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Pappu Saeen rocks the capital on the second day of music festival

There is nothing like Bhangra to get an audience pumped and when it is the king of dhol Pappu Saeen himself, he rules the stage.

Day two of the Second Annual Music Mela 2015 was a day of festivity with fireworks, confetti, good food and dancing to traditional beats.

Before Pappu Saeen took to the stage, audience members, most of whom were young people, sat on the ground and their seats. As soon as Pappu Saeen walked on stage and began a sound check, people were on their feet.

Dressed in his traditional glittering kurta and dhoti, Pappu Saeen built the tempo slowly. The crowd was jumping, hands and mobile cameras in the air.

Not a single person in the audience was sitting still and each person forced to move with the irresistible rhythm.

Mustafa Khan and Rehan Saeed, had come to the festival especially to see Pappu Saeen and were also looking forward to catching their favourite Karachi based pioneering underground rock band Coven.

The band members played their instruments skillfully and were perfectly complemented by Hamza Jaffery’s powerhouse vocals.

“Coven continues to inspire,” said Mustafa Khan, who is a musician himself.

Pappu Saeen band and Shehryar Mirza (below) perform on the second day of the Music Mela at PNCA on Saturday. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad
Pappu Saeen band and Shehryar Mirza (below) perform on the second day of the Music Mela at PNCA on Saturday. — Photos by Tanveer Shahzad

Shahbaz Zaidi also a musician and vocalist for the local band Saturn, said, “the event has gotten better. We wish we could have a bigger venue that had more of a concert-like feel.”

Audience members enjoyed to their hearts content to the performances by contemporary jazz rock band Red Blood Cat and Shan Khan who rolled out Pashto fusion compositions.

The concert saw a huge turnout. Parking spaces were full. Queues were 60 to 70 meters long as people flooded into the concert grounds of the National Art Gallery where the US Embassy in Islamabad in collaboration with the Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (FACE) are hosting the three-day concert.

Dozens of musicians, upcoming, underground bands and famous folk artists have contributed to make this show grand. The Music Mela features classical, to Punjabi, Balochi and Pashto folk to contemporary rock, pop rock and fusion music genres.

This year the concert also features foreign musicians like Maria Pomianowska, Grace McLean and Mary McBride who have flown in to perform at the Music Mela.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2015

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