This weekend one of Bollywood music's most happening stars hit the "city that never sleeps" and plenty of Mumbaikars made a definite point of not missing this lucky rendez-vous.
Attendees received text messages urging them to pick up their tickets in advance at the ticket counter outside the venue, insisting that doors to the venue would be open at 5pm for a concert starting at 5:30pm. Once arrived however, everyone had to queue for their tickets, whether they had paid for them in advance or not, and then stand at the door of the venue (yes sir, even the VIPs) until 6:30pm. The crowd who was originally excited about the event started getting tired and anxious.
Pregnant women and people who had paid VIP services started to protest strongly against the organizers of the concert for not providing the services that were expected for this type of concert. No one was able to truly make a difference and as soon as the gates opened a mad rush took place to get through the doors, with security not being able to screen each member of the audience.
Once one made it through the doors in a moving crowd that would make Mumbai rush hour trains blush, a Rajasthani band led the way to the area where the concert would take place.
It was however not before approximately 8pm that opening acts started, with the crowd by then very tired and exasperated, shouting "bye" to most of the singers and dancers that appeared on stage, welcomed by an announcer from Radio Mirchi that tried to make the audience keep patient and laugh by passing sexist or derogatory comments, thereby achieving the exact opposite.
When finally 9pm rang in, Arijit Singh was welcomed to the stage to sing superhit Tum Hi Ho amid a crowd that seemed to be happy but I believe was mostly relieved that they were not going to be taken for yet another shoddy ride by the concert organizers.
Arijit's voice is one of warmth and soul. Despite the fact that the sound balance at times muffled his voice and him enduring a bad cold, his singing prowess remained absolutely intact. He thankfully brought back the feel-good quotient to an event that had encountered such difficulty to take off. Bollywood hit after hit recorded by him was revisited in the concert and he then swiftly ventured into his favorite songs from other films, starting with the beautiful Pehla Nasha, sung along in chorus by the entire crowd that night.
It is good spirit and enthusiasm that Arijit Singh and his excellent musicians and background vocalists spread throughout the crowd this weekend night. "All is well that ends well" may be the best motto for a concert full of cheer.