Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Marvellous Maher

Maher Zain was back to woo his ever faithful Malaysian  fans with another live performance last Saturday (16 June 2012). 

This time it was a very energetic performance, fans were amazed at the energy level of their favorite singer. With  such a smooth performance that night, I'd declare him best  entertainer ever!  

Irfan Makki 

The concert was opened by Irfan Makki singing Waiting for the Call. 

Yes, Irfan's performance wasn't that great that night but I'll make excuses for him, having seen him perform live in Brunei before, he has this soft pure voice similar to MJ's but perhaps he was unwell as he had difficulty singing some of the high notes.

I loved that he sang all  of our favorite songs including MJ's You are Not Alone. My personal favorite is Waiting for the Call.  

To me, Irfan is a bit shy and if he wants to make it really big in Malaysia he needs to overcome his shyness. 


Raef - what can I say? He's been blessed with talent by Allah swt.

 "It's freezing up here" said Raef, and that brought a big grin to our faces. Our family loved all of his cover versions, especially, With You, I'm Yours and It's Jumuah and was hoping that he would sing a new song in the concert. My little girl cheekily asked him in fb to sing a new song!  

And yes a romantic composition for his future wife was the new song. So Raef, clearly exceeded our (my family) expectations. And I bet other Malaysians' expectations as well, you know how hopelessly romantic all Maher Zain fans are. For the Rest of My Life was so popular it was translated into Malay. So Raef's song had captured  many hearts that night and increased his fan base,  considering he has not even released any debut album nor single, this achievement is simply awesome.  Many who were unaware of Raef before this, were impressed with his vocal talent.  I believe he's going to follow the footsteps of Maher Zain  soon! 

So Awakening Records please release a single for Raef ASAP, better still a debut album. All songs were performed by Raef effortlessly and brilliantly. His cover songs have a fun and fresh melody to them which suits Raef fine, being the typical easygoing   American guy, clad in a checked  shirt,  blue jeans, converse sneakers and a wide grin! His cute looking favorite  toadstool  is his trademark as well, appearing in his video clips but not sure whether he brought Mr.Toadstool along that night. (He did tweet to my girl and said yes)

Maher Zain

And the star of the night himself, Maher Zain, was just awesome! 

If I need to describe his performance that night in one word, the word PERFECT would be my choice. 

The starting gimmick was pretty impressive with Sepanjang Hidup (although I couldn't figure out what song it was at first as it was a much faster version, and I personally like the English version ) . The other fans were thrilled anyhow.  From then on he kept entertaining his fans non stop. 

My personal favorite of Maher' promise of 'surprises'  for Malaysia would be his piano recital. An old composition, he claimed. Of course, the crowd went wild when he said "Only for Malaysia" well it's a known fact that he can play the piano very well and I've always wondered why he  never performed with a piano in his concerts. So, yes this was the best surprise of all. 

His vocal was at his best ( okay only been to two of his live concerts ) - simply amazing vocal prowess! And I couldn't believe that he actually managed to sing all the songs from his new album including some of his famous hits from his first album. His mood was cheerful, occasionally talking in bahasa and teasing the audience a number of times.  When he said he needed to leave the stage for five minutes,   the crowd groaned.  He then teased that he would be here all night long. Ha ha, now that would be a real treat!

And  when he sang For the Rest of MY Life and substituted the English word ' love' with 'sayang' the ladies went ooohhh! It's simply amazing how he was energetic from the start till the end, not an easy feat since his songs range from slow till fast numbered ones. 

MashaAllah, talented indeed. He's brought a whole different meaning to the word entertainment. My personal favorite from the new album is Paradise and the rendition was MashaAllah, perfect! 

A little upset that I Love You So was sung in Malay - Ku MillikMu but equally relieved that Guide Me All the Way was in English. And his evergreen hit that brought fame to him, InshaAllah was marvelously delivered!!! 

Maher also sang Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror. I was expecting Raef to sing this as he already had his cover version. It was through  this song that I first discovered Raef. But when one is so talented, any cover that they sing will be made into their very own.  Maher sang a very fast paced version but so great that brought a new life to MJ's song. Whilst Raef's version is gentler and relaxing to listen to. Man in the Mirror always have a special place in my heart because of its powerful lyrics.

The music was incredibly smashing. Talented musicians accompanying a great performer makes an enjoyable night for the audience.  Also, bringing in the Arabic musical instrument duff  brought a different feel to the concert as well. 

 You did it again Maher! Your performance was way beyond expectation. And because of this it helped to change the mood of some of the audience who were unhappy with the local organizer right from the start of the concert. Marctensia Mishap will  be my next post, InshaAllah, detailing the weakness of the concert's organizing. 

A local online newspaper did a write up on Maher Zain's live concert  titled 'Kaku Komunikasi' . The writer had commented that Maher was stiff and lacked communication with the audience. She had quoted her friend saying that she might as well listen to the Cd!!??  Whoa! I beg to differ, Maher's live performances are not the same as listening to his CDs,my dear! They are just a different experience one will encounter rather than listening to a Cd. 

Hmm,  at first I did wish he talked more to the audience (  I am that type of person who like knowing why he made such songs, etc) but when I saw him rendering his songs with so much enthusiasm I believe it's because he wanted to cover many songs within that few hours time. He's not stiff, by the way. In his Brunei concert he interacted well with the audience.(heh, calling my darling Nisa on stage to sing with him and Irfan Makki).  

 So it was indeed a successful concert. And yes, heard the lighting was good too. Notice the word heard, it's because our view of the stage was partly blocked. Despite paying for  the most expensive tickets after VIP range, our view was the 'gorgeous' scaffolding and the massive camera stand.  

Finally, we owe it to Maher for being such a superb entertainer that made the concert a class of its own. Despite dissatisfaction  that was felt by his fans due to poor organization from the local organizer. If not for Maher's superb performance, many of his fans would have  left Stadium Merdeka still feeling angry and upset after the concert. 

 Alhamdulillah, all praise is to Allah as it did not rain that night and for such a memorable night. May Allah bless Maher Zain and the rest of the Awakening team for their work in spreading dakwah through music. May Allah keep their intentions firm. 

 Marvellous Maher, Malaysia awaits you again!

p/s: photos maybe later coz I am not IT savvy at all, but no promises.