Joy seems to have returned in the lives of regular concert-goers in Dhaka, as winter concerts make a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the early movers this concert season was Karnival as they performed their first ever solo set, 'Karnival: Live from Control Room', on 5 November at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
By 5pm, the premises of Shilpakala were abuzz with excitement of Karnival fans who patiently waited for the gates to 'Chitrashala' to open. Within the next hour, Chitrashala was brimming with happy faces.
The show started at around 7pm with popular indie band 'Dads in the Park' opening with 'Running on Empty', which is their unreleased track slated to be released soon.
They also performed 'Afeenolove' and covered Peach Pit's 'Alrighty Aphrodite' before closing their performance with one of their most popular tracks 'Lullaby'.
Although the crowd was supposed to be seated inside the auditorium, no one could resist swaying to the drum beats and guitar strumming.
After a long wait, Karnival members finally walked on stage and the crowd went berserk. The first song they performed was 'Control Room' from their 2020 album 'Mohomukti'.
One after another, Karnival kept performing some of their most popular tracks such as 'Shadakalo Rongdhonu' from their debut album 'Indraloy', which was released in 2009 - three years after the band's formation - and 'Attotshorgo' which is the title track of their 2012 album.
'Sobuj Bagan' was the third song Karnival played that evening from 'Attotshorgo'.
Like at any other concert, the audience could not help but sing along to their favourite tracks. Whether Karnival played 'Attoutsorgo', 'Osomo 12', 'Obantor', 'Amore', 'Otopor, 'Rirongsha', 'Amar Shotto', 'Bikhoto' or 'Gloomy', the crowd went wild with joy, filling the auditorium up with unparalleled energy.
'Sheishob Din Raatri' touches the hearts of anyone who knows the backstory of the song. This song was written by frontman Tinu Rashid himself, dedicated to his late elder brother.
As the clock was racing towards 9pm and the evening had come to an end, Karnival closed with 'Bhrom' from the same album which, like 'Mohomukti' and 'Sheishob Din Ratri', has garnered much appreciation from Karnival's fans.
Although the evening had ended, the audience were still in awe of the surrealistic environment. What made the experience more surreal was the arrangement of colourful lights that added to the effervescent ambience of the auditorium, as the soul-soothing music cleansed our hearts.
'Karnival: Live from Control Room' was organised by Dhaka Broadcast with The Business Standard as the media partner.
This was Karnival's first time performing a solo set. And since there were no other bands once Karnival started performing, the concert felt more like a private, homely show than a commercially organised concert.
Tinu appears to have felt the same way. His usual casual and laid back attitude was even more visible in this concert. Laughing, making jokes, interacting with the audience was a constant throughout the show.
There were imperfections as well. However, nothing let the audience's excitement and anticipation falter. Instead, they appreciated and enjoyed the homely environment without complaining.
Karnival's current lineup includes Tinu Rashid on vocals and guitar, Salmi Rahman on guitar, Mousum Dhamai on bass and Khalid Ashraf on drums.