Nokia Music Carnival with LRB, Artcell and KK | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, December 27, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, December 27, 2009

Nokia Music Carnival with LRB, Artcell and KK

Artcell (top) and KK perform at the concert.

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On the winter morning of December 26, when the students of Residential Model School were busy in the classrooms, groups of men were toiling at the school's cricket ground. There was a huge preparation going on, from erecting the stage to fixing the lights and checking the sounds. The set-up continued all the way through the evening. Around 3 pm, people of all age groups, occupations and tastes in music started to throng the field. The crowd kept getting bigger. At one point it turned out to be a thousand, then two thousand, but people still kept on flooding in. Around 4:30 pm, the concert started. The first to perform was the hard rock band Artcell.
Lincoln, Shaju, Cezanne and Ershad had the 'Tribute to Artcell' concert two months back, and had been in the limelight since then. This time they rocked thousands of fans at Dhaka Residential Model School, who could be described with only one word, "wild". The band performed "Durgam giri", "Onno Shomoy" and several other tracks.
"This was the last open air concert and also the last show featuring Artcell for this year," said Cezanne. "We will be leaving Bangladesh on December 29 for a concert in Sydney and would be back in the country by January 15, 2010." What did these guys have to say about the crowd? The crowd was great -- very supportive. It was pretty interesting to see them joining us in every beat. There was a minor problem with the sound, but other than that everything was great at the show, they said.
LRB was next. After rock, it was metal-electro mix. The audience kept on singing, dancing and cheering. They performed "Shei Tumi", "Meye", "Mon Chaile Mon", "Ek Akashey Tara" etc. They had a small break during the Azaan after which the show resumed. Ayub Bachchu's powerful vocals filled the air. The collective sound of hundreds of voices singing to "Ek Akasher Tara" was remarkable.
No one was there in the whole field who wasn't having a good time. The crowd was so big that at the end of the show there was a traffic jam on the main road.
The last performer at the concert was Indian singer KK. Before he appeared on the stage, the crowd shouted out the two syllables, waiting anxiously. Finally when he turned up on stage, there was a silence for fraction of a second, after that the noise reached a crescendo.
KK's first rendition was "Bitey Lamhe" -- a slow romantic number form the movie "The Train". Some people swayed to the music. When the artiste asked around whether he should do slow or fast music, he heard a loud "fast". And so he performed "Mera Pehla Pyaar Hai Yeh". KK dedicated the song to Dhaka and said, "I hope to make a lot of friends here."
He performed the song "Yaaro" soon after and it was as if the song had cast a spell. "Yaaro Dosti Bari Hi Ajeeb Hai" (Friends, friendship is a strange feeling...that comforts when you are alone) -- the words had everyone contemplate about their friends who were perhaps at the concert with them or couldn't make it. KK said the song was one of his personal favourites, reminding him of his college days, from 10 years back, when he composed it.
“What are the two most important things in life?” And as he expected, the crowd responded, "Music and Love."
KK's songs seem to have been set in the hearts of Bangladeshis and when he sang something melancholy the crowd became nostalgic, but when he did a pop, happy-go-lucky number, they were vibrant.
This was KK's first time in Dhaka, and according to him the feeling was "awesome".

The writer is a freelance contributor.
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