Sound of hope for Karachi

Published: October 19, 2010
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Noori rocking it onstage. PHOTO: Armughan Ahmed Faruqi

Last night, the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi hosted a musical event titled:

“The Sound of Hope”.

Initially it surprised me that the event was being held on a Sunday night, as opposed to a Saturday night, when it would have been likely to draw a larger crowd. The event had been originally scheduled to take place on September October 18th, but was postponed due to the civil unrest in the city by the sea.

In the face of all odds

The rescheduled event took place against a backdrop of violence in Karachi, which left over 41 people dead. In the hours leading upto the event, many were unsure about whether or not it would still be held. The organising committee, however, promised that the show would go on and promised to give Karachiites a night to remember. I, for one, was certainly glad this concert was taking place. In the one year since I moved back to Pakistan from the United Kingdom, this was the third or fourth musical event facing postponement.

Happy surprises

Upon arriving at the venue, my friends and I witnessed something surprising: the event had begun on time! Though I did receive an email from the organisers a day before suggesting that the event would start and finish on time, I had been rather skeptical. The concert began promptly at 9 pm and when we arrived half an hour later, we could already hear bands and a stand-up comedian performing as we waited in line.

At the entrance we received another surprise. Gate crashers and preferential entries were not witnessed and everything ran smoothly. There was enough security to prevent gate crashing and there was nobody in sight attempting to break in. Most likely, Karachiites were just happy to finally have a chance to enjoy a musical event.

A stellar performance

Noori and Ali Azmat were the two performers that the audience was especially looking forward to seeing. The moment finally arrived when Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, the two recognised faces of Noori, made their way to the stage. The crowd, including myself and my friends, was jubilant. Over the course of the next 40 minutes, Noori performed some of their most popular tracks as the excited crowd sang along. All but one of the tracks they performed last evening were from their first album, including “Suno kay main hoon Jawan”, “Manwa Re” and “Dil ki Qasm”. Noori summed up their performance with special applause for their former drummer Gumby, who was on stage all night, initially with the introductory bands, and later with Noori and Ali Azmat.

There was a brief interval or a period of silence between the performance by Noori and that by Ali Azmat, which led many of those in the audience to believe that the concert was over and Ali Azmat was not going to perform. As soon as Ali Azmat came onto the stage, the crowd greeted him with demands of “Sayonee”, a song from his days with Junoon. He did not entertain that request, but sang other big hits, such as “Pappu yaar” and “Na Re Na” from his debut solo album.

Last night’s event also featured bits and pieces of comedy from renowned stand up comedian Sami Shah who I am guessing was the onstage host for the event. Though he was not at his very best, he nonetheless managed to make a fair few people laugh. Overall, it was certainly a night to remember.

A chance to listen to music

The concert was a much-needed event for Karachiites, who had been longing for something to boost their spirits and morale in times like these, when the city is plagued with violence and the country has been ravaged by floods. With time, we can only hope more events such as this one are held. Last night’s event truly lived up to its title-it really was the sound of hope.

deen.sheikh

Deen Sheikh

A Karachi-based human resource and marketing manager who also runs a family-owned business in the consumer goods industry. He is a graduate of King's College London and the University of Sydney.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • EJ

    was this a fund raising event? How much was the ticket? Just wondering what % of Karachittes were able to attend this much needed event “in times like these, when the city is plagued with violence and the country has been ravaged by floods.”Recommend

  • Mustafa

    Nice, but your missing something. The given starting time was 830 and the actual entertainment (Sami Shah and the bands) started performing AFTER 930. So no it did not start on time. Recommend

  • Mumu

    I went to the concert too. It was great that they decided to go ahead with it despite all the complications in the process. Job well done Indus!Recommend

  • Soby

    It is good to see very well organized events happening in Karachi. This inspires and paves the way for future national and international events occuring on Pakistani soil.Recommend

  • Amyn

    It was an awesome event by the sounds of it. And began on time? That is a first!Recommend

  • rahim

    Deen!!!Recommend

  • rahim

    nice article, hope you keep at itRecommend

  • Zeeshan

    dude,he did sing “Sayonee”Recommend

  • Fayez Jawed

    Since when did people start categorizing mauj and faraz anwar as ‘introductory bands?’ What an idiot!Recommend

  • Saad

    I’m sorry, but the writer appearing late for the show does not qualify him to state that it started on time. It did not.

    On another note, does Express Tribune ever monitor the quality of its blog-writers? I understand the appeal for participatory reporting, which I feel should be promoted, but it would help for some oversight on the quality of material that is published — especially considering that some form of editorial approval is required before posting comments on these articles. It would also help for writers to stick to the basics [which would mean not using phrases like “in the city by the sea” for starters — it creates an incongruous style which lowers the overall quality of the piece], and more importantly, to proofread their material before they hit “submit”.

    While I also do not claim to be an authority on the music scene in Pakistan, I do feel slighted on behalf of such stellar acts as Faraz Anwar and Mauj who gave their fans a memorable performance to entitle them with bragging rights and authority on the Pakistani music scene.Recommend

  • meme

    we all need our “sane” things to keep us going even if crazy things are out there all the time. thumbs up and may it keep on being so Recommend

  • Tauheed

    Good to know that this took place in the City much starved of such events.Recommend

  • zahra shah

    i feel mauj stole the show personally..!Recommend

  • Farhad

    @Saad – If he wanted to be a professional journalist and use perfect English, the author wouldn’t be submitting his thoughts to the Blog section, he would be pursuing it as a full time career. Despite the fact that he is an established professional running an organization, he still has a better command of the English language than half the jokers people in Pakistan call ‘professional journalists’ so just take it easy buddy. Why is it that whenever someone has something remotely positive to say on the subject of Pakistan someone has to come up with the most pessimistic response possible?

    If you can’t attack someone in the story, you go after the author, if you can’t fault his English, then whats next. A zionist conspiracy to corrupt the young of Pakistan and lead them away using rock and roll? Seriously?

    Also, what about the team that edits these articles? How are you assuming they aren’t partly to blame for the grammatical errors you pointed out?

    Think before you type.Recommend

  • Omar Shahid

    Given the current law & order situation of Karachi, and the inability of government to control the bloodshed, a concert must have been relaxing for Karachittes. What’s surprising is that no one was given preferential treatment, and punctuality was observed. Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Why dont people understand the diference between blog and feature section……if both start acting like same, whats the need to have 2 categories then? duh……..I guess the music scene is going bad these days…….lets promote such events………Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Deen. It’s nice to have some insight on what’s really going on over there in KHI. Keep up the good words :)Recommend

  • Mr Saeed

    Fairly decent event, the major players managed to get there before 12Recommend

  • Armughan

    EJ: I am a student of Indus and i helped around the Student Council who were responsible for shaping this whole event, 1000people showed up and the ticket was for 1000rs only (considering all big names under one roof is rare nowadays). Sound of hope, name says it all. All the profit earned is directed towards the flood relief fund, you should chek out previous tribune express issues, Indus as an “institute” raised highest number of donations for people affected with flood in ramazan and the work is still going on, this was an event organised for the same reason, thanks to the whole Student Council and Rahnuma social organisation (indus based) and their much dedicated president, Dabeer Hemani.
    It was a great deal of effort to organise such a huge event and without any gate crashes or lathi charge. Everything went smoothly and organised.Recommend

  • A grammarian

    I wish noori had performed more songs including their new cornetto song Recommend

  • http://Mohsinfancy.com MohsinFancy

    The Concert was amazing and for the good cause.
    All the Artist was mind blowing..
    very nice Event.. Thanks to Indus Student CouncilRecommend

  • Ali

    I was genuinely in doubt as to whether the concert would materialise in the end
    I hope though this is a sign of things that such events will come back to the cityRecommend

  • Deen Sheikh (blog writer)

    Thank you for the comments everyone
    I would like to just clarify that I was referring to punctuality on a relative basis
    If ticket says 830 and concert kicks off 9,930
    Huge achievement
    I’ve been to concerts that haven’t begun till 1130,12
    And on the other thing my reference to mauj as the intro band
    Cause Thier performance got the evenining kicking/started. Introductory band doesn’t mean secondary, but bands which start the showRecommend

  • Usman Khan

    the indus concert rocked!!!

    I feel a tad bit retarded now.Recommend

  • Samantha

    Loved the article Deen. Great insight into Karachis arts. Keep up the good work!Recommend

  • Shahzeb

    Good work Deen. Don’t feel bad about Mr Saad’s Comment, just say “Pappu Yaar Tang Na Kar”…lol…Keep the good thing rolling….:)Recommend

  • Mohammad Assad

    Its sad that i live so close by yet I couldnt make itRecommend

  • Murtaza

    Good job, indus, musicians, crowd, and you too, Deen!Recommend