With the battle finally narrowed down to the last two mega competitors, it remains to be seen who, between Aarish and Auj, will be crowned the Pepsi Battle of the Bands season four winner.
To present their case and win over the audience for one last time, the two bands brought their A-game. After all, the prestigious jury has chosen them to be our top bands but now it’s up to the fans to decide who will win this game of thrones.
Then it was time to rock n’ roll. There were two rounds in this episode. In the first one, the bands performed their originals and in the second one, they performed covers.
Aarish took the first step in the battlefield, where the stakes are higher than ever. They performed their most favorite original titled ‘Umeed’ and they hoped the audience would like it. It was a mellow, heartfelt which the jury felt connected with the Pakistani audience. They praised the band and said they couldn’t wait to listen to their album in the future.
Auj’s response was equally magnificent. Before the performance, we find out one the band’s member’s father, who passed away from cancer three years ago, encouraged the band to try out for Pepsi Battle of the Bands. The band had been functioning since 2009 but only thought themselves fit for competition this year. Their decade-long struggle and hard work paid off and they are in the finals of this giant musical competition.
Auj also performed their most favorite original ‘Raat’. The jury was absolutely mesmerized by the band, with Meesha Shafi giving them a standing ovation. Special praise went to the vocalist Abdul Rehman, who also wrote the song. Fawad Khan called him a ‘diamond in the rough’, whereas Bilal Maqsood thought we were seeing Auj in their ‘full glory’ and urged the audience to vote for them.
Before the next round, we received a pleasant surprise in the form of Pepsi Battle of the Bands season three finalist Xarb. They performed their new original ‘Siyaah’ in their true, signature gripping, haunting style.
In the second round, the show upped the ante when the bands possibly faced their biggest challenges ever. They had to cover the legendary Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs. Aarish chose what could be the perfect song choice for them: Khan Sahab’s Halka Halka Suroor. They even incorporated spoken word and fused it with electronic dance music (EDM) to add different layers to the song. One of the best parts was the special addition of DJ Faisal Baig, who is a pioneer of electronic sounds in the Pakistani music industry. Aarish definitely fired their shot with full power.
Auj returned fire with a high voltage electroshock weapon in the form of Khan Sahab’s Sanware. The band’s unique blend of hard rock riffs and electronic elements by Baig brought a groovy, intoxicating flavor to the iconic song. The judges felt they should release an extended version and massively praised the performance.
Then both the bands paid respect to the extraordinary jury and talked about how their criticism and judgment has helped them evolve along the journey. The episode ended with another huge surprise when we witnessed the first-ever performance of Jal’s Goher Mumtaz on the Pepsi stage. He performed a beautiful, melodic and holistic rendition of the band’s 2003 hit Dil Harey to immense appreciation from the live crowd.
While the final decision will be announced two weeks from Saturday, now it’s up to the audience to vote for their favorite band. The winner of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 4 will receive Rs50 lac cash prize, an album contract, concerts all over Pakistan and lifetime royalties of original tracks performed during the show. And even the runner-up will win Rs25 lac and an album contract.