Episode 3 Review of Pepsi Battle of the Bands


By Ali Gohar

First thing first, before we come to the bands and their performances! It must be appreciated that the show has been really helpful for the bands because a) normally these folks don’t have the luxury of experts and the audience listening to their play so keenly and judging & correcting them. This is a form of coaching in itself and b) Thankfully the judges are not following the typical Indian style of “drama” and “over-acting” and bashing the participants to create unnecessary hype and TRPs. Their mature and encouraging behavior is giving the show a sensible, subtle and an original touch.

The show and the bands have got an uplift in terms of gadgets and the overall look and feel of the show in the knockout round and it is much crisper now. Lastly well, Ayesha Omer, seems to be the only weak link. I wish it was Fakhar e Alam hosting the show or somebody like him who could understand what actually is going on, in a lighter note.

Lets Start with Band’s Performances in Knock out Round:

Darvesh was able to impress the judges again, well but not me, again. Even though the band has quite a few vocalist, (all of them?) but it lacked a voice with depth required of a rock vocalist. The overall feel of “Allah he dega” was not bad for a new comer though.

Jasim & the Pindi Boys are just awesome (I am secretly cheering for them too). It takes more than just guts to perform a Vital Signs track in front of Shahi Hassan himself. The act was knitted well and they were not afraid of experimenting with the breaks within the music piece. All of them looked really enjoying what is going on.

Aura, I am not sure what they did actually. The judges also didn’t give very supportive comments. They performed cover of Alamgir’s dekha na tha which couldn’t make an impact.

Madlock’s vocalist looks inspired by the great Faraz Anwar the way he normally speaks and the style or may be it comes automatically with long hair. The band has all the looks of an Alternate Rock band. Meesha and the other judges liked that thing about him. She believes he has a really different vocal tune which outshines him from the rest.

Kashmir, the best thing about them, actually better than their performance was the courage to experiment something different. They picked Mera Pyar by Aamir Zaki (which has been covered hundreds if not thousand times)to make their own version which was somewhere between blues and alternative. The whole thing made the judges go WOW. The audience reaction was similar too and social media is still buzzing right now and terming it as one of the best covers of Mera Pyar.

Badnam, covered the folk song Kala Jora. It was indeed a very energetic performance. The vocalist is very skillful both in his vocals and guitars. The overall performance was powerful and the judges were also quite impressed.

Shajr, picked an NFAK song to cover which was quite a daring thing. The act and performance was like a mature band and every band member gave it’s full in to it.  The judges believed the vocalist Nimra is very good but may not be the perfect piece of the puzzle for the band.

Roots, who has band members from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad picked a Hadiqa-Aamir Zaki song and gave it a totally different touch. The pop touch of the originally very dark song may not have been appreciated by the diehard fans of the ultimate guitar maestro Aamir Zaki. But in isolation, the performance was jellying in.

This was a knockout stage of the show. Two out of Eight bands were supposed to leave the show. The way first four bands (Jasim & the Pindi Boys, Darvesh, Madlock and Badnaam) were marked safe was nicely done and all felt the goose bumps. Out of Roots, Kashmir, Shajr and Aura two had to go. And the two more bands who will still be seen in action in coming episode at least are…..Kashmir and Roots.

Shajr and Aura are eliminated and now they will not be a part of the show any further but let’s hope they don’t give up and continue to contribute to the overall music scene.

Regardless of who takes the title at the end, the best thing is that we are enjoying more music, more bands are getting the much needed limelight and hopefully and more importantly, the talented young lot is getting inspired at home. Hopefully, this process will take #PakistaniMusic to new heights. Fingers Crossed for upcoming episodes 😉

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