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Posted: 12 July 2008 at 5:49pm | IP Logged

Summer Beats 2008

Atif Aslam

Saturday May 31st saw me attend the Summer Beats Concert 2008 at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey, presented by Ariz Inc and Mehta Entertainment. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And fuss there was. Just another concert? You'd be surprised.

Come to set the stage 'on fire' were SaReGaMaPa Challenge 2007 contestant Amanat Ali, supremely talented playback singer Richa Sharma, renowned Sufi singer Kailash Kher, and of course, the heartthrob of all heartthrobs, Atif Aslam.

The evening began with Amanat Ali's rendition of 'Mitwa' from KANK, a song with which he shot to fame in the talent show SaReGaMaPa Challenge. 'Koi Mil Gaya' from KKHH, a beautiful rendition of 'Jabse Tere Naina' from Saawariya, and 'Aankhon Mein Teri' from Om Shanti Om followed, with the stellar performance being 'Tujhse Naaraz Nehin Zindagi' from the movie Masoom; a song with which he managed to mellow down the entire stadium of fans in much the same way that he brought tears to the eyes of the judges in the talent show where he was first recognised.

Following on was Richa Sharma, a playback singer hardly given enough credit for her undeniably powerful performances. The entire arena began to jhoom alongside her as she crooned out the famous 'Mahi Ve' from Kaante, moving swiftly into a medley of songs, including, 'Rabba' from Musafir, 'Judaai' from Jannat, 'Jag Soona Soona' from Om Shanti Om, and then finishing with the super-hit 'Billo Rani' from the movie Goal.

Making his entrance next on stage with his band Kailasa was a man needing little introduction; who possibly could be unfamiliar with songs such as the humbling 'Allah Ke Bande' from Waise Bhi Hota Hai, the passion-fuelled 'Tere Deewani', or the soul-stirring 'Saiyyan'? Kailash Kher flawlessly delivered renditions of 'Sanu Ik Pal Chein Na Aaye' and 'Tere Bin Nehin Lagda' by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the latter having infused the stadium's fans with bittersweet memories of love lost; and movie-hits such as 'Rang Dini' and 'Dhol Wajda' compelled the audience to bounce and bhangra to their heart's content, preparing them for the finale act to come.

And come he did, with a standing ovation and a countdown-chant from his eagerly-awaiting fans. Launching straight into 'Lamhe' from his debut album, the night went on with the crowds (and me) singing along to one hit after another, from 'Mein Ek Fard Hoon', 'Doorie', and 'Kuch Is Tarah', to 'Hum Kiss Gali Jaa Rahe Hai', 'Tere Bin', and 'Pehli Nazar' from Race. Wearing a white shirt and black waistcoat, guitar strapped in front of him and flashes going off each second, Atif Aslam looked and performed as every inch the rock-star, finally bringing the night to a reluctant end, with the thunderously heart-stopping 'Aadat'.

Edited by indian_masala - 12 July 2008 at 5:50pm

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