Monday, November 7, 2011

In concert: Shaan se!

Yay!! This is my 50th post. I know it comes a little late but what the hell, it is still a milestone.

Would you believe if I told you that I was at a concert in which the star of the show was right on time but the audience wasn’t? What if I told you that he was there on stage the moment the lights went out and stayed on stage until it was over! Well! You just had to be there to believe me.

After my experience with the last couple of concerts, which not only started late but also started with extra un-needed fillers, I was expecting a similar story at this one too. But there he was, right on time at 8 sharp as soon as the lights were dimmed. It’s a pity that the audiences kept trickling until 8:30 or so. (I’m sorry but I’m I am a stickler for time. And I really respect people who respect time. )

There he was, Shaan in person, dressed in all black. I’ve loved him since his ‘Love-ology’ and ‘Tanha Dil’ days. I was in awe for the first few minutes. Once he started singing, I had to restrain myself from jumping up and down, clapping my hands in glee .He was all I expected him to be and more. I just kept grinning ear to ear throughout the concert.

Starting the evening with “Behti hava sa tha woh” and introducing Kishore Kumar/Kishore da, whose memories the concert was to relive. And after that he wondered out loud, “ I was told it is a full house, but I see so many empty seats” adding, “ Well, its an Indian show, we have to prove a point here!”

This time the concert was at the esplanade theatre and the acoustics were really great. I wish more concerts were held here instead of the suntec convention centre or elsewhere.

Throughout the concert, you could see people enjoying themselves. People absent-mindedly bobbing their heads to the beat, doing subtle head banging moves, tapping their feet and clapping their hands in glee. You could see that everyone was really happy.

I know it would sound absurd to many if I told you he sounded so much like Kishore in some songs but I must say he came very close. I can’t think of any other voice that would do so much justice to Kishore’s songs. Shaan executed each song to perfection.

He did quite a few Kishore numbers followed by some medleys. He sang most of the favorites: Yeh dil na hota bechara, pal pal dil ke paas, O meri hansini, Tum bin. He classified them based on the actors Kishore sang for, starting from Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, and ending with Sanjay Dutt and Rishi Kapoor. It was an excellent mix of songs. Yeah, I know you can’t probably go wrong with any of Kishore Kumar’s songs but it must have been one hell of a job to pick just a few from them. As he sang the songs, he tried to mimic the actors and their mannerisms of the actors in question, which was fun to watch.

There was a female singer June-something, I think. She did the duets with Shaan and did a decent job of it although I’m happy that he did most of the singing. I went there to listen to him.

People who were hoping he’d sing his own songs too were not disappointed. He did a great “Main hoon don” and my favourite “Tanha dil” too, in addition to quite a few of the popular ones in the last hour.

When someone asked him to sing a Bengali song, he said “Arrey, tab to marathi gaana bhi gaana padega”. But sweet that he was, he sang a couple of lines in Bangla.

He kept forgetting his lyrics when he dropped some lyric-sheets during a song and sang adding his own words, which he admitted to doing and apologized profusely. I thought that was very endearing. He is one of the most down-to-earth singers that I’ve seen.

His message to the public was to quit smoking and chewing tobacco and apparently it is a message he gives at all his shows. He gave his message right before he sang “Khaike paan banaras wala”!

He was one of the nicest “stars” I’ve seen so far. He was extremely nice and he was one with the crowd, understanding just how to keep them happy. He sang most of the songs people asked for and even when he didn’t have the time, he sang at least a couple of lines when someone asked for a song.

It was one of the most memorable concerts for me. I loved him before but now I’m bowled over.  Shaan, I just became an even bigger fan of yours. Thanks for the great show!!

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