Music has been known to transcend cultures and language. in Auckland, it dissolved borders as Indians and Pakistanis came together to enjoy an evening of melody as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan presented a memorable concert.
Punched with the right amount of soul and energy, the show, held at the Logan Campbell Centre in Auckland on September 28 was a non-stop three and a half hour marathon of Hindi film chartbusters, qawwalis and instrumental music.
The evening, which began on a soulful note with a brilliant sax version of ‘Surili Ankhiyon Wale,’ ended in the Sufi Qawwali ‘Dama Dam Mast Kalandar,’ turning the packed venue into a livewire of a dance floor.
The finale was a heady mix of Rahat’s enigmatic voice, coupled with great instrumentals and chorus singers. The crowd swirled and danced as the drums and tabla took centre stage. The atmosphere was ecstatic.
It was not a traditional start to Rahat’s concert though. His concerts popularly begin with Sufi number ‘Allah Hoo’ of his uncle and Guru Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan but Rahat chose to set a softened mood with ‘Aas Paas Hain Khuda’ from ‘Anjaana Anjaani.’
In rendering Nusrat’s all-time hit sufi tracks ‘Saanson Ki Mala’ and ‘Afreen,’ he extolled the legacy of the master.
However, the favourite number of the evening was ‘Main Jahan Rahoon’ (Namaste London). The recurrent requests from the crowd continued until the singer finally sang the track. And were they jubilant!
This was Rahat’s second concert in Auckland (following his first visit in March 2012). The Pakistani singer apparently loves performing in New Zealand.
The singer is always accompanied by his orchestra and a power-packed bunch of chorus singers for each of his concerts. It was nice to see Rahat’s brother leading the chorus singers.
Whether a qawwali or a Hindi fim number, a good set of chorus singers can make or break a live performance. Rahat’s concerts undoubtedly score in that department.
In fact, his chorus singers must be given maximum credit in keeping up the energy level and doing justice to his performance.
With a rustic voice, Rahat’s high volume could be deterrent for many. This has been a drawback of his otherwise mesmerising performances. One gets the feeling that either the singer has gone overboard with a high pitch or the microphone was at a kissing distance.
However, beautiful compositions make Rahat’s concerts a treat.
Sizzling Events had well-organised the event and more importantly, the concert was testimony to the fact that Auckland loves Rahat and vice versa.
Photo : Rahat in Concert