Continuing part 2 of My live Music experiences. Part 1 can be read here.
The very first Bollywood Music concert that I attended was to see Adnan Sami perform at the Wembley Pavillions in 2005. The concert was held in the make-shift pavillions arena, as Wembley arena was being refurbished at the time. Adnan was being supported by then upcoming singer Shreya Ghoshal. Shreya sang on her own and performed her hit songs from Devdas and Jism. She could have done with a better sound check, as her voice tended to sound screechy when it came to the higher notes. I remember being disappointed with audience members who chose to get up and walk around/talk during Shreya’s performance. Clearly, that would not happen at her own concerts now! When Adnan arrived on stage, he performed all of his hit songs from the Tera Chehra album, and he also gave a James Brown tribute. However, his attitude and tone of voice when talking to the audience, was rather disappointing.
In October 2006, I went to see my favourite musician of all Himesh Reshammiya live at Wembley Arena on his Aap Kaa Surroor world tour. This was an epic musical evening, and despite starting late, Himesh made it clear to the security that he wanted to make up for the loss of time. He came with a host of new singers who were fresh talent from Music reality shows at the time. Comedian VIP entertained the audience during the break, and Himesh also showed the trailer of his first ever movie Aap Kaa Surroor at the concert. It truly was a magical evening, and as we left the arena, the crowds were still singing Samjho Naa!
On 8th September 2012, I went to see the golden couple Roop Kumar and Sunali Rathod at Hammersmith Apollo. This was my first time visiting the Apollo venue, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. The Apollo is a much smaller venue, and this gives any concert a more intimate feel. It was wonderful to hear Roop Kumar and Sunali Rathod sing together live, and Maula Mere Maula was the highlight for me. They paid a tribute to the black and white era of Bollywood Music.
On 7th July 2017, I was fortunate enough to see AR Rahman live at Wembley Arena, on behalf of Bollyspice. I had been seeing the adverts for the show on TV, and was thrilled to be given an opportunity to attend the event as a promoter. I enjoyed the show and you can read my full review here. Only downsides were the extremely late start and lack of Bollywood songs performed. I am grateful to have seen 3 of my current favourite singers perform (Neeti Mohan, Jonita Gandhi and Javed Ali) live.
I have also seen smaller scale artists live such as BOTOWN and reality show singer Aneek Dhar in 2011 and Jazba (dancer Karan Pangali, Rekha Sawhney, Kaykay Chauhan) in 2012. While it is great to see artists of all sizes live on stage, nothing beats seeing the established Music legends. If you have seen any of the artists mentioned, share your thoughts in the comments.