The Railway Station
Early on while I was picking up tickets from the box office, a few annoyed people were trying to ensure they got prompt service. There were three people at the window helping us. A fourth guy had the misfortune of being on the phone seemingly resolving a rather tricky concert situation because he had his head in his other hand.
"YOU SIR!" a man behind me yelled. "What are you doing on the phone?! Why aren't you helping us?" and then turning around indignantly to his (rather embarassed) wife "Kya KAR raha hai woh!" Phone Guy looked up stricken and hid behind a panel.
On the other side of the foyer, a number of ticket holders were trying to smuggle their kids in without tickets. Some of them held up their children to prove that they wouldn't occupy much arena space once inside. Arguing ensued. I heard someone threaten another person. Some people tried to extract their loved ones from the crowd via their extremities.
And it struck me that whenever large tolis of Bollywood fans congregate in one place - everyone gets stressed out. They all look tense, whipping out their phones, waving their arms about or rushing around. Some even get bent out of shape. Fortunately, this WTF deal can be highly amusing if viewed the right way.
In any case, once past this Railway Station mahol the concert was very enjoyable.
Vishal & Shekhar
Both of them showed up towards the end of the first third of the show and cranked out a number of songs mostly from OSO. Vishal came dressed like one of those Miami Bhais, jumped around a lot and executed a highly uncoordinated series of spins that looked infectious and endearing. Shekhar - who was much better live than I expected - sang everything along with Vishal. Their act was - alas - too short although I loved it.
Ritesh Deshmukh & Preity Zinta
Ritesh opened the show with an on-screen montage that declared him to be tomorrow's superstar. This self congratulating aside, I really appreciated his ability to dance endlessly with energy. Preity on the other hand vogued and shook her hips and smiled a lot. It was tremendously underwhelming. Later she came back to sing Bhumbro from Mission Kashmir and did a much better job.
When Abhishek entered the arena he did it from the tail end of the stadium. In doing this he had to negotiate rabid fans in the middle section all the way to the stage. The man has lost his marbles, I thought. But helped by some hefty staff who circled him entirely and occasionally hurled over-eager fans back against the crowds, he skipped his way (entirely out of taal I might add) unscathed. Then he got into a cage and took a ride above the crowds. Clearly he is blessed with great people management skills. Dancing and conventional hero strutting, no. Abhi, director ki naukri is your true calling!
Aish showed up wearing pants and a shiny corset like thingy so tight that her wimpy opening dance seemed directly connected to asphyxiation. Abhishek and Ritesh joined her wearing sleeveless shiny vests. Then she took the mike in her hand and issued a bunch of tee hees.
Abhishek came out and helped her interact with the crowds some more. Both kitchie-cooed causing one half of the audience to go aww and the other to gag. Her second and third acts saw some of her trademark grace and thumkas.
In a segment that had me confounded then chuckling, a somber voice announced it was time to get serious and help our planet. Then Jaya walked on stage and mechanically read out a bunch of cue cards asking everyone to save our environment. She even, rather awkwardly, read out a URL for more information. This was so much fun that I think I will call her WWW from now on. Fans scurried off to the concession stand to take advantage of this paan beedi respite.
Later that highly annoying voice came back to instruct us all to "ride bicycles" and "plant trees", forgetting to add "children don't forget your lunchboxes when the bell rings".
Amitabh got a lot of love on the introductory segments on the monitor. UNFORGETTABLE LEGEND, the montage touted as every conceivable flattering adjective was showered on the man. Meena's husband nearby remarked "Shall we confer sainthood on him already?"
But Big B worked hard to win the audiences' affection. He sang a bunch of songs live to kick off his presence - the highlight of which for me was: yes, when he sang Main Hoon Don. Later he came out and did some dances. He recited his pitaji's Agneepath in a rousing voice. He then maroed a couple of dialogs from his film (including that rather famous one from Deewar when he goes one-on-one with Shiva in a temple and ends up begging for mum's life).
He spent a lot of time on stage doing baat cheet. He poured his heart and soul into all of it.
Finally a couple of notes. Amanat Ali unleashed a highly impressive warm up act dressed in his (by now) trademark Jitender-like white outfit with scarf.
And I loved the 'whole grass is greener on the other side' seat exchanges that occurred as soon as the show started. We were among the pioneers of this musical chairs and even visited our old seats once to check Aish from a different angle. (She looks good from all of them)
- j can't stand politicians lecturing about carbon footprints
- What happened to Madhuri? asks girlie girl
- Bella would love to see V-S in South Africa
- Mind Rush describes the Love Chakkers in the show
- Only Hrithik or Akshay will lure meena into one of these again
- Anyone see Singh is Kinng? asks j
- The reviews are lukewarm informs Cinderella
- The only blogs worth reading are Aamir and Vishal's says j
- meena notes the stunning egotism on Big B's blog
- AB is turning into a grumpy old man thinks j
- Aamir's blog gets girlie girl's vote
- Kanan hates desi crowds at these shows
- Cinderella longs for a Shahid Kapur show in Hyderabad
- m on why Singh is Kinng is DOA for her