Kaavish’s first concert in 14 years gave Lahore a night to remember

Kaavish’s first concert in 14 years gave Lahore a night to remember

People of all ages showed up at the Alhamra Art Centre to listen to the band's soulful melodies.
10 Jun, 2024

Fame and success in today’s music scene is very strange. Sometimes, it takes an artist one hit number to blow up on Spotify and become a household name. Other times, it takes years.

It’s also strange because in the music world, you can never define success. Is success one million streams on Spotify? Or is it a soothing track that puts someone’s heart at ease when they are overwhelmed? Is success hundreds of Gen-Zs lining up to jump at a live gig? Or is it a woman in her 50s showing up to a music performance after ages just to hear the mellow songs live? You can never truly define it and that’s the beauty of it.

One Pakistani band that makes me realise this is Kaavish. Their music is in a different league — magic for the ears, therapy for the heart and makes one nostalgic for childhood, friends, memories, and a past long gone. Everyone who has heard them loves them but in all these years, I wondered why we never saw them performing live. Perhaps live performances back in the day were restricted to pop but today’s audience is open to much more.

And this was quite evident at Kaavish’s concert in Lahore this weekend, which happened to be their first live performance in 14 years. The audience represented all age groups; Gen-Zs who probably just heard Kaavish after his recent collaboration with Abdul Hannan for Coke Studio, millennials who grew up hearing ‘Bachpan’ during their O/A Levels and college days and even relatively older people who must have been fans of Nayyara Noor, Jaffer Zaidi’s mother. All these varying age groups lined up for the performance on Friday night, which was a heartwarming sight to see.

The concert began well in time, something I truly appreciate, with their debut song; ‘Bachpan’. The audience cheered as soon as Jaffer finished the first line “Yeh woh jagah hai” leaving everyone in a state of trance and nostalgia. The band did absolute justice to the beautiful track, leaving all of us wondering why they deprived us from the live Kaavish experience for so many years.

Next up was ‘Dekho’, where renowned violinist Javed Iqbal joined in on the violin and added absolute magic to the rest of the performances. The third performance of the night was ‘Tere Pyaar Main’, which left the audience in absolute awe, cheering at the top of their lungs, demanding the song be performed again and their prayers were answered. One could tell how amazing the performance was by the audience’s request to perform it a third time.

‘Faasle’, another one of their hits that they performed to perfection left the audience in absolute awe. Very rarely can a live performance outdo the studio version and that night, Kaavish managed to do so, particularly with ‘Faasle’.

Somewhere in the middle of the performance, there were technical issues, and the audience took over singing at the top of their lungs, which added a lot more fun to the concert. Nobody was bummed, which showed everyone knows what brilliance was expected after the issues were resolved. The audience’s response also showed that technical issues are never an issue for Kaavish.

Shortly after the two-minute break, the issues were resolved and the performance continued with another strong number, ‘Nindiya Re’, which everyone seemed to enjoy thoroughly. The most beautiful part of the night was how all age groups were equally enthusiastic about the show. I saw young girls and boys sing along and sob and women their mothers’ age pull out their phones to record the performance, enjoying it while preserving the memory for later.

I assumed that the closing would be with the recent Coke Studio number but that happened before the closing performance. With ‘O Yaara’, we got a little surprise too — Abdul Hannan hopped on stage to begin the track. This was the first time ‘O Yaara’ was performed live and all artists involved did complete justice to it.

 Hannan shared this comment on his Instagram Broadcast Channel, calling the concert one of the most emotional moments of his life.
Hannan shared this comment on his Instagram Broadcast Channel, calling the concert one of the most emotional moments of his life.

Hannan’s entry on the stage left the audience cheering loudly but his humble demeanor and dedication to the track ensured that the collaborative effort shone through. While Hannan beginning the track was soulful and powerful, Jaffer’s part was just as strong, showing the variety both performers add to the track to make it what it is. With ‘O Yaara’s’ live stage debut, all the artists involved gave the audience a performance to remember for a long time!

While there were many things to remember about #KaavishinLahore, perhaps the most beautiful will be that Jaffer Zaidi ended the night with a small tribute to his mother, Nayyara Noor. He performed ‘Raat Yun Dil Mein Teri Khowi Huwi Yaad Aai’ and left everyone admiring her craft and dedication to music. What a stunning end to the night that Lahore will struggle to forget.

Nazuk Iftikhar Rao, a writer and a culture enthusiast, told Images that Kaavish’s songs pass through your soul like a spell, breaking your heart and then repairing it in the softest way.

Kaavish’s debut performance definitely gave Lahore a night to remember, leaving people singing their hearts out, laughing and crying — literally, there were tears. The magic their music spun in Lahore on a warm summer night in the halls of Alhamra Art Centre will be remembered for a long long time. We just hope they keep bringing this magic back often!


Taj Ahmad Jun 10, 2024 03:12pm
Lahore still a film and music city despite Lollywood lost it’s filming era in last few years. Glad to see Kaavish’s back in action in music in Lahore.
Ayesha Attique Jun 10, 2024 06:44pm
The connection of the audience with the artists on stage was seemed as if the full hall was performing...we need more of such soulful evenings in Lahore..