Finally got to see the legend in person. At the Sun National Center in Trenton, NJ. The show was about 30 minutes late to start – someone was complaining this is typical IST – for Indian Standard Time. Once the doors opened however, there was no mad rush to get into the stadium as is typical of events in India. Once in, we picked up some Bhel puri and samosas for dinner. It took a while for the 8000+ indoor venue to fill up. We were seated close to the stage but at an angle. Next time you book tickets for such events, don’t fall for the trap when you call the stadium. You will always hear – seats are filling up fast. The low priced tickets will always show as sold out. In reality, these are available at the box office. Now was it worth paying $100 per ticket – for a first time maybe. Next time, I will buy the $35 tickets and should be okay to sit at the back of the stadium. The fact is unless you are in the first few rows, you don’t get to see much of the start anyway. Moreover, closer to the stage means the decibel levels are way too high – so much so that it could be damaging to the ears. Until I got used to it, I felt my eardrums throbbing at the constant pounding. I thought the audio engineers should have walked onto the stands and given their ears a bit. The orchestra grabs the audience attention by a crescendo of drums and music initially and I could see the singer’s voice getting drowned. They could have done a better job.
Anyway, you know who I am talking about? He is Sonu Nigam. He did a masterful job of entertaining the audience and keeping them engaged. Most of the songs were oldies – his favorite Mohammad Rafi taking the bulk of the share. A few Kishore Kumar songs and then a few of his own. What was more entertaining his the ‘episodes’ of his talk and impromptu singing which definitely was orchestrated. All in all, three hours of great entertainment i.e., if you love Hindi/Bollywood songs. I for one wanted to hear at least one Kannada song, but that wasn’t the case to be. The organizers just forget that India is made up of both North and South India – a total pity given the percentage of South Indians attending the event. My guess was it was 25-40% at least – a good representation of the South. Sonu-ji hope you read this post and make some changes for the sake of all the fans.
Here is a slideshow of some memories