Last week’s episode of Pepsi Battle of the Bands established eight bands that are going to fight it out to reach the finale. Episode 5 opened the stage with an interesting theme. This time around the bands didn’t perform on their original tracks, but every band performed on their favourite songs. The episode shirtlisted top four bands that will proceed to the next round of battles.
The judges also shared which songs they would love to perform if given a chance. Bilal Maqsood from Strings shared that he would love to perform on Star by Zoheb Hassan. “That song introduced me to desi music in a new form for the first time in my childhood,” Bilal said. While Meesha Shafi chose Akhiyan Udeek Diyan by Nusrat Fetah Ali Khan, Faisal Kapadia stuck to Do Pal ka Jeewan by Vital Signs and Fawad Khan also opted for Chehra by Vital Signs. This was a pretty nostalgic moment as each one of these songs brought cherished memories.
The Starzone vs Auj
The first one-on-one battle kicked off with The Starzone’s performance on Ajnabi by Vital Signs. It was a brave decision by the band to attempt a popular song, especially one by Vital Signs. The performance looked half-baked and didn’t lived up to the expectations. Bilal also thought the same that the band played too safe and performances lacked hitting moments. Though Meesha disagreed with them as she thought the band tried different musical notes in the song, but she found a lack of finesse and groove in it. Fawad liked the simplicity of the song but he agreed that it might not be the best choice for the round.
Next in line was Auj which sang the cover of renowned singer Alamgir’s Keh Dena in the face-off. The band added their own flavour of rock music in the pop number. The electrifying performance was well-received as Bilal and Meesha loved it. Faisal and Fawad had mixed responses but over-all the song was praised. Alamgir’s songs are classics and it is a win in itself to sing a cover that gets registered.
E-Sharp vs Marjaan
The second battle of the day was between E-Sharp and Marjaan. E-Sharp performed on Neend Aati Nahi by Junoon and muted down the song to a whole another level. Bilal gave the vocalist a standing ovation followed by applause from all the judges. The song fused all high and low notes with such ease and the performance was top-notch.
Marjaan had to fill big shoes after this flawless performance. The band opted to sing Reshma jee’s Lambi Judai. Meesha thought that the song lost its soul and expression somewhere in the performance. Fawad loved how Wajid hit tricky musical notes with perfection, however despite being lauded for shattering their comfort level, the judges weren’t as impressed.
Black Hour vs Uraan
Black Hour and Uraan were the third face-off of the day. Black Hour performed first on Tum Hi Se Aye Mujahido by Alamgir. The song is a not an easy one to master with its strong composition and lyrics, but Black Hour set new standards by fusing it with rock and pop. The performance was fearless and was appreciated by all the judges.
In response, Uraan entered the arena to perform on the mellow number Bus Yuhni by Shehzad Mughal. It was refreshing to see someone remembered an iconic song like this and introduced it to the new generation. However, the rendition didn’t resonate with the judges.
Aarish vs Neon
The last battle was between Aarish and Neon. Aarish sang a cover of Na Tu Ayeghi by Junaid Jamshed. The rock version of the song impressed the judges in bits and pieces. Neon performed a rendition of Junoon;s high energy number Mera Mahi. The performance fell short of wow moments and unanimously all judges thought that the band the song was falling out of place at many instances.
The shortlisted four finalists were Auj, E-Sharp, Black Hour and Aarish, while Fawad presented a signed guitar to E-Sharp as they won the ‘Performance of the Day’. The twist in the episode this time was that winner of the guitar got a chance to choose their next opponent and E-sharp selected Aarish for their musical battle in Episode 6. Black Hour and Auj will battle it out as well.
Episode 5 wrapped up on a nostalgic note as we got to hear some of the classic and cherished songs from our childhood. The competition is growing tougher with each episode and now the top four finalists have to present their A-game to reach the final battle. Watch the fifth episode here and share your thoughts about which band you love the most: