The bands that rocked the Joy Bangla Concert stage in previous years reminisced their special moments about the past episodes and rendered songs online as the concert has been halted this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
On its official Facebook page, Young Bangla, a leading youth platform of CRI (Centre for Research & Information), aired the virtual event featuring talks by the bands' members, their songs, and visuals narrating the historic events that the concert is themed on.
Since 2015, Young Bangla has been featuring the Joy Bangla Concert every year paying tribute to the Father of the Nation's historic March 7 speech.
A surge of energy ran through 40,000 to 50,000 youths during the event that brought the wartime patriotic melodies and western-influenced melodies together, presenting history through music.
This year the concert couldn't be organised as the Coronavirus spell is still going on. Instead, a virtual programme was organised by Young Bangla to air the vignettes shared by the bands about their past performances in the concert.
Members of Shunno, Cryptic Fate, Artcell, Lalon, Warfaze, Chirkutt, and Powersurge joined the virtual event on Sunday.
"In 2015, when Joy Bangla Concert was organised for the first time, we were really excited. We were also a bit tensed as we were the opening performers. But, when we were on the stage, we saw that the stadium was already full. It was one of the best experiences of our life," said Emil, the vocalist of Shunno.
"The 2020 concert was very special for us as the prime minister attended it. That time we were on the stage. It was a great achievement for us. In March 2020, our favourite captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza retired from captaincy. When we were performing in Joy Bangla Concert, we dedicated the song 'Shoto Asha' to him," said Ishmam, the guitarist of Shunno.
"We are a bit sad that this year the concert couldn't be organised. But, it will definitely come back. Like Bangabandhu's historic Joy Bangla speech that this concert is named after, we would like to say, 'You can't keep us suppressed'," said Sufi Maverick, vocalist of Arbovirus, who also rendered a song.
"I thank Young Bangla for organising this concert, the biggest of its kind in the country, as it is themed on Joy Bangla, the slogan that the Father of the Nation roared out loud and that motivated us as a nation to free our country from the Pakistani Occupation Force. Every year, we perform in front of 40,000– 50,000 people. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was put on halt this year. But, in 2022, we expect it to happen with even more energy," said George Lincoln D'Costa of Artcell.
"The main purpose of this concert was to present the history of our independence through music. When Putul Apa and Bobby Vai (Bangabandhu's grandchildren) accompanied us through Bangabandhu's house before the 2016 concert, I realised the role of Bangabandhu and his family in the country's independence and the essence of March 7. When I perform in Joy Bangla Concert, I feel that I am also a freedom fighter," said Sumi of Lalon Band.
Warfaze and Cryptic Fate performed songs. "The spirit of Joy Bangla represents the spirit of the youth of the world. For us, the most memorable part was the 2018 performance of the patriotic song 'Dhono Dhanye Pushpe Vora'. We performed with Sitar. I think everyone sang it in unison," said Sumi of the Chirkutt band.
Rolled out in 2015, Joy Bangla Concert has been a household name in the country's music industry and a part of the youth pop culture, blending the patriotic melodies composed during the Liberation War of Bangladesh with the western-influenced modern songs.
In successive years, the country's biggest concert for youths added some special features such as presenting the coloured version of the speech in 2016.
Later, in 2020, the audience had a hard time believing their eyes when they saw the Father of Nation coming alive holographic visual delivering his best speech that is now recognised by the United Nations as the memory of the World.
The hologram display at the concert began with Bangabandhu's two daughters -- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana -- appearing before the audience in hologram form and sharing memories of their father's historic speech.
The PM's hologram also recited a poem.
Another surprise in last year was the appearance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana at the concert.
Moreover, the contribution of young achievers of Young Bangla to transforming their communities was highlighted in audiovisuals to inspire the youths in the audience to deliver their best to society.
The youths who jumped, screamed, and danced to the western-influenced rock genre and the wartime patriotic melodies are now missing that electrifying vibe shared by a sea of young hearts.