Pakistani music, as diverse as its multiethnic population, ranges from qawwali - a popular brand of music branched from Sufi Islam - to good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. It includes diverse elements ranging from music from various parts of South Asia as well as Central Asian, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and modern day Western popular music influences. With these multiple influences, a distinctive Pakistani sound has been formed. From Pakistan’s inception, music was a form of entertainment like anywhere else. But now it has several purposes to serve. It unites people apart from entertaining them. It helps them build the most common perspectives on life...
In order to celebrate the spirit of Pakistani music, the biggest Sufi-Rock band Junoon recently played live in Karachi with a humongous crowd coming from all walks of life. The concert was to celebrate Pakistanis’ passion for their country on the birth anniversary of Quaid-e-Azam as well as to commemorate nearly 30 years of Junoon’s music. The event was declared a roaring success as it did not only keep the audience singing along to the nostalgic tunes loud and proud, but also proved to be an awe-inducing showcase of live effects and animation.
With a massive stage set for the Sufi-Rock Kings, the host for the evening, Faizan Haque, kick-started the event with Pakistan’s top DJ, Faisal Baig, whose classic rock music helped build the mood for what was to come later. Following him were four brilliant opening acts, namely Lyari Underground, ‘Khumaariyan’, ‘Tamasha’ and ‘Sounds of Kolachi’, among which ‘Khumaariyan’ and ‘Sounds of Kolachi’ left the audience yearning for more. The evening took a massive turn from Junoon’s first act. It was absolutely amazing and enthralling. With an incredible light show that was accompanied by L.E.D graphics and animations playing on three humongous screens, the audience was completely swept away by the entry of Junoon.
The band began with a tribute to Quaid-e-Azam before moving on to perform their iconic hits such as ‘Khudi’, ‘Sayyonee’, ‘Saaien’ and ‘Yaar Mera’ among others. The band then came full circle with a beautiful tribute to Junaid Jamshed in the form of a heart-warming performance on ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’, thereby filling the atmosphere with immense emotions and nostalgia.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the concert was when Salman and Ali veered away from the script to sit down on the stairs of the stage, and do an impromptu performance of the legendary hit, ‘Wish You Were Here’ to pay tribute to the global icon ‘Pink Floyd’. From there they entered their classic hit ‘Chalay, Chalay Thhay Saath Saath’.
Even with such a fantastic presentation of raw sentiment and emotion through the power of music and words, nothing could prepare the massive crowd for what was in store next. For the band’s last performance of the evening, ‘Jazba Junoon’, the audience was treated to what was, arguably, the longest and most brilliant firework show. The event concluded with the singing of the National Anthem with everyone gasping and cheering in awe as massive green fireworks appeared, just as they played the last note.
The event was a star-studded one with popular celebrities such as Wasim Akram, Zohaib Hassan, Junaid Khan along with other celebrities and personalities in attendance. The much talked-about ‘Ladies Only’ Pink Circle, which even Ali Azmat acknowledged on-stage, was the crowning glory of the event while other enclosures were packed with people of all ages, all of whom had come together to see Junoon’s reunion after a long hiatus of 13 years. Moreover, there were food stalls and beverages for the public to snack on.
All in all, the evening appeared to be quite a delight as the show got over on time as well. Although there have been countless large-scale concerts throughout Pakistan’s history, a recent lull in the frequency of such events threatened to derail and completely submerge its live entertainment scene. The Junoon concert proved to be the impetus needed to jumpstart that trend once again.