Musical night: Powerhouse QB lights up Islamabad

QB lights up IslamabadISLAMABAD: Braving the cold, the audience of mostly-young music enthusiasts helped turn the atmosphere at The 3rd Base electric on Friday night, which reached fever pitch when music sensation Quratulain Balouch took the stage.

The artist, affectionately nicknamed “QB”, has risen to fame fairly quickly and owes much to drama serial “Humsafar”, which itself has become a household name for its portrayal of a star-crossed couple and fine acting. Her single is featured in the drama’s opening credits. Though she has yet to release a studio album (it is under production, however, according to QB who hopes fans can withstand the wait), she has carved a niche for herself based on past performances.

More than 250 people attended the concert. Tickets were for Rs600.The evening was jumpstarted by local band “Stoned” who performed English covers like Maroon 5’s “Moves like Jagger” and Coldplay’s “Yellow”. But the real show began when the casually-dressed QB arrived amidst fervent cheering and applause.Opening her performance with her Coke Studio track “Ankhiyan Nu Rainday”, QB moved to English covers covering powerhouse Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, Coldplay, The Cranberries and kept audience engagement high when she asked them to join in the choruses.

She transitioned into more desi songs like the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s mashup “Teri Deewani” and Noor Jehan’s “Sab Toun Sohniya”, and maintained the charged atmosphere for the concert’s hour and a half duration.Commenting on her decision to cover songs, QB told The Express Tribune, “I chose to do them to show my range and versatility after people assumed I didn’t have much of [either].” The night ended with fan favourite and popular hit “Wohi Humsafar Tha”, which of course earned an encore performance.She thanked the audience, pleased at the turnout and the reception her songs and appearance earned, saying “I’m so overwhelmed by the turnout. I don’t think I’ve seen so many people at a concert in Islamabad [before].”

Those seeing her performances for the first time could be heard appreciating her stage presence and down-to-earth demeanour. She also saluted her house band “Sheen Band”, a Lahore-based group that is fairly new to the scene. “We are learning together. They are very experimental so we are able to make interesting music,” she said.Mohsin, owner of The 3rd Base, said, “We have a few big names planned for the upcoming months and aim to have at least one concert monthly.”As he said, “The city needs more events for youngsters.”