Young musicians, a dimly lit outdoors and music that is unadulterated…Riot Studios truly has music at its heart. Maybe that is the reason why (even in Lahore’s treacherous heat) music aficionados come back for event after event. It’s not just because of their affiliation with its owner, Farhad Humayun, but because there is an opportunity to enjoy live music in a very natural surrounding where you don’t have to keep quiet or stand still.
The 5th session of Levi’s Live launched with an exciting lineup. The three independent acts, whose musical styles can only be described as eclectic, produced a one-of-a-kind homegrown musical experience and Levi’s Live certainly did not disappoint.
Opening up the session was Rizwan Anwar, a Lahore based musician who grew to fame with his cover of the Punjabi hit ‘Laiyaan Laiyaan’. Rizwan’s performance not only got the crowd up and moving but he also set the mood right for the people who were attending and the performers following him up. At one point during his performance, even ace musicians Ali Noor and Farhad Humayun were grooving to his soulful voice. Goher Mumtaz followed up the opening act, singing most of his band’s hits and the crowd shared my feeling of nostalgia as they chanted along to hits like ‘Aadat’, ‘Woh Lamhe’ and ‘Sajni’. Uzair Jaswal was also seen swaying away with Bilal Khan and Saad Sultan.
The final act of the show was Shiraz Uppal who has delivered recent hits for films ‘Lahore Se Agay’ and ‘Dobara Phir Se’ and for his vast body of work is considered one of the best in Pakistan . He tried to elevate the atmosphere and get the adrenaline flowing as he belted out hit after hit, but didn’t quite reach expectations, at least for us. However it is always a treat to watch him perform because even skeptics like us can appreciate this man’s talent.
So what has the collaboration between Riot Studios and Levi’s achieved? For once it has provided an unadulterated venue for musicians and music lovers to come together and just have fun but that is not all, it is also trying to give Lahore back a little part of its once vibrant and dynamic culture that has always been biased towards music and arts.