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Atif Aslam bowls over London


Gig Out! He became the first Pakistani to perform at O2, the most coveted venue in London these days London

By Murtaza Ali Shah


Singing sensation and heartthrob Atif Aslam created history by becoming the first Pakistani singer to perform and sing to a sold-out stadium at London’s famous O2 Arena. As if that weren’t a big enough achievement, the performance itself went thrillingly well.


Sunny and Shay of BBC London hosted the event, and just before the show, said: "We are presenting one of the biggest shows at the O2 tonight with Atif Aslam! Very excited!”


O2 Arena is the venue where many larger than life characters, including double Oscar and Grammy winner AR Rahman and the Bachchan family have performed to huge audiences. Atif joins the ranks of superstars, stunning everyone with a stupendous performance.


The former lead singer of Pakistani rock band Jal catapulted to fame with the band’s hugely popular debut single ‘Aadat’, which led Bollywood to notice his powerhouse vocals. Atif’s album Doorie was produced in India and did really well there too. Over the years he has churned out many a Bollywood hit including ‘Tere Liye’, ‘Piya O Re Piya’, ‘Pehli Nazar Mein and ‘Tere Bin’. His Bollywood fame was demonstrated by the fact that the audience comprised of possibly an equal number of Pakistanis and Indians.


Originally billed to share the concert with Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam, it was left to young Atif to perform for nearly four hours non-stop, alongside the dance group Bolly Flex as Sonu Nigam had to cancel last minute due to visa difficulties.


Master showman Atif Aslam walked on to the stage with his band of talented musicians from Lahore, and lived up to the hype that he is incomparable to anyone else of his age and in his profession in terms of the sheer energy that he exudes when performing live. His singing ability is excellent, which has made him one of the most sought after Bollywood singers and one of Pakistan’s pop royalty.


Atif, who is not even 30, and only eight years into his musical career, has sold nearly 50 million copies of his three albums and has a few Hollywood songs to his credit, left everyone gagging for more and held his own at the show for its entire duration.


His specially created head gear, made by his brother for the O2, was a point of contention for many. He looked like a total rockstar, but some fans wanted the full Atif effect.


He interacted with his audience in the usual fashion- chatted to girls, flirted, joked around, threw out CDs, played solo guitar riffs, sang with and without his band, on musical instruments and without them, danced and sang. In short, he set the stage alight and ensured that no one felt bored for a second.


The heartthrob’s innate charisma made sure there was great excitement amongst the thousands of girls at the concert, who didn’t sit still for a moment for as long as Atif was on stage. Thanks to the strict security arrangement though, there was no stampede of the kind at one of his concerts in Lahore earlier this year when three girls were killed.

With every new single – whether melodious, pop or pop-rock - Atif showed that he was the master of his work, in full control of his vocals and took the challenge from the front to the crowd.


There was hardly any song the audience didn’t sing along to and despite the long set-list, still screamed for more. That is a mark of a successful show. Atif Aslam made Pakistan and all Asians proud by owning the stage at The O2, where many of the world’s biggest stars have performed.


Naz Choudhury, who arranged three concerts for Atif Aslam in London, Manchester and Glasgow, told Instep Today that all three shows were sold out well in advance. "I am very excited. Atif put up a legendary performance at The O2 with Bolly Flex. We all knew Pakistan has some of the best Urdu pop, classical and rock singers but Atif was a shock.”


Also sharing her views on this show is Ashanti Omkar, a Bollywood critic and British Asian music expert. She articulated: "I knew very little about the power of Atif Aslam but when I heard about his sold out Royal Albert Hall show back in 2007, I was sure that he would do due diligence to O2, which is a dream stage for most performers. He made history as the first Pakistani performer to perform at O2, as did Bolly Flex, as the first Bollywood group to be on this coveted stage.”


Omkar is excited for more: "The audience were in full form, singing along and dancing and it seems that Atif mania has indeed hit the UK. Teamed with good looks and an unusual voice, his vocals worked this crowd and his versatility and energy were dazzling. He even performed ‘Man Kunto Maula’, a song popularised by the late legendary stalwart of Pakistan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Ji, and showcased his ability to fuse rock music with Amir Khusro’s poetry and the classical form of Tarana flawlessly. His sargam was in fine form indeed. All I keep hearing on social networks is that the audience wants Atif Aslam back in London.”



SOURCE = Instep Today - May 01, 2012

Category: Atif aslam Reviews | Added by: Danoo (2012-05-02)
Views: 6082 | Tags: Atif aslam | Rating: 10.0/788
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