Music enthusiasts enjoyed a packed concert featuring pop singer Humaira Arshad and classical musician Hamid Ali Khan at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) auditorium on Monday evening.
Moderated by broadcaster Kanwal Naseer, the show paid homage to classical music traditions and values. The moderator, while introducing the instrument players, remarked that often, they tend to get overshadowed by the lead vocalists and performers.
From the moment she stepped on stage, the pop singer was a constant entertainer, engaging the audience with her witty remarks and spontaneous mannerism. Kicking off the show with her popular song, ‘Hans bhi ve dhola’, she progressed into her other fast-paced songs such as ‘Mein nai bol di loko, mein nai boldi’.
She also performed contemporary Bollywood numbers such as ‘Baby doll mein sonay di’ before wrapping up her performance with an all-encompassing mystical song, “E k Allah kolon mein dardi.’ Arshad was supported on the vocals with her brother, Sajjad Haider.
Arshad was accompanied on stage by Zahid Ali on keyboard, bass guitarist Hamid, Sohail on ‘dhol’ (a large, barrel-shaped or cylindrical wooden drum, typically two-headed) and tabla, Shahid on ‘dholak ‘(a medium-sized dhol) and Sunny on drums.
The second half of the show assumed a more soulful and sophisticated aura with Khan rendering the number ‘Pyar nahi hai sur se jisko’ followed by the melodious “Honton par kabhi tera naam bhi aye.”
Khan, who belongs to the famed Patiala Gharana, alternated between classical songs, ghazal and ragas. As requests kept on pouring in, he maintained an amicable persona, smiling through each performance. Khan was accompanied by Anis Ahmed on flute, Sajjad Ali on harmonium, Amanat Ali on tabla and Khurram Javaid on dholak.
The audience responded with palpable energy and vigour, with some pulling off energetic dance moves in front of the stage. While the show was a treat for the otherwise entertainment-starved residents of the federal capital, the long wait, before the show began, caused much inconvenience to those standing in long queues. “The show was brilliant,” said Amna Khan, an audience member and a Humaira Arshad fan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2014.
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