With Independence Day celebrations taking over the country, local artists have also been blending out patriotic songs one after the other in their own tone. And why not?
Music is a big part of August 14 as green lights and flags are. This week, Pepsi Battle of the Bands added an art of green to their blue set by making their contestants perform Jashn e Azaadi themed songs only.
The audience and viewers also got a pleasant surprise when they saw Jasim Haider and The Pindi Boys (contestants from last year) on stage. They joined the four vocalists (of each remaining band) to perform Tu Hai Kahan by Strings, Junaid Jamshed and Haroon.
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The competition began with “Bayaan”, who chose to sing Yeh Watan by Mehdi Hassan. The band, which has been in the danger zone for the last two weeks, gave an astonishingly melodious performance, showcasing the best of Asfar’s vocals. They were well appreciated by the judges.
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Meesha Shafi pointed out how hard it is to cover such iconic songs and that Bayaan had done it well. Fawad Khan appreciated the arrangement, saying it is important to these songs for the new generation, at the same time keeping their melancholy value and core intact. He added that this was one of the few renditions of Yeh Watan which accomplished that.
21 the band covered Hum Hain Pakistani by Vital Signs, changing it from pop to a more ‘rock’ number. Alas, the panel of judges wasn’t satisfied with their performance. Faisal said that he expected more from the band at this stage and the passion for patriotic music was missing. According to Fawad Khan, it was an “audition level” performance.
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As for Xarb, the band has been one of the top competitors since the audition rounds and their dedication to their craft and quality of music has made them fan favorites. They performed Wattan ki Mitti by Nayyara Noor. Bilal Maqsood said that this song made him cry whenever he used to listen it.
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Conversely, the performance didn’t create the similar emotion in any of the judges. Bilal felt the song was ‘theoretically perfect’ but the arrangement buried its soul somewhere. Faisal highly praised Xarb for trying something new. He said the tune of the original was trying to chase the band’s arrangement of the song.
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The very last performance was the most thrilling. Tamaasha sang Iss Parcham Ke Saaye Taley in their signature rock and metal style. While the band has been at the top of their competition ever since day one, and has received a hat-trick of standing ovations, this newest performance got diverse reviews. While Fawad called it Tamaasha’s weakest performance in four weeks, Meesha said that it was the best performance of the night.