band had to leave the capital for another concert.
Maryam attended the event and was thrilled to attend a live music concert by a popular band after such a long time.
“There is huge scope of such activities in the city,” said another audience member, Aleena Khan, adding that other artistes should also perform in Peshawar. She expressed appreciation for the government’s efforts in organising such an event for women exclusively.
During the opening performances, Khattak performed his famous hit ‘Alak Naraychinar de’ along with several other traditional Pashto songs.
Zebi, who travelled all the way from Hazara, along with other musicians, did not get much time on stage. Organisers were rushed to begin Roxen’s performances, as it was the main musical act. However, Zebi did perform the quintessential ‘Qarara Rasha’ and a Punjabi number.
Roxen consists of three members – vocalist Mustafa Zahid and guitarists Haider Halim and Shahan Khan. Formed a decade ago, the band came out with their debut song ‘Yaadein’ in 2004 and then released their debut album Rozen-e-Deewar in 2006, proving that they were not a one-hit-wonder.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2014.