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A rare tribute to the Doors

At the beginning of this year, when the town’s happening spot Kozmo Lounge introduced a weekly event that gave an opportunity for new musicians to perform, little did one know that it would go on to become a huge success in the months to come. Today, the spotlight has been taken up by not only some of the renowned artists in the music industry, but also promising new talent.

Last Friday, Kozmo presented what could be one of the best performances that the city’s music lovers had seen in a long while. The show was planned as a tribute to the legendary 1960s band The Doors, and the performers, a group of five young university students, faithfully recreated the music and voice of the legendary ‘Lizard King’ Jim Morrison.

The performances was reminescent of the depth, energy and emotion of Doors concerts as they were back in 1967-1970, and the band succeeded in capturing the hearts and minds of the jampacked audience.

‘I was simply overwhelmed by their performance myself,’ says Arif Hafiz, CEO of Kozmo and the man behind this idea. ‘I had always wanted a tribute of this sort and when this young group came along; I wanted to experiment a little. Little did I know that they would actually do justice to The Doors and relive the very essence of Jim Morrison.’

The show titled ‘A Tribute to the Doors’ ran for about three hours and the packed audience made their way on the floor, just to get a glimpse of what most of them called as the ‘rebirth of Jim Morrison’. The vocalist Salzar Rahman, dressed in a black T-shirt with the sleeves hacked off and his curled black hair, reminiscent of the 1970s, won hearts instantly. The young singer, in possession of a supple, demonstrative voice that sounds incapable of a flat note, began the performance with the epic ‘The End’ and his gang followed The Doors’ sophomoric chord changes that left everyone awestruck.

Their other songs, including classic hits Riders on the Storm, Break On Through, Light My Fire, and Back Door Man only dazzled with equal fervour.

The band, composed of guitarists Imran Ahmed and Saadat Hamid, bassist Saad Muntazim and Sabbir Hossain on the drums, managed to complement Salzar’s vocal mastery effectively with unrestrained enthusiasm, faithfully replicating each note, chord and drum solo as first heard on the Doors’ records four decades ago.

What is more impressive is that none of the band members, apart from Sabbir, already a successful musician with the bands Vibe and Reborn, had ever performed for a formal audience before. For them playing and singing has been more of a passion than a vocation. ‘It’s always been something we do for fun, whenever we get together,’ says Imran.

‘I think a special appreciation goes to Sadaat who always ensured we get together seriously and practice right before the show,’ says Salzar.

Although lacking a keyboardist, the hallmark of the Doors’ iconic sound and music, the band managed to transcribe the tunes of the keyboard effectively on to the guitar, thus adding to the atmosphere and eclecticism of the performance. Guitar solos by Imran and Saadat enriched the performance, complimented by the smooth basslines laid down flawlessly by Saad and the frenetic drumming by Sabbir.

The evening was enhanced by the packed audience, who sang along faithfully with the band on each and every song. ‘The performance was truly amazing,’ says Nasfia, an ardent fan of the Doors. ‘The entire band sounded so good together. I think that it’s great that these guys got the chance to express their creativity and talent in such an amazing way.’

Forty years after his death, Jim Morrison lives on in the hearts and souls of thousands of adoring fans. For some of them, Friday night’s performance was an unforgettable delight.

The band, meanwhile, is slated to do a Beatles tribute concert very soon.

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