What Shah Rukh Khan means for Bollywood Entertainment, Sonu Niigaam means the same for the music industry and film music. Both are fantastic performers and know how to keep an audience entertained. And on the 27th of February, after a five-year wait, the fabulous Sonu Niigaam was finally back on stage in Holland.
There was this presenter, whose name unfortunately slipped my mind, who said a very interesting thing about Holland. If you look at the people, the NRI’s to simply call them, they are the farthest from India. Indians were first brought to Surinam and from there on the second and third generations moved to Holland. The people in the audience were mostly fourth and fifth generation Indians. It is surprising to Indians from India, that we are still in love with our culture. We keep it alive by eating the same food, listening to Indian music and watching Indian movies.
In the past there wasn’t a huge market for singers in Holland. Everybody wanted to see the actors on stage. However, nowadays more and more singers decide to perform outside India and the response is outstanding. This year in Holland we had a concert by Kailash Kher, followed by Sonu Niigaam. In the coming months we will have Usha Mageshkar, Rahet Fateh Ali Khan and Atif Aslam coming to perform and we are ecstatic.
However, let’s get back to Sonu and his concert. I have to admit that I am a huge Sonu Niigaam fan, but I never saw him live on stage. I am such a big fan that if I had one wish, it would be to see Sonu Niigaam perform ‘Bijuria’ live on stage at least once in my life. That wish came true that night. Overall, it was a brilliant performance and I had a fantastic time at the concert!
First let’s talk about how well the show was organized. Once it began, it went off without a hitch and a great time was had by all. However, there were complaints because the show started pretty late. I’ll let you in on a little secret – a show in Holland never starts on time. The show was supposed to start at 7 pm, but it was 8:30 before the music began. But then again, when does any Indian show abroad start on time? On Indian standard time na? Haha.
I had a great seat, right in front of the stage, in the fourth row. You could see everything and with that, I mean literally everything. The prices for tickets were good, not expensive and everything seemed to be in place. The show was sold out! There might have been a few empty seats in the back, but from where I was sitting and standing the whole auditorium was filled with lots of Sonu fans.
Live on stage
The show started with a short film on everything Sonu Niigaam had done in his career, from being a singer to a host, an RJ, a composer and performer. After that, we heard Sonu’s voice and everybody went wild and the requisite concert screaming began! People were so excited and the screaming, including mine, was unbelievably loud. Once Sonu appeared on stage, people went crazy. Almost everyone who was sitting in the back ran towards the stage just to get a glimpse of the singer. Security did try to get everyone back in their seats but that was just impossible, so they ended up just standing on both the sides of the stage.
Sonu Niigaam is not only a brill playback singer, he is a fantastic performer as well. I had never seen such a terrific live show by a singer. He actually engages with his audience, shares his songs and makes you feel at home. As an audience you are a part of his performance and you feel appreciated. Just watch the ending of ‘Main Agar Kahoon’ to see how the audience gets involved:
(This video is from my friend Zhunaysha)
He started out with ‘Shukran Allah’ and sang the song with so much peace and feeling. He gave us the recent hits including ‘Chiggy Wiggy’, where he even sang the part of Kylie Minogue in her voice. Sonu also sang the fantastic medley from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, ‘Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte’, and mixed it with ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’. Another great musical piece was the combination of old film songs together with the song ‘Main Hoon Na’.
He made us fall in love with him while he sang the beautiful love songs ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ and ‘Soniyo’. Sonu went totally crazy with the songs ‘Tenu Leke’ from Salaam-E-Ishq and ‘Aaja Soniyo’ from Mujhe Shaadi Karoge. Of course, as I said my wish came true when he sag the hit song ‘Bijuria’ from his album Mausam. I think he includes this song in every show and he should. Everywhere in the world, whenever I see him perform this song, it makes the audience go crazy. Everybody just gets up and starts to dance.
His energy and the way he dances during ‘Bijuria’, puts his soul into ‘Soniyo’ and makes you naach to the Bhangra version ‘Staying Alive’ from the Bee Gees is amazing. His voice quality live is so pure and touches your heart.
My friends and I has so much fun and spent the incredible three hours dancing and singing to all his tunes. At one point he even pointed to us while we were jumping and told us he loved us. That was the best gift ever.
Sonu’s musicians are amazing people. One can hear and feel that they music is flowing in every vein of their body. Sonu introduced everyone to the audience and they showed the audience how much magic they can create with their instruments. The guitar player was amazing. He even joked around with Sonu in one of the songs. Then there was Sonu singing ‘Staying Alive’ from the Bee Gees. He presented a special Bhangra version of the song. While he is singing, in the background one could notice two musicians going absolutely crazy. One of them was throwing his drumsticks in the air while playing the drums. It was a great sight.
‘Staying Alive’: from 0:55 sec you can enjoy the Bhangra version
The coordination between all the guys is amazing. The control they have over their instruments is another point to notice. Just hear the ending of ‘Bijuria’ and you realize that a lot has gone into coordinating and making this fantastical live version of the song come together. Musicians are often sidelined while it is actually them who are the life of a stage show for a singer. They deserve a lot of respect and appreciation.
If you are a Sonu Niigaam fan then you can do nothing but have a revel in the awesome experience of seeing him and if you weren’t a Sonu fan, then you will become one after you see him perform live on stage.
Sonu Niigaam is a singer, entertainer, performer and a very sweet human being. He knows his audience and he knows how to keep the night alive. He is one of the finest artists we have today. I am glad I was born in the era of Sonu Niigaam. His concert was one of the finest, biggest and best shows I have ever seen in my life. I just wish and pray he returns soon, cause once you have seen Sonu Niigaam on stage, you don’t want to see anyone else.
I hope he continues to entertain us for a very long time to come.
My wish: ‘Bijuria’