Ever since the Bengali version of the internationally acclaimed musical fusion platform 'Coke Studio' was brought to the Bangladeshi audience by Coca-Cola Bangladesh under the alias 'Coke Studio Bangla,' the show has been the talk of the town. Its much-hyped season one was officially launched on February 7 this year, and the musical season skyrocketed into success with the release of its electrifying debut track 'Nasek Nasek' on February 23.
As the 2022 FIFA World Cup is also scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21 to December 18 later this year as the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, the World Cup trophy arrived in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka for a 36-hour tour on this past Wednesday as part of its world tour in 51 countries and territories, including 32 World Cup participants. Started its global tour on May 12 from Dubai intending to spread the message of peace, the trophy is visiting Bangladesh for the third time after its previous tours in 2002 and 2013.
Celebrating the arrival of the mighty trophy and the first-ever edition of Coke Studio Bangla, the Coca-Cola Bangladesh and Bangladesh Football Federation jointly organized a gala concert on Thursday, free for the music-lovers who registered through an official campaign of the soft drink. Ever since the announcement, the concert immediately became one of the much-anticipated and much-hyped concerts in recent times, considering the long hiatus of a large-scale open-air concert featuring all Bangladeshi artists after the Joy Bangla Concert in 2020, due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Although the concert scene has been enjoying the after-covid normalcies for a while now with large scale in-person audiences, the industry has been longing for some "real magic" in the concert scene; and the line-up featuring massively acclaimed performers of the season one alongside bigshot artists and bands such as the rock legend James and his Nagar Baul, the maestro producer Shayan Chowdhury Arnob, widely popular Warfaze, Nemesis, Lalon and more, truly made the audiences hyped for the concert at Army Stadium in the capital.
Unfortunately, the day was greeted with massive rainfall which was definitely needed to beat the scorching summer heat, but it truly affected the show by every means and even jeopardized its beginning. After the uncertainty of the entire day, the main event of the concert finally started at 9 pm on Thursday with the Coke Studio Bangla team members alongside the live audience, while billions of viewers from home and abroad also joined the concert on Coke Studio Bangla's Facebook and YouTube Live. At the beginning of the concert, Arnob and Sunidhi Nayak took the stage with the members of Coke Studio Bangla, greeting the audience with the introductory track "Ekla Cholo Re." Earlier it was stated that the gate of the concert would open at 1.30 pm on Thursday; but due to the massive rainfall, the event was delayed - according to Coke Studio Bangla Creative Producer Gousul Alam Shaon, also the Managing Director of Grey Advertising Bangladesh Limited.
However, to the courtesy of the Bangladesh Football Federation, news of the postponement of the concert spread at one stage, considering the rainfall and its aftermath. With the weather slowly becoming suitable, the organizers then moved away from the postponed decision ad the concert finally took off its 4 hours long journey at around 9 pm.
After the introductory performance of Arnob, Sunidhi, Zohad and the other artists - the concert officially started showcasing the first song of the ongoing season one, Animesh Roy and Pantha Kanai's electrifying Hajong fusion track 'Nasek Nasek'. Their performance sparked interest among the spectators at the Army Stadium, enthralling them with the transmitted groove of the much-acclaimed fusion. The second duo, Ritu Raj and Nandita, came to continue the groove with their song 'Bulbuli,' a tribute to the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. This was followed by the magical performance of Arnob with Boga Taleb for their mesmerising track "Chiltey Roud," spreading the tranquillity among the audience. Folk queen Momotaz Begum took the floor next alongside rockstar Mizan Rahman to perform their folk duo 'Prarthona,' which was utilized earlier by the internet-dwellers as a meme material with the famous lines "Allah Megh De, Paani De" indicating the heavy rainfall throughout the day. Before performing the song, a one-minute silence was observed commemorating the victims of the recent Sitakunda fire tragedy. Soon after that, the audience was blown away by the rocking performance of the duo, especially by Mizan for his Maizbhandari drift. The last but perhaps the most magical one was delivered by Lalon band vocal Nigar Sumi and the fan-favourite Jalali Set, who blew up the arena with their energetic-rhythmic rap.
Singer-actor Tahsan came out next and immediately took the audience on a journey to the memory lane with his popular tracks "Durey Tumi Dariye" and "Alo," also thanked the fans for keeping these tracks alive after all these years. Lalon, Nemesis, Warfaze then performed till midnight and grooved the audiences with their fan-favourite tracks; but unfortunately, that was not the case for two young bands - Introit and Arekta Rock Band. Both of these bands were scheduled to perform but due to the heavy rainfall and its unimaginable aftermaths, their names got chopped off the list to make room for the bigshots; however, Arekta Rock Band has publicly pointed out through a Facebook post from their official page, pouring their frustration out with the overall management of the organizers.
With the live acapella performance of the maestro Arnob and his most popular track "Tomar Jonno," followed by the showstopping performance of the legend himself, the rock icon James and his Nagar Baul, the first-ever Coke Studio Bangla live concert came to an end and send the crowd home happy - the crowd, which eventually overcame the havoc of the rain and waited the entire day to witness the real magic. The broken stage, the malfunctioning LED lights, the disrupted sound system and the troublesome late-night journey from the Army Stadium to their individual destinations - nothing prevented the music lovers to become a part of the history-making concert, and that was highly appreciated and acknowledged by all the performers who poured their best to make the magic happened.
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