Strings at the SAARC Cultural Festival, New Delhi
Every once in a really long while, New Delhi hosts a concert by an international rock band. Yesterday, I happened to catch Pakistani rock band 'Strings' perform at the SAARC Cultural Festival being held at Central Park above the Connaught Place Metro Station. This music festival being held from November 30th to December 2nd includes performances from musical groups from SAARC group countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives as well as a few bands from around India.
I reached the venue while 'Soulmate', a blues band from Shillong was playing. They were quite good but we were all waiting for Strings to come on. Idiot Mtv VJ Nikhil came on stage and blabbed some crap about having to go to the bathroom before introducing Strings.
Strings from Pakistan were simply fantastic. They were just as good as other international acts whom I have witnessed performing live such as Bryan Adams, No Doubt and Jon Bon Jovi . Plus, they were really singing... not lip syncing to avoid 'technical problems'. They sang all their hits such as Duur, Zinda (OST Zinda), Najane Kyon (OST Spiderman 2), Anjaane, Sar Kiye Yeh Pahar (from the 90's), Lori and Hamare Hindustan. Strings also sang other popular hits that truly got the crowd going like Mast Kalandar, Om Shanti Om, Yeh Dosti (OST Sholay), Saare Jahan Se Accha (tune only), Koi Kahe (OST Dil Chahta Hain) and Aa Dekhe Zara Kisme Kitna Hain Dum.
The best thing about Strings was the way they encouraged crowd participation. Since this was a free concert, many regular Delhites reared on Punjabi folk music with no idea about rock shows turned up. By the end of the two hour concert, everyone was grooving around with smiles on their faces.
Groups such as Indian Ocean and Shankar Ehsaan Loy will be performing on the other days. I have heard them before and they were nowhere as good. Plus, they usually stick to playing self compositions that no one has heard before.....boring. With the number of hits they have had in India, Strings will really be a tough act to follow!!
Anyone ever watched Pakistani rock group Strings perform live?