Concert Review: Pakistan rocks out Oslo Mela 2008

Pakistan rocks out Oslo Mela 2008

Ali Zafar, Noori and Jal accompany Sher Miandad, Rifaqat Ali Khan and Bashir Lohar to show Scandinavians how us desis do it

Fizzah Hussain Rizvi

The 8th Oslo Mela, held recently in Oslo, Norway, once again saw the best of Pakistan’s pop, rock and folk musicians take the Norwegian capital by storm. Osloites had not forgotten the stupendous Pakistani performances from 2007 when Ali Azmat, Strings, Rifaqat Ali Khan, Arif Lohar, Iqbal Bahu, Nighat Chaudhry and several others wowed and mesmerized them with live acts.

2008 was no different as once again there was a myriad of Pakistan’s best talent (Noori, Ali Zafar, Jal, Sher Miandad, Rifaqat Ali Khan, Bashir Lohar) along with acts like Stereo Nation from UK, 78 year old Mirilam Makeba aka Mama Africa from South Africa and an Indian Punjabi Bhangra band from Norway who were invited to add to the multi cultural flavour of the festival.

Meanwhile the creative force behind the decorations, ambience and a wonderful Puppet parade (first of its kind in Norway and in Mela’s history) was none other than the brilliant Rafi Peer Theatre Group (RPTG).
Mr Syed Nadeem, one of the organizers of the event, was full of praise for the Rafi Peer group who have been putting in all possible efforts to bring the Pakistani talent (especially folk musicians) to the world and introducing the Norwegians and several other countries with their unique puppet creations.

Queen Sonya of Norway formally inaugurated the festival which was dedicated to the famous Norwegian poet Henrik Wergeland as it was his 200th death anniversary.

Day 1

Noori make a rare appearance

This year saw Sher Miandad render some brilliant qawwalis with two of his Norwegian pupils and the crowd loved this passionate performance.

Classical singer Rifaqat Ali Khan sang a translated poem by Wergeland and the first day was launched at the Rådhusplassen City Hall Square.

One of Pakistan’s favourite rock bands Noori made a comeback through their fantastic performance on the first day of the festival.

Many were surprised to see the turnout for Noori, which was reportedly huge. Brothers Ali Noor and Ali Hamza have been AWOL from the music scene for sometime. And make one-off appearances. But Oslo made it clear that as performers, they haven’t lost their edge.

Noori were joined by Zameer on drums and they started with an English track ‘With You’ and followed it by hits like ‘Suno Kay Mein Hoon Jawan’, ‘Kuttay’, ‘Tum Hans Diye’, ‘Dil Ki Qasam’ and the most requested ‘Manwa Re’.

Day 2

Ali Zafar steals the show

While the second day saw cultural events like a Mushaira organized by the Pakistani Family Network, Deichmanske library, Bydel Alna and the Horisont foundation featuring Pakistani poets from Norway and England, a fashion show by a Pakistani Norwegian Uzma Rehman and a performance by an Indian Norwegian hip hop and RnB singer Samsaya, the actual bangs were the Puppet parade organized by RPTG and the live performance by pop wonderboy Ali Zafar.

The parade featured three giant puppets with two puppet horses while Bashir Lohar and his band performed along.

At last it was time to experience the phenomenon called Ali Zafar. Once again the the energy and the hysteria that erupted as Ali zafar started singing backstage and made an entry in a turquoise kurta and a funky necklace looking as cute as ever. The crowd chanted his name, females screamed and swooned and threw teddy bears at him. He began with ‘Chal Dil Meray’ and followed it by his pop ditties ‘Rangeen’, ‘Channo’, ‘Huqa Pani’, ‘Masti’ and a couple of Kishore Kumar classics. He performed for a good fifty minutes and left the stage with people screaming for more.

Day 3

Jal take the center stage

The third and final day belonged to Pakistan once again as it was Jal’s turn after the crowd were entertained by bhangra artist Harbhajan Talwar, a Norwegian hip hop band called Gatas Parlament (meaning Street Parliament) and a joint performance by Sher Miandad and a Norwegian band Transjoik from Trondhiem who also performed at the World Performing Arts Festival Lahore in 2004.

The stage lights went off suddenly as it was time for the Jal boys to enter. The lights came on full blast and the music kicked off at the same time inviting wild screams from the crowd, who loved every bit of this stunt.

Jal began with ‘Aadat’ and followed it with hits like ‘Woh Lamhey’, ‘Chaltay Chaltay’, ‘Mast Qalander’ and finally ended with their super hit tune, ‘Sajni’.

And even though the performance was short, it was not without energy and star power.

courtesy by: http://www.pakmusic.net

AHOY FORM OSLO!!!

ahoy-from-oslo-pic-1 Yes, we are very much in the middle of grand festivity! Oslo is full of life! Summer is the perfect time to be here!!

On the night of the 22nd, noori performed to a jam packed audience at Rådhusplassen which is the City Hall Square. The Mela, the event for which noori performed, is one of the biggest events held in Oslo. Mr. Khalid Salimi, the director of this event has successfully created the festival for 7 years! And with each year passing, the event has gained greater recognition and popularity. Last year’s visitor count was 300,000 people! Can it get any grander?

noori’s performance lasted around 45 minutes. Our cousin, Zameer, was flown in specially from toronto for the gig. He opened the performance with one of his finest ballads, ‘With You‘. The band followed on to enthral the audience with Tum Hans Diye, Suno Ke Mein Hun Jawan, Kuttay..Dil Ki Qasam and Manwa Re!

Check out the pics in the gallery section..

Well concerts happen for us all the time but this trip was our first to the Scandinavia and we think that till now we had missed out on a very beautiful part of this earth.

One more thing we’d like add is that Mr. Khalid Salimi’s effort is something that all Pakistani expatriates should be really proud of. Through the Mela he has brought the Pakistanis living in Norway much closer to the European community. He has used art and culture to establish, very effectively, the respectability that Pakistanis so fully deserve, especially during such hard political times that Pakistan itself is going through. Way to go Salimi Sahib!!!

Right now we are having the most beautiful time of our life in an Island in Norway called Børøya. Keep a look out for an entry about the entire trip as soon as we get back!

Until then…

noori