The grand finale of Pepsi Battle of the Bands was aired over the weekend and the people of Pakistan voted to decide as to who would win the crown of Pepsi Battle of the Bands.
Bayaan was voted in as the winners with Xarb taking the runners up position. The much awaited result was not the only exciting thing about this finale. We witnessed some amazing musical performances from Strings, Meesha Shafi, Fawad Khan and Shahi Hasan.
The episode kicked off with a power packed performance from Strings, playing a different take on their classic “Zinda Hoon”, which was also featured as a soundtrack in a Bollywood film.
This was a more progressive rock orientated version of the song and the reworking of the arrangement truly hit the mark. The performance was rock solid and left a lasting impact and once again showed that Strings indeed had command over themselves like they have been at it for 30 years.
This was followed by a truly unique performance by Meesha Shafi which once again proved of her having an out of the box music sensibility and true showmanship. Meesha along with her troupe played an original titled “Main” which was mostly an ambient power trip, borrowing elements from theater and film scores to create true magic.
The visual arrangement along with the presentation of the song was a truly unique experience to see in Pakistan and was pulled off immaculately. The use of exotic instruments such as sound bowls and various percussions truly add to the unique flavor of the sound.
The third performance was from veteran music legend and producer Shahi Hasan. He performed alongside Asad Ahmed and Imran Akhoond to make a sweet rendition of the Vital Signs classic “Maula” which he cited as a tribute to the late Junaid Jamshed.
The performance was quite enjoyable as we saw veteran Pakistani musicians doing what they do best. Asad Ahmed’s guitar chops alongside the syncopation of the band and Shahi’s soulful vocals made a truly deadly combination.
The fourth performance was from Fawad Khan who played with the largest orchestra on stage on this show to date, with stunning world music original “Satrangi”. The song was heavily layered with vocal harmonies, wind instruments, synths and much more.
The sound was truly huge and mesmerizing. Seeing Fawad Khan on stage without his band E.P for the first time was a truly grand experience. The song included elements from various musical genres and was a successful fusion of eastern and western music.
These powerhouse performances were followed by one final bow from each Xarb and Bayaan before the verdict came in. Bayaan did a soothing original titled “Nahi Milta” which showed the band in all its galore and once again reminded everyone of the band’s incredible songwriting skills. Xarb did a bluesy original titled “Kashmakash”.
The song was pretty true to the Xarb sound we heard at the audition. The seamless fusion of blues and funk with eastern flavored vocals is displayed with total command and the performance reminds us why this band did make it this far.
The finale was an incredible effort put together and the performances from the judges and guests were truly a treat to watch. The Top 2 bands also performed exceptionally well although Bayaan was the one to take the crown.
We would like to congratulate Bayaan on their momentous achievement. The end of the season has us desperately wanting more and we cannot wait to see what is in store for us next season.