Strings play to packed Nepali crowd


The show ‘Gladiator Strings Concert — Life Rocks’ presented by IIFT Plantain was supposed to start at 2:30 pm, but it was already past four when the emcees made their way on to the stage. And by the time Abhaya and the Steam Injuns and Xmantra had finished their opening

acts, it was already way past half-past-five.

With the twang-twangs of the guitars and all the sounds that needed to sound just right for each instrument, the sun had set, the cold wind was blowing the rains closer and the audience was kind of losing their patience. However, kudos to such a lovely crowd that numbered hundreds, they stayed put without creating any kind of a ruckus, instead built small bonfires around the ground with the mown grass and chilled out till Strings made their entry.

And of course their fans this side of the border screamed and heaved a huge, huge sigh of relief when the duo finally made it to the stage.

Their wait did not go in vain as the duo — Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia, who make up the famous Pakistani band named Strings (voted the Best Artist in 2005 by MTV Asia), had them eating out of their palms in no time. The crowd was like putty in their hands — doing what Kapadia asked of them from the stage.

When they performed their hit number Anjane from their album Duur (2000), one could see reflections of Harry Belafonte live concerts or Usha Uthup shows. Kapadia first

asked the lovely girls of Kathmandu to sing after them, and our girls did not disappoint these Pakistani rockers, and the boys not to be outdone, shouted on top of their lungs Anjane kyon when their turn came to sing back.

As requested by a fan backstage, Strings who’ve scored for Spiderman 2, sang their number from this Hollywood flick and dedicated Naajanay kyoun to this fan.

As the concert was heating up on the stage and the ground, with the audience waving their lit mobile phone screens high above their heads as asked by Kapadia, the rain gods played their trick and it poured like cats and dogs cutting the concert short at the end of the fourth number, which the Strings said was close to their heart.

However, as Kapadia had said from the stage earlier, “It’s amazing we are just two-and-half-hours flight away, yet very few Nepalis visit Pakistan, and vice versa. We should travel more.”

Well, Kathmanduites enjoyed Strings, though it was just not enough.