By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Himesh Reshammiya's first US tour is a resounding success . The first of the 18-city concerts in Atlanta held on the night of 28 July was was an unqualified sell-out. The concert was attended by a record crowd of 7,000 people. The lasts successful Bollywood concert (Temptations) in Atlanta was attended by approximately 4,000 people.
And it's been the same story everywhere. "Anything I say will seem like self-projection. You have to be here in the US to know what I'm experiencing. I can't believe I connect so well with the crowds. This one-on-one with a live audience has been the best experience of my career so far," Himesh says from the US.
The organizer Vijay Tarneja of Elite entertainment who last organized the Shah Rukh-Saif-Preity-Rani Temptations conrcertt informs that tickets for venues in New Jersey and Miami have already been sold out, and Toronto where Himesh and troupe are expected to perform later , wants an encore concert even before the first one has been held.
Says Tarneja, "I've been organizing Bollywood concerts for fifteen years. I've never before seen such mass hysteria at any Indian concert. We've started calling Himesh the Music God. He generates a collective frenzy that I've never seen before."
Tarneja puts Himesh's Aapka Suroor Live concerts above the Temptations concerts in terms of audience participation. Tarneja sees this as a revival of fortune for Bollywood concerts abroad. "There has been a slump of late. But the US concerts prove that the right packaging and right artiste can still pack in the audience. Maybe they were just bored of seeing the same thing. Agreed Himesh isn't a film star. But he's as visible on the home medium as any Bollywood star."
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa finalist Himani Kapoor who accompanies Himesh on his US tour is speechless. "I've never imagined anything like this. For about two hours Himeshji just captured the audience. He sang all their favourites live, and they went mad. They jumped on the seats, danced in the aisles, clapped and whistled until the very end. Himeshji is India's first true rock star."
The man at the center of the frenzy tries hard to be modest. "This is my first direct connectivity with an American audience. Their response is far beyond anything I had imagined. I'm very proud of what I've achieved. But what really makes me proud is when people tell me I've revived the music industry and now, Bollywood concerts abroad."