Saturday, February 6, 2016

An Evening at a Sunidhi Chauhan Concert in Bangalore.

Sunidhi Chauhan needs no introduction.

When I learnt of her concert in Bangalore on this past January 31, as part of the UNMAAD 2016 celebration at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, I was quite excited to attend it, although that'd make my subsequent road transportation from South Bangalore to the airport, to catch a flight back to the US, a greater nervous exercise in navigating Bangalore traffic, for all of 45 kms, to get to the airport.
My recent experience about her was as a musical personality in the reality show on TV, The Voice India, where her approach to coaching the contestants was very encouraging (to the contestants). I had become more acutely aware of accomplishments earlier in the year through a song that a Sa Re Ga Ma Pa North America 2015 contest winner, Aratrika Dey, sang for the winning entry: कैसी पहेली ज़िन्दगानी. (In a previous Bangalore visit, I had even liked Sunidhi's item song Sheila की जवानी). So, her versatility as a singer was established in my mind. But, an outdoor performance engaging the audience throughout? That was a refreshing first, for me!
L to R: Sunitha, Naresh, Bharat, Bhama

I was able to get some of my relatives to accompany me for the event. It seemed that, for all of us in our group, this event was some sort of a first in Bangalore. That an outdoor stage of this magnitude is set up routinely in Bangalore was itself a pleasant surprise to me.

However, the event was not without its negative aspects. For starters, no music happened until about 7:40 pm, even though 6:30 pm was the scheduled starting time. Why the tweaking of music systems could not have occurred sooner is anyone's guess.

The Stage & the Divine Raaga Band
To add salt to this delay wound, the opening performance of the band Divine Raaga -- a preposterous name with an equally preposterously named leader as Buddha -- was a disaster. Perhaps they were the guinea pigs to help set up the music systems to a more acceptable level before Sunidhi Chauhan performed; whatever it is, the band has to learn more about performing in an open setting like that. Even a musical novice like me could see through the disconcerting performance. I have no doubt, however, that the band's artistes were making an honest attempt to entertain the audience; sometimes, the best is not good enough! Only when sections of the audience shouted in unison 'Thank you' to the band leader's exhortations, did the band get the message!
Rakesh performing.

Sunidhi's arrival on stage.
Subsequent to Divine Raaga, at about 8:10 pm, we did get good music from Rakesh Maini, an Indian Idol 5 winner, we were told.

Finally, when Sunidhi arrived on the stage, with a larger than life size video in the background, it was about 8:40 pm. But, it was electrifying to say the least! I don't remember all the song numbers she presented but, the देसी Girl was there, of course. But, the manner in which she engaged the audience was very captivating.

Sunidhi, engaging the audience.
I had to cut short my presence at the event by about 10:00 pm, even as Sunidhi was performing: It was time for me to get ready for the road journey to the airport.

If you have read the blog post this far, you might as well review the other pictures of this event in this Google Photos album.

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