Having already come down the final two bands in the last episode of Pepsi Battle of the Bands, this episode was set to be the grounds for audience voting. Meesha Shafi wore last season’s winners, Kashmir’s band T-shirt and it made me think which of these two final bands’ shirt it would be next season.
The episode also managed to feature last season’s top two finalist band, Badnaam who came on stage to perform their song ‘Daastaan-e-Fakeer’.
Both the band got two performances each in this episode with the first round consisting of mashups and the second of originals written by the band itself.
First up was Bayaan with ‘Baazaar’, a mashup of Nayyara Noor’s ‘Aaj Baazaar’ and Ali Azmat’s ‘Na Re Na’. ‘Na Re Na’ has long since been my favourite Pakistani song ever and holds an especially special place in my heart and, as such, I watched the performance with an especially critical eye. It was a different take on the song. The judges would not be ‘judging’ in this episode but did still give their personal thoughts on each performance. All four felt that it had been a spectacular performance and had really shown how far they had come so far in this competition in terms of growth as they managed to perfectly merge together two vastly different songs together into a seamless performance.
Next was Xarb with ‘Raqs-e-Wujood’, mashup of Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Manam Mehve’ and Abida Parveen’s ‘Main Naraye’. The commended them on a truly explosive performance that showed a different side of the band and reiterated praise for their vocalist. Faisal commented that it showed how much they deserved to be here and I couldn’t agree more.
Starting up the originals section of the episode, Bayaan took the stage with their original song ‘Paani Aur Mitti’. Bilal loved that unlike other compositions out there, this one had been written by the band’s drummer. All of the judges loved it and praised the composition as being powerful and mature.
Last but not the least from the finalists was Xarb with their original song ‘Umeed’. The judges praised not just their composition but also their vocalist’s signature melancholic voice. Meesha commented that hearing a Xarb original again reminded her of what the band was about and would describe it as a gripping listening experience.
To finish up what was to be Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 3’s second last episode, the legendary Aaroh took the stage with their song ‘Ik Chah’. Aaroh, like Ali Azmat, holds a special place in my heart and blew me away with this performance as well. The vocalist gave some insight into the backstory of the song by telling how he had written it for his wife back when they had been living in different cities. The song was as sweet and filled with longing which spoke for the backstory, making this performance that much more spectacular and touching.