Strings - Concert at Irving Center for Performing Arts
I love going to concerts but unfortunately the last one I went for was in Chennai (Junoon in 2000). If y'all remember Junoon was the band that had a popular hit from the song Sayoni and hailed from Pakisthan...So do Strings...A very popular Pakisthani band but I did not realize their popularity until I saw the Paki guys go crazy about them.
So anyhoo, the concert was scheduled to start at 8.00pm and did so promptly at 9.20pm...What were we expecting being there on time for a desi event? Seriously! I have been to three such shows so far and none have started on time. Very annoying and irritating especially since we were made to stand outside till about 9.00pm, almost an hour before we were allowed to enter the hall.
The show started with a very amateur fashion show, of course with some wardrobe malfunction which gave everyone something to laugh about. Unfortunately for the models they got booed out by the angry audience. Later a teenage smartass girl tried to fill in before Strings showed up and she just irritated the already irate audience all the more and got booed out of the stage too. Finally they came in around 9.20pm...just the guitarits (Shakir on bass and Aadil on lead) and the drummer and started the show. They were followed by the entry of Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia and the show was on for real now!
Faisal got the show going from the start. He had very memorable introductions to all their songs and also sang amazingly well. Faisal did all the talking and Bilal stuck to playing guitar and singing. Faisal has amazing stage presence and got the crowd into the mood of a rock show. A lot of them were on the feet and dancing in front of the stage. Somehow for a few seconds I felt that Pakisthani's know how to enjoy more than Indians, because both the Desi shows I have been to had Desi's all staying put...
Anyway, so Faisal asks how many of you are Indians and then how many of you are Pakis...From all the noise he could hear he understood that there were few Indians in the auditorium. Since we were located about eight rows away from the stage and in his line of vision he picked our seats to point out when he said, "These songs are dedicated to the Indians in the auditorium." He sang wonderful songs from Dil Chahtha Hai to yeh dosthi hum nahin...It was a medley for about five minutes and it was really fun and yes we did feel very special.
During the aforementioned medley he also tried to do some Indo-Pak integration...He sang the song Jaanu Meri Jaan...and made all the Pakis say, "Mein tera tu mera jaane saara Hindusthan," and the Indians say, "Mein tera tu mera jaane saara Pakisthan." Also he followed it by the Yeh dosthi song...Which was great. For a moment it felt like the lines between India and Pakisthan ceased to exist...(Pardon any mistakes in my lyrics for the abovementioned song).
And then it was back, bolder than ever when a Pakisthani dude started waving the Paki flag and Strings sang a couple of solely Paki favorite songs...I did not mind that...it felt wierd and suddenly out of place, but I am sure Indians would have done the same given a chance. So I did not feel that terrible as an afterthought.
On the whole the concert was energetic, the songs were great, and Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood were amazing on stage. We had fun, our throats were sore after the show which means we enjoyed the show...
After the show we got to meet The Strings backstage and took photographs and autographs from them. It was awesome and they were very humble and nice. I am going to attach a few of them to this blog if blogger allows me to do so...
One last confession...All my Strings knowledge was brought to me by my dearest friend Sameer who is a singer himself and is inspired by Strings like crazy. Everytime we have a chill out night, we sit in The Den and Sammy sings many wonderful songs among which Strings features very often. Until Saturday night I have never heard a Strings song sung by Strings themselves...Isn't that funny?
You can see my head turned around and Bilal's face but Faisal is hidden by my friend
Faisal with water bottle in his hand and Bilal with the guitar
You can see Bilal to the extreme right but Bilal is hidden by my friend's face above me.