Pepsi Battle of the Bands season 4, Episode 3: Ready, Set, Battle!

The third episode of Pepsi Battle of the Bands season four opened with host Hina Altaf introducing DJ and actor Ali Safina on stage to join her as the show’s co-host. The two laid down the format of the upcoming battle, explaining to the audience that the 12 bands had been divided into two groups. Six of the bands will battle in one-on-one competition in this episode, and the rest will fight it out in the next.

But before the battle begins, Strings performed a song ‘Chal Para’ from their latest album 30, which celebrated the band’s three decades as a unit. After an inspiring performance tracing the journey back to the early days of the Pakistani music industry, the battlefield was set.

The proverbial war paint was applied. And the battle cries were heard. And the bands were all set to step into the battleground.

The first round dictated that the bands perform their original songs, keeping in tradition with the Pepsi platform’s motive to promote original music. The first face-off was between Skehlaaj and E-Sharp.

E-Sharp began the round, performing ‘Awaami Mulazim’ in their signature devil-may-care attitude fused with thought-provoking lyrics. Skehlaaj followed it up with a banger titled ‘Motion’, fusing heavy riffs and husky vocals. However, the jury eventually decided in favor of E-Sharp, citing the creative and vocal limitations in Skehlaaj’s music.

Next up was Neon vs Mousiqa. Neon made the first move, performing their original ‘Haddi Daal Do’. In fact, this was also the band’s first performance in front of a live audience. Mousiqa returned fire with ‘Dhudun Kya’. The jury pointed out flaws in both the band’s performances. Fawad Khan said he didn’t feel anything, pointing out the weak lyrics. While the judges appreciated the song structure of Mousiqa’s original, they eventually made the decision in favour of Neon. It looks like their light hasn’t dimmed yet and they move on to the next round.

The final showdown of the episode was between Star Zone and Aarish. Star Zone struck first with their soulful ‘Taaron ki Roshni’ while Aarish answered the strike with ‘Awaaz’. Perhaps the most difficult one-on-one battle so far, Aarish vs Star Zone left the judges wishing they could send both the bands into the next round. However, it had to be only one and that was Aarish.

Further, Bilal Maqsood gave a brand new Ibanez guitar, signed by all judges, to who they considered the best performer of the episode: E-Sharp.

Lastly, the jury exercised their power to save one out of the three bands in the danger zone: Skehlaaj, Mousiqa and Star Zone. Faisal Kapadia told all bands not to lose hope and continue their journey. The jury made the collective decision to save Star Zone to end the episode.

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