Engaging, enthralling, and enormously energetic was singer Shafqat Amanat Ali's performance in Delhi. Not to mention extremely enjoyable and entertaining!
The resounding applause that refused to die down the moment he was introduced itself was evidence of the Pakistani singer's fan following in just Delhi, let alone India. He may have been dressed in his usual dark attire, but the artist definitely lit up the place. The energy palpable, the musicians ready and the audience waiting with bated breath, the stage was set.
The Rockstar Ustaad, as musical duo Salim-Suleiman call him, soon began to cast his spell on the audience with unbelievably precise and resonating aalaaps and loaches.
Familiar renditions like Mora Sayya Mose Bole Na, Aankhon Ke Saagar and even Darmiyaan, expectedly won huge rounds of applause. But what was more exciting was the singer's spontaneity and his ability to make the audience dance to his tunes, literally.
All those who came to the event would certainly be glad they cancelled all other plans for this concert organised by Pink Chain Foundation. And if you want to know just how glad, then the fact that some 200 people watched the show standing throughout the two and half hour performance, should tell you so. The remaining 1000 or so were too absorbed to notice.
To perform before an audience is one thing and to involve or engage it is quite another and the maestro did so with ease. It's very rare to see an artist go up to the audience and get as many people to sing as possible.
Here, I must make a special mention of a very popular ghazal that the singer sang and more importantly made some 20 people from the audience sing with him. The melody was Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo and the audience was… well, delirious with joy.
The artist specially dedicated his very popular rendition Yeh Hausla Kaise Jhuke from Dor to the Pink Chain Foundation, a foundation that supports NGOs raise funds and awareness.
As the audience kept requesting for his most popular songs Mitwa from Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Diladara from RA.One, Shafqat Amanat Ali was in no hurry. He instead obliged with Abhi Naa Jaao Chhod Kar, once again blowing the audience away with his musical perfection.
Son of Pakistani music maestro Amanat Ali Khan and a member of the Patiala gharana, Shafqat has certainly did his gharana proud with his rocking performance. The Rockstar Ustaad's several fusion performances only magnified his versatility as a singer.
Finally, Dildara, Tere Naina and Mitwaa came along with a rather complex version of the Sufi rendition Dammadam Mast Kalandar.
In the end, while Shafqat Amanat Ali left with a lot of love and praises, the reluctant-to-disperse audience left with their hearts wanting for more. I left with a strange buzz in my head, the combined result of the stupor the singer put me in and the hyper-active and energetic audience all around me.
You hear it all the time, you somewhere even feel it but after this evening, I'm convinced. It's true, music knows no boundaries.