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American band enthralls audience

June 05, 2013

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RAWALPINDI, June 4: When one is exhausted after long working hours and irritated by hot and humid weather, melodious tunes and renditions turn out to be a breath of fresh air.

A group of local residents experienced this when the US embassy hosted for them a lively concert of noted American country music band in the lawns of Liaquat Memorial Hall at the National College of Arts (NCA).

Forming Blended 328 Group, the American artists were invited to the country to improve the people-to-people contact between the two nations. Earlier, the group had performed in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Muzafarabad.

Blended 328 created a hybrid form of country music with three females and three males of different ethnicity and musical influences. Crashing on the Nashville music scene in May 2011, Blended 328 has quickly become a local favourite, performing sold-out shows all around the globe.

The members of the group included Kimberly Philips (vocals), Fran Hart (vocals), Katie Marie (vocals), Seth Rooks (vocals, bass), Thomas Spann (drums) and Gabe Jordan (guitar).

Before the start of the performance, NCA music society enthralled the audience with English, Urdu and Pashto songs by Ahmed, Shahbaz, Zoia Zubair, Ali Asghar and others.

On the tunes of local music, the youngsters, majority of them belonging to the NCA, came near the stage and danced.

After the arrival of the band on the stage, the audience cheered, clapped and whistled to welcome them. The band started with “Ladies get you flirt on” and “That’s how we do it”, “Anything goes.”

The performance of Thomas Spann on drums and Gabe Jordan on guitar was marvelous.

Talking to Dawn, Fiza Haider said such events should be organised in the garrison city regularly. “The concert was great. We enjoyed it a lot,” she said.

Hammad Ahmed, an NCA student, said he was so excited to see and hear the tunes of the international band on his college campus. “Such functions provide opportunities for the young generation to spend their time in a better way,” he said.

Earlier, the organisers informed the audience that it was the last performance of the band in Pakistan.

“In many ways, Blended’s story reflects Pakistan’s story. Pakistan is a country of great diversity, of many different types of people, all united under one flag. And it is this diversity, whether cultural, ethnic or religious, that helps make Pakistan great,” said Brian Gibel, the US cultural attaché, on the occasion.

He added that music had the ability to unit the people of different areas, and to understand the feelings of love and peace, one cannot be dependent on the language.

Dr Nadeem Omer Tarar, the NAC director, appreciated the US embassy for arranging the cultural event in the city.