Arif Lohar – the Desi Rockstar rocked Sydney

It was Saturday, the 23rd of May 2015. I was very excited as it was my first ever chance of attending the live concert of Jugni King Arif Lohar who was in Australia for his concerts in all major cities. Raja Taseer of Parwaz Multicultural Arts with the cooperation of Event News Australia and ARF (Ali Rana Folk) managed this beautiful evening for Pakistani and Indian people living in NSW, which will be remembered for a long time. I reached C3 Conference Centre at 7:00 pm where the gig was being held. There were hundreds of Jugni fans there waiting for the show to start.

Concert started at 7:30 pm with solo performance of Sydney based Pakistani Singer Shagufta Zia who beautifully sang Madam Noorjehan’s super hit Punjabi song ‘Way sub tou sohnaya’ (وے سب توں سوہنیا). She got high applause from the jam packed hall. Arif Lohar’s talented musicians played live for Shagufta.

Then came Sherry (Arif’s keyboardist-cum-singer) on the stage and performed a beautiful classical song. He had very good command on his vocal range. He also got good appreciation. He was replaced by Fauzia, the female back-vocalist of Arif Lohar Band. She sang three melodious Punjabi songs. Her performance was highly appreciated by the crowd.

Now the audience had got fully charged and they wanted to listen to Arif, who didn’t disappoint them at all. Arif came on the stage with 3 more musicians of his talented team. He started singing Punjabi songs of folk genre. Very few singers have such a wonderful command and over their musicians that I saw in Arif. His team understand his hand signals and gestures. They changed their way of playing according to Arif’s requirements, i.e. off-beat, extra beat, solo guitar riffs and fully fledged orchestra. Arif’s Dholak player Shahzad stole the show with his extra ordinary performance and stylish look. He played a great role in making the event superb. Guitarists played some beautiful electric guitar pieces. Drummer, flutist, keyboardist and others also played very well.

Arif sang his super hit ‘Jugni – Coke Studio version’ in the end. He was joined by four Sikh folk dancers for this and another song. I was amazed to see the way Arif managed them like a choreographer. Arif’s move-n-shakes were just like the chocolate topping on a very delicious ice-cream. Youngsters and middle aged guys danced wildly and many of them gave tips to Arif and his Dholak player Shahzad. Arif during his performance also went into the crowd and provided them with the opportunity of making their photographs with the Jugni King. At the end he asked Raja Taseer to come on the stage. Raja Taseer thanked all the audience for making the event a big success.

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