By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, Aug 29 (IANS) Composer-singer Himesh Reshammiya's first American tour, Aapka Suroor, is a resounding success and he is on cloud nine.
"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 told IANS from the US.
The first of the 18-city concerts in Atlanta was held on July 28 and it was an unqualified sell-out. Over 7,000 people attended the concert. And it's been the same story everywhere.
In fact, it has surpassed the last successful Bollywood concert, Temptations, in Atlanta, which was attended by approximately 4,000 people.
Organiser Vijay Tarneja of Elite Entertainment, who last organised Temptations concert for Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, and Rani Mukerji, discloses that tickets for venues in New Jersey and Miami have already been sold out. Toronto, where Reshammiya and troupe are expected to perform later, wants an encore concert even before the first one has been held.
"I've been organising Bollywood concerts for 15 years. I've never before seen such mass hysteria at any Indian concert. We've started calling Reshammiya the Music God. He generates a collective frenzy that I've never seen before," said Tarneja.
Tarneja puts Reshammiya's Aapka Suroor Live concerts above the Temptations concerts in terms of audience participation. He sees this as a revival of fortune for Bollywood concerts abroad.
"There has been a slump of late. But this concert proves that the right packaging and right artist can still pack in the audience. Maybe they were just bored of seeing the same thing. Agreed Reshammiya isn't a film star. But he's as visible on the home medium as any Bollywood star."
Zee TV's "Hero Hondo 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 Himesh-ji 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. Himesh-ji is India's first true rock star."
The man at the centre 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."
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