Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PEPSI UNPLUGGED - Anniversary Edition


..couldn't wait any longer, had to post it here. Miss the Daily Times of yore.

There is nothing to announce the arrival of Fall in Karachi; leaves do not change color, temperatures stay constant and billboards of chilled coffees lurk in the rearview. Nothing, except the ‘Pepsi Unplugged – Fall Edition’.

It is a series of invite only events designed around live singing and dynamic playlists. They recently held a show in Lahore and rounded off the year by adding some inter-continental flavor to the mix for their anniversary celebrations in Karachi.

The names were a highly guarded secret revealed just a few days before the event. Their presence underscored the growing scope of the ‘Unplugged’ series and the enterprising spirit of its creators. And, if the press releases are to be believed, such visits were to be the first of many, offering Karachiwalas a mixed platter of Sufism, Folk and Bhangra that kept the crowd going till 2 in the morning.

Josh, an Indo-Pak band that flew in from Canada, reminisced about the past and their first encounter with the song ‘Aye Mausam’ in 50/50 (PTV comedy) before paying homage to the original with a retouched version. Komal Rizvi opened the show with a medley of her famous hits, throwing in some ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ to change the tempo. Together they unveiled a cover version of a 1950’s classic as part of their collaborative venture.

While tickets to Thailand, Tissot watches, Diamond Rings and TPL Trakkers were up for grabs, selfies and hashtags became the key to winning. Waiting is the hardest part and sponsors kept the impatient room apprised of the singers’ progress using the Trakker technology to monitor their movements. It was an amusing bit and a welcome diversion. By opening the doors to foreign acts, the unplugged machine enters a new phase in its musical odyssey.

Previous session’s featured heavy weights like Ali Azmat, Noori, Fuzon etc and ‘Pepsi Unplugged’ has already begun toying with the idea of making a global statement. Hasan Rizvi (CEO Body Beat) - the man behind the vision charges ahead undaunted by the shaky politics and alarming fluctuations in the Defcon levels. He now intends to surf the sun & sand dunes of Dubai and keep Pakistani artists trending all through 2016.

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