- By Sameen Amer
The Band: Noori
The Date: 3rd of May
The Time: 6:30 pm
The Venue: Defence Auditorium (Lahore)
The Atmosphere: Totally Electrical!
The stage was set (literally!) for the long awaited Noori concert at the Defence Auditorium in Lahore. A big black banner emblazoned with the words ‘Noori Fanatix Presents Noori’ indicated that everyone who had wanted to come to the Noori concert had come to the right place. The capacity crowd jam-packed the auditorium and listened to an assortment of tracks playing in the auditorium waiting for Noori to take the stage.
So the fans waited…and waited…and waited…and at long last, Enigma’s ‘Return To Innocence’ was (not that Enigma will be all too flattered by this) cut short for the announcement reassuring fans that the band would be onstage in a couple of minutes…and then the fans waited a little more…
And Noori (finally) appeared onstage at 34 minutes and 28 seconds past 8 (they say I’m impatient…I say I’m just bad at waiting!) but once the concert started, there wasn’t even a shadow of a doubt that it was all worth the wait!
Noori kicked off the show with an animated ‘Dil Ki Kassam’ and the fans wasted no time in joining in the singing. The noise in the stadium transcended from thunderous to totally deafening and it was so loud that I couldn’t hear myself think and even the band said they couldn’t hear a thing and were singing ‘andaze sae’! ‘Dil Ki Kassam’ was followed by ‘Dobara Phir Se’. Next came ‘Tum Hans Diyay’ and ‘Jana Tha Hum Ne’.
After‘Neend Aye Na’, Ali Noor called the band’s biggest fan Sunshine (who is the main force behind the Noori Fanatix) to the stage and gave her a bouquet (that’s one lucky gal there!). She in turn called Rozaire and both of them thanked the entire Noori Fanatix team for all the effort they had put in the arrangement of the concert and thanked Noori for being there!
The band went on to sing ‘Bol’ and ‘Ja Re’ and then left Gumby to do a drum solo. After Gumby finished up, Ali Noor announced that the entire band way moving to Karachi! After much commotion in the crowd, he added that the Lahorites could make them stay by…(Lahorites pay close attention here please!)…by having more Noori shows in Lahore! (Yo…people in Lahore…anyone listening? Hello? Wake up people!) The band then sang ‘Suno Ke Main Hun Jawan’ and Ali Noor told the fans that his parents were also there and the band said that the best shows they have are in Lahore!
More than half way through the show came the remarkable surprise – the band took on ‘With Or Without You’ and shaped a version that even U2 would have approved of! Needless to say the crowd loved every second of it!
Ali Noor dedicated a revamped version of ‘Manwa Re’ to his ‘Nano’ with an enthusiastic ‘Nano Zindabad’, and said that it would be the last song of the show…but we all know that the last song of the show is never really the last song of the show, don’t we?
So, ‘Gana No. 1’ was (ironically) the final song of the show, (how can anyone even imagine a Noori concert without that song?) but (unfortunately) that’s not where it ends…
As the band was winding up ‘Gana No. 1’, a fight erupted onstage between Ali Noor and a fan (a very unusual ‘fan’ I must say!) who had exchanged a prolonged stare with Ali Noor earlier on in the show. As security guards flocked the scene, fans were asked to leave the auditorium immediately (they didn’t even as much as budge and the announcement was repeated many times before the first signs of movement emerged) and, so the concert ended on a much lower (or was it higher?) note than what it had started at…
Still, on the whole, the concert was a treat for all the Noori fans. It was very well organized and the efforts of the Noori Fanatix were appreciated by all and really paid off. A mega thanks to the Noori Fanatix for organizing such a great event! Oh and more power to Noori!
Us Magazine, The News - 6th June, 2003