REPORT & PHOTOS BY GIRISH MODI
Atlanta, GA, November 9, 2018: Two years after her splendid performance for Agha Khan Foundation in Centennial Park, Sunidhi Chauhan was back in Atlanta on October 28th, a day after she performed at Long Beach, California to a packed audience. It was her second stop in an eight city concert tour. The event was organized by Atlanta’s premier organizer Paracha Entertainment at Infinite Energy Center.
Sunidhi was accompanied by Rapper Badshah whose real name is Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia. Badshah is an Indian rapper and music composer known for his Hindi, Haryanvi, and Punjabi songs and virtually unknown in America. Interestingly, Sunidhi and Badshah are co-judges on the singing reality show, “Dil Hai Hindustani 2.” They have also released a new song this summer titled “Aashiq Awaara” for Badshah’s album “O.N.E.”
In the opening act, young children of Shiv’s Institute of Dance performed a couple of dances that lasted ten minutes. Then as prelude to Sunidhi’s entrance, they showed a promotional video of her.
As the promotional video ended and the lights came on, Sunidhi was at center stage clad in a loose coverall that looked like a trash bag, leading off her performance with “Dhoom Machale.” From that moment the bar was set too high right from the get go, and the singing diva matched vibes with remarkable élan.
She then just went on and on, belting out some eminently foot-stomping fare as Sajna Ji Vaari Vaari (Honeymoon Travels), Desi Girl (Dostana), Halka Halka (Fanney Khan) and Yeh Raat Ruk Jaye (Murder 2).
It was just unbelievable. For almost every single second of those little over two hours that she held that cordless microphone in her hand, Sunidhi had her fingers on the pulse of the audience ! She spent almost two hours on stage during which time many were dancing on the floor far away from the stage so as not to disturb her and the audience sitting in front.
Sunidhi sang “Lag ja gale se” an old song from Film “Wo Koun Thi” originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar whose music was composed by Madan Mohan as a surprise item.
Just like the way she took the dithering with the tuning of her voice and the instruments in the rather challenging Kyun Na Hum Tum (Barfi) to get back in complete command of her art and craft for the rest of the evening, holding court and regaling the audience with what time and again turned out to be an impromptu session. Those pitch-perfect high notes were delivered with remarkable ease and fluency right through.
Her singing of Pehla Nasha (Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander) and Jab Koi Baat (Jurm) and Mehboob Mere (Fiza) deserve special mention. But nothing could probably beat the verve, tenor and vitality of Bidi (Omkara) and Sheila Ki Jawani. And Sunidhi practically got the entire auditorium on its feet with those two chartbusters that she had rightly saved for the last.
The stage was cleared of Sunidhi’s orchestra and set up for the next artist in few minutes. After they play promotional video of Badshah, he entered with his signature song. He was accompanied by a female singer and two backup singers.
Badshah spent about two hours on stage performing a wide range of songs from romantic interludes to pop jams and bhangra tracks. He was able to both energize and woo the audience with a combination of sultry interludes and upbeat numbers.
I was surprised that audience was as enthusiastic about Badshah as they were for Sunidhi and more people were dancing on the floor area than for Sunidhi. Fortunately, their dancing did not bother people who were sitting in the stadium area, but I was bothered a lot since I was seated in the floor area at the back. From there it was difficult to take photos/videos and had to get up several times. The photos are not good quality also because the mood lighting was not suitable.
What separated Chauhan & Badshah from other performers is their ability to sing live in a manner no different than if they were singing solo in a studio. Their style complimented each other. Their seemingly endless energy fueled the concert hall deep into the night, leaving the estimated 2,000 people in attendance buzzing with electricity as the show came to a close just before midnight. It was indeed a night to remember and one only hopes Sunidhi will return for an encore some time soon.