Friday, 1 March, 2024

Rock concert at Dashrath  Rangashala after a decade


By Mannu Shahi

Sabin Rai, one of the most celebrated musicians of the country, has been actively producing popular Nepali music for over two decades. Known for his raspy vocal timbre, romantic ballads and energetic live performances, the singer has overtime been much appreciated by his followers for the constant rediscovery in his music presentation style.

The six albums from the artist embodies an accelerating career arc. Initiating his journey as a solo vocalist published four different albums in collaboration with multiple arrangers and producers: Nine (2001), Sataha (2003), Sabin Rai Remixes (2004) and Sataha 2 (2006). The singer featured gypsy jazz guitarist Hari Maharjan on his 2009 official music video for Malai Angali Deu from the fifth studio album Ranga Manch Ko Rang (2010).

Exhausted with the solo artist phase, Rai teamed up with friends from Thamel’s music scene to quench his desire to perform with a band. His audience were overwhelmed to witness their beloved singer in his new avatar with Sabin Rai & The Elektrix composed of Binod Lama on drums, Mimesh Manandhar on guitars, Nikesh KC on guitars and Deepak Shakya on bass. The collective released two singles: Din Ra Raat and Jau Ki Basu respectively in April and July of 2014.  

However, due to personal reasons two of the members could not continue their journey with the group and were replaced by John Shrestha on guitars and Jeewan Lama on bass to form yet another incarnation of the outfit as Sabin Rai & The Pharaoh. 

Within a few months of the band’s formation, they released their critically acclaimed sixth studio album ‘Dhanyabaad’ in 2018. The pace of their tours rapidly increased with regular events both in and outside the country. Currently, they are amidst the most sorted band in the Nepali music scene with local pub shows every other week and grand open concerts at least twice a month.
The group’s online presence is also quite commendable as their official YouTube handle engrosses 141,000 subscribers. The channel is filled with great content such as performance bootlegs, lyrical videos, live sessions, official releases, song breakdown series, tour vlogs and much more. 

The band also bagged three awards for Best Pop/Rock Composition, Best Performance by a Group and Best Rock Vocal Performance at the 23rd Hits FM music awards for ‘Dhanyabaad’.
And with a show tonight as well at the Dharmasthali Jatra, Balaju, this dynamic outlet will be taking over the Dashrath Rangashala Stadium, this Tuesday, on April 5, 2022, at the AFC Cup game. 
The annual continental club football competition organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will take place from 5 pm onwards whilst the musical performance will be initiated from around 2 pm. 

Rangashala, being the biggest and most facilitated open ground in the country, is a luring dream for any rock musician to perform at. However, the space has not been as open towards local rock music post the 2000s’ exceedingly attended Rock Yatra concert organized by 1974 AD. 

The only other rock performance held afterwards was by Bryan Adams in 2011. Thus, breaking this pattern Sabin Rai & The Pharaoh are all geared up to entertain enthusiastic football fans.