Thursday, September 21, 2017

Shreya Ghoshal Live in Concert

This was my first Hindi music concert in the US. I had seen ads about the concert on Facebook as well as heard about it on the radio. My BIL being a huge fan of Shreya Ghoshal was super excited about seeing her perform live. He booked their tickets in the rows right in front of the stage. Since I didn't want to spend a lot on the tickets, I picked the cheapest seats in the balcony.

The concert was held at Oracle Area in Oakland-almost an hour's drive from home. Parking was easy but expensive ($40)! There were no signs or volunteers to guide us where to queue up or which way the entry was for the different ticket types. It was poorly organized. At around 7p, the doors opened and we took our seats in the balcony. Since the area is huge and has multiple entrances, the organizers could have very easily printed the best parking lot and entrance for easy access to the seats.

Our seats were facing the right side of the stage. Since it was a singing concert and there was no dancing involved, it did not matter that we could not get the front view of the stage. The auditorium was packed with around 8,000 people in attendance. The concert started with a fashion show from PNG Jewellers who were the sponsors.

There was a grand symphony accompanying Shreya. She only had one other singer with her (winner of a Bengali talent show). Once she started singing, it was magical. She sang non stop for almost 3 hours with a single ten minute break. There was so much passion, emotion and enthusiasm in her singing. It was a pleasure to listen to her croon a lot of her popular songs as well as some older Lata Mangeshkar numbers. A lot of the audience members seemed unhappy that there were a lot more older songs than they expected. Turns out that the concert was originally supposed to be a tribute to Lata Mangeshkar but over time, that message was dropped from the marketing campaigns. So people didn't expect that so much time will be spent on songs that were not originally sung by Shreya.

Although I would have loved for her to sing a few more of her own songs, I was very satisfied with the concert. On our way back, we stopped for dinner at Shan Restaurant which was crowded with a lot of people from the same concert!

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