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In Pictures: Mekaal Hasan Band @ Blue Frog, Mumbai

  • Mekaal Hasan Band
    Pakistani sufi-rock act, Mekaal Hasan Band, had announced their tour of India in December 2012 (details here) and played their second show in Mumbai at the Lower Parel venue on Tuesday, December 8.

    The first was on Sunday, January 6 at the Natraj Gardens in Chembur.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Mekaal Hasan
    The Pakistani guitarist and composer is the founder of the band and was in rare form last night, indulging in some very speedy solos and heavy finger-picking.

    The band kicked off their set with 'Sajan', the opener from their 2004 debut album Sampooran.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Mohammad Ahsan Papu
    Mohammad Ahsan Papu is the flautist of the band and has been a member since the band's inception. His melodies match beautifully with Hasan's guitar creating a layered, fusion sound that encompasses classical, jazz and rock soundscapes.

    The flautist was not very verbose through the night but performed with a virtuosity that was testament to the years he has spent honing his art.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Amir Azhar
    Amir Azhar plays bass for the quintet and has been playing with the band since 2009, after the departure of their previous bassist Sameer Ahmed.

    Azhar was easily the quietest person on stage, never embracing the spotlight, but gave a great performance.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Javed Bashir
    Vocalist Javed Bashir has been playing with the band since its formation. He left the band for two years, starting 2010 but returned to record their third (upcoming) album Andholan in 2012, and accompanied the band on this tour of India.

    Bashir's vocals were slightly off at the start of the gig but he quickly regained form and dazzled the packed venue with his soaring voice.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Three Years
    Hasan said that the band had been trying to play at the Blue Frog for the past three years before finally playing at the venue.

    The Frog complemented the band's sound perfectly, magnifying and highlighting every aspect of the band's sound. There were a couple of technical glitches but the band stayed tight and entertaining throughout.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Fahad Khan
    Fahad Khan is playing with the band instead of regular drummer Kamran Paul on this tour. He was exceptionally enthusiastic and beat those drums with immense vigour.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Chal Bulleya
    The band's breakout hit 'Chal Bulleya' was met with a lot of appreciation, with people mouthing the words along with singer Javed Bashir. The band improvised a lot during their set and each solo improvisation was met with a lot of appreciation.

    Another set highlight was 'Andholan', a newer song that will feature on their third album of the same name.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
  • Laal Meri Patt
    The band's final song for the night was a cover of 'Laal Meri Patt Rakhiyo' (listen here) that saw a whole lot of vocal acrobatics by Bashir and went on to end the night on a perfect note.

    All said and done, the concert was an almost perfect start to the new year.
    Photo credit: Naman Saraiya
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