Bilal Khan (Urdu: بلال خان) is a Pakistani musician from Lahore.Strange things happen when you are a nameless newbie and have to open for a HUGE act. The people are there to see the band that’s been headlined, and if you are lonely and have no band, it’s scary to go on stage.
Crowd never makes me nervous, but uncontrollable variables do. Let me give you an example. The band that is supposed to play sets up their own mix, with the vocals usually higher than the guitar to cover up for the drums.
It’s frightening because you aren’t even sure if you’ll get to play till the last minute, and you’ve updated your status on facebook saying, “IM playing Tonight” and your friends have bought tickets to see you.
You have no technician, nobody to set you up. You aren’t even sure if your guitar will turn on stage. You get no sandwiches, no tea, no nice words, no pat on the back, no VIP backstage resting place.
It’s just plug and play. You sit there on the side until they call your name, and you can’t think twice. All you can do is just close your eyes, pretend that you are in your bedroom, and you sing it out.
And when you are done, just say thank you and get off the stage. I got the opportunity to open for the band that I grew up listening to, last night, and it was amazing. The sound probably sucked, but I have no clue, because I don’t have the fancy ear-phones, no tuners, no rigs and I get no time to set it up either.
Heck I don’t even have a guitar case for my poor 30 year old Strat and it probably got out of tune by the time it got plugged in. But I love the challenge of going up on stage, and just sticking it out for better or for worse.
Noori, was on their top game like always at their home ground LUMS. This was the third time I opened for a big band; the first two times being Ali Azmat. I realize as I play these shows, that I need a band.
Either that or a really expensive Rosewood back and sides Martin with a fishman pickup and a preamp. A band and a Martin would be perfect. I do miss the band a lot with my electric since it lacks the percussive nature of an acoustic, especially if you’re solo.
I just hope that someday when I do acquire the gear and technicians, that I would still be able relate to that guy with the guitar and one song and sit on the side of the stage, while he/she finishes their song.
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