Himesh Reshammiya's South African show rocked despite poor sound

By Fakir Hassen

Johanensburg, June 16 (IANS) Poor sound quality and constant screaming into a mike that distorted his voice marred the Himesh Reshammiya show at the Emperors Place here, but his young South African fans lapped it up, dancing in the aisles and on their seats at his repeated request.

Reshammiya was visibly irritated that microphones had to be changed three times at the start of Saturday's show and again later during the event as a constant hum kept recurring. His sound technician told IANS that it was due to the fans trampling on the cables, but local sound experts scoffed at this.

Belting out his hits of the past two three years or so, Reshammiya also did something he rarely allows fellow playback singers to do in India - to sing songs that he composes music for in their own voices.

He let Vineet Singh of "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" TV show fame sing a number of songs, all of course original Reshammiya compositions, and the confident youngster performed quite well. Reshammiya even joined him on stage at one stage.

When he called on children and later women to join him on stage, there was a stampede that forced Reshammiya to security backup to move them back and implore the women to not let the stage collapse.

Reshammiya constantly interacted with the crowd, calling on them to sing the refrains of his songs. The delighted crowd obliged.

When eager fans rushed near the stage to dance and take pictures with the their cellphones, one or two heavy-handed guests in the most expensive seats in the front also shove them away till security restored order.

In a surprise, a young singer introduced only as "Nikki of Johannesburg" sang a song and unfortunately left a rather poor example of the talent that does exist in South Africa. One of the promoters shrugged his shoulders when asked who she was and how she had been chosen to represent local talent.

Overall, Reshammiya delivered on his promise to fans to rock the "stadium", as he repeatedly called the well-enclosed indoor venue. But he did not do justice to one well-advertised fact - that he would perform a number from his next film "Karz".

Performing first with his trademark cap on, he then progressed to wearing a beanie and then eventually took it off to show his new longhaired image for the role in "Karz", partly shot earlier this year at Emperors Palace. He then sang just the first verse of the title song and promptly put his beanie back on again for the rest of the show.

Significantly, unlike many other Indian shows here where fans keep clamouring for more at the end, it was Reshammiya who kept seeking just a few more minutes to continue from the promoter, Rani Jamal of Kenya, who eventually thanked the audience herself and announced the end of the show.

The fans did not call for more - they started leaving, even causing Reshammiya to implore them to hang on for the last few minutes. Perhaps they had just had enough of the repetitive songs and the bad sound.

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