Monday, January 21, 2019

The Epic Junooni Experience

Around the middle of 2018, a friend working in the Dubai events industry asked me if I would be interested in a Junoon Reunion Concert in Dubai.

Hell Yeah I would be!

He then asked me to do some quick research on whatsapp by asking my friends the same question and also figuring out the price range they would be willing to pay to watch Junoon again.

Majority answered YES! Many said they would fly down from Karachi if this were to happen. Some said that it will never happen. Junoon will never reunite.

That was the first time I heard about Junoon possibly coming back together after 15 years to do a reunion tour.

Excitement and anticipation had kicked off right then!

Stories started coming out of Pakistan that Junoon was definitely coming back together.

Peak Freans Sooper were doing something with them.
Pepsi was planning something with them.
A concert in Karachi was in the works.

Then around October, Oberoi Middle East Events announced that Junoon will be performing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on 18th January 2019!!!

Tickets to go on sale 26th November 2018!!!

Excitement had gone through the roof.

Within minutes of the announcement, whatsapp groups were buzzing with anticipation and soon I had a list of 20 people for whom I would be buying tickets for on 26th November.

Leading up to the concert, there were a lot of mixed reactions.

Some said it will be memorable and nostalgic. Many could not wait for the day to come. Some were skeptical at Junoon's potential to perform. Some felt Ali Azmat had lost his vocal chords. Some doubted their ability to perform together.

For me and most of my friends, the excitement was at its peak. We could not wait to be at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on 18th January.

I was there at the same venue in 2005 when they performed here for the "last time".

14 years later - I was back again!

And it was an absolutely EPIC 2.5 hours with Junoon!!! Ali Azmat still had it, Salman and Brian still had it, Junoon still had it! They completely killed it and left a 6,300 strong crowd totally overwhelmed.


The concert, the performance, the music, the crowd, the atmosphere, the experience was just phenomenal!

After 15 years, Junoon still had it in them to bring the house down. Through the night, they had 6,300 people up on their feet, singing, dancing, and feeling Junooni. It was a truly epic performance that transported each one of us back into the 90s and made us relive old memories.

Never before have I seen a crowd so IN SYNC at a concert. Each one of the 6,300 people came out with all their Junoon! Full of energy, full of passion, a Pakistan-flag-waving-true-Junooni crowd!


I felt it was one of the best crowds I have ever seen at a concert. Several friends said that this 6,000+ crowd had more energy than the 15-20,000 crowds they have seen at many other concerts.

Junoon were fantastic! Their music, their coordination, their energy was simply awesome. They rocked the night and left an incredible after taste.

It has been 3 days since the concert and I am still thinking about it and watching concert videos over and over again. A number of my friends, since this memorable Friday night, have been constantly listening to Junoon on Youtube, in their car, in the office, at home, wherever they go.


I don't think I have ever felt like this after any concert.

Here is a list of some moments, in no particular order, that made this concert so special for me and I am sure for everyone else too!

KHWAB UNDER THE STARS
Salman Ahmed's cue on the guitar was enough to get everyone in the mood to dream. Before Ali Azmat even sang the first words, there were 6,000 mobile phones up in the air with lit torches! It was a magical sight.

This is what I mean by the crowd being IN SYNC. Even Ali Azmat let out a "wow".


HEADBANGING TO YAAR BINA DIL MERA
This not only brought Ali Azmat, Salman Ahmed, and Brian O'Connell together singing into 1 mic, it also brought the 6,300 people together singing along and headbanging to the music of Pakistan's biggest rockstars.


GOOSEBUMPS WITH SAAEIN
One of my favorites, this one had the crowd hypnotized to another level. This particular part just brought out the goosebumps.


THE DOSTI ANTHEM
In my lifetime, there have only been two songs that became the anthems for friendship - Yeh Dosti from Sholay and Yaaron Yahi Dosti Hai by Junoon.

The best part about this was that I was there with my oldest and closest friend who I have known for 25 years, and with whom I have attended 4 Junoon concerts in the past two decades -  this one being the 4th!


THE CROWD'S JAZBA E JUNOON
Like friendship, Pakistan's rockstars have also created cricket anthems, and similarly only two songs have gone on to become the cricket anthems of the nation - Vital Signs' Dil Dil Pakistan and Junoon's Jazba-e-Junoon.

You might be tired of hearing about how IN SYNC the crowd was, but I really can't get over it. Every single one of the 6,300 people there was completely immersed into the atmosphere and sang this one louder than Junoon themselves.


PAK SAR ZAMEEN
The only other place I have seen such patriotism from Pakistanis in a foreign land is at a cricket ground. This was simply awesome.

The Dubai crowd, which not only comprised residents but visitors from all over the GCC, Pakistan, UK, USA, Australia, Singapore, and I'm sure some other places too, was just fantastic.


PAKISTAN ZINDABAD
The concert ended, but the after effects remained as the crowd broke into a Pakistan Zindabad chant. Once again, IN SYNC !


Junoon left an everlasting impression, which will be difficult to get over.

I guess by the time we are just about to move on from this epic night, it will be February 14th, and Junoon will be back in Dubai to perform at the PSL Opening Ceremony at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

This Junoon hangover may never end and I won't really mind that!

Make your pitch on this post...



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2 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...
     

    Awesome Qazi... Wonderfully written with flavors of patriotism and junoon :-)

  2. K-dawG said...
     

    Great article, one correction though junoon did perform in Dubai in 2005 as well as 2006. The article incorrectly states they performed for the last time in 2004. They had a worldwide tour in 2005 too.

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